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NIT Day 2 Recap

March 15, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

NIT Recap – Day 2

by Phil Kasiecki

The second night of NIT action was a busy one with ten games on the docket, several of which came down to the final minutes or seconds. It also included the first overtime game of the NIT.

Syracuse got solid efforts from Kueth Duany and Hakim Warrick to complement Preston Shumpert’s 28 points, and held St. Bonaventure to 33.8% shooting from the field in defeating the Bonnies 76-66. The Bonnies lived and died by long-range shooting this season, and they died by it in their final game as they made just seven of 32 three-pointers. Syracuse won despite making just seven of 20 free throws.

South Carolina used a strong second half to knock off Virginia by a 74-67 margin. The Gamecocks shot 61 percent from the floor in the second half and 52 percent for the game. The Cavaliers got very little from anyone besides Travis Watson, who had 26 points and 13 rebounds and sat for some time in the second half with foul trouble. He was their only double-digit scorer, and the rest of the team was just 18-42 from the field. The Gamecocks will take on UNLV in the second round.

In a similar matchup, LSU held off Iowa by a 63-61 margin in Iowa City in a game that was tight throughout. Luke Recker was unable to have a repeat of the magic he had this past weekend, missing a three-pointer in the final seconds that would have won it. The Hawkeyes put themselves in that spot in part with 18 turnovers.

Minnesota made it look easy against New Mexico with a 96-62 thumping of the Lobos in Minneapolis. The Golden Gophers won this one going away, as they led by just seven at the half, and they won it largely on the low post against the perimeter-oriented Lobos. Not only did it show up with a big difference in points in the paint, but the Gophers also dominated the glass with a 46-22 rebounding edge. They held New Mexico to just 36.4% shooting as well.

Dayton and Detroit were close for the early minutes, but Dayton broke the game open later in the first half and never trailed after that. The Flyers, who were led by Ramod Marshall’s 23 points, shot 51.5 percent from the field and held the Titans to 41.7 percent shooting. The Flyers also dominated the glass with a 44-27 advantage in a game where the two teams combined to turn the ball over just 13 times.

Dayton will face Tennessee Tech, which knocked off Georgia State, 64-62, in the second round. The Golden Eagles won on a running lay-up by Cameron Crisp (team-high 17 points) with four seconds left. They shut down Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Thomas Terrell, as he had just seven points on 2-14 shooting. This was a sloppy game, as neither team shot the lights out and they combined for 36 turnovers.

Vanderbilt, which has had past success in the NIT, is keeping it up, as they beat Houston, 59-50, in a game where the teams combined to shoot just 34 percent from the field and only two players reached double figures in scoring. Vanderbilt was simply the team that played less badly on this night.

The Commodores advance to face Louisiana Tech, an 83-63 winner over Louisiana-Lafayette. The Bulldogs did everything right, from holding the Ragin’ Cajuns to 33% shooting and holding Michael Southall to 13 points on just 3-12 shooting, to out-rebounding Louisiana-Lafayette by a 45-34 margin. Anthony Johnson never got untracked either, as he missed all ten of his field goal attempts and had just eight points. Gerrod Henderson keyed the offense with 22 points, while Antonio Meeking was the big force up front with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

In the first overtime game of the tournament, Richmond scored the final eight points to take home a 74-67 victory over Wagner in what was a tight game for most of the night. Neither team shot very well and they were about even in every statistical category.

In the final game of the night, Temple got 37 points from Lynn Greer and held off Fresno State, 81-75. The Owls turned the ball over just six times and made 13 of 17 free throws (including 8 of 10 in the final two minutes) to win despite allowing the Bulldogs to shoot 49 percent from the floor.

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