Northwest Missouri State, behind DeShaun Cooper’s 25 points, held off No. 1 seed and host Minnesota State Mankato 71-66 on Sunday night in the second round of the NCAA Division II men’s basketball regional.
Juniors Assem Marei and Zach Monaghan paced the Minnesota State offense with 16 points each, with Monaghan adding seven assists.
Senior Connor O’Brien had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Monoghan scored the Mavericks’ final points, on two free throws with 36 seconds left that pulled Mankato to within 67-66.
Northwest Missouri State shot only 40.4 percent but made 25 of 28 free throws, 89.3 percent.
The Bearcats (24-8) advanced to the regional final against Central Missouri State in Mankato.
Golden Bears women to play in final 16
The Concordia (St. Paul) women’s basketball team will make the third Sweet 16 appearance in school history Monday night when it plays top-seeded Emporia State in the NCAA Division II regional final in Searcy, Ark.
The seventh-seeded Golden Bears (27-8) are coming off an 85-60 victory over third seed Central Missouri on Saturday night.
Junior Anika Whiting scored a career-high 32 points and became the first player in program history to score 600 points in a season.
Concordia has won eight consecutive games and 16 of 18, and is 6-1 at neutral sites. That one loss was to Emporia State, 71-52 on Nov. 11 in Anaheim, Calif.
The Golden Bears lost in their two previous appearances in the Sweet 16.
Monday’s winner advances to the Elite Eight in Erie, Pa.