Jerome Dyson scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and Connecticut hung on to beat Northeastern, 59-57, last night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament in Storrs, Conn.
Dyson, who totaled 18 points in his previous three games, had 11 points in the final 71/2 minutes to help bring UConn (18-15) back from a six-point deficit. His free throws with 53 seconds left provided the winning margin.
Matt Janning scored 17 points for Northeastern (20-13), which finished second in the Colonial Athletic Association. Manny Adako added 14 points.
Connecticut (18-15) advances to play the winner of tonight's game between Quinnipiac and top-seeded Virginia Tech.
N.C. State 58, S. Florida 57: Dennis Horner scored 25 points and Richard Howell's go-ahead layup with 8 seconds left barely beat the shot clock for North Carolina State (20-15). South Florida, (20-13), in its first postseason appearance in more than eight years, had no answer for Horner, who was 10-for-16 from the floor. Dominique Jones led the Bulls with 24 points.
Texas Tech 87, Seton Hall 69: John Roberson scored 22 points to lead Texas Tech (18-15) in Newark. It was the 10th straight loss in the NIT for the Pirates (19-13), who have not won a game in the tournament since 1956.
UAB 65, Coastal Carolina 49: Elijah Millsap scored 15 points and UAB (24-8) never trailed Coastal Carolina (28-7) in Birmingham, Ala.
North Carolina 80, William & Mary 72: Dexter Strickland hit the go-ahead free throws with 2:34 left and North Carolina (17-16) held William & Mary (22-11) scoreless for the final 5 minutes in Chapel Hill, N.C. Deon Thompson scored 20 points to lead the Tar Heels, last year's national champions who are in the NIT for the first time in seven years.