Jacksonville edges Arizona State 67-66Mar 17, 2010 - 5:49 AM TEMPE, Ariz.(AP) -- Ben Smith scored a game-high 26 points, including a 24-foot jump shot with 1.5 seconds remaining and Jacksonville rallied to upset top-seeded Arizona State in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night.
Sun Devils senior guard Derek Glasser missed the second of two free throws with 8.6 seconds remaining to give Arizona State (22-11) a 66-64 lead.
But Smith came down and hit his fourth 3-pointer of the half two steps behind the arc to give the Dolphins their first postseason win in eight games going back to the 1974 NIT.
"I want Ben Smith to have the ball at the end of the game," Jacksonville coach Cliff Warren said. "Every shot he takes I think is going in. But that one especially, I knew it was going to go in."
Ayron Hardy added 11 points for Jacksonville (20-12), which will face Texas Tech on Monday in the second round.
Rihards Kuksiks scored 16 of his team-high 21 points in the second half for the Sun Devils, who finished the season with consecutive losses after winning eight of their previous 10. Ty Abbott added 15 points, 13 in the first half and all but four coming in the game's first eight minutes. Jamelle McMillan added 10.
"The last two games have been the toughest of my career here," McMillan said.
The Dolphins scored 13 points off nine Arizona State second-half turnovers.
"We turned turnovers into baskets," Warren said. "We did everything we have practiced, everything we have done all year."
McMillan's basket on a goaltending call gave the Sun Devils a 60-49 lead with 3:59 left. But then Smith went to work.
The senior, who became Jacksonville's second-leading scorer, hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and added a pair of free throws to key a 7-0 run that pulled the Dolphins within 60-56 with 2:04 remaining.
Kuksiks made two free throws only to watch Smith score on a layup with 1:05 left and add a 22-foot jumper one step inside the 3-point line to cut the lead to 62-60 with 34.9 seconds left.
McMillan made three free throws in the final 33 seconds, but Hardy scored on a layup with 12.4 seconds left before Glasser was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play.
Jacksonville reached 20 wins for the first time since 1986.
- NIT 1st ROUND
AT TEMPE, AZ
NCAA BB JACKSONVILLE 67
ARIZONA ST 66 FINAL
Mar 17 1:06 AM
- NIT 1st ROUND
AT TEMPE, AZ
NCAA BB JACKSONVILLE 24
ARIZONA ST 28 HALFTIME
Mar 16 11:54 PM
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