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Local Sports

March 19, 2024Game | Basketball

Northwest 42, Minnesota State 43

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Northwest Missouri State controlled the tempo and played with a lead for much of Tuesday's NCAA Central Region Championship, but a jumper at the buzzer lifted Minnesota State to a 43-42 win in dramatic fashion.

Elijah Hazekamp hadn't made a field goal all game until he pulled up at the right elbow and hit the game-winner at the Taylor Center in Mankato, Minnesota. After starting 0-6, Hazekamp's lone bucket sent the Mavericks to the Elite Eight in Evansville, Indiana next week.

The Bearcats (29-5) contained the high-flying Mavs offense throughout the night. Minnesota State, the NSIC regular season and tournament champs, average 85.8 points per game, but trailed 25-17 at halftime.

Northwest led by 10 points in the first half and kept the majority of the 4,519 fans in attendance quiet in the opening 20 minutes.

The Mavericks first lead of the second half came on a free throw with 3:31 remaining in the game. Mitch Mascari answered with a three-pointer to push the Bearcats back in front 40-38. The two teams traded layups on the following two possessions, leaving Northwest in front by two with two minutes to play.

The teams went scoreless until Minnesota State's Dylan Peeters was fouled with five seconds on the clock. Peeters made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to one.

After a missed Bearcat free throw, the Mavericks rushed down the floor and Hazekamp got one final shot off before time expired.

Daniel Abreu scored a game-high 17 points. Bennett Stirtz finished with 12.

Abreu and Stirtz were both named to the all-tournament team.