NIT ROUNDUP | Wednesday's games
Notre Dame 79, Vanderbilt 68
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Torin Francis had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Chris Quinn and Colin Falls added 15 points each, leading Notre Dame over Vanderbilt. Notre Dame opened the second half with an 11-4 spurt, with Francis giving the Irish a 49-39 lead on a three-point play with 17:34 left. The Commodores cut the lead to five points three times, but could get no closer as the Irish repeatedly ran down the shot clock. The Irish (16-13) play the winner of tonight's game between UTEP and Michigan in the next round. Derrick Byars led Vanderbilt (17-13) with 18 points, Julian Terrell added 16 points and Dan Cage 11. Shan Foster, Vanderbilt's leading scorer at 16.3 points a game, was held to a season-low four points on 1-of-9 shooting, including 0-of-7 from 3-point range.
South Carolina 74, Western Kentucky 55
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tarence Kinsey scored 23 points and Antoine Tisby added 16 to lift South Carolina over Western Kentucky. The Gamecocks (19-15), who have played five games in seven days, are trying to become the second team to win consecutive NIT titles. St. John's accomplished the feat in 1943 and 1944. Kinsey was 5-for-9 from behind the arc. Tre Kelley added 13 points, and the Gamecocks controlled the game throughout. South Carolina, which played four games and reached the final of the SEC tournament last week, will face the winner of Butler-Florida State in the second round Tuesday. The Hilltoppers (23-8) were led by Anthony Winchester's 20 points.
Minnesota 73, Wake Forest 58
MINNEAPOLIS -- Vince Grier scored 18 points to lead Minnesota to a 73-58 victory over Wake Forest. For the Gophers (16-14), this one was all about their seniors. Grier also had eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Moe Hargrow scored 15 points, Adam Boone added 13 points and J'son Stamper had 12 points and nine rebounds. Minnesota, the fourth seed in its group, will play a second-round game next Tuesday against the winner of Friday's Cincinnati-Charlotte matchup. Chris Ellis led the Demon Deacons (17-17) with 12 points and six rebounds, and Justin Gray had 11 points and five assists in the end to an ultimately disappointing season.
Clemson 69, Louisiana Tech 53
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Akin Akingbala had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Clemson past Louisiana Tech. The Tigers (19-12) won their first postseason game outside the Atlantic Conference tournament since the 1998-99 team lost in the NIT final to California. Clemson will take on the winner of Friday's first-round game between Louisville and Delaware State. Louisiana Tech's slow start in its first NIT game in four years made things much easier for Clemson. The Bulldogs (20-13) started 1-of-9 from the field and had nine turnovers to fall behind 12-4.
Houston 77, BYU 67
HOUSTON -- Oliver Lafayette scored 23 points, including eight straight in a span of 39 seconds, to lead Houston over BYU. Houston (21-9) went on a 12-2 run to open a 48-30 advantage. BYU (20-9) was led by Trent Plaisted's 18 points.
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