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basketball-men-d2 flag | March 9, 2014

DII: Langston hits key shot to give Southern Conn. St. NE-10 title

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Senior guard Greg Langston hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds left as sixth-ranked Southern Connecticut State rallied from an eight-point second-half deficit to defeat New Haven 73-71 in the Northeast-10 Conference championship game.

The scene was set when Jeffrey Adkins, the contest's leading scorer with 28 for UNH, answered a Luke Houston trey with a running layup with 46 seconds left.

Southern Connecticut brought the ball down and worked a 3-pointer for Deshawn Murphy. His attempt clanged off the iron into the arms of Tylon Smith. With the shot clock off, the Owls' tri-captain brought the ball out to run the clock and give Langston his senior moment at the top of the key.

The ensuing running floater by Adkins was off the mark.

The Owls earned their first NE-10 title in a game which had 15 lead changes and six ties.

No. 1 Metro State 77, Colorado-Colorado Springs 71

DENVER -- Metro State earned its 11th Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Shootout championship, topping Colorado-Colorado Springs 77-71 on Saturday night at the Auraria Event Center. The Roadrunners improved to 28-1 overall with their 25th consecutive win and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Mountain Lions fell to 21-8 overall.

It is the second consecutive RMAC Shootout title for the Roadrunners. No other school has more than four total championships.

Tournament most outstanding player Nicholas Kay led the Roadrunners with 22 points, nine rebounds and four steals hitting 10 of 12 at the free-throw line. Brandon Jefferson added 21 points and Mitch McCarron had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Jefferson and McCarron joined Kay on the all-tournament team.

Metro State overcame a minus-10 rebounding margin by forcing 17 turnovers and committing just seven. The Roadrunners also shot 40.3 percent from the floor, while limiting the Mountain Lions to 36.2 percent.

The first half was back-and-forth the entire way with five ties and eight lead changes, while neither team led by more than six points. The Roadrunners eventually pulled ahead for a 36-33 lead at the break behind 13 points from Jefferson. Metro State forced 11 turnovers and committed just three, but was outrebounded 21 to 15 and shot just 40 percent.

While Metro State led the entire second half, it took a 10-3 run to build a 10-point lead at 71-61 with 1:44 remaining, the largest lead of the game.

The Roadrunners made 6 of 8 at the free-throw line in the final minute to seal the win.

No. 2 East Stroudsburg 63, Mercyhurst 55

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- East Stroudsburg opened the second half on a 17-4 run to erase an eight-point halftime deficit, its largest of the season, as the Warriors advanced to the PSAC championship game for the second time in three seasons with a 63-55 win against Mercyhurst on Saturday afternoon at Koehler Fieldhouse.

The Warriors (27-1) will play for their third PSAC championship in school history on Sunday against West Chester, which rallied past Gannon for a 77-76 overtime win in the first semifinal.

Junior All-America guard Whis Grant scored 16 points, junior guard Matt Tobin had 13 points and six rebounds and sophomore guard Jamal Nwaniemeka had 10 points for the Warriors, who finished the game on a 6-0 run after holding a 57-55 lead with 2:07 remaining.

ESU held a 20-9 turnover margin after entering as the NCAA Division II leader at plus-7.4. The Warriors, third in DII in steals (10.7), had 15 and held a 13-4 edge in turnovers (11 steals) after halftime.

No. 20 Southern Indiana 75, No. 4 Drury 57

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Southern Indiana sprinted to its fourth consecutive Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament title game with a 75-57 victory against top-seeded Drury in the semifinals Saturday night at the Ford Center. USI rolls to a 23-5 overall mark, while Drury goes to 25-3 in 2013-14.

The Eagles posted three 10-point leads and held onto an eight-point margin at halftime, 33-25. USI dominated the opening minutes, flying out to a 12-2 lead and maintained the margin at 18-8 and 31-21.

In the second half, USI blew the game open with a 23-5 run to lead by 25 points, 55-30, with 9:10 to play. The 23-5 run was a team effort as seven Eagles contributed to the run, led by senior forward Orlando Rutledge, who had seven points in the surge.

The top-seeded Panthers were not about to let the Eagles cruise to the win, cutting the margin to 12 points, 61-49, with 5:26 remaining. USI put the brakes on the Drury run and re-extended its lead to 21 points, 70-49, when sophomore guard Evan Brinkmeyer capped off a 9-0 run with a pair of free throws.

No. 6 Tarleton State 71, Midwestern State 65

ALLEN, Texas -- Tarleton State claimed its second consecutive Lone Star Conference tournament championship with a 71-65 win against the Midwestern State Mustangs on Saturday evening at Allen Event Center.

The Texans (27-2) earn the LSC's automatic bid into the South Central Region Championship that is set to get underway next Saturday with a site to be determined Sunday evening when the NCAA Selection Show announces the complete playoff brackets.

The Texans erased a pair of seven-point deficits in the first half and later used 16-1 run to take a 31-22 lead with 5:10 left to play before the break. MSU would match the Texans during the final five minutes, but Tarleton did not give away its double-digit lead and led 40-30 going into the half.

De'Andre Upchurch led all players at the break with 18 points after going 5-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from beyond the 3-point line.