Italian center Andrea Crosariol scored 18 points and Fairleigh Dickinson earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1998 with a 58-52 victory over Wagner in the championship game of the Northeast Conference tournament last night at Hackensack, N.J.
Mensah Peterson scored 7 of his 13 points in the final 3:28, including a critical 3-pointer with 23.8 seconds to play, as the second-seeded Knights (20-12) gave coach Tom Green his fourth trip to the NCAAs in his 22-year career.
Durell Vinson had 14 points and eight rebounds for sixth-seeded Wagner (13-17), which was trying to cap an amazing turnaround after a 2-15 start. The loss was only its second in 13 games.
The Seahawks nearly staged a final comeback after falling behind, 47-36, on a 3-pointer by Gordon Klaiber with 10:31 to play.
The Knights did not score another field goal until Peterson hit his big 3 in the final minute.
Mark Porter, who led Wagner to its upset of top-seeded Monmouth Sunday, keyed the 13-4 spurt with 8 points. His two free throws cut the lead to 51-49 with 1:23 left.
Peterson was fouled 12 seconds later and hit both ends of a one-and-one to push the lead to 53-49. Porter hit one free throw with 56 seconds to go to cut the lead to 3 points.
Wagner elected to defend on the Knights' next possession and Peterson made them pay with a 20-footer.
Big Sky -- Kamarr Davis scored 19 points and Montana held off Weber State's late rally for a 63-61 victory in the tournament title game in Portland, Ore., sending the Grizzlies (18-12) to the NCAA Tournament. Virgil Matthews's dunk with 4:17 left capped an 11-0 run and made it 54-44 for Montana, which has won six straight.
Conference USA -- Rodney Carney ended his shooting slump with 23 points and Jeremy Hunt added a career-high 22 points to lead Memphis to a 79-59 victory over Saint Louis in an opening-round tournament game in Memphis . . . Corey Santee's 3-pointer with 12.8 seconds gave Texas Christian a 60-57 overtime victory over Marquette in Memphis. Aaron Curtis had just hit one of two free throws with 18.8 seconds left to tie the game at 57 for the Horned Frogs (19-12) . . . Sammy Mejia and Quemont Greer each scored 18 points, and DePaul beat Tulane, 81-71, in the opening round.