Nevada and Morehead State to play for CBI Championship
March 23, 2016
Nevada and Morehead State advanced to play for the championship of the ninth annual College Basketball Invitational.
Game One of the best-of-three CBI Championship Series will be played at Morehead State on Monday. Tip-off is 8:30pm (ET) on ESPNU with Mitch Holthus and Sean Harrington calling the game. Game Two (Wednesday) and Game Three (Friday, if necessary) will be played at Nevada.
In Reno, Cameron Oliver posted 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Nevada to an 86-72 win over Vermont.
The Wolf Pack (22-13) never trailed and led by a 37-35 score at halftime. Nevada began the second half on an 11-2 run and Vermont never got within six points after that.
D.J. Fenner netted 21 points for the Wolf Pack, who also received 20 points from Marqueze Coleman and 11 points from Tyron Criswell.
Vermont (23-14), which was making its second consecutive trip to the CBI semifinals, was led by the 19-point efforts of Trae Bell-Haynes and Ernie Duncan. Drew Urquhart added 12 points.
The three CBI wins mark the most postseason wins ever for a Nevada squad. The Wolf Pack previously won two postseason games in 2004 (NCAA) and 2012 (NIT). With 22 wins, Nevada has 13 more victories than a year ago and is the eighth most-improved team in the country. The Wolf Pack have now won four of their last five games.
In Athens, Ohio, Morehead State advanced with a 77-72 win at Ohio.
In earning the win, the Eagles become just the sixth team in CBI history to win two road games in the same season. Morehead State, which won its first round game at Siena, joins UTEP (2009), VCU (2010), Washington State (2012), Santa Clara (2013, 3 road wins), and Fresno State (2014) in accomplishing that feat.
Morehead State (22-12) led by five at intermission, 29-24, and would not yield the lead until a Jordan Dartis layup with 15:32 to play gave the Bobcats a 37-36 lead. The lead seesawed back and forth for the next 12 minutes until Corban Collins hit a three-pointer with 3:34 to play to give the Eagles the lead at 63-61. Morehead State would not trail again.
Xavier Moon led the Eagles with 18 points. Collins and Lyonell Gaines had 14 points apiece with Gaines also pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds. Brent Arrington added 11 points.
Ohio (23-12) was paced by Jaaron Simmons and his 21 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Treg Setty scored 20 points and Kenny Kaminski had 15 points.
The three wins in the CBI are the most postseason wins ever by Morehead State. In both 1956 and 1961, the Eagles won two games – an NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round game and then a regional third-place game.
Morehead State enters the CBI Championship Series having won 10 of its last 11 games.
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