Indiana St. sinks Utah to reach NIT title game

Ryan Conwell and Robbie Avila combined for 53 points as Indiana State knocked off Utah 100-90 on Tuesday in the NIT semifinals at Indianapolis.Conwell finished with 27 points while Avila chipped in 26 points and 10 rebounds for the top-seeded Sycamores (32-6), who were playing in the NIT Final Four less than 80 miles from their campus. Indiana State will face either No. 1 Seton Hall or No. 4 Georgia in Thursday’s title game.Deivon Smith had 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead the second-seeded Utes (22-15). Branden Carlson (17 points), Cole Bajema (14), Ben Carlson (11) and Hunter Erickson (10) also scored in double figures for Utah.The Utes stayed close thanks to 17-for-29 shooting from 3-point range (58.6 percent), compared to a 35.3 percent mark from deep for the Sycamores. Meanwhile, Indiana State dominated in paint scoring (50-28) and made 14 of 20 free throws, while Utah was just 5 of 10 from the charity stripe.Indiana State led 68-60 with 9:26 remaining before 3-pointers by Smith and Gabe Madsen helped the Utes get within 71-66. The Sycamores answered with two quick 3-pointers of their own, courtesy of Xavier Bledson and Julian Larry, to build an 11-point advantage.Smith responded with another long-range bucket, but Indiana State countered with six straight points — a run capped by Isaiah Swope’s layup with 6:04 left — to open an 83-69 lead.