Evansville, Stanford win postseason tournament titles


Thursday night two championships were determined, with the title games of the CIT and NIT being played. With Evansville winning the CIT and Stanford the Postseason NIT, the non-NCAA tournament portion of the 2014-15 schedule has been completed.

Marty Simmons’ Purple Aces became the second Missouri Valley Conference team to win a postseason event in as many days, with Loyola (IL) winning the CBI title on Wednesday, as they beat Northern Arizona 71-65 in Evansville. Egidijus Mockevicius led the way offensively for Evansville with 27 points and he also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.

Guard D.J. Balentine, the team’s leading scorer on the season, chipped in with 16 points. Evansville shot just 1-for-10 from three but made up for that by scoring 20 points from the foul line, seven more than NAU. First team All-Big Sky selection Kris Yanku, who will be a junior next season, led Jack Murphy’s team with 18 points.

The Lumberjacks picked up the first postseason wins in school history in the CIT, and with Yanku leading the way they should once again be a factor in the Big Sky next season. As for Evansville they had just one senior this season, guard Jaylon Moore, and the returning depth and talent should mean good things for the Purple Aces in 2015-16.

As for the Postseason NIT, Stanford’s senior class of Anthony Brown, Stefan Nastic and Chasson Randle won the title as freshmen and Thursday night managed to do so as seniors. Randle scored 25 points to lead the Cardinal to a 68-66 overtime win over Miami at Madison Square Garden, earning MVP honors as a result.

Miami’s quest for the program’s first-ever postseason title fell short, as Sheldon McClellan was forced to double-clutch a corner three in the final seconds by the solid defending of Stanford’s Anthony Brown. McClellan led the Hurricanes with 17 points but did so on 5-for-16 shooting, with Davon Reed adding 16 points and Ja’Quan Newton ten. Stefan Nastic scored 11 points for Stanford before fouling out late in the second half.

Stanford has some key pieces to account for next season, as Brown, Randle and Nastic will all be out of eligibility. However they have some young talent, including guard Marcus Allen and forwards Rosco Allen, Michael Humphrey and Reid Travis, to work with this offseason.

As for Miami, Jim Larrañaga won’t lack for depth or talent in 2015-16. Miami didn’t have a senior on this year’s roster, and that includes two contributors in Angel Rodriguez and Tonye Jekiri who missed Thursday’s game due to injury. With that being the case, Miami should be able to earn the NCAA tournament bid they missed out on this season in what will be an incredibly tough ACC.

Late Night Snacks, non-NCAA tournament edition: Tulsa, Murray State advance in Postseason NIT

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NCAA Tournament Results: Hampton 74, Manhattan 64 and Ole Miss 94, BYU 90

While there were just two NCAA tournament games on the slate tonight, there was plenty of action in the other three postseason tournaments. Below is a recap of the night’s action in the NIT, CIT and CBI.


1. Tulsa 70, William & Mary 67

The Golden Hurricane were one of the teams that entered Selection Sunday with hopes of receiving an at-large bid, but they wound up in the NIT instead. Frank Haith’s team won its opener, with Marquel Curtis making seven of his ten shot attempts and scoring a team-high 22 points. Marcus Thornton led the Tribe with 23 points but Tulsa made him work for those points, as the senior shot 8-for-24 from the field. Next up for Tulsa is Murray State.

2. Murray State 81, UTEP 66 

Steve Prohm’s team didn’t allow the disappointment of not getting into the NCAA tournament affect their play Tuesday night, as they took care of UTEP in Murray. Jarvis Williams posted a line of 25 points and 14 rebounds, and T.J. Sapp added 21 to lead the way for Murray State. C.J. Cooper led four UTEP players in double figures with 16 points.

3. Stanford 77, UC Davis 64

The Cardinal rebounded from their Pac-12 tournament quarterfinal loss to Utah with a win over the Aggies in Palo Alto, but UC Davis’ Corey Hawkins went off for the visitors. Hawkins scored 34 points on 12-for-22 shooting from the field, but he didn’t have enough help as no other Aggie scored more than seven points. Stanford was more balanced offensively, with guard Marcus Allen scoring a career-high 22 points on 10-for-12 shooting. Next up for the Cardinal is Rhode Island.


1. Oakland’s Kahlil Felder

Felder was outstanding in a losing effort the the Golden Grizzlies, finishing with 37 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists in a 97-91 loss to Eastern Illinois in the CIT.

3. Murray State’s Jarvis Williams

25 points and 14 rebounds in the Racers’ win over UTEP in the Postseason NIT.

2. Eastern Kentucky’s Corey Walden 

In the Colonels’ 81-75 win over Norfolk State (CIT), Walden scored 22 points (7-for-11 FG) while also accounting for five rebounds, eight assists and three steals.


1. UC Davis’ Josh Ritchart

Ritchart shot 2-for-11 from the field in the Aggies’ loss at Stanford, scoring five points.

2. Illinois’ Ahmad Starks

Starks scored five points on 1-for-11 shooting in the Fighting Illini’s loss at Alabama.

3. Montana’s Michael Weisner 

Weisner shot 1-for-10 from the field, scoring three points in the Grizzlies’ loss at Texas A&M in the Postseason NIT.


  • In the lone CBI game of the night Loyola (IL) held off Rider, 62-59 in Chicago. Milton Doyle tallied 22 points, four rebounds and six assists for the Ramblers.
  • Kethan Savage scored 17 points off the bench as George Washington won 60-54 at Pittsburgh in an NIT first round matchup. Next up for the Colonials will be either Temple or Bucknell.
  • Alabama, playing its first game without the recently fired Anthony Grant, rolled past Illinois in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide will play their next game at Miami, which held off North Carolina Central 75-71.
  • E.C. Matthews and Jared Terrell scored 18 points apiece as Rhode Island beat Iona 88-75 in another Postseason NIT matchup.
  • Louisiana Tech advanced in the Postseason NIT, as they beat Central Michigan 89-79. Next up for the Bulldogs is Texas A&M, which took care of Montana.
  • A Jacob Schulte layup with 1:06 remaining was the final basket of the game in USC Upstate’s 73-72 win over James Madison in the CIT.
  • Bowling Green picked up its 21st win of the season as they won at Saint Francis (PA) in the CIT.

Florida State, SMU advance to Postseason NIT semifinals

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Wednesday’s two NIT quarterfinal contests came down to last-second shots, with one being missed and another being made. As a result of those outcomes Florida State and SMU advanced to the semifinals to be played Tuesday night in New York. The Seminoles, with George Clinton in attendance (he and FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton are friends), held on to beat Louisiana Tech 78-75 after nearly blowing an eight-point lead in the game’s final 38.9 seconds.

Aaron Thomas accounted for 21 points and nine rebounds and Okaro White added 20 points and eight rebounds for Florida State, which managed to limit the Bulldogs to 35.6% shooting from the field. What made things tougher than they needed to be for Florida State was their turnover count, with the Seminoles committing 15 against Louisiana Tech’s pressure defense. Next up for the Seminoles is Minnesota, which beat Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on December 3.

Kenneth Smith led Louisiana Tech with 16 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, but he and fellow guard Alex Hamilton (nine points) combined to shoot 8-for-26 from the field.

SMU eliminated Cal 67-65, with Nic Moore’s three-pointer with 6.5 seconds remaining being the difference. Markus Kennedy paced the Mustangs, the last team left out of the NCAA tournament field, with 19 points to go along with ten rebounds. SMU won despite the fact that Cal shot 51.6% from the field due to their rebounding, as they managed to grab 51.5% of their misses on the night. SMU will face Clemson in Tuesday’s semifinals.

Cal once again played without senior center Richard Solomon, who missed his third straight game after suffering a concussion. Freshman Jabari Bird led the Golden Bears with 20 points and senior point guard Justin Cobbs added 18 along with seven assists in his final college game.

CBI: Siena, Fresno State advance to championship series

The three-game championship series is set, with Siena and Fresno State advancing with wins on Wednesday. Jimmy Patsos’ Saints defeated Illinois State 61-49 thanks to their solid defense and an standout performance from forward Brett Bisping. Siena limited Illinois State to 30% shooting from the field and 2-for-21 shooting from beyond the arc, and Bisping tallied 20 points and 13 rebounds. Siena will host games two and (if necessary) three of the series, which begins Monday at Fresno State.

The Bulldogs will host the opener, and they clinched their spot with a 71-64 win over Old Dominion. Marvelle Harris scored 20 points but the big difference was at the foul line, where Fresno State outscored the visiting Monarchs by 19 points (27-8). Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, and as a team Rodney Terry’s team shot 52.6% from the field.

CIT: Pacific, VMI and Yale reach semifinals

Three of the four spots in the CIT semis were determined Wednesday, with two of the games being decided by a total of five points. VMI held off Ohio 92-90, as Rodney Glasgow scored 30 points and D.J. Covington added 29 to go along with 11 rebounds to pace the Keydets. Nick Kellogg scored 30 points and Maurice Ndour added 26 to lead the way for the Bobcats. VMI’s opponent in Friday’s semifinal round will be Yale, which beat Ivy League rival Columbia 72-69 at Levien Gym. Javier Duren scored 33 points and nine rebounds to lead the visiting Bulldogs.

Pacific will play the winner of Thursday’s Murray State/Towson matchup as a result of their 75-60 win over WCC foe San Diego. Andrew Bock scored 23 points and Tony Gill added 18 and 11 rebounds for the Tigers, which lost to the Toreros by 15 points back on February 15 in Stockton (the road team won both regular season meetings). Duda Sanadze scored 16 points off the bench for San Diego.