Whitewater rallies to win its third NCAA Div. III title
SALEM, VA (AP) — Chris Davis found his shot just in time to lead Wisconsin-Whitewater to its third NCAA Division III championship.
Davis scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and Wisconsin-Whitewater rallied to beat Cabrini 63-60 on Saturday night. The Warhawks (29-4) overcame an 18-point deficit in the second half.
“Once I make a shot, I think every shot is going in after that,” said Davis, the championship’s most outstanding player who finally connected on a 3-pointer with 10:12 left. “Once I made that first shot, I got into a little rhythm and finished strong.”
Edmunds and Alex Merg added 11 points each for Whitewater, also the tournament champion in 1984 and 1989.
Coach Pat Miller played on the 1989 championship team. “It’s different,” Miller said. “I think it’s better as a player, and I said after we won to get here — and I’m only half joking — that when we win, I don’t want the credit for it. Those are their wins, and they should be proud of it. When they go out and lose, I don’t necessarily think that’s my fault as well. As a player, there is a deep sense of achievement and accomplishment. As a coach, I feel more like a parent, and I’m just proud of these kids.”
Whitewater trailed 47-29 with 15 minutes remaining, then outscored Cabrini 26-8 over the next 12 minutes, tying it at 55 on Davis’ 3-pointer with 3:19 remaining.
Davis gave the Warhawks a 59-57 lead on a basket with 1:13 remaining, and hit two free throws with under a minute left to make it 61-57. Cabrini’s John Boyd had a three-point play with 43.9 seconds left to cut it to 61-60, but Alex Edmund’s layup with 15.4 seconds remaining gave the Warhawks a 63-60 lead.
Boyd and Aaron Walton-Moss missed 3-pointers for Cabrini (31-2) in the final seconds.
Boyd led Cabrini with 18 points. The Pennsylvania school had won 22 straight games.
“We have good kids in our program who make this program special and put this program on runs like the one we just made,” Cabrini coach Marcus Kahn said. “All the guys in our program wouldn’t be there if they weren’t good people, and we’ll continue to make runs like this.
“The stinger for all of us is that we were up 18 on the national champion. We were up 18 in the second half and didn’t finish it. That stings because we’re a damn good team. I think, hopefully, now we’ve proven that.”
Whitewater shot 53.8 percent in the second half (14 of 26) after shooting 26.1 percent (6 of 23) in the first. Cabrini shot just 33.8 percent from field (22 of 65).