Texas Wesleyan heads to NAIA championship game

Texas Wesleyan Rams celebrate their win.

Texas Wesleyan University men’s basketball team took down second-ranked William Penn University 83-82 in overtime during a semifinal contest at the 2017 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship on Monday.

The Rams came out of a timeout and went for a quick two from Ryan Harris, and then quickly fouled the Statesmen. Lionel Ellison missed the front end of a one-and-one bonus, and Najeal Young came down with the biggest rebound of the game. Head Coach Brennen Shingleton elected not to call his final timeout, and the move paid off. Dion Rogers found space for a baseline jumper that found its mark for the win.

Najeal Young and Ryan Harris combined for 31 points after the half. The Statesmen were in complete control at 51-35, four minutes into the second half when the Rams began to chip away at the deficit. A three-point play from Young started an innocent run that got the margin down to 51-40.

The Rams will meet Life University (26-10) in the NAIA Division I Championship Game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The game will be carried live on ESPN3.