Indiana State advances to NIT Championship with win over Utah

With the Indiana State Sycamores in the midst of the best season they’ve had in close to 50 years, it was no surprise that when the NIT Tournament semifinals hit Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse with the Sycamores playing against Utah, the place would be sold out with a sea of blue and white on Tuesday.

That was exactly the case and, with the Utes looking to put a strong halt to the ISU Cinderella story, it was no surprise the game was neck and neck. The Sycamores started off hot, feeding star center Robbie Avila numerous times down low and finding him at the 3-point arc, getting the team out to a commanding 11-point lead halfway through the half.

It didn’t take Utah long to squash that, though, putting pressure on Avila and forcing him out of the equation. It was then that Utah got hot from three-point land, tying the game at 44 at halftime.

The second half saw the Sycamores crank up the defense and get hot from three-point land and really cracking down on the Utes. They slowly incorporated Avila back into the game and also saw a huge second half from G Ryan Conwell, who led the team with 27 points.

The Sycamores took every opportunity to take advantage of the overwhelming home court advantage, and dominated the Utes in every stat category- rebounds, steals, blocks, assists, free throw percentage and field goal percentage on their way to an NIT Championship berth on Thursday against the winner of Seton Hall vs. Georgia .

-Reggie Edwards

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