Top seeded Northwest Missouri held off a late charge from ninth seeded Lincoln in an 80-76 quarterfinal win from Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
Lincoln would use a late 11-3 run to cut the lead to as few as two points before a three-point play by NWMSU’s D’Vante Mosby pushed the lead back to four points. The Blue Tigers would answer though as Maurice Mason drained an off-balance three-pointer with 19 seconds to play to cut the lead back to two. Chris-Ebou Ndow would hit two free throws with 10 seconds to play to close the game out for the Bearcats.
For the Bearcats Justin Pitts led the way with 30 points and dished out a game high six assists. Chris-Ebou Ndow finished with 14 points and D’Vante Mosby added 11 points and a team best six rebounds.
For the Blue Tigers Jaylon Smith led the way with 17 points while Anthony Virdure and Richie Lewis each finished with 16 points. Maurice Mason added 10 points on the while on the glass Tacourrus Mattox added eight boards.
Fourth seeded Missouri Southern held fifth seeded Fort Hays State to just .333 shooting as they earned a 76-67 quarterfinal victory.
The Lions had a 15-point lead going into the half and held off several second half runs by the Tigers.
The Lions Elyjah Clark led the way with 20 points and also pulled down eight rebounds. CJ Carr finished with 19 points. Lawrence Brown added 13 points and JJ Cratit had 12 points while Lawrence Brown had a game high nine points.
For the Tigers Rob Davis finished with 20 points while Kyle Kinnamon dished out seven assists. Hadley Gillum finished with nine points and Brady Werth had a team best seven rebounds.
MSSU will now face the winner of #1 Northwest Missouri in the second of two semifinals scheduled to start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first semifinal.
In a back and forth wild game second seeded Central Missouri held on for a 59-54 win over seventh seeded Central Oklahoma in the quarterfinal round.
Trailing by two with 1:23 to go, the Mules would rattle off seven straight points to go ahead for good.
For the Mules DJ Richardson led the way with 18 points while Brad Woodson pulled down nine rebounds. Spencer Reaves finished with 13 points and dished out a team best five assists.
For the Bronchos Corbin Byford finished with a double-double scoring 20 points and pulling down a game high 13 rebounds. Josh Holliday finished with 13 points while Jordan London dished out a team best five assists.
The Mules will face off with Nebraska-Kearney at 12 noon in a semifinal on March 4.