The Stanford Cardinal got a huge lift from center Josh Owens, a 15-point, 11-rebound performance, to defeat the fifth-seeded UMass Minutemen in the semifinals of the NIT Tournament in Madison Square Garden, 74-64. The Cardinal will go on to face either conference rival Washington or Minnesota in the championship game.
Diminutive guard Aaron Bright had a big presence late for the Cardinals, making clutch free throws and initiating the offense in the second half to keep the Minutemen at bay as they tried for a comeback. He finished with 13 points and three assists and made all six of his free-throw attempts. Anthony Brown led the scoring for the Cardinal, finishing with 18 points to go along with five rebounds.
5-foot-9-inch guard Chaz Williams came up big for the Minutemen, leading all scorers with 19 points and battling to try to bring UMass back in the game. The score was tied at 52 apiece halfway through the second, but Stanford caught fire and there was little the Minutemen could do to come back.