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 SPRINGFIELD, MASS. (AP) -A.J. Bowman scored 18 points and Garret Siler added 17 as Augusta State defeated Alaska Anchorage 56-50 Thursday night to advance to the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship game for the first time.
The Jaguars held Alaska Anchorage to 11 points in the first half, tying a 45-year-old tournament record for the lowest score in a half. Oglethorpe scored 11 in the first half against Philadelphia University in 1963.
Augusta State (27-6) had to withstand a furious second-half 3-point flurry, but moved on to Saturday's title game against the winner of Thursday's late game between Bentley and Winona State.
Carl Arts scored 19 points for Alaska Anchorage (29-6), which shot 19.2 percent in the first half, going 5-for-26 and missing 11-for-12 3-pointers to fall into a 28-11 deficit.
The Seawolves, who lost three games this season to Division I teams, took 19 of their 28 second-half shots from 3-point range, hitting nine. They outscored Augusta State 24-11 to open the second half, and trailed 38-35 with 10 minutes to play.
Baskets by Siler, the 6-foot-11 center, and guard Daniel Dixon made it 42-35, and Alaska Anchorage came as close as three only once more, trailing 44-41 before Bowman and Siler rebuilt the Jaguars' lead.
Bowman had nine rebounds, and Siler had seven for the Jaguars.
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