The 2013 NIT has reached the Final Four portion of play. The No. 2 seed Baylor Bears and No. 3 seed BYU Cougars squared off in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, and it was Baylor that came out on top with the 76-70 victory.
BYU cut the deficit to three points with under a minute to go after a barrage of deep threes, but a late fast break layup from A.J. Walton sealed the game. The two teams exchanged free throws before the final buzzer sounded.
The Bears used their size and athleticism down the stretch to pull away late. They led by just two points at the break, but Pierre Jackson was able to dictate the pace throughout the second half with no one on BYU able to keep him out of the lane. Jackson finished with 24 points and 10 assists.
Cory Jefferson had a big game for BU, scoring 21 points and bringing down four rebounds despite being in foul trouble throughout. Freshman center Isaiah Austin recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, Baylor shot 43 percent from the floor and turned the ball over just seven times.
The Cougars, which rely heavily on outside shooting for much of their offense, just couldn't find their shot on Tuesday night. They went 5-for-19 from behind the 3-point arc, which was one of their poorer showings of the year. Tyler Haws was one of the few bright spots, scoring a team-high 25 points. Haws also turned the ball over five times.
With the win, Baylor advances to face the winner of Iowa and Maryland in the title game.