The Pokes took care of business, and an outmatched Harvard team, in advancing to the second round of the NIT where they will face the winner of the Washington State/Long Beach State game that takes place tomorrow night. If Washington State wins that game, the Pokes will travel to Pullman for the 2nd round game, if Long Beach wins, the game will be in Stillwater.
As for tonight's game, the Pokes were just athletically superior to their opponent at every spot on the floor, they never trailed in the game, and about 12 minutes in took a 15 point lead that would last through the end. Marshall Moses was a man inside (as he always is against athletically and physically weaker teams), finishing with 18 points, 8 rebs, shot 7-10 from the field, and capped off the night with a beastly follow up dunk after Keiton missed a runner with 8 seconds left. I swear, if Marshall Moses played in one of the weaker conferences, against smaller bodies, he would be a monster. He would be the POY in probably 20 conferences.
While no one really had a bad night, the performances of Reger Dowell and Matt Pilgrim really stood above the rest. Dowell responded to the Cezar Guerrero signing with a 15 point performance on 6-7 shooting, and while he only was credited with 1 assist, his driving and passing was key to opening up the offense. Pilgrim used his size advantage inside to abuse the Crimson on both ends of the floor. He finished with 12-4-2-1, but provided much more than that as Harvard had no one that could match up with him, forcing them to overplay his side and opening up opportunities for Moses. Markel Brown had an all-around nice game and finished with 3 assists, highlighted by a monster dunk where he posterized some dude after curling around the right side.
Also, the Pokes shut down Thurston Billlingsly II, and Randolph Dandridge VII was held in check which was really integral to the victory (has that joke got old yet? Nope? OK then.). But the highlight of the night, was Roger Franklin's celebration where he pulled his jersey to the side, and pointed at his exposed breast/heart. I cannot wait for the video to become available so I can post it, and re-watch it 100 times. Stay tuned for it... and I guess more basketball analysis.