Seton Hall clobbers Georgia, advances to NIT title game

Al-Amir Dawes scored 20 points for Seton Hall, which quickly mounted a commanding lead and controlled the rest of the game to down Georgia 84-67 in Tuesday's second NIT semifinal at Indianapolis.Da

Seton Hall clobbers Georgia, advances to NIT title game

Al-Amir Dawes scored 20 points for Seton Hall, which quickly mounted a commanding lead and controlled the rest of the game to down Georgia 84-67 in Tuesday’s second NIT semifinal at Indianapolis.

Dawes shot 6-of-11 from the field and made four 3-pointers for the top-seeded Pirates (24-12), who built an 18-3 lead six minutes into the game after hitting seven of their first 11 shots.

Seton Hall advanced to the NIT championship for the first time since winning its lone title in 1953. The Pirates will stay in town to face No. 1 seed Indiana State (32-6) for the championship on Thursday.

Dre Davis paired 19 points with nine rebounds, while Kadary Richmond finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Pirates. Jaden Bediako collected 14 points and seven boards, and reserve Jaquan Sanders chipped in 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

Seton Hall shot 47.1 percent from the field.

Silas Demary Jr. tallied 19 points to lead the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (20-17) in their first semifinal appearance since 1998. Georgia has never made an NIT championship game.

Seton Hall led by as many as 24 in the second half before Jalen DeLoach’s layup pulled the Bulldogs within 73-62 with 5:36 to play. Sanders responded with a floater in the paint and added a corner triple a minute later to boost the Pirates’ lead to 80-64.

Seton Hall made three more 3-pointers than Georgia, secured 13 more rebounds and outscored the Bulldogs 15-6 on second-chance points.

Dawes led all first-half scorers with 12 points as the Pirates entered halftime up 42-25.

Both teams made their first shot before Richmond’s layup triggered an 11-0 run that propelled Seton Hall ahead 13-2. Richmond finished the first half with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Noah Thomasson, who entered Tuesday leading Georgia with 17.3 points per game throughout the NIT, struggled against the Pirates’ defense. Thomasson went scoreless on five field goal attempts in the first half and finished the game with 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting. He was just 1-of-7 on 3-point attempts.

The Bulldogs had missed 10 straight field goals by the time Richmond’s dunk stretched Seton Hall’s advantage to 18-3.

After Georgia cut its deficit to 20-11, Davis and Dawes engineered a six-point spurt that pushed the Pirates’ lead to 15. Minutes later, consecutive triples by Sanders kickstarted a 10-point run that gave Seton Hall its largest advantage of the half at 40-18.