Roland Gray scored with 12 seconds remaining, and Charles Newberry stole the ball twice in the closing seconds as St. Louis beat New Mexico, 66-65, at Albuquerque, N.M., Thursday night to advance to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Gray scored 34 points--21 in the second half--for the Billikens (26-9), who overcame a 20-point halftime deficit. St. Louis will play Michigan State (18-13) Monday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
For New Mexico (22-11), it was the second straight year they had lost in the NIT quarter-finals.
The Lobos had a chance to take a three-point lead with less than 20 seconds left, but Newberry stole the ball from Willie Banks in the corner and got the ball to Gray under the basket.
St. John’s 83, Ohio State 80--Billy Singleton and Jason Buchanan each scored four points in overtime after St. John’s overcame a 13-point second-half deficit at Columbus, Ohio.
The victory moved the Redmen (18-13) into the semifinals Monday night against Alabama Birmingham (21-11). St. John’s has won the NIT four times.
The Redmen won despite losing their leading scorer, Jayson Williams, to fouls with 6:43 left in the second half. Williams scored 21 points.