Washington State 72, Minnesota 70
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) _ Terrence Lewis and Ken Critton sank seven free throws in the final minute as Washington State edged Minnesota 72-70 in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament on Wednesday night.
With about 50 seconds remaining, Lewis hit a layup to tie the game 65-65 after a closely-played second half. Lewis led Cougar scorers with 17 points. Critton had 16, including two free throws with 15 seconds remaining to put Washington State up 72-67.
Washington State (22-10 overall, 9-9 Pac-10) advanced to the second round, while Minnesota’s season ended with a 16-16 overall record, 8-10 in the Big Ten.
Minnesota coach Clem Haskins was hit with two technicals and ejected for vigorously protesting a foul on Voshon Lenard with about five minutes remaining in the first half.
Minnesota’s Arriel McDonald led all scorers with 20 points, including a 3- pointer as the game ended.
Both teams shot poorly in the first half, but the Golden Gophers came back to shoot nearly 70 percent in the second period.
The Cougars hit 27 of 36 free throws in the game, or 75 percent.
Washington State led 34-26 after a physical first half.
Minnesota had taken a 15-7 lead midway through the period, but Washington State came back to tie it 23-23 on two free throws by Ken Critton with about five minutes remaining.
At that same time, Haskins was ejected and Gopher center Bob Martin was benched after picking up his third foul.
The Cougars climbed within 29-23 when Neil Derrick sank three of four technicals and Tyrone Maxey followed with a 3-point goal.