Minnesota guard Austin Hollins capped off his collegiate career and a run through the NIT Tournament with a go-ahead 3-pointer from the wing, breaking a 59-59 tie with 46.1 second remaining in the NIT championship game against SMU.
The Golden Gophers, in Richard Pitino’s first season as head coach, held on to win the NIT title with a 65-63 win over Larry Brown’s Mustangs.
The three from Hollins, who scored a game-high 19 points, wasn’t enough to ice the game. Nic Moore split a pair of free throws for SMU, cutting the lead to two. Andre Hollins also went 1-of-2 from line, keeping it a one-possession game.
On Tuesday night, in the NIT semifinals, Minnesota elected to defend rather than foul, which resulted in Florida State’s Devon Bookert sending the game to overtime with a last-second 3-pointer. On Thursday night, Minnesota allowed Moore to get to the rim for a layup. The Golden Gophers responded with two Andre Hollins free throw. With three second left the Minnesota fouled, sending Nick Russell to the line who missed 1-of-2.
Pitino, who’s father was in the stands at Madison Square Garden, the NIT win caps off an impressive season, accepting the Minnesota job less than a year ago.
For SMU, the transformation period will take another step forward once Emmanuel Mudiay joins Moore in the Mustang backcourt.
CIT Championship Game: Murray State 65, Yale 57
Cameron Payne put the finishing touches on a spectacular freshman season with 24 points, 13 of which were in the second half, to go along with seven rebounds and six assists as Murray State topped Yale to win the CollegeInsider.com Tournament with a 65-57 win.
It was a one-possession game with seven minutes remaining, though, the Racers were able to pull away down the stretch, winning their 16th straight game at home.
Yale was led by Javier Duren with 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. The Bulldogs were without leading scorer and rebounder Justin Sears, who was out with a wrist injury.