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Mar 24, 2024 4:19 pm

Indiana State beats Minnesota in NIT to notch 30-win season

Indiana State, Minnesota

Ryan Conwell scored 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including 6-for-8 from beyond the arc, to lead No. 1 seed Indiana State to a 76-64 win over Minnesota in the second round of the NIT on Sunday afternoon in Terre Haute, Ind.

Jayson Kent recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana State (30-6). Julian Larry also scored 16 points, and Robbie Avila finished with 11 points and seven assists.

The Sycamores reached the 30-win milestone for only the second time in program history. They joined Larry Bird’s 1978-79 team, which won 33 games.

Indiana State advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will host No. 2 seed Cincinnati.

Pharrel Payne scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Minnesota (19-15). Mike Mitchell Jr. finished with 13 points, Cam Christie scored 12 and Elijah Hawkins had 10.

Indiana State built its lead to 14 points with 14:38 remaining. Conwell converted a four-point play with a 3-pointer and a free throw to give the Sycamores a 52-38 advantage.

The Golden Gophers battled back with an 11-0 run to cut the deficit to 52-49 with 11:46 remaining. Christie made two jump shots to bookend the run, which also included a 3-pointer by Mitchell, two free throws by Dawson Garcia and a layup by Payne.

Larry helped Indiana State find its footing and hold off Minnesota’s challenge. He led a 9-1 run with two layups and two free throws to increase Indiana State’s lead to 61-50 with 9:46 to play. The Sycamores led by at least nine the rest of the way.

Indiana State built a 38-28 lead at the half.

The Sycamores jumped to a double-digit lead in the first 10 minutes. Isaiah Swope made a layup to start a 9-0 run, and Avila finished it off with another layup to put Indiana State on top 18-8 with 10:55 remaining in the first half.

Conwell drained a 3-pointer to increase the Sycamores’ lead to 33-15 with 4:55 before the break.

Minnesota answered with a 12-2 run to pull within 35-27 with 1:48 to go in the half. Christie and Hawkins started the rally with back-to-back 3-pointers.

–Field Level Media

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