KANSAS CITY, MO. (KSNT) – Just seven minutes made a difference in Saturday’s MIAA tournament semifinal game.
The Hornets went toe-to-toe with Northwest Missouri, but the Bearcats won 63-52.
Northwest jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first four minutes before the Hornets (22-8, 15-7) answered with an 8-2 run of their own. The two went back and forth the remainder of the half, but Emporia State never took the lead. The Hornets did tie the score five times.
Mayuom Buom started the scoring in the second half with a fast break layup to tie the game at 28. Peyton Rogers-Schmidt blocked a layup, and Kaden Evans was fouled on the fast break attempt. Evans hit one of two free throws to give the Hornets a 31-30 lead with 16:29 left. Northwest scored the next five points to take a 35-31 lead with 15:29 left.
With less than 14 minutes remaining, the Bearcats went on a 13-2 run to take control. Mason Thiessen’s dunk got the deficit back to 13 for the Hornets, but Northwest drained the shot clock on its next two possessions leave Emporia State without time to make a comeback.
The Hornets shot 20-of-48 from the field and 12-of-15 from the free throw line, but failed to make a 3-pointer.
Emporia State will find out its NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday night. The NCAA Selection Show will be shown at 10:00 p.m. on NCAA.com.