The No. 1-ranked Northwest Missouri State University Bearcat men’s basketball team thwarted an upset attempt by Emporia State University in the quarterfinals of the 2019 MIAA Tournament, 82-79.

Northwest (30-0 overall) forced a pair of turnovers in the final nine seconds to hold on to advance to the semifinals on Saturday at Noon. The first turnover came on an in-bounds pass from ESU’s Kam Rowan with :09 left when Trevor Hudgins deflected the pass back into Rowan’s hands. Then Ryan Welty tipped the in-bounds pass from ESU’s Kooper Glick with :02.7 left to secure the three-point victory for the Bearcats.

MIAA Player of the Year Joey Witthus and league Freshman of the Year Trevor Hudgins paced the Northwest offensive attack. Witthus poured in 27 points, including 14-of-18 at the free throw line. Hudgins made 9-of-21 field goals and was a perfect 5-of-5 at the free throw line. Northwest drained 32-of-39 at the line, while ESU made 16-of-21.

Sophomore Ryan Hawkins collected his 10th double-double on the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Northwest will take on the winner of the No. 4 Fort Hays State-No. 5-Lincoln game on Saturday at noon. FHSU and Lincoln will play Friday at noon for the right to advance to the semifinals.