Owens Community College bowed out of the NJCAA Division II men's tournament, falling 73-61 to Cincinnati State in a Region 12, District 7 semifinal.
The Express ended the season at 20-8 in Jim Welling's final season as coach. He finished with a 550-127 career record.
Cincinnati State will play Columbus State today at 2 p.m. at Owens for the championship. Columbus State topped Lakeland CC 86-77 yesterday. The winner will advance to the national tournament in Danville, Ill.
"Our kids' effort was spectacular," Welling said. "But Cincinnati State is a great team with a great big man [John Williamson].
"I can't think of a better to go out than having your guys laying it all on the line."
Johnny Willhite led Owens with 15 points, while Alex Davenport and Vershawn Chears scored 12 points apiece, with Davenport also pulling down eight rebounds. DeAuntay Scott added 11 points.
Jarelle Redden (20 points) and Williamson (18) topped Cincinnati State.
The winners outshot the Express, hitting 23 of 41 shots (56 percent) from the field, including 13 of 18 in the second half, to Owens' 24-63 (38 percent).
Cincinnati State made 25 of 38 free throws to Owens' 10 of 18.
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