The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 27, 1998 -11
Minnesota grabs NIT title
NEW YORK (AP) -On a day one
of its schools was rocked by a point-
shaving scandal, the Big Ten could-
n't lose in the NIT final.
Minnesota gave the league a dis-
traction from Northwestern's prob-
lems by winning its second NIT title
this decade last night with a 79-72
win over Penn State.
Kevin Clark scored a career-high
28 points, Sam Jacobson had 23 and
Quincy Lewis 19 for the Gophers
(20-15), an NCAA Tournament Final
Four team last year.
Clark, a junior, who had 58 points,
11 rebounds and five assists in two
games at Madison Square Garden,
won the tournament's MVP.
The Golden Gophers, who lost
seven players from the Final Four
team, dropped their first six league
But Clem Haskins' squad
regrouped to win 11 of its last 14
games, giving the Big Ten its second
straight NIT champion and third in
six years. The Gophers won the tour-
ney in 1993 and Michigan captured
the crown last season.
Playing in its first men's basket-
ball championship game, Penn State
(19-13) was hoping to shed its image
as a football-only school, but the
Nittany Lions couldn't rally after
falling behind by 10 points in the
Calvin Booth led Penn State with
14 points and eight rebounds. Senior
Pete Lisicky, the second leading
scorer in Penn State history, was just
3-for-12 from the field.
The all-Big Ten final was the first
for the NIT since 1979 when Indiana
Much of the pregame conversation
among fans and reporters centered
around another Big Ten school,
Northwestern, which had two players
indicted yesterday for shaving points
during games in the 1994-95 season.
Leading 38-37 two minutes into
the second half, Lewis scored all 10
points - two field goals, a 3-pointer
and a three-point play -- in a 10-2
spurt that put the Gophers ahead 48-
39 with 15:15 left.
Penn State, which rallied from 10
points down, in the second half,
stormed back with a 9-4 run.
But Lewis made a 3-pointer, and
Clark scored two layups as the
Gophers pushed their lead to 62-53
with 6:12 remaining.
Penn State hung tough, though,
and closed within 64-60 on a 3-
pointer by Titus Ivory with 3:03 left.
But Lisicky missed a 3-pointer and
freshman point guard Joe Crispin
committed a costly turnover in the
lategoing, forcing Penn State to foul
to stop the clock.
Minnesota responded by making
13 of 16 free throws in the final 2:24
to seal the win.
In the consolation game, G.G.
Smith made a school record nine 3-
pointers and Georgia hit 19 treys in a
95-79 win over Fresno State.
Sam Jacobson ended his Minnesota basktball career with a
bang, scoring 23 points in the Gophers' 79.72 victory.
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