Seton Hall Overcomes Indiana State With a Late Comeback to Win the NIT

Thursday night, Dre Davis finished off Seton Hall’s pivotal late run with a basket with 16 seconds remaining, earning the Pirates their first NIT championship since 1953 and a 79-77 victory over Indiana State.

In a matchup between the top seeds, Seton Hall (25–12) overcame a 77–70 deficit by scoring the last nine points. Davis ended with eighteen points in his native Indianapolis. In the Pirates’ fifth consecutive victory at the storied Hinkle Fieldhouse, Al-Amir Dawes scored a team-high 24 points, while Kadary Richmond added 21 points and 13 rebounds.

In Indianapolis, head coach Shaheen Holloway enjoyed another great postseason run, and Dawes was voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Two years ago, after leading Saint Peter’s to victories against Kentucky and Murray State in the NCAA tournament, he went back to his alma university.

The Sycamores (32-7) were led by Isaiah Swope, who scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half. They were one victory away from winning their first national postseason title since the 1950 NAIA championship and one victory away from the school’s single-season record set by the Hall of Fame-led 1978–79 NCAA tournament runners-up.

With four 3-pointers, a career-high, and six assists, Julian Larry finished with 18 points. Robbie Avila and Jayson Kent both had 13 points.

With 2:50 remaining, Swope’s three-point shot gave Indiana State a 77-70 lead, sparking wild celebration among the school’s fervent home-state supporters, many of whom were dressed in the school’s alternative royal blue and powder blue uniforms.

With 57 seconds remaining, Dawes’ 3-pointer tied the game, and Davis’ layup gave Seton Hall the lead, but the team went on to pitch a shutout the rest of the way.

In the last 8.4 seconds, Indiana State had three opportunities to win it, but Ryan Conwell’s desperate attempt from 35 feet was missed and Swope’s two 3-pointers were blocked.