National Invitation Tournament Quarterfinals Recap - Washington State 69 – Northwestern 66 

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Washington State led by as many as 14 points in the first half, but Northwestern fought back to tie the game just two minutes into the second half; and Wazzu was taken to overtime before prevailing over the Wildcats at Friel Court in Pullman in the NIT quarterfinals to advance to Madison Square Garden and the NIT semifinals against Wichita State next Tuesday.

Northwestern coach Bill Carmody was issued a bench technical for berating the officials just before Washington State achieved its largest lead in the first half.  From that point, Northwestern was able to catch the Cougars, but were never able to gain more than a two point advantage, with the lead changing several times before the end of the game. The Wildcats’ Michael Thompson drained a clutch 3-pointer to pull within one point, 63-62, with 1:34 remaining. After Wazzu’s Reggie Moore hit one of two free throws at the other end, John Shurma’s driving layup was ruled good after DeAngelo Casto was called for goaltending with 5 seconds on the clock to tie the score at 64. The subsequent inbounds play by the Cougars went the length of the floor, but Abe Lodwick was losing control of the ball over the endline as Northwestern’s Drew Crawford was called for a personal foul with 0.2 seconds remaining; Lodwick missed both of the double-bonus foul shots though, and the game went to overtime. The extra period was characterized by poor shooting from both teams, with Northwestern missing all eight of its 3-point attempts, and hitting just one of two layups, and Washington State making only one of three field goals, but hitting three of four free throws for the win.

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Northwestern finished its season led by senior Michael Thompson with 18 points; Alex Marcotullio has 16 points and Drew Crawford had 14 points for the Wildcats. Northwestern only shot 37.5 percent for the game, and hit just 10 of its 39 three-point attempts.

The Cougars were led by Klay Thompson with 17 points and Brock Motum with 13. Casto, Moore, and Faisal Aden had 11 points each. Washington State’s game with Wichita State is listed by ESPN as a 9:00 p.m. Eastern start, but one should expect the tip-off to be closer to 9:30, roughly 30 minutes after the first NIT semifinal between Alabama and Colorado.

Casto was reinstated by Washington State coach Ken Bone just a few hours before game time; Casto had been suspended from the team for marijuana possession on Monday night according to reports, but the school said that the situation had changed since the suspension.

By David Minter
DFN Sports Staff Writer




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