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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2007
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Massachusetts' Ricky Harris, right, drives against Alabama's Brandon Hollinger, left, and Richard Hendrix during first-half action of the first-round NIT game in Amherst, Mass., on Tuesday. UMass won 89-87 in overtime. Hendrix, a graduate of Athens High, finished the game with eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
AP photo by Nancy Palmieri
Massachusetts' Ricky Harris, right, drives against Alabama's Brandon Hollinger, left, and Richard Hendrix during first-half action of the first-round NIT game in Amherst, Mass., on Tuesday. UMass won 89-87 in overtime. Hendrix, a graduate of Athens High, finished the game with eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Last Minutemen
Tide falls in OT to Massachusetts
in 1st round of NIT

The Associated Press

Chris Lowe's pull-up jumper with 1.6 seconds left in overtime gave Massachusetts an 89-87 victory over Alabama in the first round of the NIT in Amherst, Mass., on Tuesday night.

Stephane Lasme led UMass with 21 points and nine blocked shots, while Lowe added 19 points. Mykal Riley had 24 points to lead Alabama, including a 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer to force overtime.

Athens High graduate Richard Hendrix had eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists to close out his sophomore year.

Alabama (20-12) took an 85-84 lead early in the extra session, but Gary Forbes converted a three-point play to put UMass ahead 87-85 with 1:15 to go. After both teams missed shots, Demetrius Jamison scored inside to tie it before Lowe hit his game-winning shot.

The Minutemen (24-8) advanced to play at West Virginia in the second round Thursday night. The Mountaineers, the No. 1 seed in the East Region, defeated eighth-seeded Delaware State 70-54.

West Virginia 74, Delaware State 50: Frank Young scored 17 points and Alex Ruoff added 14 as West Virginia advanced.

Ruoff also had nine assists. Jamie Smalligan added 13 points and Da'Sean Butler scored nine points for top-seeded West Virginia (23-9). The Mountaineers had a 16-0 run at the end of the first half and led 39-13 at the break.

Jahsha Bluntt led eighth-seeded Delaware State (21-13) with 19 points. Aaron Fleetwood added 14 points.

North Carolina State 63, Drexel 56: Engin Atsur scored 18 points and Ben McCauley had 16 to lead weary North Carolina State past Drexel.

Brandon Costner's three-point play late in the game sealed the win for the Wolfpack (19-15), who advanced to play the winner of the Marist-Oklahoma State game.

The 10th-seeded Wolfpack knocked off three higher seeds in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament before losing to North Carolina in the championship game Sunday.

Frank Elegar scored 24 points on 10-for-12 shooting for Drexel, but missed several crucial free throws in the second half. Elegar missed eight of 12 overall.

Mississippi State 82, Mississippi Valley State 63: Charles Rhodes had 21 points and four blocks as Mississippi State beat Mississippi Valley State.

The win is a school-record 14th home victory for Mississippi State (19-13) and advances the Bulldogs into the second round, where they'll face the winner of Wednesday's Providence-Bradley game.

Jamont Gordon had 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while freshman Ben Hansbrough added 15 points.

Carl Lucas had a game-high 22 points on 7 of 10 shooting for MVSU, the regular-season Southwestern Athletic Conference champions.

Florida State 77, Toledo 61: Al Thornton scored 24 points to lead Florida State to a 77-61 victory over Toledo in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night.

The Seminoles (21-12) will host Michigan in a second-round game Thursday. The Wolverines (22-12) advanced with a 68-58 win Tuesday over Utah State.

Florida State led 39-23 at the half behind 15 points from Thornton, who went scoreless the first 5:36 of the game before breaking loose.

Michigan 68, Utah State 58: Jerret Smith scored 15 points and freshman DeShawn Sims had a career-high 14 to lead Michigan.

Marist 67, Oklahoma State 64: Will Whittington scored 31 points and Marist upset Oklahoma State for its first victory ever in the NIT or NCAA tournament. Seventh-seeded Marist (25-8) became only the third non-conference opponent to win at Gallagher-Iba Arena in the Cowboys' last 140 games against such teams.

No. 2 seed Oklahoma State, which opened 15-1 this season, finished with a 22-13 record.

Marist trailed for only the first 3 minutes. The Red Foxes matched their largest lead at 52-35 with 13:43 left before Oklahoma State rallied behind the
3-point shooting of Terrel Harris
.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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