Central Missouri wins thrilling game for MIAA Championship - Mar 11, 2013
Kansas City, Mo. -- In the one of the most exciting games in recent championship history Central Missouri needed overtime to overcome Northwest Missouri for a 79-76 victory. The Mules were outshot in the game, but hit shots late in overtime to win their first MIAA Tournament Championship since 2009 which also came on an overtime win.
Northwest Missouri jumped on top early in the first half rocketing out to the first seven points of the game. NWMSU would hold the lead until the 7:37 mark in the first half when UCM fought back and took their first lead of the game. In the final seven minutes of the first half their were five ties as the game was knotted at 33-33 going into the break. The second half would start off with more back and fourth before UCM emerged with an eight point lead with 3:50 to play. Northwest Missouri would outscore the UCM 9-1 in the final 3:30 of the game to force free basketball.
In the overtime period both teams held at leads of at least three points but UCM broke the tide with three free throws by Dominique Long (6'6''-F-90). NWMSU would cut the lead back to two twice, but missed a shot at the buzzer after a UCM free throw.
Tournament MVP Widgett Washington (6'0''-G-89) led the way for the Mules scoring 20 points and picking up four steals. Dominique Long finished with 16 points and four total rebounds dishing three assists on the afternoon. All-Tournament performer Charles Hammork (6'6''-G) added 10 points and pulled down six rebounds. For the Bearcats Bryston Williams (6'0''-PG) was just shy of a double-double with 27 points and nine rebounds. Grant Cozad (6'8''-F-91) had 14 points and seven rebounds on the afternoon. All-Tournament performer Dillon Starzl (6'8''-F-91) added 13 points and pulled down six rebounds before fouling out. Alex Sullivan (6'0''-G-89) had 12 points and seven rebounds hitting four fro beyond the arc.
Central Missouri earns the conference's automatic bid in the NCAA Division II National Tournament and will open play next week at the Central Regional. Other MIAA schools will await their fate on tonight's NCAA Division II Selection Show tonight at 9:30 p.m. CST on www.ncaa.com.
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