South Dakota State eliminates Colorado State from NIT, 86-76
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - George Marshall knows all about being roughed up and knocked around on away courts.
Two seasons at Wisconsin and playing in the Big Ten prepped the South Dakota State junior for Wednesday's National Invitation Tournament game at Colorado State.
Marshall scored 24 points and five of his team's 12 3-pointers, leading South Dakota State past Colorado State 86-76 in the first round.
''George is a seasoned guard and has played in venues like this. He's not shaken by anything that was going to go on here,'' said Jacks coach Scott Nagy.
Marshall said, ''I always try to stay aggressive. When I come off the screen I try to see the whole floor and try to make a play for myself or my teammates.''
He displayed that early in the second half after Daniel Bejarano's 3-pointer had drawn Colorado State (27-7) within 49-47. Marshall scored nine points over three minutes to push the lead back to 61-48.
Deondre Parks added 17 points and Jake Bittle, 15, for South Dakota State (24-10), regular season co-champions of the Summit League. The Jacks helped themselves by making 14 of 18 free throws.
J.J. Avila led Colorado State with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Daniel Bejarano had 17.
The lead reached 80-65 on a reverse layup by Marshall. Colorado State could get no closer than 10 and that with 59 seconds left.
''I must have said four times that this is the biggest stop of the year,'' Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy said. ''We had to get a stop and they hit a three or we couldn't stop their penetration.''
The Rams, still reeling from an NCAA Tournament snubbing, led for only 90 seconds of the game. Bejarano's layup (2-0) and a rebound basket by Tiel Daniels (4-3) were the only leads.
Parks' basket off a sharp cut gave South Dakota State the lead for good. The Jacks controlled the tempo and made 17 of 35 shots to take a 47-38 edge into intermission.
''We knew they were disappointed not getting into the (NCAA) Tournament, but we were, too,'' Nagy said. ''We just had a couple of more days to work through that emotionally.''
South Dakota State will take on Vanderbilt in the second round on Friday.