Townsend pours in 38, carries Oakland to NCAAs with 83-76 win over Milwaukee in Horizon final

Tue, Mar 12, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Townsend pours in 38, carries Oakland to NCAAs with 83-76 win over Milwaukee in Horizon final

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Trey Townsend scored a career-high 38 points and made a number of key plays down the stretch as Oakland earned its first NCAA Tournament bid in 10 years with an 83-76 win over Milwaukee in the Horizon League championship game on Tuesday night.

Townsend had 27 points in the second half, 16 in the last six minutes and seven in the last three minutes.

Townsend's turnaround jumper with 2:35 left gave the top-seed Grizzlies a 72-70 lead. He then intercepted a pass and followed his own miss with a putback for a 74-70 lead with two minutes left.

Blake Lampman made two free throws at 1:03 to give Oakland an 80-74 lead going into the last minute when Chris Conway blocked two Panthers shots and Townsend slapped a loose ball out to a teammate.

Townsend ended up on the foul line and made one with 35.9 seconds to go for an 81-74 lead, matching the largest of the game. He later added two more free throws, finishing 14 of 18 from the line.

Jack Gohlike scored 15 points for the Golden Grizzlies (23-11), who are headed to their fourth NCAA, the first three coming when they were in the Summit League. Lampman had 12 points and Conway had 11 with 10 rebounds, to join Townsend, who had 11 rebounds, with a double-double.

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Erik Pratt led sixth-seeded Milwaukee (20-15) with 16 points. Kentrell Pullian added 15 points, BJ Freeman 15 and Langston Wilson 10. The Panthers were trying to get into their fifth NCAA Tournament, the first since 2014.

Lampman and Towsend each made a pair of free throws that gave Oakland the biggest lead of the game at 49-42 less than five minutes into the second half, but Pullian scored two quick baskets inside. After Townsend scored, the Panthers had six straight with Pullian giving them a 52-51 lead with 13:14 to go.

The lead reached four for the Panthers at 64-60 but that lasted all of 23 seconds.

Lampman had a fastbreak dunk and Gohlke drilled a 3-pointer in a late 7-0 run that helped the Grizzlies take a 37-33 lead at the half. The biggest lead of the half was 17-11 Oakland on a Gohlke 3 seven minutes in.

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