Syracuse, Georgia Tech Advance
Syracuse, Georgia Tech Advance, while Clemson’s season comes to an end after the opening round of play in the NIT.
Tournament top seed Syracuse rolled to a 90-77 win over UNC-Greensboro in their opener at the Carrier Dome.
The opening half presented the possibility of a battle as the Spartans kept within striking distance. At one point, even held the lead near the nine minute mark.
Syracuse rolled off 12 points to hold the lead at the half, 47-37.
Going into the second, Syracuse opened up a 69-47 lead. It was briefly challenged by UNC-Greensboro with an 11-0 run bringing the game within 7 for the Spartans.
The free throw line was Syracuse’s friend in the final two minutes of the game. The Orange delivered on 82% of their shots including 9 of 10 in the final two minutes to put a cap on the game.
Andrew White III, set a Syracuse NIT record of seven 3 pointers hitting on 11 of 15 shots to nail 34 for the Orange.
Tyus Battle notched 20 points, Taurean Thompson 12 and Tyler Lydon 13 with 10 rebounds to round of the top scorers for Syracuse.
Georgia Tech Knocks Off Indiana
The Yellow Jackets, seeded #6, delivered an upset to #3 Indiana in Atlanta.
After multiple first half runs by both teams, Georgia Tech took control. The Yellow Jackets went into the half with a 34-27 lead.
The Hoosiers briefly took the lead early in the second half but just couldn’t find traction. Indiana, who averages 80 points a game, went cold on offense down the back stretch.
Georgia Tech went 12 of 17 over the last 13 minutes of the game to lock up the win, 75-63.
Josh Okogie was high scorer for Georgia Tech, delivering 24 points in the effort. Adding to the tally, Tadric Jackson notched 19, Quinton Stephens 16 and Ben Lammers had 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks for the Yellow Jackets.
Tigers Stumble In Loss To Oakland
Even home court advantage wasn’t enough to hold back #7 Oakland in their win against #2 seed Clemson.
On first glance, one would make the assumption that the Tigers were cruising to an easy win. The score, 49-29, at almost two and a half minutes into the second half certainly would have supported that thought.
But the combination of Martez Walker and Sherron Dorsey-Walker scoring 35 of 44 points in the second half for Oakland took the air out of Clemson.
After a 20-2 run that lifted the Golden Grizzlies to a 71-63 lead with under three minutes left in the game, it was all a matter of holding on.
The Tigers were 8 of 30 from the field and outscored 50-26 in the second half.
Oakland advances with the upset win over Clemson, 74-69.
Jaron Blossomgame delivered 24 points and 8 rebounds for the Tigers.
Advancing In The NIT – Who’s Next?
The #1 seed, Syracuse, will face off with #5 seed Ole Miss on Saturday at 11:00a E.
On Sunday (March 19), #6 seed Georgia Tech meets #7 Belmont at 12:00 noon E.
The winners of these games will meet on March 21 in the quarterfinals.