Hot-Shooting WVU Too Much For Tigers In NIT Finals


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NEW YORK - Frank Young and the West Virginia Mountaineers shot past Clemson to their first NIT title in 65 years.

Young scored 24 points, including six 3-pointers, and De'Sean Butler added 20 points to help West Virginia beat Clemson 78-73 in the NIT championship on Thursday night. Young was named the tournament's most outstanding player.

It was the Mountaineers' first NIT title since 1942 when Rudy Baric led West Virginia over Western Kentucky.

West Virginia (27-9) had advanced to the championship game by edging Mississippi State 63-62 on Darris Nichols' buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Nichols finished with 13 points and nine assists in the championship game.

The Mountaineers, who came from 14 down in the second half in the semifinal, didn't need a late-game rally this time, using a 12-2 to run at the end of the first half to take control of the game. The Tigers (25-11) trailed by double digits for the entire second half before a late spurt cut it to five with 3 seconds left.

K.C. Rivers scored 18 points and Vernon Hamilton added 16 for Clemson, which completed one of the most up-and-down seasons in school history. The Tigers started out 17-0 before losing nine of their next 11 games.

They turned things around in late February winning five of six before falling to Florida State in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

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