Kansas City, Mo. - Monty Wilson hit a straightaway jumper with 31 seconds remaining to lift Georgetown (Ky.) to an 86-82 win over Culver-Stockton in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. The Tigers will advance to the semifinal round to play the winner of Columbia (Mo.)/LSU Shreveport (La.) on Monday at 6 p.m. CDT. The event is held at Municipal Auditorium.
Wilson led the way for Georgetown with 23 points, hitting 4-of-7 three-point shots to go along with nine rebounds. Garel Craig tallied 21 points and five rebounds, while Vic Moses tallied 16 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
"(Wilson) kept saying 'Get me the ball'," said Georgetown head coach Chris Briggs. We called the timeout and got them over here and said, 'Alright, get him the ball and flatten it out and let him go to work.'"
A second-straight season losing in the quarterfinals looked likely for Georgetown (26-8) after seeing Culver-Stockton make its first seven three-point shots and connect on 11-of-15 (.733) from outside. The Tigers managed just three long-range shots in the first half and went into halftime looking to overcome a 52-37 deficit.
The Tigers (26-8) got the start they needed after the intermission as Moses scored inside before Wilson knocked down a pair of free throws followed by a three-pointer to get the deficit under double-digits. Another three by Wilson pulled Georgetown to 56-53 at the 15:13 mark, but the Tigers weren't able to break through that barrier until the final minutes of the game.
Following a pair of free throws by the Wildcats' Austin Keaton, Wilson connected on another long-range shot to make it 82-80. Craig tied the game at the free throw line with 2:20 to play and Culver-Stockton came up empty on the next two trips down to set up the game-deciding possession.
Craig missed a jumper inside with 1:00 to play, but Wilson grabbed the rebound and Georgetown called timeout. Wilson was isolated out high on the final possession, choosing to drive just inside the three-point arc before rising up for a straightaway jumper. Marshawn Norris drove the lane on the final Wildcats' possession before dishing to Austin Keaton in the left corner for a three-point attempt that missed the mark. Allan Thomas grabbed the rebound and hit two free throws to put the game away with 6.7 seconds to play.
"Every team that wants to do something special has games like that that they have to fight back," said Briggs. "Our guys responded and they stepped it up big time and really made some huge plays. I could not be prouder of these guys."
Georgetown shot 45.3 percent (29-of-64) for the game and converted 22-of-31 free throws, including 16-of-19 in the second half. After the torrid offensive performance in the opening half, Culver-Stockton shot 29.4 percent (10-of-34) after intermission, including a 5-of-17 clip from outside.
"At the beginning of the year, I thought we had a chance to be pretty good," said Culver-Stockton head coach Jack Schrader. "As it turned out we had a great season, one people around our community will remember for quite some time. Our kids will also remember it and know they did something special this season."
Norris led all scorers with 27 points for Culver-Stockton while handing out 10 assists and grabbing five rebounds. Keaton had 12 of his 19 points in the first half while C.J. Adams and Alen Hadzimahovic tossed in 10 points apiece with Adams claiming a team-best eight rebounds. Culver-Stockton ends its season at 26-9.