Northwest had an opportunity to draw level, but Amen Osayande’s attempt from behind the arc missed its mark. Northeastern added a final free throw to make it a two-possession game and the Trappers were unable to put the ball through the hoop in the waning seconds.
On the night, Washington, who entered the post-season averaging better than 26 points per contest, scored 31 to fuel Northeastern’s win. Two other Northeastern players also reached double figures.
Northwest countered with 23 points from William Walker as the Lehi, Utah, freshman had his way in the paint for much of the night. The Trappers also received 14 points from Reader and 12 points apiece from Osayande and Keeton Tucker.
In a game that was close throughout — neither team led by more than five points in the first half as the Trappers took a 41-37 lead into intermission — the contest was decided beyond the 3-point arc. Northeastern knocked down 11 of 23 attempts from downtown. The Trappers struggled to connect on just one of their 12 long-range offerings.
Northwest took its biggest lead of the night with less than 14 minutes to play, 56-50, but then went cold. Over the next five minutes, Northeastern uncorked a 13-0 run, eventually building a 67-60 lead. The Trappers were able to chip away at the gap to regain the lead with 65 seconds remaining before Northeastern delivered the final knockout.
Northeastern went on to fall 78-58 to Western Nebraska the following night. Western Wyoming captured the 2011 Region IX title, defeating Sheridan in the championship game.
Three seniors — Tucker, Osayande and Chantz Ramos — will graduate this spring from the Trappers’ roster.
Northeastern 80, Northwest 76
Ramos 4, Reader 14, Pasos 7, Tucker 12, Walker 23, Robinson 4, Osayande 12.