The Missouri Valley player of the year looked the part when it counted. His
Seth Tuttle had 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists, leading the 11th-ranked Panthers back from an 18-point first-half deficit to beat
"I knew we weren't out of it," said forward Nate Buss, who had 15 points with two blocks. "We're not ranked 11th in the country for nothing. We're not just going to lay down and die.
"We knew we were going to come back."
The Panthers (30-3) took control with a 25-4 run that erased a 36-22 halftime deficit. Jeremy Morgan had three three-pointers in the run, and Tuttle, the Valley player of the year and tournament MVP, added eight points, often getting loose from constant double-teaming.
"He really exerted his will," Illinois State Coach Dan Muller said. "When we're in zone, they got it in to Tuttle, when we went man, they got it in to Tuttle."
Daishon Knight had 16 points for fourth-seeded Illinois State (21-12), which needed a win to make the
Northern Iowa won the title for the third time in seven years and has won 19 of 20 games.
"That was different than just about every game I've been a part of," Coach Ben Jacobson said. "We had more than our hands full at halftime."
Demarcus Daniels scored 22 points off the bench, and North Florida beat
Dawn Staley knew when she took over as the South Carolina coach that
Jewell Loyd led the second-ranked
Ashley Rininger scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half to lead
Chelsey Shumpert said she and her Chattanooga teammates never panicked even as their 24-point second half lead began to disappear. "We stayed calm," Shumpert said. "If you get a little nervous you start doing things you aren't supposed to." The sophomore guard scored a career-high 26 points, and 17th-ranked Chattanooga survived a furious second half comeback by East Tennessee State for a 61-56 overtime victory and its third straight
Foul trouble left Jonquel Jones with 20 minutes to make an impact on the