Baylor beats Iowa to win its first NIT title

  • By Rick Freeman Associated Press
  • Thursday, April 4, 2013 9:50pm
  • SportsSports

NEW YORK — Pierre Jackson had his fourth straight double-double with 17 points and 10 assists to lead Baylor to the first National Invitation Tournament title in school history with a 74-54 win over Iowa on Thursday night.

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 start 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.

Jefferson threw down two rattling dunks in the first eight minutes of the half as the Bears slowly pulled away. From Eric May’s layup two and a half minutes into the half until Jackson made a 3-pointer with 13:5 1 to play, the Bears went on a 14-4 run.

Jackson made a 3-pointer with 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.

Baylor’s A.J. Walton left with an apparent injury to his right leg or foot after colliding with May with about three minutes to play. Shortly after that, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery took May 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, blinking rapidly and staring straight ahead

More in Sports

Rams rout Seahawks 42-7 in NFC West showdown

Los Angeles built a 34-0 halftime lead and cruised to the victory.

RPI has changed way hoops coaches approach non-league games

The implementation of RPI for state-tourney seeding has local basketball coaches thinking differently.

Everett’s Dustin Wolf stops a shot Saturday night at the Angels of the Winds Arena in Everett on December 16, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Sivertips bounce back, rout Cougars 4-0

Dustin Wolf notches his first career shutout as Everett rebounds from a loss to beat Prince George.

How might NHL team in Seattle impact Silvertips?

A look at local reaction to the possibility of the NHL coming to Seattle.

Seahawks ditch ‘every game is the same’ mantra for Rams showdown

Seattle hosts first-place Los Angeles in what is essentially the NFC West championship game on Sunday.

Freshmen contributing for UW men’s basketball team

Mike Hopkins likes what he’s seen from his freshmen through… Continue reading

Saturday’s prep scores, recaps

BOYS BASKETBALL Neah Bay 61, Darrington 55 Bellingham 77, Sultan 55 Interlake… Continue reading

Smalley resigns as Snohomish football coach

Kai Smalley has resigned his position as head coach of the Snohomish… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams inactives report

Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner will play, but his running partner K.J. Wright will not.

Most Read