MARYVILLE, MO. – Justin Pitts scored 25 points and top-seeded and host Northwest Missouri State held off No. 2 seed Southwest Minnesota State 55-52 on Tuesday night to win the NCAA Division II Central Regional title.
Ryan Bruggeman missed a three-pointer as time expired for the Mustangs (28-6), who tied a single-season school record for victories.
The host Bearcats (32-1), the top-ranked team in D-II, led by single digits the entire second half. Taylor Schafer’s jumper pulled the Mustangs within 48-47 with 1 minute, 54 seconds to play, but Pitts followed with a layup.
Bruggeman finished with 20 points, scoring twice in the last 23 seconds to pull the Mustangs within two. Schafer added 10 points, and Carter Kirk had eight points and nine rebounds.