Queens University moved one step closer to becoming the kings of Division II college basketball Tuesday.
The third-seeded Royals got 26 points and seven rebounds from senior wing Todd Withers and shot 60 percent from the floor as a team to defeat No 7 California Baptist 100-94 at the Division II Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Daniel Carr added 15 points and Jalin Alexander hit two big 3-pointers down the stretch to extend Queens’ best-ever record to 32-3 and advance the Charlotte school into Thursday’s national semifinal against Northern State, which beat East Stroudsburg 79-71.
It’s the Royals’ first trip to the D2 Final Four since 2003.
Queens surged ahead with an early 11-3 run and led by six at halftime. But while it never trailed the rest of the way, it was never able to pull away from Cal Baptist.
Twice with the Lancers got within one possession, Alexander kept them at arm’s length with timely 3-pointers. The first came with 4:33 left after Cal Baptist pulled to within 84-82. The second came two minutes later with the Royals clinging to a 89-86 advantage.
Lewis Diankulu and Ike Agusi then made four straight free throws before Withers sealed the deal with a dunk off a Carr steal just before the final buzzer.
In addition to Withers, who went 10 of 16 from the floor with four 3-pointers, and Carr, Queens got double-figure scoring from Alexander (13 points), Shawn Willett (12), Mike Davis (11) and Diankulu (11). Jordan Heading led Cal Baptist with 21 points.