(March 24) --
Ferris State captured its first NCAA Division II national title by edging Northern State in a back-and-forth affair, winning 71-69.
|2017-18 Elite Eight Championship Game Capsule|
|Northern State vs. Ferris State|
|2017-18 NCAA Division II Elite Eight Scoreboard -- LIVE VIDEO ON NCAA.COM|
|March 20 -- FINAL||March 20 -- FINAL||March 20 -- FINAL||March 20 -- FINAL|
|West Texas A&M||
|Final Stats||Final Stats||Final Stats||Final Stats|
|March 22 -- FINAL||March 22 -- FINAL/2OT||March 24 -- FINAL||-|
|West Texas A&M||
|Final Stats||Final Stats||Final Stats|
The Bulldogs, who tied the NCAA Division II record by winning their 38th game of the season, got the go-ahead basket from Zach Hankins -- named as the most outstanding player in the tournament -- with 1:31 to play and held off the Wolves (36-4), as they forced a turnover and a missed shot down the stretch before Darin Peterka's long three-point attempt just before the final buzzer sounded was off the mark.
Northern State led for much of the first half, holding as much as a seven-point lead at one point. The Bulldogs outscored Northern 19-10 over the final nine minutes of the half to take a two-point lead to the locker room before the teams went toe-to-toe over the final 20 minutes.
The Wolves got 20 points from Carter Evans, whose basket with 3:37 to play gave his team a 67-66 lead. Northern would hold the advantage until the Hankins basket a little over two minutes later.
Hankins led the Bulldogs with 19 points and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Drew Cushingberry and NSU's Ian Smith, Logan Doyle and Peterka.
Ferris State 85, West Texas A&M 79: Ferris State held a 68-51 lead over the Buffaloes with over nine minutes remaining, then held off a furious comeback effort to land in the championship game.
The Bulldogs (37-1) had four players score in double figures and held West Texas A&M to 35.2 percent shooting in the win, as they were led by Drew Cushingberry with 16 points. Cushingberry had a double-double as he also pulled down 10 rebounds, as did Zach Hankins with 13 points and 11 boards.
Ferris State held off the Buffaloes (32-4), who got a 33-point performance from David Chavlovich in defeat, the highest-scoring game by a player at this year's Elite Eight.
Northern State 105, Queens (N.C.) 99, 2OT: Playing in front a partisan sellout crowd at the Sanford Pentagon, Northern State rallied in overtime -- using a five-point possession to extend the game and then winning a thriller in the second extra period to advance to Saturday's championship game.
Trailing by five with 20 seconds remaining, DJ Pollard was fouled on a three-point shot and made the first two free throws. Pollard missed the third attempt, but Gabe King tapped the rebound out to continue the Wolves' possession and Pollard drilled a three-pointer to knot he score. In the second overtime, Northern (36-3) took control from the outset and built as much as a 10-point lead to earn its date with Ferris State.
Ian Smith led the Wolves with 22 points, while Darin Peterka finished with 20 and Logan Doyle added 18. The Royals (32-4) were paced by Ika Agusi with 27 points, while Jalin Alexander scored 20 and Lewis Diankulu finished with 19.
West Texas A&M 87, Le Moyne 73: The fourth-seeded Buffaloes trailed 40-38 at the intermission, but shot 53.6 percent in the second half and went 12-of-23 from three-point range overall to advance to Thursday's semifinals. West Texas A&M outscored the Dolphins 49-33 in the second half to pick up the win.
The Buffaloes (32-3) took control early in the second half, using an 18-8 spurt to start the period to take a nine-point lead. West Texas A&M eventually built that lead up to as much as 16 as it had five players in double figures, led by Ryan Quaid with a game-high 25 points. Quaid recorded a double-double as he also pulled down 10 rebounds.
Le Moyne (27-7), making its first-ever appearance at the Elite Eight, was led by Isaiah Eisendorf with 13 points. The Dolphins shot 55.2 percent in the first half, but made only 31.6 percent of their shots after the intermission.
Ferris State 87, Barry 84: After building a pair of double-digit leads, Ferris State was able to hold on to reach the national semifinals for the first time in school history by knocking off Barry in the second quarterfinal contest Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (36-1), who will face West Texas A&M in the semifinals, had a 15-point lead in the first half trimmed to two by halftime, then led by as much as 11 in the second half before the Buccaneers (23-9) starting cutting into the advantage. A three-pointer by Daniel Mortensen drew Barry to within two with just over a minute to play, but the Buccaneers couldn't catch up in the final minute; a jump ball in the final 30 seconds went in favor of Ferris State, which allowed the Bulldogs the opportunity to clinch the game at the free throw line.
Drew Cushingberry led Ferris State with 20 points, while Mortensen and Marko Tomic had 17 apiece for Barry.
Queens (N.C.) 100, California Baptist 94: Queens came away victorious in a furious offensive show -- particularly in the second half -- to advance to the national semifinals for the second time in school history and first time since 2003.
The Royals (32-3) shot 64.5 percent in the second half and 60 percent for the game and needed all of that to overtake the Lancers (28-6), who hit 77.8 percent of their shots in the second half and 56.9 percent on the night. Todd Withers led six Royals in double figures iwth 26 points, while Daniel Carrr added 15 off the bench..
Callifornia Baptist got 21 points from Jordan Heading, 20 from Ty Rowell off the bench and 19 more from Kalidou Diouf in the highest scoring NCAA Division II quarterfinal contest since 2013. The teams combined for 114 points in the second half of play.
Northern State 79, East Stroudsburg 71: Northern State entered the Elite Eight as one of the top shooting teams in the nation and lived up tp that billing in knocking off East Stroudsburg to earn a date with Queens on Thursday.
The Wolves (35-3) shot 57.4 percent as they built as much as an 11-point lead and extended it to as high as 17 in the second half to reach the NCAA Division II semifinals for the first time. The guard combination of Ian Smith (21 points) and D.J. Pollard (19 points), plus a lift off the bench from Logan Doyle (13 points, seven rebouunds) to offset a combined 43 points from ESU's Steve Harris and Jakwan Jones.
Harris led all scorers in the contest and in Tuesday's play with 28 points in the battle of two teams that entered the game sporting 13-game winning streaks.
|2017-18 NCAA Division II Conference Tournaments|
|Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference||Feb. 21-27||Sioux Falls, S.D.||Northern State (31-3)|
|Northeast-10 Conference||Feb. 23-March 3||Syracuse, N.Y.||Le Moyne (24-6)|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Feb. 26-March 3||Birmingham, Ala.||Claflin (25-6)|
|California Collegiate Athletic Association||Feb. 27-March 3||Pomona, Calif.||UC San Diego (21-10)|
|Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Feb. 27-March 3||Charlotte, N.C.||Virginia Union (18-14)|
|Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference||Feb. 27-March 3||Durango, Colo.||Regis (26-5)|
|Great Midwest Athletic Conference||March 1-3||Findlay, Ohio||Ohio Dominican (20-10)|
|Great Northwest Athletic Conference||March 1-3||Anchorage, Alaska||Western Oregon (29-1)|
|Pacific West Conference||March 1-3||Riverside, Calif.||Dixie State (23-6)|
|Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference||Feb. 26-March 4||East Stroudsburg, Pa.||East Stroudsburg (24-5)|
|Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference||Feb. 27-March 4||Philadelphia, Pa.||Jefferson (21-13)|
|Conference Carolinas||Feb. 27-March 4||Banner Elk, N.C.||Lees-McRae (23-8)|
|Gulf South Conference||Feb. 27-March 4||Birmingham, Ala.||West Florida (28-3)|
|Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association||Feb. 27-March 4||Kansas City, Mo.||Northwest Missouri State (27-3)|
|East Coast Conference||Feb. 28-March 4||Rochester, N.Y.||St, Thomas Aquinas (26-6)|
|Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Feb. 28-March 4||Big Rapids, Mich.||Ferris State (32-1)|
|Mountain East Conference||Feb. 28-March 4||Charleston, W.Va.||Wheeling Jesuit (26-5)|
|Peach Belt Conference||Feb. 28-March 4||Morrow, Ga.||UNC Pembroke (26-5)|
|South Atlantic Conference||Feb. 28-March 4||Greenville, S.C.||Lincoln Memorial (30-1)|
|Sunshine State Conference||Feb. 28-March 4||Lakeland, Fla.||Eckerd (24-6)|
|Great American Conference||March 1-4||Bartlesville, Okla.||Southern Nazarene (27-2)|
|Heartland Conference||March 1-4||Tulsa, Okla.||Dallas Baptist (26-5)|
|Great Lakes Valley Conference||March 2-4||Edwardsville, Ill.||Bellarmine (28-2)|
|Lone Star Conference||March 2-4||Frisco, Texas||West Texas A&M (28-3)|
|*Site of championship game|