|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 19 March 2008 19:13|
Marreese Speights scored 18 points, Nick Calathes added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists, and the Gators snapped a four-game losing streak with a 73-49 victory over San Diego State in the first round of the NIT on Wednesday night.
The second-seeded Gators (22-11) made the most of their size advantage inside, hit seven 3-pointers and won for the first time in three weeks. They advanced to play Creighton in the second round Friday.
Ryan Amoroso led the Aztecs (20-13) with 19 points and seven rebounds. Leading scorer Lorrenzo Wade added 11 points and seven assists.
Florida lost eight of its previous 11 games and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in 10 years. Donovan responded by kicking his players out of the team's $12 million practice facility and banning them from wearing any Florida attire.
Virginia Tech 94, Morgan State 62
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - A.D. Vassallo made 11 of 14 field goal tries and scored 27 points in 25 minutes as sharp-shooting Virginia Tech made easy work of Morgan State.
The Hokies (20-13) showed no letdown after feeling snubbed by the NCAA tournament. They led 40-25 at halftime and shot better than 65 percent for the game.
Morgan State (22-11), guaranteed a spot in the NIT as a regular season conference champion knocked out of its league tournament, trailed 21-18 before the Hokies went on a 19-7 run to close the first half. Vassallo had nine points in the burst.
Virginia Tech led by no fewer than 13 throughout the second half and advanced to a meeting with UAB in the second round. The Blazers (23-10) won 80-77 at VCU.
Marquise Kately led UAB with 21 points, Boubacar Coly had 11 and Jermaine Bolden 10, but the Bears were outrebounded 35-21 and outscored 18-5 at the free-throw line.
Dayton 66, Cleveland State 57
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Brian Roberts scored 21 points to lead third-seeded Dayton to a win over Cleveland State.
Roberts scorched sixth-seeded Cleveland State on 7-of-10 shooting, and the undersized Vikings had no answer for 6-fot-10 Kurt Huelsman inside, especially with Cleveland State center Chris Moore in foul trouble.
Huelsman tallied 12 points, and Marcus Johnson and Andres Sandoval each added 11 for Dayton (22-10).
The Vikings (21-13) had the lead for nearly six minutes in the first half, but surrendered a 15-4 run to the Flyers to end the half.
UAB 80, Virginia Commonwealth 77
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Reggie Huffman had 21 points, including a game-saving layup with 5.6 seconds left, as UAB took a commanding second-half lead and held off Virginia Commonwealth.
The Blazers (23-10) led 62-47 with 6:38 remaining after a layup by Lawrence Kinnard, but the Rams cut it to 66-59 with 3:23 to go. The Blazers rebuilt their lead to 11, but Joey Rodriguez's 3-pointer pulled the Rams to 75-73 with 38.7 seconds left.
UAB converted just 8 of 14 free throws in the last 66 seconds, and Jamal Shuler's 3-pointer - a desperate, twisting leaner from the left corner - pulled the CAA regular season champions (24-8) to within 78-77 with 9 seconds left.
On the inbounds play, however, the Rams pressed and Huffman slipped downcourt, where Aaron Johnson hit him with a baseball pass and he went in for an easy layup.
Eric Maynor missed a 3-pointer for the Rams just before the buzzer.
Mississippi 83, Santa Barbara 68
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Dwayne Curtis had 17 points and 16 rebounds as Mississippi beat UC Santa Barbara.
Chris Warren had all 16 points of his points in the second half for the Rebels (22-10). David Huertas had 15 points for Ole Miss and Kenny Williams added 13.
The Rebels (22-10) fell behind the Gauchos (23-9) 17-6 as James Powell fueled a 15-2 run with three 3-pointers in the first 5 minutes.
Nebraska 67, Charlotte 48
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Ade Dagunduro scored 15 points to lead Nebraska, and the Cornhuskers used tough defense to pull away from Charlotte.
The Huskers (20-12) advance to a second-round game Monday at Mississippi, which defeated UC Santa Barbara 83-68.
Nebraska led by 12 points at halftime and by as much as 26 late in the second half against the Atlantic 10's 49ers (20-14).
Illinois State 61, Utah State 57
NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - Osiris Eldridge scored 14 points and Illinois State beat Utah State.
Illinois State (25-9), disappointed after being left out of the NCAA tournament, will play Dayton in a second-round NIT game at Redbird Arena.
The Redbirds played smothering defense from the opening tip-off, holding Utah State's high-powered offense, which led the nation with an overall shooting average of 51.5 percent, to only 44 percent from the field on 22-of-49 shooting.
Jaycee Carroll led Utah State with 15 points but shot only 4-for-15.