National Invitation Tournament Quarterfinals Recap - Wichita State 82, College of Charleston 75
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The Wichita State Shockers, one would do well to remember, were one defensive stop removed from beating the Virginia Commonwealth team that is still alive in the NCAA Tournament. A team that possesses considerable quality but was simply unable to advance to the Big Dance is now making the most of its existence in the National Invitation Tournament.
The boys from Kansas can start spreading the news… they’re going to be a part of “the other final four” in New York, New York. Old Blue Eyes would be proud of them after showing a considerable amount of resilience in the first three rounds of the NIT.
Seniors Gabe Blair (16 points, eight rebounds) and JT Durley (14 points) led the Wichita State Shockers over the determined Cougars of Charleston 82-75 in the quarterfinals of the NIT on Wednesday night. The victory propelled the Shockers to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden next Tuesday, and the excited crowd at the Charles Koch Center in Wichita couldn’t have been happier.
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The Shockers started the game on a tear – building a 37-25 lead at the half – and limited Charleston star Andrew Goudelock, the Southern Conference Player of the Year, to only eight points at the break behind Toure’ Murry’s defense of the star shooting guard. Wichita State continued to streak in the second half and led by 21 with 12:30 remaining. Although Goudelock found his hot hand down the stretch, the Cougars weren’t able to get closer than seven points. They made the score more cosmetically respectable and did not tank the way Nebraska did against Wichita State in the first round of the NIT a week ago at the Koch Center. However, despite their undeniable valor on the court, the Cougs didn’t earn a plane ticket to New York, the home of their white-haired coach, Bobby Cremins.
Goudelock finished his career at the College of Charleston with a 31 point performance, including seven 3-pointers in the second half. His final career point total of 2,571 is currently 38th all-time in Division I, four ahead of Jimmer Fredette’s 2,567 – although the BYU bomber has at least one game remaining in his career. The Cougars were led by Goudelock’s 31 points, followed by senior Donovan Monroe with 19, and Trent Weideman with 10. Senior Antwaine Wiggins had seven points and six rebounds.
In addition to Blair’s 16 and Durley’s 14, the Shockers had double figure scoring from Joe Ragland with 12, and Murry with 11 points. Wichita State hit 54.7 percent of its shots to Charleston’s 47.5 percent. The Shockers will play the Cougars of Washington State in the NIT semifinals in New York next Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
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