NW Missouri eliminates Eastern

CNJ STAFF

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Northwest Missouri State outscored Eastern New Mexico University 28-8 over the final 9 1/2 minutes of the first half and the Bearcats went on to a 77-57 victory over the Greyhounds Saturday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II South Central Region basketball tournament.

The third-seeded Bearcats (27-4) advanced to today’s 4 p.m. (MST) semifinal game against Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association rival Washburn, which beat Drury 81-70 in Saturday’s second game.

Senior guard Kelvin Parker scored 19 points, hitting all three 3-pointers and 7-of-11 field goals overall, and added seven assists, two steals and a block for Northwest. Junior forward Byron Jackson finished with a double-double, collecting 12 points and 10 rebounds, while five other players contributed at least six points.

ENMU (20-9), which shot just 41 percent from the field, was led by reserve guard Jamal Washington’s 15 points. Senior Garland Coleman added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Clovis junior Irshaun Pinckney came up with 12 points.

The sixth-seeded Hounds, who finished 20-9, played NWMSU evenly in the second half, but were done in after committing 15 first-half turnovers and falling behind 43-23 at the intermission.

“They went to a (2-3) zone, and it seemed like it baffled us,” ENMU coach Shawn Scanlan said of the Bearcats’ first-half run. “The zone bothered us and it shouldn’t have. Even when we had the lead early, we had too many mistakes.”

The Hounds led three times by four points in the first seven minutes. But even though they hit six of their first eight field goal attempts, turnovers helped keep them from taking control.

Northwest scored just six points in the first seven minutes, but erased Eastern’s final lead when Jesse Shaw’s 3-pointer put the Bearcats in front for the first time 11-10 with 12:17 left in the half.

The Hounds tied the score on Kennis Green’s free throw with 9:33 left in the half, but another 3-pointer by 6-foot-8 sophomore Austin Meyer gave Northwest the lead for good.

After a dunk by Green pulled ENMU to 20-18, the Bearcats scored the next 12 points as the Hounds went scoreless for 4 1/2 minutes. Eastern had only two field goals in the final eight minutes of the half, and Travis Gardner’s long 3-pointer as time expired extended Northwest’s margin to 20.

NWMSU built its lead to 25 points twice in the first eight minutes of the second half. Eastern went to pressure defense after the break, but the closest it could come was 61-45 with nine minutes to go.

“We had to gamble and when you do that you always leave a door ajar,” Scanlan said. “We forced a few turnovers, but they took advantage of our mistakes.

“Garland Coleman played a good game. Across the board, we had a lot of guys who played hard, but I don’t know if we really had anyone play that well.”

ENMU junior forward Jamaal Hunnicutt was injured late in the game, suffering a fractured fibula when he went up for a shot and landed awkwardly after he was fouled hard by one of the Bearcats. Hunnicutt was scheduled for surgery on Tuesday in his home town of Amarillo.

Northwest Missouri State 77, ENMU 57
ENMU (20-9) —
Irshaun Pinckney 3-9 5-6 12, Brent Cooper 1-4 0-0 2, Jamaal Hunnicutt 1-4 4-4 6, Garland Coleman 6-9 1-1 13, Travazz Buckley 2-3 0-0 4, David Hamilton 0-1 1-4 1, Jamal Washington 6-11 1-2 15, Matt Carpenter 0-0 0-0 0, Kennis Green 1-7 1-4 3, Edmound Elzy 0-1 1-3 1, Chad Donnell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-49 14-24 57.
Northwest Missouri State (27-4) — Sky Wilson 2-8 2-2 7, Kelvin Parker 7-11 2-4 19, Jesse Shaw 3-3 2-2 9, Austin Meyer 3-9 0-0 8, Byron Jackson 4-8 4-5 12, Brett Petersen 0-0 0-0 0, Bilal Clarance 1-1 0-2 2, Travis Gardner 2-3 0-0 6, Victor James 3-4 0-0 6, Ryan Morley 0-0 0-0 0, Keanan Weir 1-5 2-2 4, Brandon Rold 0-0 0-0 0, Joe Principe 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 28-56 12-17 77.
Halftime — Northwest Missouri State 43, ENMU 23. 3-pointers — ENMU 3-17 (Washington 2-6, Pinckney 1-2, Elzy 0-1, Hamilton 0-1, Cooper 0-2, Green 0-5), Northwest Missouri State 9-12 (Parker 3-3, Gardner 2-2, Meyer 2-3, Shaw 1-1, Wilson 1-2, Weir 0-1). Rebounds — ENMU 32, Northwest Missouri State 35 (Jackson 10). Assists — ENMU 10 (Buckley 4), Northwest Missouri State 17 (Parker 7). Total fouls — ENMU 16, Northwest Missouri State 20. Fouled out — Washington. Technicals — Buckley, Shaw. A — 312.

NCAA Division II Tournament
All Times MST
South Central Region
Men
At Stephenville, Texas
Saturday
First round
Northwest Missouri State 77, Eastern New Mexico 57
Washburn 81, St. Mary’s 70
Drury 85, Emporia State 81
Tarleton State 77, Texas A&M-Kingsville 74
Sunday
Semifinals
Northwest Missouri State (27-4) vs. Washburn (27-4), 4 p.m.
Drury (23-7) vs. Tarleton State (28-3), 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday
Championship
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Women
At Springfield, Mo.
Friday
First round
West Texas A&M 60, Emporia State 54
Northeastern State 73, Angelo State 65
Drury 74, Missouri Western 57
Washburn 63, Northwest Missouri State 59
Saturday
Semifinals
Northeastern State 79, West Texas A&M 71
Drury 57, Washburn 48
Monday
Championship
Northeastern State (24-7) vs. Drury (33-1), 6 p.m.