Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
From Charleston to Laramie, we bring the results from the first round of the CBI.
George Mason 78, Charleston 77
The Patriots will be moving on thanks to a last second tip-in from Erik Copes. With Charleston threatening to take the game, up six with 1 minute, 48 seconds left, Jonathon Arledge recovered a rebound and laid the ball back in to cut the lead to four. Five seconds later, the Patriots forced a turnover and Bryon Allen made a three to bring it within one, setting up for Copes' heroic tip.
Copes, who was 7-for-8 from the field was one of five players for GMU to score in double-digit figures, with a career-high 14 points, as the Patriots survived a second half onslaught from the Cougars. Sherrod Wright also added 20 points for George Mason while Anthony Stitt led the Cougars with 21 points, including 15 from beyond the arc. The Patriots forced 13 turnovers, which led to 29 points while Charleston only was able to force 10, and was not able to capitalize on them, scoring just five points.
Wyoming 67, Lehigh 66
No Luke Martinez, no problem. With the Cowboys' former shooting guard about ready to be locked up, Wyoming eighty-sixed Lehigh on a Nathan Sobey buzzer-beating three-pointer. Derrious Gilmore led the Pokes with 25 points, shooting 50 percent from the field (including 6 of 11 from the three-line), and Larry Nance, Jr. added another 20. On the Mountain Hawks side, Gabe Knutson scored just over a third of Lehigh's points, with 23 and Anthony D'Orazio contributed another 14.
After building up a ten-point lead early in the game, Wyoming let their guard down and Lehigh was able to take advantage and the lead at half. The Mountain Hawks kept their lead in the second half, but Nance, who scored 15 of his 20 after the break, helped Wyoming push back and take the win.
Santa Clara 77, Vermont 67
Santa Clara didn't have to rely on the charity stripe to get the win, but it sure made things a lot easier. The Broncos made 21 of 26 free throws in the second half (22-for-28 total) as they picked up the win over Vermont. The Broncos forced Vermont to take bad shots and go after their rebounds, as well as forcing 16 turnovers as the Catamounts tallied up costly errors that assured Santa Clara the win.
Kevin Foster and Marc Trasolini led the Broncos in scoring with 23 and 20 points respectively, and on the defensive side of the ball, Yannick Atanga collected 10 rebounds and two blocks. Foster and Trasolini also went on the defensive, stealing the ball eight times combined. For the Catamounts, Sandro Carissimo had 14 points, Clancy Rugg had 13 points and benchmates Luke Apfeld and Trey Blue scored 11 and 12 points to provide Vermont's offensive support.
Purdue 81, Western Illinois 67
Remy Roberts-Burnett led Western Illinois with 15 points and five assists as the Leathernecks got outclassed by Purdue in the second half, to fall 81-67. Don McAvoy scored 16 points with three assists off the bench, helping out Adam Link and Michael Ochereobia, who both had 12 points. A.J. Hammons led the Boilermakers in points, with 15, while Terone Johnson, Ronnie Johnson and Rapheal Davis also had double digits in points.
Western Illinois got off to a hot start, being up as many as nine points around the 10-minute mark in the first half . Purdue had other plans and went on a 21-9 run to finish the half. When the second half began, the Boilermakers didn't slow down and the Leathernecks found themselves down 21 points with under seven minutes left to play, before fighting back too late to salvage a win.
Houston 73, Texas 72
In a Lonestar State showdown, the Cougars held onto the win after a strong Longhorn push in the second half. After being down by six at the half, Myck Kabongo and Julien Lewis took over a flaccid offense, scoring 29 of their combined 42 points to bring Texas ahead late in the second half. Danuel House nailed a jumper with 17 seconds left to give the Cougars a sweet victory at home.
TaShawn Thomas had a double-double for Houston, with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Joseph Young led the team with 18 points. House, and Leon Gibson both had 11 points, but they also had nine and six rebounds respectively. Texas' Prince Ibeh also had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds (eight and eight came in the second half).
Richmond 76, Bryant 71
The Spiders made a nice second half to overtake Bryant University early and hold out for the win. Shooting 50 percent from the field, Richmond relied heavily on Cedrick Lindsay who scored 25 points. With him, were Kendall Anthony, and Greg Robbins who added 15 and 13 points. For Bryant, five players crossed the double-digit line for points: Dyami Starks and Alex Francis led with 16, Vlad Kondratyev had 13 and Frankie Dobbs and Curtis Oakley each had 10 points.
In the first half, Bryant shot 51.9 percent from the field (even better than Richmond's 50 percent) which included a fantastic 6-for-11 from beyond the arc. While Richmond continued their hot shooting however, Bryant slowed down enough (especially on the three-point shooting going only 2 of 8 in the second half) to let Richmond take control of the game at the 16:28 mark in the second half and leave Smithfield with the win.
Wright State 72, Tulsa 52
The Raiders earned their first ever postseason win in dominating fashion as Wright State beat down on the Golden Hurricane in Dayton's other playoff game. While the Raiders only shot 38.5 percent in the first half, seven of their10 field goals were three-pointers, as Wright State was able to establish dominance on the perimeter. Tulsa fought hard for the first eleven minutes of the game, when Reggie Arceneaux hit a three (his only points of the game) and the Raiders didn't look back.
Kendall Griffin led the Raiders with 15 points and Jerran Young added 14 points and eight rebounds. On Tulsa's side, Scottie Haralson and James Woodard had 13 and 12 points respectively, but outside of D'Andre Wright who added eight points off the bench, Tulsa couldn't keep up with Wright State's bench, which scored 29 points. The Hurricane only scored two points off of 11 turnovers, while the Raiders scored 19 points off of their 14 forced turnovers which also helped apply the final nail in Tulsa's season.
Western Michigan 72, North Dakota State 71 OT
In Kalamazoo, Shayne Whittington scored 18 points and Brandon Pokley added another 15 as the Broncos outlasted the Bison. North Dakota State started the game on a 15-2 run before Western Michigan woke up and started competing. Entering the halftime down four points, the Broncos pulled ahead midway through the second half and was up by ten points before TrayVonn Wright and Lawrence Alexander led a furious comeback with three minutes left to tie the game and force overtime.
In overtime, Connar Tava and Whittington each scored four points to hold off the Bison. For the Bison, Wright and Alexander scored 23 and 19 points respectively and Taylor Braun added 10 more. For the Broncos, in addition to Whittington and Pokley, David Brown and Connar Tava added 12 and 10 points to help seal Western Michigan's win.