Sycamores advance to NIT Quarterfinal with victory over Minnesota

(The following is courtesy of Indiana State University Athletics)
Sycamores advance to NIT Quarterfinal with victory over Minnesota
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State men’s basketball reaches the 30-win mark with a 76-64 victory over Big Ten’s Minnesota in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). This season’s 30 wins is only the second time in program history ISU has reached 30 wins.
Ryan Conwell paced the Sycamore offense with 23 points, tying his career-high with six three-pointers. Conwell shot 7-for-11 from the floor and added five assists to his stat line, all with zero turnovers. Jayson Kent and Julian Larry each scored 16 points. Kent recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Larry scored 16 converting on 7-of-9 field goal attempts. Robbie Avila finished with 11 points to round out four Sycamores in double figures, adding a game-high seven assists.
Isaiah Swope scored eight points and four rebounds, while Xavier Bledson chipped in two points and two rebounds.
The Sycamores and Gophers battled tight through the first seven minutes of the game, with Indiana State holding a three-point, 11-8 lead. Indiana State opened up its lead with a 9-0 run, highlighted by baskets from Swope, Larry, Conwell, and Avila. ISU led by as many as 18 points, 33-15 with just under five minutes to play in the half. Minnesota narrowly outscored Indiana State in those five minutes, 13-8, with a triple by Conwell and a massive dunk by Larry to hold the Sycamores’ lead. ISU took a 10-point, 38-28 lead into the locker room.
Avila opened the second 20 minutes with the conventional and-one, but neither team could start a scoring streak. The Sycamores outscored Minnesota 14-10 to start the half, but the Gophers kicked it up a notch and used an 11-0 outburst to bring the game within three points with just under 12 to play, 52-49.
Indiana State buckled down and used a 12-3 run to lead 64-52 with nine minutes remaining in the game. Larry scored six of those 12, Kent drained his lone triple of the game, and Conwell made one of his six threes. After the scoring run, the game went bucket-for-bucket with each team scoring 12 points in the final nine minutes. Kent slammed home his second dunk of the game with two-and-a-half to play to extend ISU’s lead to 13 before the eventual 76-64 victory.
News & Notes
Indiana State’s win is the 30th win of the season, moving to 30-6 on the season. Only the 1978-79 team recorded more wins (33-1).
Ryan Conwell tied his career-high in three-pointers with six. Conwell has tallied 12 games with four-plus threes, four games with five-plus, and three with six-plus.
Conwell made six of the team’s eight three-pointers.
The Sycamores finished 19-for-26 from inside the arc, continuing its impressive two-point shooting with 73.1% from the floor. Inside the paint the Trees were 18-for-24 (75%) and 8-for-9 on fast break attempts (89%).
The ISU defense held the Gophers’ leading scorer Dawson Garcia to only 2-of-5 in the game with six points – including a scoreless first half.
Jayson Kent’s 11 rebounds marks the 22nd game he has grabbed eight-or-more rebounds. Sunday’s win was his 10th double-double.
Up Next
Indiana State hosts Cincinnati on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ESPN in the Quarterfinal round of the NIT.

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