Balanced attack pushes Metro State into national championship



Sophomore forward Nicholas Kay slams down a dunk in the second half in their 83-76 win over West Liberty University in the NCAA Division II Final Four. (Photo by Cos Lindstrom-Furutani)

Sophomore forward Nicholas Kay slams down a dunk in the second half in their 83-76 win over West Liberty University in the NCAA Division II Final Four. (Photo by Cos Lindstrom-Furutani)

Louisville, KY – No. 3 Metro State defeated No. 1 West Liberty University 83-76 March 30 to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship.  Metro improves to 32-2 on the season while West Liberty finishes their season with a record of 34-2.

Metro State will be headed to the national championship for the first time since 2002.  The game will be played in Atlanta,  Ga on April 7 at 4 p.m. (ET).

Metro shut down one of the hottest shooting teams in the country and held them to 28 points below their average  en route to one of its best defensive showings of the year.  The Roadrunners out rebounded the Hilltoppers 49-43, including 34-21 on  the defensive end.

West Liberty averages 41 percent from three-point range, but the Roadrunners held the Hilltoppers to 27 percent, one of their lowest on the season.

“Coach (Crutchfield) has a system and it’s very effective and I thought we hit a lot of our makes that we tried to hit and to hold a team like that to 76 points it was a heck of an effort,” head coach Derrick Clark said.

Offensively, all five of Metro’s starters reached double digits.  Sophomore Nicholas Kay, junior Brandon Jefferson, and senior Jonathan Morse all scored 17 points while sophomore Mitch McCarron grab be 16 rebounds in addition to 14 points for his fourth double-double of the season.

Metro only trailed in the game once, after the first basket of the game, but Metro then went on a 15-0 run and never looked back going into the halftime locker room up 41-28.  West Liberty did make the second half interesting after finally finding the three-ball when they hit three 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions.

The Roadrunners never let the game get out of hand as clutch free throws and lay-ups helped the team defeat the number one team in the country for the second straight year

Story by Kevin Hall

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