Providence, RI: The Friars (4-seed, 19-14) defeated the eighth-seeded Robert Morris Colonials by a score of 77-68 at the Dunk on Monday night to advance to the Region 1 final. After playing to a stalemate 34-34 in the first half, the Friars came out determined with a really strong second half, with Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton leading the charge. The Friars were able to battle through a stingy Colonial team that made 11 three-pointers in the game and didn’t role over easily. Henton scored a game-high 21 points in the win, while Cotton added his usual 20 points. Vincent Council had the game’s only double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, picking apart the Robert Morris defense. The Friars also got a nice contribution from their bench, particularly Lee Goldsbrough, who pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Karvel Anderson led the Colonials with 18 points, while Russell Johnson added 16 points.
Next Up: The Friars will now play at the second-seeded Baylor Bears (18-14, 9-9 in Big 12) on Wednesday at 9pm on ESPN2, with the winner moving on to the semifinals of the NIT. The Bears are led by point guard Pierre Jackson, who averages 19.2 point per game and freshman center Isaiah Austin, who averaged 13.2 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game. Baylor could give the Friars fits with their length and scoring ability, but with the way the Friars have been playing, I wouldn’t count them out of any game.