Va. Union Wins Division II Hoops Title
Mar. 26, 2005
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) _ Antwan Walton scored 19 points and notched the go-ahead basket to help Virginia Union hold off Bryant 63-58 for the NCAA Division II title Saturday.
Walton's three-point play after a driving basket and free throw gave the Panthers a 61-58 lead with 1:29 left. Luqman Jaaber sealed the victory by forcing a steal and hitting two free throws with 6 seconds remaining.
It was the third championship for Virginia Union, which also won in 1980 and 1992.
Walton added 11 rebounds. Duan Crockett scored 12 points for the Panthers (30-4).
Chris Burns came off the bench to lead Bryant (25-9) with 25 points, including six 3-point field goals. He was 5-of-6 from 3-point range in the second half.
The Bulldogs, who trailed most of the way, went ahead 50-49 midway through the second half on a 3-pointer by Mario Correia. They were held scoreless for the next 5:44, when the Panthers scored nine straight points to go ahead 58-50.
Bryant went on a 8-0 run and tied the game at 58 on a 3-pointer by Burns with 2:30 left. After the teams traded possessions without scoring, the 6-foot-4 Walton drove on a 6-11 center Mike Williams to score and draw the foul.
The Bulldogs had the ball out of bounds near their basket with 7 seconds left, but Jaaber broke up a pass by Cullen McCarthy.
Walton was named the tournament's outstanding player.
Before the game, about 75 protesters from University of North Dakota groups opposed to the school's use of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo held a march and rally outside Ralph Engelstad Arena.