CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bearcats men's basketball team came out victorious against Virginia Tech in the First Round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Wednesday night.
David DeJulius had 21 points in Cincinnati's 81-72 win against Virginia Tech. DeJulius had six rebounds and seven assists for the Bearcats (22-12). Landers Nolley II scored 15 points and added 12 rebounds.
DeJulius scored seven points in the first half and Cincinnati went into halftime trailing 33-29.
Senior Jeremiah Davenport broke a 63-63 tie in the second half with a 3-pointer with just 5:35 left in the game. DeJulius led the Bearcats with 14 points in the second half to hold off Virginia Tech by 13 points over the final half.
After the game, DeJulius spoke about shifting the defensive energy in the second half.
“We know they were a great offensive team and had some great sets. At half-time, I wanted to turn the game into a rock fight," DeJulius said. "They were doing a great job and I felt they were very comfortable running their action. I wanted to make our conditioning and athleticism a factor and I thought we did a great job of that in the second half.”
This was UC's first game in the NIT since 2010. An unusual appearance for a team that normally makes the NCAA Tournament.
"We wanted to be in the NCAA Tournament, but we have had a heck of a year," said Head Coach Wes Miller. "We have overcome things, we have improved, we have grown as a program and when David (Dejulius) plays with that kind of energy, motion and passion, which he has done all year long, the team follows suit."
According to the University, the Bearcats will take on top seeded Hofstra University on 2 p.m. Saturday. You can watch the game on ESPN+.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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