Dylan Osetkowski had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead Texas to the NIT championship with an 81-66 win over Lipscomb on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s great to win a championship,” coach Shaka Smart said.
The Longhorns (21-16) beat South Dakota State, Xavier, Colorado and TCU to reach the final, and survived a few late shots to win their first NIT title since 1978.
Texas fans at the Garden enjoyed the title and held up the “hook em” hand gesture as the final seconds ticked off.
Smart was doused with water in the locker room and had a towel with him as he walked to a press conference.
“There have been teams that have come and won the NIT and used it as an unbelievable springboard,” Smart said. “And there’s teams that haven’t.”
Jase Febres held off the pesky Bisons with 3s in the second half that extended the lead to 13 points each time and kept the Longhorns firmly in charge. He finished with 16 points and Kerwin Roach II had 16.
Smart shared a moment with Roach on the court, who was named the NIT’s most outstanding player.
“He’s had some phenomenal moments,” Smart said. “I don’t think he thought he’d be in college this long.”
Long enough to go out a champion.
Osetkowski hit three 3s for 15 points in the first half and the Longhorns raced out to a 41-27 lead.