Northwest Missouri State University became the first school in Division II history to win a football and men’s basketball title in the same academic year with a 71-61 victory over Fairmont State in the national championship game March 25 in Souix Falls, SD.

Members of the Northwest Missouri State University basketball team celebrate after beatin Fairmont State in the NCAA Division II National Championship March. 25, 2017 in Sioux Falls, SD. (Photo by Todd Weddle | Northwest Missouri State University)

A packed house of Bearcat fans witnessed the home team never trailing in the game as they shot .500 from the field and held FSU to just .370 shooting on the afternoon. Northwest jumped out a 7-0 lead at the 17:29 mark in the first half and wouldn’t let FSU get any closer than four points the rest of the game.

Justin Pitts led the way for the Bearcats scoring 23 points and dishing out three assists. Chris-Ebou Ndow had a double-double scoring 17 points and pulling down a game-high 18 rebounds. Anthony Woods was also in double figures scoring 13 points and dishing out a team best five assists.

The Bearcats finish the season with a 35-1 record and are national champions in men’s basketball for the first time in school history. Pitts was named the most outstanding player for the tournament while Ndow was named to the all-tournament team.