Mallett closes tourney case of OVC season titleist
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 4:25 pm
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Jermaine Mallett scored a career-high 23 points, leading Missouri State to an 89-76 win over Murray State on Tuesday night in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Missouri State (26-8), the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion, held a double-digit lead through most of the first 10 minutes of the second half before Murray State (23-9) went on a 14-2 run to cut it to 68-66 with 6:09 left.
But the Racers, who led only once early in the game, were never able to go ahead. Mallett, a senior, guided the third-seeded Bears to a 13-4 run and an 81-70 lead with 2:01 remaining.
“Our motion offense did a good job moving and screening. I was able to take advantage of that,” said Mallett, who enjoyed facing a non-conference opponent. “It was great to find somebody else to play against who doesn’t know too much about you, but they did a good job of pressuring you and taking you out of your offense.”
Kyle Weems finished with 14 points for Missouri State and Will Creekmore added 13. Nafis Ricks and Nathan Scheer each scored 12.
Next up, the Bears play the winner of Wednesday night’s game between Miami and Florida Atlantic.
Missouri State coach Cuonzo Martin said the game gave his players a chance to play at a different pace.
“The Valley play is a grinding, physical league. It’s good for our guys who shoot and slash. We let Ricks attack. We told him to put his head down and get to the lane,” Martin said.
Ivan Aska led No. 6 seed Murray State with 16 points and Jewuan Long added 15.
Isacc Miles had 13 and Isaiah Canaan 11.
“We scored enough points, but unfortunately when they shoot 80 percent from the free throw line and 55 percent from the field on their home court, that’s tough. They’re a tough team to overcome,” Murray State coach Billy Kennedy said.
The Racers were regular-season champions of the Ohio Valley Conference.
“We missed some free throws and took some quick shots,” Kennedy said.
’Bama 68, Coast. Caro. 44
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Tony Mitchell, Charvez Davis and Trevor Releford all scored 12 points to lead Alabama to a 68-44 victory over Coastal Carolina on Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
The top-seeded Crimson Tide (22-11), which felt jilted at being left out of the NCAA field after winning the SEC West, built a 20-point lead late in the first half and never let the short-handed Chanticleers (28-6) get anything going.
Now 17-0 at CoColiseum, Alabama will host New Mexico in the second round.
Anthony Raffa and Chad Gray led Coastal Carolina with 10 points.
Leading scorer Desmond Holloway was suspended late in the season for an eligibility issue and point guard Kierre Greenwood was also lost in February to a season-ending knee injury.
Okla. St 71, Harvard 54
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Marshall Moses had 18 points and eight rebounds, and third-seeded Oklahoma State had its highest-scoring first half of the season in a victory over sixth-seeded Harvard.
Oklahoma State (20-13) scored 41 points in the first half and won a NIT game for the first time since 1997. The Cowboys had lost three straight from 2006-08.
Reger Dowell went 6-for-7 from the field and scored 15 points, and Matt Pilgrim added 12.
Kyle Casey led Harvard (23-7) with 13 points, while Ivy League player of the year Keith Wright scored 10 and hit double figures for the 15th straight game.
Harvard scored its fewest points since managing 52 in a loss to Connecticut on Dec. 22.
The Crimson were making their first NIT appearance after winning at least share of the Ivy League title for the first time in school history. They lost to Princeton on a game-winning shot at the buzzer in a tiebreaker for the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
Kent St. 71, Saint Mary’s 70
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Justin Greene made the go-ahead layup with three seconds remaining, and Kent State overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to stun Saint Mary’s.
Mickey McConnell missed an unimpeded layup attempt just before the buzzer sounded, sending Saint Mary’s home even earlier after they felt snubbed by the NCAA selection committee.
Michael Porrini scored 19 points and Carlton Guyton had 13 for the Golden Flashes (24-11), who missed out on the NCAA Tournament with a loss in the Mid-American Conference title game to Akron. They seemed headed for a double-digit loss until the final minutes of regulation, when a furious rally culminated in a stunning victory that left the Gaels’ fans silenced.
Coll. of C’ton 94, Dayton 84
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Andrew Goudelock had a career-high 39 points, including eight 3-pointers, and College of Charleston beat defending champion Dayton.
The sixth-seeded Cougars (25-10) will take on No. 2 seed Cleveland State in the next round.
Goudelock put on a show in his final game at Carolina First Arena. His first 3-pointer gave Charleston the lead for good, 20-18. The senior hit two 3s just 3 minutes later that pushed the lead to 31-21.
Goudelock kept it up after halftime, adding a 3 and a jumper that gave the Cougars their largest lead at 73-55 with 8 minutes left.
Chris Wright had 21 points for Dayton (22-14), which normally would have been at home as the higher seed but its arena was being used for the NCAA tournament’s opening games.
Cleveland St. 63, Vermont 60
CLEVELAND (AP) — Norris Cole scored 27 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:23 remaining, and Cleveland State beat Vermont.
Cole, the Horizon League player of the year, took a pass from Aaron Pogue and drove the lane to score, breaking a 57-all tie.
Cole hit two free throws with 26.5 seconds left, giving the Vikings (27-8) a 61-57 lead. Brendan Bald’s 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining cut the lead to one, but Cole added two more free throws with 4.4 seconds to go.
A 3-point attempt by Matt Glass at the buzzer bounced on the rim four times before falling off.
Pat Bergmann, who came into the game averaging 1.1 points, scored 16 to lead Vermont (23-9), the America East regular-season champion. The Catamounts played without leading scorer Evan Fjeld, who missed the game with an injury.
New Mexico 69, UTEP 57
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Kendall Williams and Drew Gordon scored 18 points each to help New Mexico beat UTEP.
The fourth-seeded Lobos (22-12), playing their first game without injured senior point guard Dairese Gary, opened the second half with a 6-0 surge to extend their lead to 40-30 with 16:35 left.
Later in the half, Phillip McDonald hit three consecutive 3-pointers in a 9-2 run that extended UNM’s lead to 54-41 with 6:41 to go.
Randy Culpepper led the fifth-seeded Miners (25-10) with 23 points.
Fairfield 62, Colorado St. 60
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Yorel Hawkins scored 17 points and Fairfield’s defense shut down Colorado State.
Ryan Olander added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Fairfield (25-7), winners of six of seven. The Stags forced 20 turnovers but had their string of consecutive games holding opponents under 60 points snapped at 41.
Andy Ogide led Colorado State (19-13) with 13 points. The Rams were denied their first 20-win season since 1997-98.
Boston Coll. 82, McNeese St. 64
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Reggie Jackson scored 22 points, Corey Raji had 15 points and 11 rebounds and top-seeded Boston College beat No. 8 McNeese State.
The Eagles (21-12) placed five players in double figures. Biko Paris had 14 points and seven assists, reserve Josh Southern scored 13 and Joe Trapani had 10 points.
Patrick Richard had 22 points for the Cowboys (21-12), who shot 36 percent from the field, compared to 53 percent for Boston College.
The Eagles led 41-19 at halftime.