LAKELAND, Fla. - Darnell Hinson scored a game-high 18 points and converted five three-pointers to lead Northeastern (Okla.) State to an 84-69 win over Queens (N.C.) in the NCAA Division II men's semifinals last night.
Hinson was one of six Redmen scoring in double figures as Northeastern State (31-3) advanced to the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship game for the first time in school history. The Redmen will meet Kentucky Wesleyan (31-3) tomorrow at 1 p.m.
"They did a great job of following the game plan," said Northeastern State head coach Larry Gipson. "We're a group of guys that play well together. If you appreciate team basketball, you'll appreciate us."
Northeastern State started slowly, with Queens sprinting out to a 13-8 lead just six minutes into the contest.
Momentum shifted quickly. Hinson hit back-to-back three-pointers to put the Redman up 18-15 with 10:27 to play in the half. A 29-6 run, which lasted just under 11 1/2 minutes, extended the Northeastern State lead to 20, before the Redmen took a 43-26 halftime lead into halftime.
"We told them they had to play more aggressively on offense," Gipson said. "Our defense also tightened up."