SALEM, Va. — Augustana advanced to the NCAA Division III national championship game in men's basketball Friday, defeating Williams 90-79 in a semifinal game.
The Vikings will face Babson, a 91-85 winner over top-ranked Whitman, in a 5 p.m. title game today at the Salem Civic Center.
Augustana started quick Friday, scoring the game's first 11 points but a 42-34 halftime lead evaporated before a Nolan Ebel three-point basket with 9 minutes, 59 seconds remaining broke a 56-56 tie and move the Vikings (24-8) ahead to stay.
"Our guys over the last five games have proven they belong,'' Augustana coach Grey Giovanine said. "They've earned it.''
Chrishawn Orange led five Vikings in double figures with a 21-point game. Brett Benning and Nolan Ebel finished with 17 apiece, Dylan Sortillo had 15 to go with a team-high nine rebounds and Jacob Johnston finished with 14.
Daniel Aronowitz led Williams (23-9) with 29 points, including a banked-in three-pointer from just beyond the midcourt stripe to end the first half, part of a 13-0 run which led the Eps back into the game.