Twenty-six and counting. That's the win streak NCAA DII seventh-ranked Kentucky Wesleyan will carry into the NCAA Championship Midwest Regional starting in a week. With help from the loyal home crowd, the Panthers roared to life and secured their second consecutive Great Midwest Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship title on Saturday in the Sportscenter. No. 1 seed KWC held off a strong postseason run made by No. 2 Alderson Broaddus with 91-63 being the final score. The Panthesrs advanced into the title game after eliminating No. 4 seed Malone on Friday in the semifinals. The celebration was officially on after the final buzzer as players gathered in front of the scorers table and danced in unison. The traditional net-cutting ceremony followed along with the official trophy presentation. The Panthers (28-2 overall), currently ranked fifth in the region, now turn their attention to the NCAA DII Championship Selection Show airing tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m. EST. The Selection Show can be viewed by clicking here. KWC enhanced its postseason stock for the committee and after being a No. 8 seed at Wisconsin-Parkside in last year's regional, this year's group is ready prove itself on the national stage at a regional site to be determined. Senior guard Ken-Jah Bosley (6'1''-G), the only player in G-MAC history to score 2,000 career points, canned eight three-point field goals for a game-high 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Bosley took over the game single-handedly with his team training 33-29 late in the first half. He scored the Panthers' final 15 points before halftime -- all on five consecutive long-range shots. But he also had the best moment that you couldn't script when he exchanged game shorts with a teammate in the open to stay on the floor (his had blood) -- drawing a hearty round of applause from the fans. AB and KWC exchanged three-pointers to open the second half, but a 10-0 run in less than three minutes gave the Panthers their first double-digit lead of the game. It was at that junction when the Panthers really started to impose their will in the paint while scoring on a variety of close range shots courtesy of Michael Vigilance (6'8''-C-94), Jordan Jacks (6'5''-G) and Malek Harris (6'8''-F-95). Sam Williams (6'8''-F)' layup with 8:29 left swelled the lead to 20 and Bosley made a tough runner off glass, his only two-point field goal, to maintain the same margin shortly after. Williams made 6-of-9 from the field to finish with 14 points while Jacks, fresh off a 10-for-13 FG effort against Malone, added 11 to go with eight rebounds. KWC would finish the game at a sizzling 60 percent on FG tries, including 10-of-22 from deep. The Battlers played their way for a chance at the title by beating No. 3 seed Davis & Elkins on Friday in the semifinals. AB's G-MAC Freshman of the Year, first-team all-conference and all-freshman team guard Malik Bocook (6'4''-G) had 15 points and six rebounds. AB had four in double figures while Exzavier Cooper (6'5''-F) netted 11, Jordan Haywood (6'0''-PG) scored 12 and Sam Sanders (5'10''-PG) chipped in 10. The Battlers finished their 2016-17 season with a 16-14 overall record as conference tourney runner-up.
Joe Mazzulla Named Head Men's Basketball Coach at Fairmont State - 1 day ago
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In my Daily Dirt earlier today, I mentioned that Joe Mazzulla was the leader for DII Fairmont State. It's now been made official. Fairmont State University Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced today that Joe Mazzulla has been named the program's 12th head men's basketball coach. Mazzulla will be introduced to the Fairmont community at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29 during a press conference inside Joe Retton Arena. Following some opening comments from Coach Mazzulla, media members... [read more]
In my Daily Dirt earlier today, I mentioned that Joe Mazzulla was the leader for DII Fairmont State. It's now been made official. Fairmont State University Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced today that Joe Mazzulla has been named the program's 12th head men's basketball coach. Mazzulla will be introduced to the Fairmont community at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29 during a press conference inside Joe Retton Arena. Following some opening comments from Coach Mazzulla, media members will have the opportunity to do one-on-one interviews. Members of the community are invited to attend. A former West Virginia University standout, Mazzulla spent five years coaching at the NCAA Division II level, including three at Fairmont State, before serving as an assistant coach in the NBA Development league last year. 'It is a privilege to welcome Joe back to Fairmont, and we couldn't be happier to have him as our next head men's basketball coach,' said McNeely. 'Joe is well known around the state of West Virginia from leading the Mountaineers to the Final Four, and he has had success at every stop of his young coaching career. 'Coming off a national runner-up season, we wanted to keep the continuity and team chemistry as strong as possible, and we believe Joe is the correct person to keep FSU basketball rolling in the right direction.' 'I am pleased to welcome Joe back to Fairmont State, and I have complete confidence that we have found a leader that can keep FSU basketball competing at the highest level,' said FSU President Maria Rose. Mazzulla most recently served as an assistant coach for the Maine Red Claws (an affiliate of the Boston Celtics) of the NBA Developmental League for the last year. Maine currently leads the Atlantic Division of the NBADL standings with a 28-19 overall record. Prior to his position with the Red Claws, Mazzulla was an assistant coach for three seasons on Jerrod Calhoun's staff at Fairmont State. During that time, the Falcons compiled a record of 67-26 with three 20-win seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. 'I would like to thank President Rose, Athletic Director Tim McNeely, Coach Jerrod Calhoun, the entire community of Fairmont and the current players at Fairmont State University for giving me the opportunity to take over the FSU basketball program,' said Mazzulla. 'It is very humbling to get this opportunity and I'm excited to come home and lead a program that is loved and supported by a group of passionate community members. Fairmont is a special place. 'I am excited to get back to work with the returning players and find ways that we can all get one percent better each day.' During his three year's on the coaching staff at Fairmont State, Mazzulla was instrumental in developing point guards Caleb Davis and Shammgod Wells into regular contributors and starters for the Falcon. Wells ended his career in 2017 as the school's all-time leader in both assists and steals. Davis started his first two seasons in Fairmont prior to becoming a key reserve for FSU as a junior in 2015-16. Davis started the first five games of the 2016-17 season before suffering a season-ending injury. Mazzulla was also key in the early development of point guard Jason Jolly, who served as the sixth-man for the Falcons in 2015-16 as a freshman. During that season, Jolly was fourth on the team in scoring (9.4) and made 52 three-pointers. Mazzulla started his coaching career by spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Glenville State. In his time with the Pioneers Mazzulla helped develop two All-WVIAC honorees and a pair of all-freshman team honorees. Prior to beginning his coaching career, Mazzulla played four seasons at West Virginia University for head coaches John Beilein and Bob Huggins. His teams made four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a berth in the Final Four in 2010. Mazzulla also won a Big East Tournament Championship and NIT Tournament Championship at WVU and the standout also excelled in the classroom, getting named to Big East Academic All-Star Team three times (2007, 2009 and 2010). The point guard was the sixth-man for the Mountaineers during the 2010 Final Four run. Mazzulla had a season-high 17 points in the regional final against Kentucky to help lead WVU to the Final Four. As a senior, Mazzulla started 16 games and averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds. The standout point guard also had 139 assists during his final season with the Mountaineers. Mazzulla and his wife Camai currently reside in Fairmont and have two children, Michael Harden and Emmanuel Joseph Daniel Mazzulla. Mazzulla is a native of Johnston, R.I. Courtesy of: hoopdirt.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 - 4 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
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