Witt's 43 points fuel Husky victory
Taylor Witt scored 43 points to help St. Cloud State defeat Midwestern State 92-88 in Wednesday's NCAA Division II Men's Elite Eight quarterfinal game.
The junior guard is a 2007 Morris Area High School graduate.
Witt was 22 for 23 at the free-throw line and hit nine of 17 from the field.
His teammate, Matt Schneck, scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
The Central Region Champion Huskies (29-5) advance to the semifinal game on Thursday at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Mass. The Huskies will play the winner of Wednesday's Atlantic Division versus South Division game.
Witt went off for the fourth highest scoring total in an Elite Eight game with 43 points, including 38 in the second half. He also set a NCAA tournament record with 22 free throws made and 23 attempted.
"I just started to feel it. I was trying to take it to the hoop and pull up to get to the free throw line. In a big game like this, it's going to come down to free throws," Witt said of his attack on the Mustang defense.
Witt's 43 points were the third highest in school history, after scoring just five points in nine minutes of play in the first half.
"I think every kid's dream is to play in March ... deep into March. We definitely wouldn't have been able to do it without the team," Witt said.
The last time a player scored 43 points in an Elite Eight game was when Jack Sullivan of Mount Saint Mary's scored 43 in 1957 and it amounts to the fourth highest total in an NCAA tournament game.
"It didn't surprise me (Witt's performance). He's a gamer and when he gets on a role like this, we just get into our sets and let him go," said Schlagel.
The championship game will be broadcast on CBS Saturday at 12 p.m. central time.
Game story and photo courtesy St. Cloud State University Sports Information.