Malcolm Delaney scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to lead Virginia Tech past Quinnipiac 81-61 in a first-round National Invitation Tournament game Wednesday night.
The Hokies (24-8), who advanced to play Connecticut at home in the second round on a date to be determined, shrugged off the disappointment of not making the NCAA tournament by holding the Bobcats (23-10) to 38.1 percent shooting from the floor (24 for 63) and outrebounding one of the nation's best teams on the boards, 42-30.
Quinnipiac came in ranked No. 1 nationally in rebounding margin (plus 9.2) and seventh in rebounds per game (40.7).
"I'm really proud of my team," Hokies coach Seth Greenberg said. "I'm proud of their resolve. They probably handled this situation (not making the NCAA tournament) better than I did, to be honest. ... But for them to come out and play as hard as they did and to be ready, that's probably what hurt me so much. Because that's who they are."
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Dorenzo Hudson added 19 points for the Hokies.
Justin Rutty led Quinnipiac with 22, hitting 10 of 13 shots. James Johnson added 17.
OTHER NIT GAMES
MEMPHIS 73, ST. JOHN'S 71: Wesley Witherspoon scored 18, including the winning layup as time expired, to give Memphis (24-9) a home victory.
Anthony Mason Jr., who scored 17, made a 3-pointer from way beyond the arc with 17 seconds left to tie the game at 71, setting the stage for Witherspoon's final play.
D.J. Kennedy led the Red Storm (17-16) with 18 points.
The Tigers will next play Mississippi, which defeated Troy 84-65.
CINCINNATI 76, WEBER STATE 62: Deonta Vaughn scored 16 and Cincinnati's trapping defense set up a 17-0 run that carried the Bearcats (19-15) at home in another NIT opener. Cincinnati will host Dayton in the second round.
Damian Lillard scored 26 for Weber State (20-11).
ILLINOIS 76, STONY BROOK 66: Demetri McCamey had 16 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds and Mike Davis scored 17 to lead Illinois (20-14) at Stony Brook (22-10).
RHODE ISLAND 76, NORTHWESTERN 64: Akeem Richmond scored 14 of his 16 points during a first-half run as the Rams (24-9) won at home. Michael Thompson led the Wildcats (20-14) with 24.
KENT STATE 75, TULSA 74: Rodriguez Sherman's driving layup with 20.8 seconds to go lifted Kent State at home. Chris Singletary led Kent (24-9) with 16 points and Sherman had 15. Jerome Jordan had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Justin Hurtt had 22 and 10 for Tulsa (23-12).
NEVADA 74, WICHITA STATE 70: Luke Babbitt scored 17 of his 23 in the second half to help Nevada (21-12) hang on at Wichita State. Toure Murry scored 15 for Wichita State (25-10).
Seton Hall fires controversial coach 'Gonzo' Gonzalez
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. Bobby Gonzalez's record on the court was just above average - seven games over .500.
In the eyes of the Seton Hall administration, his behavior on and off it was much worse. In the end, that's why Gonzalez was fired, one day after completing his fourth season as the school's coach.
Gonzalez, who was 66-59 at Seton Hall (27-43 in Big East play), was given a four-year contract extension in principle last September, but the extension never was signed, according to sources close to the program.
It's believed Gonzalez had only one year left on his original contract, meaning the university would be on the hook for $423,000. He was not available for comment.
"I had lost my confidence in his ability to coach and to lead," said Seton Hall president Monsignor Robert Sheeran, who made the decision.
"I would like to win. None of us wants to lose," Sheeran said. "But athletics never exist to besmirch the university in any way."
The controversial Gonzalez sparred with school administrators, referees, reporters and other coaches during his stormy tenure, which ended in embarrassing fashion with an 87-69 loss to Texas Tech in the first round of the NIT Tuesday.
In that game, sophomore forward Herb Pope was ejected for punching a Texas Tech player in the groin in the first half, and Gonzalez got his seventh technical foul of the season in the second half.
"Obviously, everyone who saw the game (Tuesday) night saw a crystallization of all that was really wrong with the coaching and the leadership," said Sheeran. The Record (Hackensack N.J.)