George Washington knocked off top-seeded Valparaiso 76–60 to win the NIT tournament on Thursday.
The victory marks GW’s first NIT championship after five previous appearances in the tournament. It is also the first postseason title of any kind in school history.
After taking a 32–31 lead into the locker room, the Colonials pulled away in the second half, making a 15–4 run to take a 47–35 lead by the 12:26 mark. Valparaiso was never able to cut the lead back down to single digits, trailing by as many as 17.
Senior forward Kevin Larsen led the way for the Colonials scoring 18 points and grabbing five rebounds. Four of the team’s starters finished the game in double figures.
George Washington’s free throw shooting proved to a decisive stat in a game that was fairly even otherwise, taking 26 attempts to Valparaiso’s six. The Crusaders also finished with 14 turnovers on the game.
GW came in with a 1–5 record all-time in the NIT, its only previous win coming against Pittsburgh in the first round of last year’s tournament. The Colonials knocked off Hofstra, Monmouth, Florida and San Diego State to reach this year’s final.