UNT tops C-USA rival UAB to declare very first NIT title

LAS VEGAS– Kai Huntsberry scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half, Tylor Perry scored 14 of his 20 after halftime and North Texas beat fellow Conference USA foe UAB 68-61 on Thursday night to claim the program’s first NIT championship.It was the 4th NIT national championship to feature conference opponents, and the very first in 20 years. Conference USA is now 18-2 in the NCAA postseason, with Charlotte winning the College Basketball Invitational title and FAU advancing to the Final Four.Perry, the conference player of the year and NIT MVP, made a steal and a 3-pointer on a quick break to offer North Texas the lead for excellent at 55-53 with 6:22 staying. Aaron Scott extended it to 61-55 after making a high-arching layup and a jumper.UAB guard Jordan Walker was fouled on a 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining, and he made 2

free throws to get within 63-59. North Texas had two shots on its next ownership after an offending rebound, and Perry sank a jumper.After UAB made 2 more totally free tosses with 49.6 seconds left, Perry dribbled down the clock and struck a step-back jumper,

with a foot on the 3-point line, for a 68-61 lead. UAB missed out on a 3-pointer, and Huntsberry was fouled at 13.2 before securing it at the line.North Texas won its second NCAA postseason champion under sixth-year head coach Grant McCasland. The Mean Green won the 2018 CBI title in his very first season in Denton.Scott ended up with 13 points and seven rebounds for North Texas(31-7), which set a program record for wins in a season.Walker scored 21 points on 6-of-14 shooting for UAB(29-10 ), which was in the NIT title game for the first time in program history. KJ Buffen included 11 points.Javian Davis transformed a three-point play with 12:43 left in

the 2nd half for UAB’s very first lead, 47-45, since it was 15-14. The Mean Green scored 22 of the very first 30 second-half points.It was the fourth conference of the season in between the groups, with North

Texas winning 2 regular-season meetings prior to UAB won their match in the conference competition semifinals.

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