Curtis Jerrells grabbed a key rebound then made 1 of 2 free throws with 6.9 seconds left, helping Baylor to advance to the semifinals of the NIT with a 74-72 win over Auburn on Tuesday night in Auburn, Ala.
Kevin Rogers added 19 points and nine rebounds to help the Bears (23-14) extend their improbable run after finishing ninth in the Big 12 Conference and going 59 years without a postseason win.
The Tigers (24-12), who matched the second-best win total in program history, had two chances in the final seconds to at least tie it.
Trailing 73-72, Auburn forced a turnover on the inbound pass with 16 seconds left. DeWayne Reed attempted a leaner and was fouled, but missed both free throws and Jerrells rebounded the second.
Rasheem Barrett’s 3-point try bounced off the left side of the rim at the buzzer.
Baylor will play the Saint Mary’s-San Diego State winner Tuesday in New York.
Kevin Rogers had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Bears, who shot 51 percent. Jerrells added 16 points and eight assists against only one turnover.
Barrett led Auburn with 16 points.
Penn State 71, Florida 62: At Gainesville, Fla., Jamelle Cornley had 23 points and 12 rebounds and the Nittany Lions (25-11) beat the Gators (25-11) in the quarterfinals.
Penn State improved to 5-0 in the NIT quarterfinals and advanced to play either Kentucky or Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden next week.
Erving Walker led the Gators with 16 points and made four of the team’s five 3-pointers.
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