LMU basketball’s national title run ends early in Final Four buzzer beater
Top-seeded West Texas A&M hits three pointer as time expires for 87-86 win over fourth-seeded LMU men’s basketball in national semifinal
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WVLT) - Playing in its third NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship semifinal in program history, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team saw its historic quest for a national title come to an end in the worst way Thursday night inside the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.
Top-seeded and fifth-ranked West Texas A&M guard Zach Toussaint rattled in a top-of-the-key three pointer as time expired to hand the fourth-seeded Railsplitters their first non-conference loss since Nov. 1, 2019. The Buffaloes’ buzzer beater came following a missed driving layup and a batted around rebound that fell in the hands of Toussaint. Redshirt junior guard Cameron Henry blocked West Texas A&M All-American guard Joel Murray’s layup with just over six seconds remaining and 1.5 seconds were added to the clock after an official review. With the Buffs retaining possession due to the ball going off of Henry’s foot, West Texas A&M All-American guard Qua Grant was well defended by junior point guard Julius Brown who forced the missed layup. However, the ball somehow found the hands of the Buffs’ best three-point shooter with just enough time for him to launch the game-winning three.
Toussaint’s buzzer beater was his first made basket of the game as he was 0-for-5 from the field and 0-for-4 from distance prior to his weighty make. Shooting a remarkable 61.5 percent (32-of-52) for the game, LMU shot over 60 percent in each half and held West Texas A&M (19-2) to 42.3 percent (30-of-71) from the floor and 34.6 percent (9-of-26) from beyond the arc.
The loss brings another banner year for LMU men’s basketball to a close with the Railsplitters finishing 19-4. The national semifinal tilt was LMU’s third trip to the Final Four in the last five Division II Elite Eight championships as the Railsplitters made their third Elite Eight appearance in six seasons.
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