Cumberland Times-News

Basketball

April 5, 2013

Baylor wins its first NIT title, over Iowa

Pierre Jackson leads Bears to 74-54 victory

NEW YORK — Pierre Jackson made the National Invitation Tournament his own.

The Baylor senior finished his college career in style with his fourth straight double-double, putting up 17 points and 10 assists to lead the Bears to the first NIT title in school history with a 74-54 win over Iowa on Thursday night.

"You can put his numbers up with any guard in the country," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "The bigger the stage, the bigger the moment, the bigger — better — he performs."

The point guard who transferred to Baylor from the College of Southern Idaho before his junior season was a shoo-in as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

"My emotions are really high right now," Jackson said. "I'm trying to relax in here."

Cory Jefferson scored 23 points and Isaiah Austin had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Bears (23-14), who reached the tournament final five years ago, but never had won it before.

Mike Gesell led Iowa (25-13) with 13 points and Aaron White had 12. Hawkeyes star Devyn Marble was held to six points.

Baylor reached the title game with a disjointed, but ultimately winning, effort against BYU in Tuesday night's semifinal. The Bears looked much more complete on Thursday night, combining their offensive fluency with a pesky defense, led by senior guard A.J. Walton, that pressured Iowa on the edge and thwarted them inside with a tangle of long arms and legs.

"We're a driving team, we get to the free throw line more typically, and we just didn't do that tonight," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.

Austin had five of Baylor's seven blocked shots.

Jefferson threw down two rattling dunks in the first eight minutes of the half as the Bears slowly pulled away. Eric May's layup two and a half minutes into the half cut Baylor's lead to a point, but Baylor got out to an 11-point lead less than four minutes after that, thanks to a couple rattling dunks by Jefferson and a big 3-pointer by Jackson that made it 42-31.

Jackson made a 3-pointer with about 10 and a half minutes to play that put the Bears up 49-34, and the Bears never looked back.

After using a fast start and its characteristically tough defense to beat Maryland in the semifinal, Iowa began the second half on the wrong foot and spent most of the period just trying to keep pace. The Hawkeyes began the second half almost completely unable to make a basket, too, missing eight of their first 10 shots and 11 of 14 after the break, while Baylor pushed its lead out to double digits.

Iowa kept it close in the first half, going into the break down only five points despite being outshot 44 percent to 25 by Baylor.

Jackson led the Big 12 in scoring and assists, the first major-conference player to lead his league in both since Jason Terry did it at Arizona in 1998-99. He also finished his career with at least one 3-pointer in 48 straight games.

Just reaching the semifinals, let alone the title game, was a first for Iowa's program. Baylor lost the NIT title game to Penn State in 2009.

Walton left with cramping in his legs after colliding with May with about three minutes to play. Shortly after that, May came out of the game and the Iowa fans at Madison Square Garden gave him an ovation and chanted his name as he sat on the bench.

He won't be part of the Hawkeyes, who should look promising next season with most of their core players returning. Baylor could lose Austin and Jefferson to the pros, and Jackson and Walton will be gone.

But the Bears will raise a banner in Waco next season, and they had Thursday night to enjoy the men's program's first major title.

"The only thing I haven't done is get a hot dog at the hot dog stand," Drew said. "So that's how I'm celebrating."

 

1
Text Only
Basketball
  • Louisville Notre Dame-1.jpg Notre Dame outlasts Louisville in 5 overtimes

    Cameron Biedscheid scored on a layup with 1:19 left in the fifth overtime, and Eric Atkins and Pat Connaugton added free throws in the final 19 seconds as No. 25 Notre Dame overcame an eight-point deficit in regulation to beat No. 11 Louisville 104-101.

    February 10, 2013 5 Photos

  • ACM wins OT thriller

    Ricky Mosley scored 40 points and D.J. Jones had 30, including a pair of free throws in the final seconds of overtime, to lead Allegany College to a 99-98 upset of Hagerstown Saturday night at Bob Kirk Arena.

    February 9, 2013

  • SPTS-BKN-Lakers-Scott.jpg Byron Scott says he will be LA Lakers’ new coach

    Byron Scott said this weekend that he has been hired by the Lakers, but the club insisted Sunday that no deal has been reached.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-BKN-NBADraft.jpg Wiggins, Parker and more LeBron on NBA draft eve

    A night before they could be the first two selections in what appears to be a deep NBA draft, Anddrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and the rest of the class of 2014 were sharing the spotlight with LeBron James, whose decision to opt out of his contract and become a free agent Tuesday still had the league shaking a day later.

    June 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Saunders named FSU’s new women’s basketball coach

    Carrie Saunders, a graduate assistant coach at Frostburg State University the last two seasons, has been named head women’s basketball coach.

    June 19, 2014

  • SPTS-BKN-NBAFinals.jpg LeBron with a simple message: ‘Why not us?’

    Against the greatest of odds, against maybe the greatest of San Antonio Spurs teams, too. Both are very much against the Heat now, and both are winning. The Spurs are a victory away from their fifth championship, and will go for it at home Sunday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-BKN-NBA Finals Spurs Heat.jpg Leonard, Spurs roll to 111-92 victory over Heat

    Kawhi Leonard scored a career-high 29 points, and the San Antonio Spurs made an NBA Finals-record 75.8 percent of their shots in the first half in a 111-92 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night that gave them a 2-1 lead.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-BKN-NBA Finals.jpg Spurs handle Heat, win 110-95 in NBA Finals Game 1

    Tim Duncan had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs beat Miami 110-95 on Thursday night in Game 1 inside a steamy AT&T Center.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-BKN-Spurs Thunder.jpg Spurs beat Thunder in OT, advance to NBA Finals

    The San Antonio Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 in overtime Saturday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals to set up a rematch with the Miami Heat.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-BKN-Spurs-Thunder.jpg Thunder beat Spurs 106-97, cut deficit to 2-1

    Serge Ibaka scored 15 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 106-97.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads