Justin Pitts attempts a layup. (photo/Northwest Missouri State Athletics)

Northwest Missouri men’s basketball advanced to the national semifinal with a 79-70 win over St. Thomas Aquinas in the Elite Eight.  The Bearcats shot .500 from the field and .460 from beyond the arc to earn a slot among the final four teams.

For the Bearcats Justin Pitts led the way scoring 26 points and dishing out three assists while Zach Schneider finished with 16 points. Chris-Ebou Ndow had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds while Brett Dougherty added 14 points.

“They sped us up throughout,” Northwest coach Ben McCollum said. “I thought offensively, we didn’t click for quite a while. We got off to a good start and took care of the ball. As the game progressed, they wore us down and we missed shots that I thought could have broken them a little bit.”

The Bearcats will face Lincoln Memorial on Thursday for an 8:30 p.m. tip-off from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.