RTC Live: Preseason NIT Consolation Game & FinalsPosted by rtmsf on November 25th, 2011
The Preseason NIT finishes up its sixteen-team field at Madison Square Garden in NYC tonight, with the consolation game followed by the championship. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds out at the stores today, join us for some holiday hoops with Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State in the first game, followed by Syracuse vs. Stanford this evening. Join us for the conversation, after the jump.
Games #35-36. Two games are on tap Friday from Madison Square Garden as the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off concludes with the consolation game and finals. In the first game at 2:30 PM ET Oklahoma State (3-1) takes on Virginia Tech (3-1). Surely the Hokies will be on the bubble again at the end of the season and will need this one in March. The Cowboys are led by exciting freshman Le’Bryan Nash, who is averaging 13 points per game. The second game, slated to start at 5 PM ET on ESPN is the championship and features No. 5 Syracuse in its home away from home. The Orange are 5-0, but they’ll take on an undefeated Stanford team. We’ll get a long look at the Cardinal’s Chasson Randle and a deep Syracuse team that should contend not only for the Big East title by the national title as well. You really don’t want to fight the crowds at the mall on Black Friday, so join us for this exciting double-header.
#5 Syracuse 69, Stanford 63 — Everyone wanted to know whom would step up for Syracuse when the going got tough and the Orange found themselves in a difficult situation. The answer came on Friday against the Cardinal. After a miserable first half, Kris Joseph bounced back to finish with 16 points, nine rebounds and four steals while making all the clutch shots for the Orange down the stretch. When Syracuse (6-0) needed a big basket it was the senior forward from Canada that consistently stepped up and brought home the victory. His effort down the stretch saved Syracuse from itself in a game that Jim Boeheim’s team committed 21 turnovers and were played to a stalemate on the boards by a young Stanford (5-1) team that hung tough until the final moments. But in the final minutes the fact that Johnny Dawkins is still relying on young players showed up. After Stanford got up by eight points with 6:47remaining the Orange used a tough full-court press to storm back into the game. For the game Stanford committed 24 turnovers. Sophomore Aaron Bright led the Cardinal with 13 points, but committed four turnovers, and freshman Chasson Randle added 12 points and five turnovers. Syracuse might’ve found it’s go-to-guy, but Stanford now knows that it can compete with any team in the country.
Virginia Tech 59, Oklahoma State 57 — A young team’s confidence could’ve been shattered with two losses here in New York City, but Virginia Tech (4-1) was able to pull out a tight victory over the Cowboys, which left Travis Ford with more questions than answers about his club. Oklahoma State (3-2) still has a lot of growing up to do. Star freshmen C.J. Guerrero and LeBryan Nash both struggled against Virginia Tech. Guerrero had three points, three turnovers and three fouls. Nash had three fouls, one turnover and was 0-3 from the floor in 11 minutes. For the first time this season Nash didn’t start, and when he came onto the court in the first half Oklahoma State was leading 12-9. The Hokies immediately went on a 12-0 run to take a lead they would never relinquish. Ford is going to have to figure out how to incorporate his young guys into the rotation along side of solid players like Markel Brown – 19 points, 10 boards in 35 minutes – and Keiton Page – 11 points, two assists, no turnovers in 38 minutes. The Hokies showed great resolve after losing to Syracuse on Wednesday and came back to record 21 offensive rebounds in the game. Erick Green led the offense with 18 points, while freshman Dorian Finney-Smith led the attack on the boards with 10 points and 14 boards. These two teams play again on New Year’s Eve and that game should be an interesting barometer of just how much these two teams learn over the next month.