Drury, Amherst capture titles
ATLANTA – Drury is the Division II national champion.
Alex Hall made two free throws with 22 seconds left to complete a long, methodical rally from a 17-point hole and help Drury beat Metro State 74-73 on Sunday in the NCAA tournament final.
Metro State had a chance to win the game, but Mitch McCarron and Brandon Jefferson both missed shots underneath the rim in the closing seconds, and the buzzer sounded and confetti started to fly as Drury ran to center court and began to celebrate its national title.
The Panthers overcame 19 turnovers to win the championship.
“What an unbelievable championship game,” said NCAA president Mark Emmert, who awarded the trophy to the school from Springfield, Mo.
Allen Williamson had 18 points and Amherst got plenty of scoring from across its deep and balanced lineup, pulling away late to beat Mary Hardin-Baylor 87-70 on Sunday and win its second Division III national championship.
Connor Green and national player of the year Aaron Toomey scored 16 points each, and Willy Workman had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lord Jeffs (30-2).
The victory over the Crusaders (27-6) pushed Amherst’s season-ending win streak to a school-record 24 games, and matched the school record for wins in a season, set by the 2007 team that won the Massachusetts school’s only other national championship.
Thomas Orr had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Mary Hardin-Baylor, which has never won an NCAA team championship in any sport. Brian Todd added 17 points and James Allen finished with 15.
Mary Hardin-Baylor eliminated Whitworth in the Sweet 16.
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