Dylan Osetkowski scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the first half Thursday night as second-seeded Texas established a 14-point halftime lead and defeated fifth-seeded Lipscomb 81-66 to win the NIT championship at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Osetkowski added a game-high 11 rebounds for the Longhorns (21-16). Texas canned 13 of 37 from beyond the 3-point arc, including 8 of 20 in the second half to keep the Bisons at bay.
The Longhorns won their second NIT title, having also captured the championship in 1978.
Jase Febres tallied 17 points, sinking four 3-pointers, for the Longhorns. Kerwin Roach came off the bench to contribute 16 points and nine assists, capping his night with a steal and 360-degree dunk in the final three minutes. Matt Coleman chipped in 11 points while doling out seven assists.
Rob Marberry paced Lipscomb (29-8) with 17 points, and Garrison Mathews scored 15. But Texas put the clamps on Mathews, who tallied a combined 77 points in the Bisons’ come-from-behind NIT wins over NC State and Wichita State. Mathews made only 2 of 10 shots Thursday, going 0 of 4 in the first half.
Trying to become the first Atlantic Sun Conference school to win the NIT, Lipscomb held the Longhorns scoreless for the first 5:05. But the Bisons only managed four points in that time, and the inability to take advantage of Texas’ early drought would haunt Lipscomb.
Marberry’s jump hook with 6:42 left in the half gave Lipscomb a 22-19 lead, but the Longhorns took control with 14 straight points in a 2:52 span. Osetkowski’s two free throws at the 3:11 mark made it 33-22, and Febres stroked a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining for a 41-27 Texas advantage at intermission.
Lipscomb scored the second half’s first seven points and was still within 46-39 after a Matt Rose 3-pointer with 12:23 remaining. However, Texas gradually pulled away after that, using the 3-pointer as its main weapon.
The Bisons canned only 39.3 percent of their shots from the field and committed 14 turnovers, 12 in the first half.
—Field Level Media