Seton Hall rallies late, tops Indiana State to win NIT title

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INDIANAPOLIS — Dre Davis scored on a layup with 16 seconds remaining Thursday night and Seton Hall’s decisive last-minute goal, giving the Pirates a 79-77 victory over Indiana State and their first NIT championship since 1953 .

Seton Hall (25-12) erased a 77-70 deficit by scoring the final nine points in a battle between No. 1 seeds. Davis finished with 18 points in his hometown of Indianapolis. Al-Amir Dawes led the Pirates with 24 points and Cadry Richmond had 21 points and 13 rebounds in their fifth consecutive win at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Dawes was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as coach Shaheen Holloway had another successful postseason performance in Indianapolis. Before returning to his alma mater he led Saint Peter’s to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament two years ago with wins over Kentucky and Murray State.

Isaiah Swope scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half to lead the Sycamores (32-7), who fell one win short of winning their first national postseason title since the 1950 NAIA championship and the school’s single-season record. Left behind by one win. Determined by the 1978–79 NCAA Tournament runners-up, led by Hall of Famer Larry Bird.

Julian Lary had 18 points, a career-high four 3-pointers and six assists. Jason Kent and Robbie Avila each scored 13 points.

Indiana State’s ecstatic home-state crowd, predominantly clad in the school’s powder blue and alternate royal blue, was ready to celebrate when Swope’s 3 gave the Sycamores a 77–70 lead with 2:50 to go.

But Seton Hall pitched a shutout the rest of the way, tying the score at a 3 by Dawes with 57 seconds left and taking the lead on Davis’ layup.

Indiana State had three chances to win it in the final 8.4 seconds, but Swope blocked two 3s and Ryan Conwell’s desperation 3 from 35 feet fell short.

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