Marist Upsets Oklahoma State in NIT

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Will Whittington scored 31 points and Marist upset Oklahoma State 67-64 on Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Marist, seeded seventh in the East Regional, became only the third non-conference opponent to win at Gallagher-Iba Arena in the Cowboys' last 140 games against such teams. The Red Foxes (25-8) advanced to play sixth-seeded North Carolina State in the second round.

It was Marist's first victory ever in the NCAA tournament or NIT.

"For our program and our conference, this is a great win," said Marist coach Matt Brady, whose team won the regular-season Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title.

Second-seeded Oklahoma State, which opened 15-1 this season and was ranked as high as No. 9, finished with a 22-13 record.

The loss seemed to bother Cowboys coach Sean Sutton even more than last year's 62-59 season-ending defeat against Miami in the NIT.

"A great example of one team that wanted to play, that cared about being in this tournament, and one team that had a few guys that would rather be on spring break," Sutton said. "I thought they would care. I knew they were disappointed (not to reach the NCAAs). I certainly expected a lot better effort tonight. I played the guys that the game meant the most to and I probably waited a little bit too long on a few guys."

Sutton later acknowledged he was referring to the team's only seniors -- Mario Boggan and David Monds, who played a combined 6 minutes in the second half.

Marist trailed for only the first 3 minutes of the game. The Red Foxes matched their largest lead at 52-35 with 13:43 left before Oklahoma State rallied behind the 3-point shooting of Terrel Harris.

Harris, scoreless in the first half, went 3-of-4 from behind the arc and had 11 points in the second half.

Oklahoma State pulled to 65-64 with 43.7 seconds to go on a 3-pointer by freshman Obi Muonelo. Whittington, who went 10-of-10 from the line, made two free throws with 8.5 seconds left to extend Marist's lead to 67-64.

The Red Foxes fouled Oklahoma State's Byron Eaton with 3 seconds left. Eaton missed both free throws, the second deliberately. The rebound went to Muonelo, who missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Whittington went 5-of-13 from 3-point range. Ryan Stilphen added 16 points for Marist.

Boggan, Oklahoma State's leading scorer, and Muonelo each had 12 points and six rebounds. JamesOn Curry added 11 points for the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State led 4-0 early, but Marist seized control with a 13-1 run over the next 5 minutes. By halftime, the Red Foxes had a 37-26 lead after shooting 8-of-15 on 3s and outrebounding Oklahoma State 23-11.

Marist held that 12-rebound advantage at the end of the game, but went only 2-of-13 on 3-pointers in the second half.


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