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NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT : Playing the Cards It's Dealt, New Orleans Wins Opener

March 15, 1990|From Associated Press

New Orleans didn't make the NCAA tournament, but the Privateers didn't sulk about it.

Tank Collins of Pomona scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half as New Orleans built a 16-point lead and defeated James Madison, 78-74, at Fairfax, Va., Wednesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

"Hey, we're just happy to be here," New Orleans Coach Tim Floyd said. "You know what they say, beggars can't be choosy."

New Orleans (20-10) won the American South Conference regular-season title and postseason tournament, but the league does not have an automatic NCAA bid.

James Madison (20-11) won the Colonial Athletic Assn. regular-season title, but lost the tournament championship game and the league's NCAA bid to Richmond.

Steve Hood scored 19 points for James Madison.

Penn State 57, Marquette 54--DeRon Hayes scored four points and grabbed an offensive rebound in the final minute as the Nittany Lions rallied to beat the Warriors at State College, Pa.

The Nittany Lions (22-8) trailed, 51-45, with seven minutes left.

Tony Smith scored 23 points for the Warriors (15-14), but missed a three-point shot at the buzzer.

Tennessee 73, Memphis State 71--Allan Houston scored 20 points and Jay Price made four three throws in the final 38 seconds as the Volunteers avenged an earlier loss to the Tigers.

Memphis State (18-12) scored nine consecutive points to get within 69-68 with 55 seconds left before Price steadied Tennessee (16-13). The Tigers missed three shots in the final six seconds.

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