MARYVILLE, Mo. -- No. 1 Northwest made sure last year's upset to Minnesota State was just a fluke. The Bearcats used senior Joey Witthus' 39-points to route the Mavericks, 91-62 in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Central Regional.
Northwest got off to a slow start in last year's contest, shooting under 20 percent from three. This year, the first half saw the Bearcats knock down 60 percent of their shots in the opening half.
A 12-point lead in the first five minutes of the game was enough to help keep Northwest ahead the rest of the way.
In addition to Witthus' 39-point perfromance, freshmen Diego Bernard added 20-points and Trevor Hudgins scored 16-points in their first ever NCAA tournament game.
Northwest plays in the semifinal round of the Central Regional 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Bearcat Arena.