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2015 CIT Recap: New Hampshire Falls Short of NJIT Highlanders

When two teams make the post season for the first time in school history and find themselves battling against each other, someone is certain to be disappointed. New Hampshire's heated start cooled down long enough for NJIT to seize the lead and never give it back.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Being the only game scheduled for Monday night, all eyes were on the CIT matchup between the NJIT Highlanders and the New Hampshire Wildcats. It would be historic for both teams -- the first postseason game for either one.

New Hampshire started the game on fire, going on 10-0 run before the Highlanders knew what hit them. Daniel Dion caught fire hitting three from beyond the arc in the first half alone. Jacoby Armstrong added fuel to the fire going into the locker room with nine points in the first half.

But it was a buzzer-beater three from Ronnel Jordan that kept the Wildcats fired up. His initial shot was blocked by Tim Coleman but he managed to get it back and hit the 3-pointer to end the half on a high note.

NJIT was not happy with their performance, especially when they failed to score for the first 3 minutes, 20 seconds of the game. The Highlanders never lead in the first half, but managed to tied the score at 27.

The big break came in the second half when the Highlanders rolled off an 11-4 run to grab the lead for the first time at 43-41. Once that happened, there was no looking back.

New Hampshire started missing shots and NJIT took advantage of their free throws. Soon the small lead the Highlanders had achieved blossomed into 10.

With two Wildcats disqualified after five fouls and three more in foul trouble, the free throws piled up. NJIT finished 26-for-36 at the line, with Winfield Willis making all 10 of his.

While the Wildcats were able to hit three 3-pointers in 18 seconds during the final minute, it wasn't enough to bring them back. NJIT walked away with the 84-77 win.

New Hampshire's season ends with a 19-13 record, and the first post season appearance in school history. Not bad considering a majority of their top players are underclassman.

NJIT will await the results of the rest of the first round of the CIT to find out who their next opponent will be.