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CIT Recap, 3/12: Central Michigan, Drake and San Diego all advance

Here’s what you missed from the first day of CIT action.

NCAA Basketball: Drake at Minnesota Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament doesn’t start tip off until tonight, but postseason basketball is already underway. Yesterday, the Tournament tipped off its first day of action. Here’s what you missed.

Central Michigan 94, Fort Wayne 89

The Chippewas went on the road and won a high scoring affair in the Hugh Durham Classic. David DeLeo led CMU with 22 points, and Kevin McKay joined him with 20 points. As a team, the Chippewas went 17-39 from behind the arc.

Bryson Scott had 28 for the Dons, but a 11-33 performance from three-point range ultimately cost the Dons a win. They finish their season at 18-15.

Drake 80, Abilene Christian 73

Drake continued its strong showing in Niko Medved’s first season at the helm by picking up their 17th win of the year. Despite an atypical off-night from Reed Timmer, Drake still had 20-point outings from Ore Arogundade and Nick McGlynn who had 25 and 22 points, respectively. Drake came out firing at the start of the second half after being tied at 28 at halftime. Abilene Christian finished with a .500 record for the first time in the Joe Golding era.

Liberty 65, North Carolina A&T 52

After falling to Radford at the buzzer in the Big South Championship, Liberty bounced back by winning their first CIT matchup. The Flames’ defense did the brunt of the work, holding the Aggies to just 52 points on just 20-51 shooting from the floor. The Flames did well taking care of the ball as they turned it over just seven times in the game, which allowed them to turn a two point halftime lead into a double digit win.

San Diego 88, Hartford 72

The most lopsided game of the day feature a San Diego program in flux and a Hartford team having its best season in years. After head coach Lamont Smith resigned from the program after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, interim head coach Sam Scholl got his first win of his career on Monday. The defensive-minded Toreros got the job done with offense as six players scored in double figures. They went 20-29 from two-point range, and knocked in 12-26 shots from distance.