Buffs come up short in national title game


It was a familiar end to the most unfamiliar season in recent memory.

No. 2 Northwest Missouri State dominated No. 1 West Texas A&M, 80-54, to win the 2021 DII men's basketball championship on Saturday afternoon. It's the second-consecutive title for the Bearcats, and their third in the last five years. 

Ryan Hawkins led all scorers with 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds. He was one of four Bearcats that scored in double figures. Northwest Missouri State shot 50 percent (27-of-54) from the floor and 47 percent (7-of-15) from beyond the arc. 

Hawkins was unstoppable, using a variety of post moves and outside shooting to exploit every matchup the Buffaloes threw at him. Teammate Wes Dreamer chipped in 19 points and 11 rebounds.

West Texas A&M was led by Qua Grant's 20 points and six rebounds. The Buffaloes shot just 31.3 percent on 20-of-64 shooting.

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