Lawrence’s Dre Davis shot chops down Indiana State 79 to 77

Davis’ layup cuts down Sycamores

by: Steven Stremming

Lawrence Central’s Dre Davis’ layup with 16 seconds left gave Seton Hall the Men’s NIT Championship at Hinkle Fieldhouse on the campus of Butler University 79 to 77.

This is Seton Hall’s first NIT Championship since 1953, by the way, I was one year old and living in Washington State.

Somewhere Walter Dukes, Richie Regan, Harry Brooks and Head Coach John David “Honey” Russell are smiling at this team, as all played on the 31-2, 1953 team.

But this game was dominated by runs by both squads, with the last being the game winning one. With Indiana State leading 77 to 70 at the 2:50 mark where Isaiah Swope swished a three to send the Sycamore fans into a frenzy.

But that wasn’t the end of the game, though the Indiana State faithful believed it.

Seton Hall gathered themselves one more time as Indiana State, under Head Coach Josh Schertz squad made many questionable shots from a Robbie Avila misguided three-point shot with 26 seconds still left on the shot clock, which the Pirates countered into a bucket to off target threes.

Indiana State would again, surprisingly to many in attendance, would put up three-point shots which would be blocked or missed and end up in Pirate baskets.

In fact, Al-Amir Dawes would tie the score at 77 apiece from behind the arc.

Indiana State would again not attack the basket and settled for a long range shot that didn’t connect leading to Davis’ game winning layup.

Isaiah Swope did his best to keep Indiana State in the battle as he scored 16 of his 19 points after the halftime break.

Indiana State was attempting to win a post season championship since the NAIA 1950 Championship.

In the end the Sycamores ended up as the 1979 Indiana State team led by Larry Bird did and that team came up short of Michigan State and Earvin “Magic” Johnson team.

Leading the Pirates was the NIT’s Most Outstanding Player, Al-Amir Dawes, Senior from Newark, New Jersey with 24 points, four steals and a perfect nine of nine from the charity stripe.

Aiding Dawes were fellow NIT All-Tournament selectees, Kadary Richmond, Senior, Brooklyn, New York with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and Dre Davis, Indianapolis, Indiana, Senior with 18 points and three blocked shots.

No other Pirates were in double figures.

For runner-up Indiana State they were led by Isaiah Swope, Junior, Newburg, Indiana with 19 points, Julian Larry, Junior, Fresco, Texas with 18 points and both Robbie Avila, Sophomore, Oak Forest, Illinois with 13 points, five assists and five boards and Jayson Kent, Junior, Oak Forest, Illinois with 13 points, 7 boards.

Ryan Conwell would collect 12 rebounds in the Sycamore efforts.

The stat line would show Seton Hall had 12 assists on 28 made baskets while the Sycamores would chalk up 22 assists on 28 baskets.

Indiana State outrebounded Seton Hall 35 to 31 for the game.

Seton Hall would turn the ball over eight times to Indiana State’s 15.

Men’s NIT All-Tournament team includes:

El-Amir Dawes, Seton Hall, Most Outstanding Player

Kadary Richmond, Seton Hall

Dre Davis, Seton Hall

Ryan Conwell, Indiana State

Robbie Avila, Indiana State

For the second straight night the attendance was capacity at 9,100

Again, my kudos to the NCAA, Indiana Sports Corp and Butler University on a job well done!


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