FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- Gian Clavell had 22 points, nine rebounds and tied his career high with seven assists, Prentiss Nixon scored 19 points and Colorado State beat College of Charleston 81-74 on Tuesday night in the opening round of the NIT.
J.D. Paige added 15 points, including three 3-pointers, Emmanuel Omogbo scored 12 with seven rebounds and Nico Carvacho grabbed career-high tying 11 boards for Colorado State (24-11). The Rams, seeded fourth in their bracket, will play No. 1 seed California or eighth-seeded Cal State-Bakersfield in the second round.
Omogbo made a dunk and then Paige hit a 3 to give Colorado State the lead, 32-30, for good and spark a 15-3 run that made it 42-33 at halftime. A 3-pointer by Clavell gave the Rams their biggest lead, 60-44, with 12:55 to go, but Charleston (25-10) scored 25 of the next 37 points. During that span, Cameron Johnson had eight points and Joe Chealy scored 14 -- including back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 72-69 with 5:21 left. The Cougars, however, missed their next six shots and Colorado State held on.
Chealy finished with 16 points, Johnson added 15 and Jarrell Brantley scored 12 with 11 rebounds for No. 5 seed Charleston. Colorado State, which committed just six turnovers, scored 19 points off 11 Cougars miscues.