Beaver men earn trip to nationals
Minot Stateís C.J. DeWitty sunk a buzzer beater on Sunday to defeat Jamestown College and send the Beavers onto the national tournament. The 87-85 upset over No. 17-ranked JC clinched the Dakota Athletic Conference title, earning the Beavers an automatic berth to the NAIA Division II tournament in Point Lookout, Mo., March 12-18. MSU beat the Jimmies at home in the Jamestown Civic Center.
With 11.7 seconds remaining, DeWitty went the length of the court, made a ball fake at the free-throw line, and nailed a leaning nine-footer as time expired to lift the Beavers to the two-point win.
"We put the game in his hands the last four minutes, and he carried us. He made some big plays," said MSU head coach Mike Hultz.
DeWitty was the key player of the game, earning 23 points, six assists, four steals, and four rebounds in 35 minutes. But the Beavers had solid balance as everyone who scored finished with at least six points and five players hit for double figures. Along with DeWitty, Aaron Patterson scored 16 points, Matt Witwer 14, Andy Leraas 12 and 11 rebounds, and Joe Gathings 10.
The Beavers ended a three-game skid to the Jimmies and won its second DAC postseason championship in four years.
"I am still taking it all in, but the first one was big for us because it validated some of what we had building," said Hultz. "I hope this one does the same."
--excerpted in part from the Minot Daily News