Wis-Whitewater beats MIT in Division III semis
"He's the best big man we've played all year," Anderson said.
Davis scored 30 points to help the Warhawks (28-4) advance to face Cabrini on Saturday night in the championship game. Cabrini beat Illinois Wesleyan 81-78.
The 6-foot-6 Davis did most of his damage in the second half. The game was tied at 26 at halftime, but Davis scored 21 in the final 20 minutes. He scored eight points in a game-deciding 14-0 run that turned a 32-30 deficit into a 44-32 bulge.
Davis was 10 of 20 from the floor, including two 3-pointers, and made eight free throws without a miss.
"I definitely didn't want this to be my last game, so I knew I had to step up," Davis said. "I knew I had to make some shots and help my team stay in the game, and that's what I did."
Whitewater is trying to win its third national title, following victories in 1984 and 1989.
"I thought we struggled getting a rhythm offensively in the first half," Whitewater coach Pat Miller said. "I thought they did a good job of taking some things away. I thought their pressure bothered us for a stretch in the second half. But then Chris got going, which is often what happens when we struggle offensively. Chris comes to life, and everything else seems to come to life with it."
MIT (29-2), which had won 13 straight, went 6:29 without scoring during the Warhawks' 14-0 run and shot just 39.6 percent (21 of 53) from the field. The Engineers shot 36 percent (9 of 25) in the second half.
Jamie Karraker, who came into the game averaging 13 points for MIT, did not score.
"There's a reason we shot a low percentage — and they're (Whitewater) the reason," Anderson said. "They went on that 14-0 run, and I thought we were playing extremely well defensively. But on the offensive end, we couldn't get shots to go, and part of that was their defense. That's what allowed the 14-0 run to happen."
Will Tashman had 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Engineers. Mitchell Kates added 12, and Billy Bender had 11. Eric Bryson finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Warhawks.