Cowboys Host FGCU In NIT First Round
STILLWATER - Oklahoma State (19-14, 8-10 Big 12) earned the program's 40th postseason berth and will host Florida Gulf Coast while seeking win No. 20 on the season in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday night.
The Cowboys earned a No. 2 seed, which matched its highest NIT bid, while FGCU (23-11, 12-2) will enter Gallagher-Iba Arena as a No. 7 seed.
Better known as "Dunk City" from its magical run to the Sweet 16 in 2013, FGCU is making its sixth straight postseason appearance, and features a dynamic guard in Brandon Goodwin. The ASUN Player of the Year is just 16 points shy of breaking his own school record for points in a season. Goodwin entered the ASUN Tournament as one of just eight players nationally to lead his team in points (18.6 ppg), rebounds (5.6 rpg) and assists (4.8 apg).
Fellow guards Zach Johnson (15.9 ppg) and Christian Terrell (12.1 ppg) join Goodwin in double figures and both shoot threes at a 40 percent clip. OSU will have to defend the perimeter well to keep this high-scoring team at bay.
The Eagles are also a very good free throw shooting team – 74.2 percent on the season.
The Cowboys are 4-1 in NIT games played in Gallagher-Iba Arena, with the lone loss coming in 2008 against Marist. OSU took down Boise State in the opening round in 1989, as well as Tulsa in 1990, Tulane in 1997 and Harvard in 2011.
Seniors Jeffrey Carroll (15.1 ppg), Kendall Smith (12.9 ppg) and Tavarius Shine (9.6 ppg) lead the team in scoring and senior Mitchell Solomon’s 6.4 rebounds per game lead in that category.
A win against FGCU would pit the Cowboys against the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between 3-seed Stanford and 6-seed BYU. Oklahoma State would host the winner in Stillwater.