SALEM, VA – With 4.6 seconds left Mike Mayer gave Williams a one point lead when he tipped in a missed shot, but that lead was extinguished in a flash when Wisconsin-Whitewater's Quardell Young took the inbounds pass coast to coast and laid the ball in with .9 left on the click to put Whitewater up 74-73. Young was also fouled on the play by Mike Mayer. Young converted the traditional three-point play the Warhawks were up 75-73.
Williams called timeout to draw up a play. The ball came to Duncan Robinson just over half court, but his desperation 43-footer was off the mark and Wisconsin-Whitewater claimed the 2014 NCAA DIII men's basketball title.
With the win Wisconsin-Whitewater captured their fourth NCAA title and improved their season record to 29-4, while Williams ended the year at 28-5.
"There's no locker room I'd rather be in than our," said Eph head coach Mike Maker. "I'm proud of each and everyone of them."
UWW's Eric Bryson gave the Warhawks an early lead with a three, but that was answered quickly by the Ephs with two layups by Mayer and one by Robinson. Quardell Young's three pointer broke a nine all tie at 13:11 and gave the Warhawks a lead they would hold throughout the first half.
Whitewater built that lead up to 15 points with 5:24 left in the half on inside buckets from Reggie Hearn and KJ Evans.
The Ephs promptly took 11 points out of the 15-point deficit on layups by Hayden Rooke-Ley, two by Mayer, one by Epley and a three from Robinson at the top of the key.
Wisconsin-Whitewater took a 37-33 lead into the break.
The Ephs were 13-30 from the floor for 43.3% in the opening half, but only 3-11 from three (27%.). UWW hit on 14 of 27 shots (52%) from the floor and made 4 of 6 threes.
The Ephs had a slight advantage on the glass with 14 caroms to 13 for UWW. Williams turned the ball over six times and Whitewater made just three miscues.
It took the Ephs until 7:55 into the second half to tie the game and that came on the second make by Dan Wohl from the foul line. With 11:05 to play in the game the score was tied at 49.
Just over one minute later the Ephs re-gained the lead when Wohl scored on a drive, where he banked in an off balance shot and was fouled. The successful free throw by Wohl put the Ephs up 54-52.
After a turnover by the Warhawks the Ephs' Michael Mayer made two free throws and Williams owned a 4-point cushion, 56-52.
Wisconsin-Whitewater took a 61-60 lead on a driving layup by Young, but on the Ephs' ensuing possession they got another three from Duncan Robinson to re-take the lead, 63-61.
Two free throws by Michael Mayer with just over four and a half minutes remaining gave the Ephs a 68-67 lead. Mayer was back at the free throw line with 3:12 to play, making one of two free throws to put Williams up 69-67.
UWW's Eric Bryson knotted the score again when he got loose inside and scored off the glass to tie the game at 69.
After the teams traded turnovers Duncan Robinson toed the charity stripe after being fouled going down the lane. Robinson netted both, giving the Ephs a 71-69 advantage.
The Eph lead only lasted 21 seconds until Bryson swished another three with 1:15 to play, putting the Warhawks up one, 72-71.
With 24 seconds left the Ephs' Duncan Robinson fouled Alex Merg, putting Merg on the line for one and one.
When Merg missed the Ephs' Dan Wohl grabbed the rebound and brought the ball over half court, calling for a time out with 19 seconds left.
Eph head coach Maker elected to go with a two-man game with Robinson and Mayer being involved.
With just over 7 seconds left Robinson got into the lane, but his floater hit the rim and caromed off, where Mayer elevated and tipped the ball into the basket with 4.6 seconds remaining.
"I thought when Mike tipped the ball in we had just won the national championship," said Duncan Robinson.
Wisconsin-Whitewater's Quardell Young gave the Ephs no time to celebrate as Young drove the length of the court, made a layup and was fouled by Mike Mayer. "You have to give Young credit for getting down the court and getting to the hoop with his strong hand and making the shot," said Mike Mayer.
Young made the subsequent free throw putting the Warhawks up two, 75-73, with 0.9 to play.
The Ephs tried to get the ball to Duncan Robinson for a last shot, but Robinson had to catch and shoot from 40 feet. His shot was off to the left.
In the second half Williams connected on 12 of 23 shots from the floor (53%), but the Ephs only made 1 of 4 from three, leaving them 4-15 from beyond the arc (26.7%) on the day.
Wisconsin-Whitewater on the other hand hit on15 of 35 shots in the second half (43%) and made 4-9 threes. The Warhawks went 8 for 15 from distance on the day.
Whitewater out rebounded the Ephs by 4, 35-31.
Williams was led in scoring by Michael Mayer who tallied 26 points. He also had a team high 9 rebounds. Duncan Robinson and Dan Wohl were the only other Ephs in double figures. Robinson had 17 and Wohl 13.
The Warhawks had four players in double figures with KJ Evans leading with 22, followed by Quardell Young and Eric Bryson with 13 each and 10 from Reggie Hearn.
Michael Mayer and Duncan Robinson were named to the All-Tournament Team.