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Local Sports

March 4, 2018Game | Basketball

Northwest 80, Washburn 74

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Northwest claimed the MIAA's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament with an 80-74 win over Washburn Sunday afternoon in the conference's tournament championship.

The Bearcats (27-3) overcame foul trouble and Justin Pitts getting banged up to win its third consecutive MIAA Tournament title.

Pitts finished with three points in 21 minutes of action, and missed most of the second half with a foot issue. Sophomore Ryan Welty stepped up for his team in Pitts' absence.

Welty scored 21 points off the bench, including 5-6 from three-point range and 6-6 at the free throw line. Welty's performance in the championship, combine with impactful efforts in the quarterfinals and semifinals, earned him a spot on the MIAA All-Tournament Team.

Pitts scored a combine 49 points in the first two games of the weekend, and was named MIAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

Senior guard Xavier Kurth also found another gear against the Ichabods as he finished with 15 points in 39 minutes of work. Chris-Ebou Ndow added a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. He also hit six consecutive free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach.

Northwest now turns its attention to the NCAA Tournament. The Bearcats will host the Central Region, with action beginning Saturday.