Jordan Riewer hit a running jumper from the lane as time expired, sending Minnesota State Moorhead past Minnesota State Mankato 81-80 on Monday in the NSIC men’s basketball tournament semifinals in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Dragons (32-2) blew a 16-point lead in the second half, recovered, then fell behind again when Zach Monaghan hit a three-pointer with five seconds to go to give the Mavericks (24-7) an 80-79 lead. But Riewer had a response at the buzzer, sending the Dragons to their third championship game since 2000.
Tyler Vaughan led MSU Moorhead with 21 points. Riewer had 15 points and six assists.
The Dragons will play Augustana in Tuesday’s final, after the Auggies beat Northern State 67-65 on Daniel Jansen’s floater with 2.4 seconds left in overtime Monday night.
Wayne State (Neb.) 81, MSU Moorhead 59: Chris Kielsmeier earned his 350th career coaching victory as the Wildcats (27-4) beat the Dragons (17-13) in Sioux Falls, earning a spot in the NSIC final against Northern State (25-6).
Two Twin Cities schools will travel to the Green Bay, Wis., area to play each other in the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament.
MIAC champion and sixth-ranked St. Thomas will open play against UMAC champion Northwestern (St. Paul) on Friday night in De Pere, Wis. The 62-team NCAA men’s field was announced Monday.
The Tommies are seeded first in the West Region, but the Tommies women get priority to play host in the first weekend of D-III tournament play.
It’s the 16th NCAA tournament appearance for St. Thomas (24-3). Northwestern (18-9) has won 16 in a row.
Also making the men’s field was St. Olaf (21-5), which received an at-large bid. The Oles face Ohio Wesleyan (22-5) on Friday in Whitewater, Wis.
• The St. Thomas women (27-0) will play host to a four-team pod this weekend, opening against UMAC tournament champion Minnesota-Morris (16-11) on Friday night.
Bethel (21-6) received an at-large bid and will play Hope College (23-4) on Friday in Wheaton, Ill.