Mountaineers top Clemson for NIT crown
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Frank Young poured in 24 points as West
Virginia captured the 70th annual NIT championship with a 78-73 victory over
Clemson at Madison Square Garden.
Young, who was named the game’s MVP, shot 7-of-10 from the field and 6-of-7
from three-point range, while also grabbing five rebounds.
Da’Sean Butler scored 20 points and pulled down seven boards for the
Mountaineers (27-9), who last won the NIT title in 1942. Darris Nichols added
13 points with five boards in the win.
West Virginia finished 52 percent shooting in the game and an impressive 60
percent from beyond the arc.
K.C. Rivers posted 18 points, four assists and three steals for the Tigers
(25-11), who have never won a postseason crown of any kind. Vernon Hamilton
chipped in 16, Trevor Booker 13 and Cliff Hammonds 11 in defeat.
Clemson shot 48 percent from the floor.
The game remained nip-and-tuck for the first 10 minutes of the first half
until West Virginia, trailing by one, went on an 8-1 spurt for a 26-20 lead at
the 5:21 mark.
Then, after Clemson cut within two on James Mays’ dunk, the Mountaineers
ripped off 12 straight points — all from three-pointers — and led by 14 with
just over one minute remaining.
Young, who drilled back-to-back treys during the burst, had 12 points in the
frame as West Virginia held a 38-26 advantage at the break.
West Virginia continued to pour it on in the second half, going up by as many
as 17, 49-32 on Young’s triple, and holding a double-digit cushion for most of
The Tigers, however, could only get as close as the final score.
May ended with 10 points…The Mountaineers hold a 3-1 edge in the all-time
series. The last meeting came in the 1994 NIT, with Clemson taking a 96-79