Stanford gets past UMass in NIT semisMar 28, 2012 - 4:20 AM Stanford past Massachusetts, 74-64, in the semifinals of the National Invitational Tournament.
Stanford used an 11-3 spurt down the stretch to break open a tie game and advanced to play Minnesota for the NIT title on Thursday. The Golden Gophers edged Washington in overtime in Tuesday's nightcap.
"Any time you can play in a tournament, especially a tournament like this...and to be still playing in the final game, that's an accomplishment," Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins said.
The third-seeded Cardinal (25-11) received 15 points and 12 rebounds from Josh Owens and held the fifth-seeded Minutemen (25-12) to 34 percent shooting.
Chaz Williams, who had scored at least 20 in UMass' three road games leading up to its trip to Madison Square Garden, finished with 19 points.
"They put forth a great effort," UMass head coach Derek Kellogg said of his team. "We go home at 25-12, and I think that's not bad for a team picked 12th [in the Atlantic-10] in the preseason."
UMass took its first lead of the second half, 50-49, when Freddie Riley drained a three-pointer with 8:04 remaining.
It wound up being its only lead after the break.
After Brown made a three and Williams tied it up with a jumper, the Cardinal scored 11 of the next 14 points to take control.
Brown capped the flurry with a tip-in of Aaron Bright's missed scoop, then hit a three-pointer for a 63-55 cushion with under three minutes to play.
"The team wasn't shooting well, and there was a change of momentum and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help the team out," recalled Brown.
The Minutemen, who rallied from 17 down to beat Drexel in the quarterfinals, made it a two-possession game at 70-64, but Stanford made enough free throws in the final minute to come away victorious.
The Cardinal scored 10 straight points in the early stages to build a game- high 12-point lead, 26-14.
The Minutemen chipped away at the deficit and pulled within 36-33 at halftime, then evened things at 40-all 6 1/2 minutes into the second half.
Stanford was the NIT Season Tip-Off runner-up to Syracuse...The Cardinal improved to 19-1 when scoring at least 70 points...The Cardinal knocked out Cleveland State, Illinois State and Nevada -- all seeded fifth or lower -- en route to the semis...Bright and Chasson Randle netted 13 and 12 points, respectively for Stanford...UMass defeated Mississippi State, Seton Hall and Drexel to reach its third NIT semifinal...The Minutemen were outrebounded, 54-45...Riley netted 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting.
- MASSACHUSETTS: 64
Mar 27 9:17 PM
- MASSACHUSETTS: 33
Mar 27 7:55 PM
- MASSACHUSETTS: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 27 7:05 PM
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