Bearcats let 14-point halftime lead slip away in loss to Truman

NWMSUA late second half surge propelled Truman State past Northwest Missouri State 63-56 Saturday afternoon in the MIAA men’s basketball regular season finale at Bearcat Arena.

Northwest fell to 18-9 on the season and 11-7 in the MIAA and now must wait to see when and where they play in next week’s MIAA Postseason Tournament. The Bulldogs improved to 10-16 overall and 7-11 in league play to clinch the No. 10 seed in the tournament.

The Bearcats could either be a No. 4 or No. 5 seed depending on Saturday night’s Washburn/Central Missouri contest. A Washburn win would give Northwest the No. 5 seed and a first round home game Monday night, while a Washburn loss gives Northwest a first round bye and a No. 4 seed.

After taking a 30-16 lead into the locker room at halftime and leading by as many as 16 early in the second half, the Bearcats could not find the answer offensively down the stretch. Northwest was held to just 35 percent from the field in the second period as the Bulldogs exploded from behind the three-point line hitting nine three-pointers.

Junior Mike Carlson knocked down seven three-pointers including three in the final four minutes of the game to help lift the Bulldogs past Northwest. Carlson finished 7-of-8 from behind the arc with a game-high 29 points.

A Carlson three-pointer at 15:25 left in the game cut the Northwest lead to nine points as TSU continued to slowly chip away.

With 3:42 left in the game the Bulldogs tied the game as Carlson drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key. Just over a minute later TSU would pick up their first lead of the game on a pair of free-throws to lead 52-51 at the 2:31 mark.

The Bearcats continued attack the basket as Bryston Williams was fouled and his two free-throws gave Northwest the lead back with 2:19 to play. However, TSU would finish the game on an 11-3 run to seal the win.

As solid as Northwest was in the first half the tables turned in the second half, as TSU shot 47 percent from the field and 56 percent from the three-point line.

The Bearcats were led by DeAngelo Hailey who finished with 14 points while Dillon Starzl recorded his first double-double of his career. Starzl finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

— NWMSU Sports Information —