West Virginia uses the long ball to advance to the GardenMar 21, 2007 - 4:41 AM MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- North Carolina State tried to beat West Virginia at its own game, but Frank Young didn't let it happen.
Young hit 6-of-9 from the arc, including two late in the contest, and scored 25 points as the top-seeded Mountaineers beat No. 6 North Carolina State, 71-66, in the East Region final of the National Invitation Tournament.
North Carolina State converted 9-of-19 from the arc, but West Virginia hit half of its 24 3-pointers, including 8-of-12 after intermission and three in the closing minutes.
Alex Ruoff had 15 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and three 3-pointers from the arc for the Mountaineers, who will face Mississippi State in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden next Tuesday.
In a game that featured 14 lead changes and eight ties, the Mountaineers held a 28-26 halftime advantage. They trailed, 62-58, with 4:08 left before Young hit two 3-pointers in less than two minutes to put West Virginia up, 64-62.
NC State guard Engin Atsur answered with one of his four 3-pointers, but Ruoff hit a shot from the arc with 2:09 left to put the Mountaineers ahead for good.
Brandon Costner had 22 points and 13 rebounds for NC State, which shot only 37 percent (21-of-56).
NCAA BB NIT
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
NC STATE 26 40 66
WEST VIRGINIA 28 43 71 FINAL
Mar 20 11:00 PM
NCAA BB (6) NC STATE 26
(1) WEST VIRGINIA 28 HALFTIME
Mar 20 9:49 PM
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