Minnesota State Moorhead defeated defending national champion Central Missouri 71-60 on Sunday in the semifinals of the Central Region men’s basketball tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Dragons (34-3) were led by Prescott Williams with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Urbane Bingham with 16 points. They build a 35-22 lead by halftime over the Mules (25-7).
“Our team defense was outstanding all night,” MSU Moorhead coach Chad Walthall said, who especially singled out Bingham. “It was his best first half in two years.”
“[The Dragons] did a real good job of taking away at the paint,” Central Missouri coach Doug Karleskint said, “and we couldn’t get any outside shots to fall.”
The Mules shot 42.9 percent overall but were 1-for-10 on threes and made 13 turnovers.
“Teams worry so much about Jordan [Riewer] taking over the game, that they forget about other players,” Prescott said. “I just sneak to the corner because that’s where I like to shoot from and he finds me.”
Riewer, normally the Dragons’ top scorer and rebounder, had 11 points, six assists, five steals and three rebounds.
MSU Moorhead will play either Augustana (31-2) or Northwest Missouri State (24-6) at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the region title.