C.J. Bryce scored 16 points and Braxton Beverly blocked a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 16 seconds left as second-seeded North Carolina State recorded a 78-77 victory over sixth-seeded Harvard on Sunday in a second-round NIT game at Raleigh, N.C.
Devon Daniels scored 14 points and Markell Johnson added 13 for the Wolfpack (24-11), who advanced to face fifth-seeded Lipscomb (27-7) in the quarterfinals. The Bisons posted an 86-69 win over top-seeded North Carolina-Greensboro (29-7) on Saturday.
Ivy League Rookie of the Year Noah Kirkwood scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field before fouling out in the second half. Bryce Aiken also had 19 points for the Crimson (19-12), who shot just 5-for-19 from 3-point range.
Aiken made the first of his two free throws with Harvard trailing 76-73 with 16 seconds remaining in the second half. He missed the second and Danilo Djuricic alertly tapped the ball back out to Aiken, but Beverley blocked his 3-point attempt and forced a turnover with 8 seconds left.
Bryce sank a pair of free throws as North Carolina State withstood a late 3-pointer from Rio Haskett to fend off the Crimson.
Kirkwood fouled out with 6:15 remaining and Bryce and Daniels made short jumpers to push the Wolfpack’s lead to 68-63. Aiken converted two of his team’s next three layups to trim the deficit to one at 70-69, but Beverly came up big at the charity stripe with a pair of free throws with two minutes to play.
Justin Bassey made one of two from the line but Allen’s 3-point attempt hit the front rim. Johnson drew the attention of the defense with a spin move before feeding Wyatt Walker for an easy layup to give North Carolina State a 74-70 lead with 51 seconds left.
Johnson made a free throw on the next possession before Haskett sank a deep 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to cut the deficit to two. Torin Dorn made just one of two free throws to push the advantage back to three, and Allen answered with one of two before Harvard got the offensive rebound on his miss.
—Field Level Media