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Dragons Turn Back Gorillas, 80-68, in NCAA National Tournament - KOAM TV 7

Dragons Turn Back Gorillas, 80-68, in NCAA National Tournament

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Fourth-ranked Minnesota State University Moorhead used a 7-0 run over a five-minute stretch of the second half to counter a Pittsburg State University run and take control in an eventual 80-68 victory in the first round of the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

 
The second-seeded Dragons (33-3) advance to the Central Regional semifinals with the victory and will meet third-seeded University of Central Missouri Sunday (Mar. 15) at 5 p.m. at Sanford Pentagon. The seventh-seeded Gorillas end their season with a 20-12 record.
 
Pitt State never led in the contest. The Gorillas got down 12 points, 33-21, with 5:02 to play in the first half, but battled back with a 9-0 run to make it a 33-30 game with 2:13 remaining in the opening period.
 
MSUM took a 40-32 lead to the intermission, but Pitt State opened the second half on a 12-6 run to trim the margin to 46-44 on Dakota Jones' jumper with 16:10 left.
 
The two squads traded baskets before the Dragons scored seven straight points between the 15:09 and 10:49 marks to stretch in front 55-46. The Gorillas never got any closer than five points the rest of the way.
 
Isaac Sevlie led all scorers with 23 points for the Dragons, while Aaron Lien added 17 points. MSUM shot 54.9 percent from the field (28 of 51) in the contest and outscored the Gorillas 19-9 at the free throw line.
 
Trey Starks and Lamine Dieng scored 13 points apiece off the bench to lead Pitt State. Josiah Gustafson added 12 points, while Devon Branch finished with 11 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 3:08 to play in his final collegiate game. Javis Flynn scored five points, dished out three assists and made a game-high seven steals.
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