Fairmont State falls in National Championship

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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (Interviews include Jerrod Calhoun, Matt Bingaya, Thomas Wimbush, Shammgod Wells and Trevor Andrews-Evans)

Fairmont State's incredible run came to an end on Saturday as the Falcons fell to Northwest Missouri State 71-61 in the Division II National Championship.

The Bearcats led wire to wire behind D2's National Player of the Year Justin Pitts' team-high 23 points. NWMSU took a double-digit lead in the opening minutes and would lead by 11 at halftime, 32-21.

In the second half MEC Player of the Year and D2 All-American Matt Bingaya pulled the Falcons within eight at 36-28. FSU would climb to within that margin twice more including with 4:50 left in the game, but that's as close as Pitts and the Bearcats would allow.

Bingaya scored a game-high 24 and Thomas Wimbush had 17 in the final collegiate game of their careers. Chris Ebou-Ndow (17) and Anthony Woods (13) each scored double-digits for the Bearcats.

Fairmont State shot 23-63 (36.5%) from the floor to NWMSU's 23-46 (50%). FSU connected on only 3 of their 17 3-point attempts and were outrebounded 41-35.

Fairmont State's season ends at 34-3. That's the most wins in program history and their runner-up finish is the furthest FSU has ever gone as a Division II member.

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