SALEM, Va. (AP) -Washington University of Missouri's second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Final Four went better than its first.
Troy Ruths scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half and Washington pulled away to beat Hope 89-74 in the semifinals Friday night.
Aaron Thompson scored all of his 15 points for Washington (24-6) in the second half, 13 of them in a row. Tyler Nading also had 15 points, and Danny O'Boyle added 12 for the Bears, who finished third last year.
``The difference really came down to experience in the Final Four,'' Bears coach Mark Edwards said. ``I thought that was a big advantage.''
Derek VanSolkema led Hope (27-4) with 19 points. Jesse Reimink added 15 and Marcus Vanderheide had 10.
The Bears will face Amherst for the national championship Saturday, while Hope will play Ursinus in the third-place game.
The lead changed 11 times in the first half. Hope led 33-32 at the break.
In the second half, Washington took the lead at 36-35, but the Flying Dutchmen tied it three times before the Bears went ahead for good when Thompson's 3-pointer made it 49-46 with 13:19 left. The Bears gradually built the lead to double digits.
``We were just hitting on all cylinders,'' said Ruths, who was 11-of-15 from the field and 8-of-9 at the line.
Washington shot 56 percent from the floor, 65 percent in the second half. The Bears also shot 85 percent from the free-throw line.
The Bears' largest lead was 17 after Nading hit two free throws to make it 87-70.
``Their players dug in and became very aggressive,'' Hope coach Glenn Van Wieren said.
The Flying Dutchmen got into foul trouble, with Reimink, Vanderheide and Ryan Klein fouling out late in the game.
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