Evansville Vs East Carolina
It's a tough break for a team who defeated a Final Four participant twice this season but Evansville was run out of the gym by an East Carolina team looking for a College Insider Tournament Championship. For the most part, Colt Ryan was kept quiet by ECU. Scoring only 12 points on 3 of 10 shooting, the Purple Aces leading scorer could not get it going anywhere near like he did Tuesday night.
With the score 9-8 early in the first half, the Pirates went on an 11-0 to go up 20-8 and the lead never got under 10 again.
East Carolina took a 14 point lead into the locker room and continued to grow on it out of the break. The lead grew as high as 27 as ECU cruised to an 81-58 victory in the first Semi-Final game.
One of fifteen: that is what Evansville shot from three tonight. The one three came from sophomore Jordan Nelson.
Four: The number of players that scored in double figures for East Carolina. Led by 20 points from Maurice Kemp, the Pirates' starting five were dominant today. It was also the number of missed shots Miguel Paul had as he shot an impressive 7 of 11 from the field, giving him 19 points in the game.
Weber State vs Northern Iowa
As expected, Weber State was given their toughest challenge of the tournament but was able to hang on with a 59-56 win over Northern Iowa in tonight's second Semi-Final game giving the Wildcats their 30th win of the season.
Northern Iowa trailed by three with four seconds left and had Jake Koch at the line for the double bonus. After he missed both of the free throws and Weber State grabbed the rebound, it looked like the ball game was over. But Davion Berry missed the front end of the one and one and left the door open for a miracle three pointer.
Out of a timeout, Jake Koch attempted a three that went off the mark sending Northern Iowa home and Weber State to the CIT Finals.
Davion Berry: Was the leading scorer again with fifteen points. He wasn't as on as he has been in this tournament, as the guard shot 4 of 15 from the field including 2 of 8 from three. He made baskets when his team needed him though. With UNI taking a 55-53 lead with 5:53 left to play, Berry knocked down a pair of free throws about a minute later to even the score. The next possession, Berry hit a jumper to give Weber State the lead back for good.
Missed opportunities: With the score 57-56, UNI had three looks around the basket that they could not capitalize on. Two of those on one possession with only 22 seconds left in the game. Had the Panthers connected on any of those, I would be writing a much different recap right now.
Fouling: Instead of allowing a team to shoot a three to tie it. I am a huge fan of this strategy. (Bill Self wishes he was too after that Michigan game last night.) Weber State fouled Jake Koch with 4 seconds to play sending him to the line for the double bonus. It's always a smart play in my opinion. If you just play straight up defense, the offensive team only has to make one shot. However, if you foul four things have to happen. The offensive team must make the first free throw, miss the second one, get the offensive rebound and score again. The strategy paid off for Weber State and they will host the championship game on Tuesday.