State Colleges

MIAA: Unbeaten Northwest Missouri tops Emporia St.; Fort Hays St. women advance, too

Northwest Missouri State’s Trevor Hudgins drives the ball upcourt under pressure from Emporia State junior Aaron McGee in Thursday’s MIAA Tournament quarterfinals at Municipal Auditorium.
Northwest Missouri State’s Trevor Hudgins drives the ball upcourt under pressure from Emporia State junior Aaron McGee in Thursday’s MIAA Tournament quarterfinals at Municipal Auditorium. Joe Andrews photo

Northwest Missouri State stayed unbeaten on Thursday in the MIAA Tournament quarterfinals at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium, but it wasn’t easy.

Emporia State gave the top-seeded and top-ranked Bearcats all they could handle before Northwest held on for an 82-79 win.

Trailing by as many as 12, Emporia State tied it with 1 minute, 36 seconds left on a layup by Duncan Fort. But Northwest’s Joey Witthus scored six straight points and the Bearcats (30-0) forced a pair of turnovers in the final nine seconds to seal it.

Northwest advances to Saturday’s noon semifinals, where the winner of Friday’s noon quarterfinal between fourth-seeded Fort Hayes State and fifth-seeded Lincoln will await.

Witthus, the MIAA Player of the Year, led Northwest with 27 points. The Bearcats went to the line 39 times in the game, hitting 32 of those attempts. Trevor Hudgins added 26 points and Ryan Hawkins scored 13 points with 12 rebounds.

Emporia State’s Julius Jackson led all scorers with 38 points. He was 7-of-10 from three-point range and scored 21 straight ESU points in the first half. The Hornets shot better than 54 percent from beyond the arc for the game.

Women’s quarterfinals: Fort Hays State 71, Missouri Western 58

In the first of two women’s quarterfinals Thursday night, No. 3 Fort Hays State beat Missouri Western 71-58. The top-seeded Tigers improved to 28-1, while Missouri Western fell to 14-16.

Junior forward Lanie Page scored a team-high 19 for Fort Hays State, whose winning streak now stands at 13 games. Taylor Rolfs contributed 16 points and Belle Barbieri 13. Tatyana Legette added eight points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Missouri Western’s Brittany Atkins, a senior guard from KC’s Lincoln Prep who transferred from Oklahoma State, led all scorers with 24 points.

Men

Thursday’s quarterfinals

Northwest Missouri 82, Emporia State 79

Washburn 77, Southwest Baptist 58

Friday’s quarterfinals

Fort Hays State vs. Lincoln (Mo.), noon

Mo. Southern vs. Pittsburg State, 2:15 p.m.

Semifinals Saturday, championship game Sunday

Women

Thursday’s quarterfinals

Fort Hays State 71, Missouri Western 58

Central Oklahoma vs. Central Missouri, late

Friday’s quarterfinals

Washburn vs. Emporia State, 6 p.m.

Lindenwood vs. Pittsburg State, 8:15 p.m.

Semifinals Saturday, championship game Sunday

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