Five Northwest Missouri players scored in double figures as the Bearcats held off Southwest Baptist to claim a 74-62 victory in the first round of the MIAA Men’s Basketball Championship Friday night at Municipal Auditorium. as Southwest Baptist never trailed in the opening half. SBU led by as many as eight, at the 10:23 mark when Ryan Dougherty hit a three-pointer to make the score 21-13. Northwest Missouri trimmed the lead down to five (32-27) at halftime, and would eventually take command of the game in the second half. Northwest controlled the remaining 13 minutes, leading by as many as 14 before winning by the final 12 point margin.
Propelled by a 20-5 run to start the second half, No. 7 seed Pittsburg State defeated No. 2 seed Central Missouri, 78-64. Pittsburg State came out of the locker room on fire, using the 20-5 run to take a 55-35 lead with 13:06 left to play in the game. Central Missouri wouldn’t go down without a fight, getting to within seven points at 65-58 with 5:29 showing on the clock. That was as close as the Mules would get, however, as Pittsburg State closed the game on a 13-6 run to secure the victory.
In the first overtime game of the tournament, No. 5 seed Fort Hays State outlasted No. 4 seed Missouri Southern to earn a 103-102 first round victory. Karron McKenzie recorded a double-double to lead Fort Hays State, scoring 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with five assists. Moses Dayee went 5-of-9 from three-point range, netting 22 points for the Tigers. The game featured 11 ties and 13 lead changes, with the largest lead by either team the entire game being eight points.