NEW YORK (Sporting Alert, Box Score) — Cory Jefferson scored 23 points and Baylor led from the opening minutes on their way to winning the school’s first-ever NIT title with a 74-54 win over Iowa at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
Jefferson, who shot 8-of-11 from the field, also pulled down seven rebounds in his 25-minutes of action, while senior Pierre Jackson added a double-double of 17 points and 10 assists for the Bears (23-14).
Jackson, who averaged 19.8 points and 7.1 assists per game and recorded his fourth successive double-double in the tournament, received praise from his coach after being named Most Outstanding Player in the NIT tournament.
“You can put his numbers up with any guard in the country,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
“The bigger the stage, the bigger the moment, the bigger — better — he performs.”
Isaiah Austin collected 15 points, nine rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals in the win for Baylor.
Mike Gesell paced Iowa (25-13) with 13 points, while Aaron White added 12.
Star forward Roy Devyn Marble shot just 3-of-12 from the field, including 0-for-4 from three-point range and was held to six points in the defeat.
The Hawkeyes went 18-of-69 from the field for a disappointing 26.1 percent.
“We’re a driving team, we get to the free throw line more typically, and we just didn’t do that tonight,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
NCAA NIT Tournament Results
(2) Baylor 74, (3) Iowa 54