C-USA in the 2014 NIT & CBI
Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss and Old Dominion each advanced in their respective postseason tournaments with victories on Wednesday night. LA Tech defeated Iona, 89-88, in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. Junior G Kenneth "Speedy" Smith (St. Petersburg, Fla.) scored the game winner with 2.2 seconds left in regulation off a second chance layup following an Alex Hamilton (Chipley, Fla.) miss. The pair were among six Bulldogs that scored in double-figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Smith also added five rebounds, six assists and five steals. LA Tech was led in scoring with 15-point outputs from seniors Jaron Johnson (Tyler, Texas) and reserve Kenyon McNeail, (Conway, Ark.) the C-USA Sixth Man of the Year. Senior Chris Anderson (Muskegon, Mich.) registered his third double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Michale Kyser (Lancaster, Texas) added 12 points and nine boards. The Bulldogs will battle the Bulldogs, of the University of Georgia, Saturday at 10 a.m. CT on ESPN.
Southern Miss won its school record 28th game of the season and improved to 28-6 on the season and 15-0 at Reed Green Coliseum following a 66-59 win over Toledo. The Golden Eagles led, 34-19, at the half. However, Toledo scored the first 11 points of the second half to cut the deficit to four just 3:37 into the half. Senior Michael Craig (Phoenix, Ariz.) led Southern Miss with 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Classmate Neil Watson (Kansas City, Kan.) had 12 points and Jerrold Brooks had 11. Junior Aaron Brown (Hackensack, N.J.) added 10 points four rebounds and four assists. Freshman Matt Bingaya (Delaware, Ohio) had seven points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and senior Daveon Boardingham (Newark, N.J.) added seven boards. Southern Miss will play at Missouri Sunday at 4 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
Old Dominion jumped out to an early lead and defeated visiting South Dakota State, 72-65, in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. Junior G Dimitri Batten (Newport News. Va.) scored 18 points, including a three-point basket that put the Monarchs up for good with 4:27 left. In all, four Monarchs scored in double figures as freshman G Ambrose Mosley (Jacksonville, Fla.) tossed in 16, junior F Richard Ross (Wichita Falls, Texas) added 12 and sophomore Aaron Bacote (Hampton, Va.) finished with 10 points. As a team, the Monarchs shot a blistering .594 (19-32) from the field in the first half and led, 48-33. Old Dominion will face Radford Monday night at a site to be determined.
Tulane and UTEP were edged by their CBI opponents to bring their seasons to a close. The Green Wave dropped a one-point decision, 56-55, to Princeton, while UTEP fell to Fresno State, 61-56.