SEC Men's Basketball in the NIT - March 13 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Men's Basketball in the NIT - March 13

    Tennessee 65, Savannah State 51
    UMass 101, Mississippi State 96
    Oregon 96, LSU 76

    Freshmen Lead Vols To 65-51 NIT Win

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The top-seeded Vols scored the first 10 points of their NIT First Round game with Savannah State and never trailed the rest of the way in a 65-51 victory on Tuesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Tigers got within two points in the second half, but could never overtake the Vols.

    Tennessee (19-14) will play host to a second-round game on a day to be determined (between March 15-19). The Vols will host the winner of the No. 4 Middle Tennessee-No. 5 Marshall game which is taking place right now.

    A trio of freshmen keyed the victory as junior All-SEC bigman Jeronne Maymon was sidelined with a sore knee. Vols freshmen scored a combined 33 points, the most by rookies in a game this season.

    SEC All-Freshman selection Jarnell Stokes led the Vols with 13 points, his seventh game in double-figures this season.

    Making his first-career start, freshman Yemi Makanjuola tallied 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds. It was his best game since a career-high vs. The Citadel (12/29/11), when he had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

    Fellow rookie Josh Richardson had his best scoring game in four months with 10 points.

    Sophomore Trae Golden scored 11 for his 11th game in row in double-figures and 26th game this season. Junior Skylar McBee canned three 3-pointers for nine points.

    Savannah State (21-12) was led by Rashad Hassan (20 points and 13 rebounds) and Preston Blackman (14 points).

    The Vols held their 10th opponent this season with 60 or fewer points. Savannah State shot just 32.8 from the floor.

    With Savannah State within two points with 14:07 left in regulation, the Vols went on an 8-0 run to regain control of the game and go ahead 45-35 with 10:47 left in the game. Richardson's jumper returned the margin back to double-figures.

    The Vols continued to hold a lead of at least seven points for the remainder of the game.

    Savannah State went on a 9-0 run early in the second half to draw within two at 35-33 on a pair of Blackman free throws, six minutes into the second half.

    Tennessee led 32-24 at halftime with Stokes tallying seven in the first half.

    Savannah State cut the Vols' lead to single-digits at 27-20 with mini 10-1 run keyed by two Pretson Blackman 3-pointers, and eight points in the spurt that ended with 2:48 left in the first half.

    The Vols took a lead as large as 17 points, at 26-9 on two Makanjuola free throws with 7:16 left in the second half.

    Tennessee opened the game scoring the first 10 points. Savannah State missed its first seven shots from the floor as the Vols dominated. The Tigers' first points came 6:40 into the game on a Rashan Hassan jumper.

    The Vols won their first NIT postseason game since 1992, when UT downed UAB, 71-68.

    UMass beats Mississippi St 101-96 in 2OT

    STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Chaz Williams scored 28 points, Sean Carter added 20 and Massachusetts outlasted Mississippi State 101-96 in double-overtime Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

    UMass (23-11) won the marathon game by outscoring MSU 11-6 in the second overtime. Williams shot 11 of 20 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

    UMass took a 72-68 lead with 2:48 remaining in regulation, but MSU's Arnett Moultrie hit a turnaround shot and later sank two free throws with 41.1 seconds left to tie it at 72. The Bulldogs had a chance to win in regulation but Dee Bost's 12-foot runner in traffic missed as time expired.

    Moultrie scored a career-high 34 points and Bost added 20.

    Mississippi State (21-12) finished a brutal final month of the season, losing seven of nine games despite having two first-team All-Southeastern Conference players in Bost and Moultrie.

    Sharp-Shooting Oregon Knocks LSU Out of NIT

    EUGENE, Ore. - Justin Hamilton ripped off 21 points to go along with nine rebounds, but the LSU men's basketball team was handed a 96-76 setback by Oregon Tuesday during the NIT Opening Round at Matthew Knight Arena.

    For Hamilton, it marked the sixth time he eclipsed the 20-point plateau on the season. The Alpine, Utah native went 6-of-10 from the floor and nailed all nine of his free throw attempts.

    Ralston Turner chipped in 12 of 14 points during the second half, while Johnny O'Bryant III garnered 12 points for his fourth double figure scoring performance in his last seven outings. Andre Stringer picked up 10 points and distributed a season-high six assists.

    LSU (18-15) returned to postseason basketball for the first time since the 2008-09 season when the Tigers secured the SEC regular season championship and fell to eventual national champion North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.

    The Tigers were making their sixth NIT appearance, first since 2004. The loss meant the final career game for Chris Bass, Storm Warren and Malcolm White.

    Oregon (23-9) advances to play host to Iowa, an 84-75 winner over Dayton, in the NIT Second Round. The Ducks had five players register double figures and posted an impressive 57.6 shooting clip (34-of-59), including a 9-for-17 from three-point territory compared to 44.1 ratio (26-of-59) for LSU.

    Devoe Joseph poured in a game-high 25 points on 11-of-17 from the floor. He also handed out six assists and added two steals over his 37 minutes of action.

    Oregon's Garrett Sim and Tony Woods notched 15 and 14 points, respectively. The duo made 13 of their 16 field goal attempts. The Ducks also received 11 points apiece from E.J. Singler and Carlos Emory.

    LSU jumped out to an early 8-3 advantage at the 17:14 mark of the first half. Stringer knocked down a three-pointer, O'Bryant III added a free throw and tip-in and Hickey garnered a transition lay-up. The Tigers maintained their 12-8 edge as Hamilton connected for a mid-range jumper with 15:37 remaining.

    Oregon's offense caught fire and ran off 28 of the next 35 points over the next 8:05. The Ducks also took advantage of LSU foul trouble as the Tigers played the final 14 minutes of the opening stanza without Hickey and Turner, who were saddled with two fouls apiece.

    Oregon opened the spurt with 10 straight points and took their first lead, 14-12, on an Emory dunk.  Ahead 20-16, the Ducks reeled off 12 more consecutive points capped by a Sim three-pointer from the left wing to go up 32-16 with 9:23 to go.

    Oregon buried 13 of its first 18 shots and took a 50-33 spread into halftime. The 50 points was the second-highest total allowed by LSU during a half for the season.

    Down 76-59 with 9:03 left, the Tigers mounted a charge behind a 10-3 run over the next four minutes to pull within 10 points. The run was highlighted by consecutive jumpers from Stringer, Warren and Turner. A White free throw made it 79-69 at the 5:03 mark.

    Oregon responded with 17 of the last 24 points ignited by a Joseph three-ball in transition for the 96-76 final margin.