OSU To Face Marist In NIT

Oklahoma State may not be playing for the national title this season, but there is still a championship to be won. The Cowboys learned Sunday night that they are the No. 2 seed in the East Region of the National Invitation Tournament. OSU will host Marist at 9 p.m. Tuesday (Central Daylight Time) in a first-round NIT game at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Cowboys are 22-12 entering the NIT, while Marist enters with a 24-8 record after losing in the semifinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. The Red Foxes won the MAAC regular season title to earn an automatic berth in the NIT.

Marist, which won a school record 24 games this season, is led by 6-2 senior guard Jared Jordan, who averaged 17.6 points, 8.8 assists (which leads the nation) and 5.8 rebounds per game. Jordan scored 30 points or more three times this season, including 31 points in 83-75 loss to Niagara on Jan. 26.

However, the Red Foxes are not a one-man show. They have three other players who average in double figures, including 6-3 senior guard Will Whittington who averages 17.1 points and 3.4 rebounds. He scored a career-high 32 points in Marist's 79-78 victory over Rider.

Also, 7-foot, 250-pound senior center James Smith (11.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and 6-8 junior forward Ryan Stilphen (10.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg) can do some damage.

The Cowboys will be playing in the NIT for the second consecutive season after making eight consecutive trips to the Big Dance. OSU suffered a 62-59 loss to Miami (Fla.) in a first-round game of the NIT last March.

Tickets for Tuesday night's game are available on-line at www.okstate.com. Ticket prices are $15 for reserved seating (floor and level 200), $10 for general admission (level 300) and $6 for OSU students.

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