CIT Tournament Daily Overview - Second Round

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Buffalo 49, Western Michigan 48

Some games are notable because neither team deserves to lose. Other games are notable because neither team deserves to win. The latter category certainly described this postseason-style Mid-American Conference clash at Read Coliseum in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Just how painful was the second half of this contest between the Buffalo Bulls and the Western Michigan Broncos, two league rivals (from the Mid-American Conference) who were bracketed to play in the second round of a five-round tournament? Let’s go to the score sheet: Buffalo scored all of three points in a span of eight minutes and 34 seconds midway through the second half. The visitors profoundly struggled on offense, as shown by their inability to hit 50 points in a game with a 35-second shot clock.

And that was the winning team, folks.

The losing squad from Western Michigan couldn’t finish off the ragged Bulls because it also failed to hit the side of a barn. The Broncos scored just four points in a span of nine minutes and 48 seconds (14:03 to 4:15). Having led by a score of 41-32, WMU died down the stretch, scoring just two points in the final 3:59 and going scoreless in the final 2:20. Buffalo hit just one basket in the last 2:40 of regulation, but that jumper - by Zach Filzen with 1:50 to go - was all UB needed. Western Michigan, trailing 49-48, had several chances to win in the final minute. However, the Broncos’ Demetrius Ward committed a turnover with 11 seconds left. Buffalo gave the ball right back on the ensuing inbound pass, but Ward promptly missed a jumper with six seconds left. The Broncos never got another shot attempt, and Buffalo – warts and fall – found itself in the CIT quarterfinals. Buffalo visits Iona on Tuesday, March 22.


Southern Methodist 63, Jacksonville 62

Southern Methodist was ahead by 21 points in the first half, and held a 17 point lead with 11 minutes remaining, but Jacksonville fought back to take its first lead with 14 seconds remaining before the Mustangs’ Papa Dia sank two free throws with 0.1 seconds on the clock to give SMU a win in the second round of the CIT tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Jacksonville’s Delwan Graham hit the go-ahead layup with 47 seconds remaining, and then SMU’s Jeremiah Samarrippas matched with a layup and hit the bonus foul shot to give the Mustangs a two point lead with 14 seconds remaining. Travis Cohn sank a contested three from the top of the arc to give the Dolphins a 62-61 lead with four seconds remaining before Dia was fouled under the Jacksonville basket after the contested inbound play before sinking the winning two shots from the foul line. Jacksonville was led by Cohn with 22 points, shooting 8-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-6 beyond the arc.

The Mustangs advanced to play Northern Iowa in the upcoming CIT quarterfinals. They were led by Dia’s 24 points and eight rebounds. Samarrippas had 16 points for coach Matt Doherty’s Mustangs.

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San Francisco 77, Hawaii 74

A revolting development occurred late Saturday night on the islands. Inside the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, one could even say a crime was committed.

The San Francisco Dons stole a game after being largely outplayed for the first 38 minutes and 38 seconds. Yes, in the final 1:22 of regulation, USF uncorked a 9-1 run and toppled the Hawaii Warriors in the CIT’s second round. The Dons will now host Santa Clara in an all-West Coast Conference quarterfinal.

Hawaii figured to be in great shape when it took a 73-63 lead with 1:22 left in regulation. Just one more stop would have forced the Dons to foul in the final seconds and play a desperate (and usually unsuccessful) game of clock management. Instead, UH’s Trevor Wiseman fouled San Francisco’s Rashad Green on a three-point attempt. Green hit all three foul shots to bring the Dons within two at 73-71. Then, Hawaii missed three of its next four foul shots to give USF a chance to take the lead. When the Dons’ Cody Doolin converted a layup with 48 seconds remaining, the visitors from the City By The Bay had earned a 75-74 lead. When Hawaii’s next two possessions ended in a turnover and a missed jumper, the home team ran out of chances. San Francisco gleefully exited the islands with a ticket home… but not a ticket out of the CIT. The Dons get to play a conference home game for the right to make the CIT semifinals.

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer




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