Metro State defeats St. Cloud State
Roadrunners erase 12-point deficit to advance to third round
GOLDEN, Colo. -- 13th-ranked and No. 2-seeded Metro State erased a 12-point deficit to top St. Cloud State 76-64 on Sunday at the NCAA tournament. The Roadrunners improved to 24-6 overall this season, while the season came to an end with a 20-9 mark for SCSU.
Metro State advances to the Central Region final. It is the first time since 2005 when Mike Dunlap was the head coach that the Roadrunners have reached the regional final.
Junior Demetrius Miller poured in a career-high 24 points for Metro, hitting 7-of-11 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and also made 7-of-7 at the line.
Jonathan Morse recorded his 16th double-double this season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Reggie Evans scored 13 and Brandon Jefferson had 12.
SCSU shot 57.7 percent in the first half, but a 3-pointer by Miller in the final minute and a one-handed turnaround jumper by Evans from the free-throw line at the buzzer to cut the Huskies lead to 34-29 at half. Miller kept the Roadrunners in the game with 12 first-half points.
The Huskies led by as many as 12 points in the first half.
After a 3-pointer by SCSU opened the second half, Metro responded with a triple by Jefferson and a layup by Morse to quickly trim the deficit to 37-34 with 18:32 left in the game. The run continued as Morse hit a reverse layup on Metro's ensuing possession, cutting the lead to one.
Miller finished a 3-point play at the free-throw line with 15:07 left to tie the game 43-43, the first tie since the start of the game.
Morse handed the Roadrunners their first lead of the game at 48-46 with 12:53 left, sinking a layup from the left block.
Jefferson drained two free throws with 9:13 left, capping a 26-11 run by the Roadrunners to give them a 55-48 lead.
Metro State hit 11-of-12 at the free throw line in the final 2:27 to seal the win.
An intense defensive effort helped hold SCSU to just 34.5 percent shooting in the second half, bringing the Huskies down to 45.5 percent for the game. Metro shot 54.2 percent in the second half and 46.9 percent in the game.
Metro also enjoyed a 39-23 rebounding margin.