Queens University missed chances to win and advance to Saturday’s Division II national championship game at the end of both regulation and the first overtime Thursday night.
The Royals didn’t get a third chance.
Northern State scored the first 10 points of the second extra period and Queens never recovered on the way to a 105-99 loss in the national semifinals at Sioux Falls, S.D. The epic result sends the third-seeded Wolves into the title game against Ferris State while the second-seeded Royals had their record-setting season come to an end with a 32-4 record.
It was a bad night all the way around for state college basketball teams. Campbell fell behind midway through the second half and was unable to catch up in losing a 65-62 decision to San Francisco in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational tournament.
Queens was unable to hold onto a five-point lead with 1:22 remaining in regulation, but got a reprieve when Northern State’s Logan Doyle missed the second of two free throws that would have put the Wolves ahead with 10 seconds left.
That gave the Royals a chance to win on the final shot, but Todd Withers’ 3-pointer from the top of the circle rimmed out to send the game into overtime.
Withers, a first-team Division II All-American and his team’s leading scorer, suffered through the worst game of his career in what would be his final appearance in a Queens uniform. The senior forward missed all four of his field goal attempts and finished with just one point before fouling out.
The Royals made up for Withers’ struggles by getting a career-high 27 points from point guard Ike Agusi, 20 points from fellow senior Jalin Alexander and 19 from junior center Lewis Diankulu.
Coach Bart Lundy’s team seemed headed for victory in the first overtime when Alexander made a pair of free throws to put Queens up 89-84. But Diankulu fouled Northern State’s D.J. Pollard on a 3-point attempt, giving the Wolves hope.
Pollard made two of the three free throws. Then, after teammate Gabe King rebounded the miss, he hit a 3-pointer that tied the game with 16 seconds remaining.
Again, the Royals had a chance to win on the final shot. This time Agusi’s jumper was blocked by Pollard to extend the game for another five-minute period.
This time, the Wolves — playing before what was essentially a home crowd just 200 miles from their campus in Aberdeen, S.D. — took charge as Queens missed its first four shots and never recovered. Ian Smith led Northern State with 22 points.
USF 65, Campbell 62: Like Queens, the Camels’ best player also had his problems in the CBI semifinals in San Francisco. Junior guard Chris Clemons still managed to score 18 points, seven below his nationally ranked average, but he made just five of 17 shots against the taller Dons while spending a considerable portion of the first half on the bench with foul trouble.
Teammate Marcus Burk, who missed last week’s quarterfinal win against New Orleans with an injury, helped take up the slack with 14 points. Mogga Lado had 10 points off the bench for the Camels, who finish their season at 18-16.
Campbell trailed by just two at halftime, but USF (21-15) extended its advantage to 59-51 with 8:14 left. The margin was still five when Clemons was fouled on a 3-point attempt with four seconds remaining. The Camels star made the first two attempts, the intentionally missed the third in hopes of giving his team a chance at tying the game and sending it to overtime.
But the Dons’ Chase Foster got the rebound and was fouled, ensuring USF’s trip to the best-of-three tournament championship series against North Texas.