LANCASTER, Pa. – The defending North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) champions made it a third straight title Sunday afternoon, as Morrisville State College topped number one seeded Lancaster Bible 73-65 in Lancaster to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.
The Mustangs are the first team in the NEAC's 10-year history to win the championship three times, and in three consecutive years. The win has Morrisville State entering the NCAA selection show, scheduled Monday afternoon at 12:30, with a 19-8 overall record.
Tournament most valuable player honors went to senior guard Jordan Prior (Cortland, N.Y.) who for a second straight day in the tourney led Morrisville State to a win behind his team high 16 points. Prior dumped 26 on Abington to lead the Mustang charge in the semifinal round Saturday evening.
Prior added three assists and a steal to his tallies on the day while Kucjok Ater (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Tom Wilk (Cortland, N.Y.) proved to be a challenge for the Chargers inside, as they combined for 25 points and 16 rebounds. Wilk added a team high four blocks to his tallies.
Brandon Hanks (Syracuse, N.Y.) added nine points to go along with his team high 10 rebounds, dishing out three assists and stealing another three, while teammate Will Thomas (Morrisville, N.Y.) came off the bench to contribute nine points in the winning effort.
Albert Suniga netted 30 points on 8-of-10 from beyond the arc, while teammate CJ Dunston added 10 points and five rebounds in the losing effort for Lancaster Bible.
Morrisville State picked up where they left off the day prior, hitting 48.6% from the floor in the first half, including draining 7-of-18 from long range to build up a 42-23 halftime lead.
The Mustangs took advantage of a rough Lancaster Start, building up a 24-7 lead nearly nine minutes in before racking up as many as a 19 point lead behind an overall 18 point collection in the paint and 10 point accumulation on Charger miscues in the first half.
In the second, Morrisville State posted a 23 point lead at the 11:49 mark on a three by Thomas, but Lancaster turned the tables and put together a 24-8 run over the ensuing eight minutes to make it a seven point game with 2:47 to go.
Morrisville State was able to withstand the late Lancaster Bible surge, converting 7-of-10 free throws down the stretch to secure the title win.
The Mustangs hit 24-of-53 shots from the floor on the day (45.3%) and went 7-for-17 from beyond the arc, as they held Lancaster to just 33.3% in shooting from the floor (22-of-66 shots).
Morrisville State will await bracket selection, scheduled tomorrow for 12:30 on ncaasports.com.
Morrisville State sets the world in motion for students. Curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President's Higher Community Education Service Honor Roll. The college was recognized, by U.S. News and World Report, in its top tier Best Regional Colleges list and ranked second among regional colleges nationwide for outperforming its anticipated graduation rate. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.