Buzzer Beater Puts William Penn Into Semifinals
Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. (Box Score) - James Devlin knocked down a fall away jumper from the left baseline as time expired to give top-seed William Penn (Iowa) a 67-66 win over Midland (Neb.) in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's National Basketball Championship. The Statesmen advance to their first ever national semifinal.
A James Parrott basket with two minutes left in regulation gave Midland a 66-65 lead. Both teams came up empty on their next two offensive possessions with Midland missing three straight free throw attempts. An offensive foul on Statesmen forward Brandon Beasley gave the ball back to Midland but the Warriors failed to get a shot off which gave William Penn the ball with seven seconds left. Beasley missed an off-balance jumper and the loose ball rebound was picked up by Devlin, who launched the game-winner from the corner just before the final buzzer.
William Penn was led by Keith Steffeck with 19 points while Taylor Stoutner scored all 18 of his points on a 2013 championship best six three-pointers. Beasley added 12 points and tied a tournament record with 23 rebounds, previously held by three players, most recently accomplished by Sadiel Rojas (Oklahoma Wesleyan) in 2011. William Penn held a big 48-31 advantage on the boards.
Another tournament classic played at the Keeter Gymnasium with plenty of drama and momentum swings. William Penn threatened to blow it open early, leading 14-7 before Midland scored the next eight points behind five points by Parrott and a three-pointer by Jalen Hueser. Midland later opened up an eight-point lead but Stoutner brought William Penn back with a trio of three-pointers, the final one just before halftime, to give the Statesmen 38-36 advantage at the break.
The largest lead for either team was six in a competitive second half. WPU led 63-59 but a three-pointer by Galen Gullie followed by back-to-back field goals by Parrott put Midland on top, setting up the final two minutes that kept the fans at the edge of their seats.
Midland was led by Parrott with 20 points while Jerome Vaughn had an 18-point, 14-rebound effort for the double-double. Midland ends the season with a 21-13 record.
William Penn, now 33-1 on the year, will play either Dakota State (S.D.) or Grace (Ind.) in the first semifinal game on Monday, March 11 at 6:00pm. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.