Dayton, Ohio — Cal Poly more than kept up with Texas Southern’s fast-paced style on Wednesday as the Mustangs earned an 81-69 victory over the Tigers in their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Cal Poly (14-19), known more for its shutdown defense than its offensive efficiency, shot a torrid 57 percent from the field in the First Four meeting between the No. 16 seeds.
Chris Eversley scored 19 points, Dave Nwaba netted 17 and Brian Bennett added 10 for the Mustangs, who surprisingly ran through the Big West Conference Tournament as a No. 7 seed and will head to St. Louis to face the Midwest Region’s top seed, the undefeated Wichita State Shockers, on Friday.
Aaric Murray did all he could to keep the Tigers’ season going, but his 38 point-effort on 14-of-23 shooting went for naught. Texas Southern (19-15) came in having won nine in a row, but got little help from its role players and allowed 23 points on 13 turnovers.
Tennessee 78, Iowa 65 (OT)
Jordan McRae scored 20 points, Jarnell Stokes added 18 with 13 rebounds and Tennessee held Iowa without a field goal in overtime en route to a comeback victory in a First Four meeting of No. 11 seeds in the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday.
Tennessee (22-12), which never led in the first 16-plus minutes of regulation, will next head to Raleigh for a date with Massachusetts, the No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region.
Josh Richardson scored 17 points — all after halftime — and helped hold Iowa’s leading scorer, Roy Devyn Marble, to seven points on 3-of-15 shooting.
Marble sent the game to overtime with a late jumper, but finished 10 points below his season average. Adam Woodbury stepped up with 16 points and eight boards in the loss.
Albary 71, Mount St. Mary’s 64
D.J. Evans tied career highs with 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Albany to its first-ever NCAA Tournament win, a decision over Mount St. Mary’s in a First Four matchup on Tuesday.
Peter Hooley added 20 points to help the 16th-seeded Great Danes (19-14) earn a trip to Orlando to take on No. 1 overall seed Florida in today’s second round.
Albany, the America East Tournament champions, shot 57.4 percent from the field en route to its seventh victory in eight games, with Gary Johnson hitting 6-of-8 attempts in a 13-point, seven-rebound effort.
Mount St. Mary’s (16-17), the surprise winner of the Northeast Conference Tournament, nearly overcame a 19-point deficit midway through the first half behind Will Miller’s career-best 21 points on a 7-of-12 performance from 3-point range.
North Carolina State 74, Xavier 59
T.J. Warren and North Carolina State are still dancing in the NCAA Tournament, as the Wolfpack pulled away from Xavier in their First Four meeting and posted a lopsided win.
Warren poured in 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting to lead the way for the Wolfpack (22-13), who will travel to Orlando as a No. 12 seed to face the fifth-seeded Saint Louis Billikens in the second round today.
Ralston Turner chipped in with 17 points and Tyler Lewis controlled the tempo with seven points, eight assists and just one turnover for the victors.
The Musketeers (21-13) totaled seven assists altogether and committed 13 turnovers in failing to earn a victory in the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in their last seven appearances.
Matt Stainbrook led Xavier with 19 points and nine boards.