The Bearcats are headed to the Elite Eight for the third time in program history (photo/NWMS Athletics)

Top seeded and number one ranked Northwest Missouri State pulled out a 55-52 win in a low scoring game over second seed Southwest Minnesota State to earn a spot in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.  Northwest lost in the Central Region championship game the last three seasons.  The Bearcats, 32-1, is making its first trip to the Elite Eight since 2004 and third in school history.

The Bearcats won the battle at the line shooting .750 from the charity strip while allowing the SWMSU just one make in four attempts.

For the Bearcats Justin Pitts led the way scoring 25 points while dishing out a game high five assists.

“This means a lot because after last year’s loss, a lot of us stayed most of the summer and worked hard,” Pitts told “We worked hard all preseason. This feels good. We have been so close the last three years. It feels special to finally get to the Elite Eight.”

Chris-Ebou Ndow was also in double figures scoring 11 points and pulling down a team best nine boards while D’Vante Mosby added seven rebounds.

The Bearcats advance to the Elite Eight which will be played at the Sanford Pentagon on March 22-23, 25 in Sioux Falls, S.D. NWMSU will await the reseeding on the final eight teams to learn their opponent and game time for the March 22 game.

Courtesy-MIAA, NWMS Athletics