Wis.-Whitewater beats Williams 75-73 for D3 title

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SALEM, Va. (AP) - Wisconsin-Whitewater practices end-game situations all the time. The Warhawks never again will question why.

Quardell Young drove the length of the court for a go-ahead layup with 0.9 seconds left Saturday and the Warhawks held off Williams to win their second NCAA Division III men’s championship game in three years, 75-73.

Young got the inbound pass after Michael Mayer’s tip had given Williams a 73-72 lead with 4.9 seconds to play. Young, a speedy junior, burst downcourt and was fouled by Mayer, his shot rolling on the rim and finally falling. After he made the free throw, the Ephs had one last chance, but Duncan Robinson’s contested heave from halfcourt was well off the mark.

“When they made the tip-in, they were scrambling so the floor was spaced,” Young said of his 94-foot dash.

Warhawks coach Pat Miller liked the odds once he saw the Young get thee ball and go.

“Our best opportunity is to get the ball in his hands and let him attack a defense that hasn’t gotten set,” Miller said.

The Warhawks (29-4), whose football team has won five national championships in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, also in Salem, since 2007, won its fourth title in as many trips to the title game. Whitewater also won in 1984, 1989 and 2012.

The last two titles have come under Miller, who was a player on the team that won it all in 1989. “I don’t think you could ask for anything better at our level to have a national championship come down to a finish like that,” he said.

K.J. Evans led the Warhawks with 22 points and Young and Eric Bryson had 13 each.

“Great way to go out my senior season,” said Bryson, who was also on the 2012 team.

Williams (28-5), which won the title in 2003, has lost in the final three times since, but this one hurt the most. The Ephs drubbed rival Amherst 98-69 in Friday night’s semifinals, avenging three losses during the season, but couldn’t quite finish.

“It’s hard to put into words the emptiness I feel for not being able to help them win,” coach Mike Maker said.

Mayer led the Ephs with 26 points and nine rebounds and Robinson scored 17.

After Mayer’s tip-in, Robinson, only a freshman, admitted thinking “we just won the national championship.”

But the 6-foot-9 Mayer was quick to get downcourt, where he had helped close off the middle all game, when Young arrived, laying the left-handed finger-roll onto the rim, where it rolled around a bit, then fell dramatically through the net.

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