A-10 teams fall in NIT opening round

By Jackson Alexander

With 1.3 seconds remaining and the score tied at 65, Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle sunk a pair of free throws and secured an National Invitation Tournament first round win over Saint Joseph’s, 67-65, on Wednesday.

Tuttle, a freshman, carried the No. 7 Panthers with 23 points and 11 rebounds, as they completed the upset of the No. 2 Hawks.

Both teams struggled offensively as SJU jumped out to a 24-22 first-half lead. However, both sides caught fire in the second half as the game quickly turned into a high scoring, back-and-forth affair.

The Panthers entered the final minute of play with a three-point lead. With 50 seconds left, Hawks forward C.J. Aiken canned a 3-pointer to knot the score at 63.

Tuttle scored a layup to put his team in front on the other end, but Saint Joseph’s raced up court and Ronald Roberts Jr. converted a dunk, tying the game up with seven seconds remaining.

However, Roberts made an error on the defensive end as he fouled Tuttle and sent him to the line for the game-winning free throws.

Marc Sonnen (15 points) and Deon Mitchell (10 points) each contributed for the Panthers, while the Hawks were led by Carl Jones, who scored a game-high 24 points.

Northern Iowa will now play No. 3 Drexel on Sunday in the second round.

Dayton upset by Iowa

Iowa became the second team to knock off a second-seeded Atlantic 10 team as it defeated Dayton, 84-75, on Tuesday.
Aaron White led No. 7 seeded Iowa with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Zach McCabe added 20 points and Melsahn Basabe scored 15.

The game was closely contested after one half, as the Hawkeyes owned a 44-41 lead after 20 minutes. However, Iowa made its run in the second half. With 12:05 remaining, it opened up a double-digit lead and never looked back from that point on, as the Flyers never came within 10 points for the rest of the game.

Kevin Dillard scored 23 points, and Paul Williams contributed 12 points for No. 2 Dayton.
Iowa will face its next test when it travels to face No. 3 seed Oregon on Sunday.

Minnesota stays alive

After a disappointing season in the Big Ten, No. 6 Minnesota kept its season alive with a 70-61 win over No. 3 La Salle in Philadelphia.
Rodney Williams led the Golden Gophers with a game-high 21 points. Austin Hollins (16 points) and Andre Hollins (13 points) also produced for Minnesota.

The game was closely contested throughout, and the Explorers held a three-point advantage with 10:58 remaining. However, the Golden Gophers quickly regained the lead and never relinquished it.

With 6:39 remaining, La Salle had an opportunity to retake the lead, down just two points. But it fell cold over the next 3:42 and failed to register a bucket. Minnesota upped their lead to five during over that stretch and never looked back.

The Golden Gophers were expected to be an NCAA tournament team at the beginning of the season, but a rash of injuries derailed them and they finished with a 6-10 record in conference play. They now take on No. 2 Miami on Monday in the second round.

Jackson Alexander can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Alexander.