The Union University men's basketball team posted an 88-85 overtime win over No. 19 Eckerd (Fla.) College on Saturday in the first round of the 2016 NCAA DII National Championships. Union, the seven-seed, improved to 21-10 on the season, while second seeded Eckerd's season ends at 25-7. Union now advances to the region semifinals Sunday at 5 p.m. versus third seeded Barry (Fla.). Barry ended Union's season last year in the first round of the national tournament. Union opened the game with nine straight points and led 9-0 at the first media timeout, just over four minutes into the game. Eckerd responded with a 17-7 run to take their first lead, 17-16, with 7:51 left in the half. Union got the lead back and extended out to a 24-19 cushion with 4:59 left in the half. Eckerd again rallied with a 10-0 run to take their largest lead of the half, 29-24, with 2:57 left. It was Union's turn to respond and the Bulldog did and following a 3-pointer from Jordan Montgomery (6'6''-G) with 25 seconds left, Union had regained the 31-29 lead at the half. Eckerd controlled the first eight minutes of the second half, pushing their lead out to as many as eight points, 54-46, with 12:20 left in regulation. Union stormed back over the next two minutes and a Brennan Bowling 3-pointer tied the game at 57-57 with 10:07 left to play. Eckerd again led by five points, but Union tied the game gain at 65-65 with six minutes left. The teams went back and forth over the final six minutes of regulation. With 49 seconds left in regulation, Union's Montgomery converted a 3-point play to put Union up 74-73. After an Eckerd turnover, Union's Roy Bullock (5'11''-PG) hit one of two free throws to put his team up 75-73 with 29 seconds left. E.J. Moody (6'3''-G) hit a game-tying jumper for Eckerd with 16 seconds left. Union had one final shot to get the win, but Montgomery's shot was just short as the buzzer sounded. Union opened the overtime period with a 3-pointer from Bullock and the Bulldogs never trailed again. A second three pointer in their next possession by Ashanti Day (6'6''-G) put Union up 81-75, their largest lead since the 9-0 start. Eckerd cut their deficit to just two points, 84-82, with 22 seconds left. Union's Bullock was fouled and sent to the line with 10 seconds left. Bullock hit both free throws, but a quick 3-pointer by Eckerd cut the deficit to 86-85 with six seconds left. Union's KC Goodwin (6'0''-PG-94) then hit a pair of free throws and Eckerd missed their final 3-point attempt, giving Union the 88-85 win. Union head coach David Niven said, "I thought our guys hung in there and had an answer for every run that Eckerd made on us tonight. Obviously, we shot the ball extremely well from three and even better from the free throw line. Those were huge factors in our win. I'm really proud of Felipe and Brennan coming off the bench to make huge shots for our team. I also thought Ashanti was the best player on the floor tonight. Union shot 55 percent (6-11) from 3-point range in the second half, led by Bowling who was 4-for-4 in the second half from long range. Union made both of their 3-point attempts in the overtime period. Union was led in the game by Bullock with 21 points and four assists. Day added 19 points and 13 rebounds for his 19th double-double of the season. Montgomery added 18 points, including 13 in the second half. Bowling finished with 15 points. Union shot 44 percent from the field, 50 percent (13-26) from long range and 86 percent (19-22) from the free throw line. Eckerd was led by E.J. Moody with 24 points. Drushaun McLaurn (6'5''-F) added 15 points and Obi Kyei (6'8''-F-94) scored 14 points. The Tritons shot 45 percent from the field, 29 percent (8-28) from behind the arc and 72 percent (13-18) from the free throw line. Courtesy of: ncaa.com
Player of the Year: Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State NABC NCAA D2 All-America Team Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) of Fairmont State Joshua Blaylock (6'2''-G) of Fort Lewis Luquon Choice (6'3''-G-93) of Lincoln Memorial Devin Gilligan (6'5''-F) of Southern New Hampshire Zach Hankins (6'10''-C) of Ferris State Jeremiah Hill (6'2''-G-95) of Valdosta State Aaron Lien (6'4''-G-95) of MSU Moorhead Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State Justin Reyes (6'4''-G/F) of St. Thomas Aqu... [read more]
Player of the Year:Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State
Northwest Missouri wins Division II title - 3 days ago
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Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin... [read more]
Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) three-pointer. Fairmont's Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) went on a personal 6-0 run before Pitts responded with another triple. Fairmont entered the game averaging 95 points, but it couldn't muster much offense and its press defense was largely useless against the Bearcats. Pitts, the NABC Division II player of the year, finished with 23 points and was voted most outstanding player of the Elite Eight. The junior from Blue Springs played all 40 minutes and committed just one turnover. Chris-Ebou Ndow (6'6''-F-93) was the work horse on the boards with 18 rebounds to go along with 17 points. Anthony Woods (6'2''-G, college: NW Missouri St.) added 13. Northwest Missouri State had been the regional runner-up each of the past three years. But the Bearcats finished the job for the program's first men's basketball national championship. Courtesy of: kansascity.com
Player of the Year: Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange of Newberry College Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne College Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin of Dominican College Hunter LeVeau of King University Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Matthew Dogan of Gannon University [read more]
Player of the Year: Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange of Newberry College Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne College
Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin of Dominican College Hunter LeVeau of King University Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Matthew Dogan of Gannon University
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