Early Season Tournament Weekend 1: Thursday Liveblog

As today and tonight's action unfolds, I'll be providing updates in this space. Feel free to add your own thoughts down in the Comments. Updates after the jump.

Most recent updates first

12:27 a.m. ET: Texas opened up an 8-0 lead in the extra session and held on to beat Illinois, 90-84. The Longhorns will face Pitt in the final tomorrow evening after the Illini meet Maryland in the consolation game.

Bedtime now, but I'll be back in about 12 hours with another liveblog on Twitter for Friday's action, starting with the Puerto Rico semifinal between Vanderbilt and West Virginia.

12:07 a.m. ET: We're headed to overtime in New York. Cory Joseph hit a jumper--the first Longhorn field goal in over 7 minutes---to give Texas the lead with 26 seconds left, but Jereme Richmond answered with a layup at the other end. Texas' Jordan Hamilton, who had 15 in the first, only scored 4 more in the 2nd and was benched by Rick Barnes.

11:33 p.m. ET: At the under 8 timeout, this game continues to be highly entertaining (even if it looked for awhile to be shifting to a more Big Ten-style game and both teams shooting percentages have dropped). Texas leads Illinois 65-63 with 7:26 left in regulation.

10:39 p.m. ET: Illinois-Texas is tied at 45 at halftime. Both teams are shooting well (ILL: 50%, TEX: 54.3%). Jordan Hamilton has 15 for the Longhorns, while Tristan Thompson has added 12. Demetri McCamey and Brandon Paul each have 12 for the Illini.

10:28 p.m. ET: Luke Hancock scored 18 to lead George Mason past Charlotte, 78-56, and into the Charleston Classic semifinals, where they'll meet NC State. Charlotte takes on former C-USA rival East Carolina in the consolation bracket.

Meanwhile, things are getting really good in New York, where it's tied at 39 with under 4 minutes left in the 1st between Texas and Illinois.

10:17 p.m. ET: While I was writing about Hawai'i making a conference move, Jordan Hamilton's gone off in New York, scoring 13 so far, as Texas leads Illinois, 32-28 with less than 8 minutes left in the 1st.

George Mason is well on their way to the Charleston semifinals, as they lead Charlotte 72-48 with under 4 minutes left.

9:44 p.m. ET: The semifinals in Puerto Rico are set, as Minnesota blew past Western Kentucky in the second half, prevailing 95-77. The Gophers shot a red hot 62.5% from the field and hit 53.3% of their threes, while Western Kentucky only managed 37.5% from the floor and 34.5% from outside. WKU's Steffphon Pettigrew led all scorers with 25, and Sergio Kerusch scored 13 and grabbed the same number of boards. Minnesota's interior presence was too strong though--Ralph Sampson III scored 22 and got 8 rebounds; Trevor Mbakwe went for 18 and 10; and Rodney Williams had 17 and 7. Guard Blake Hoffarber missed a double-double by one assist, 16 and 9.

Minnesota will play North Carolina in the semis, while WKU faces Hofstra in the consolation bracket.

In Charleston, George Mason leads Charlotte 38-26 with 17:20 left in the 2nd.

9:26 p.m. ET: Pitt moves on to the Coaches vs. Cancer final with a 79-70 victory over Maryland. Remarkably sloppy game, even for November 18. Both teams shot decently (48 percent each), but wow did the Panthers dominate on the boards (43-23). That advantage, particularly offensively (11-5), made up for a boatload of turnovers. Balanced effort for Pitt, as they had four hit double-figures, led by Talib Zanna with 14 (and 13 rebounds), and three others score between 7 and 9. Cliff Tucker had 17 for Maryland, while Jordan Williams scored 14 and grabbed 9 boards.

Minnesota is up 81-70 on Western Kentucky in San Juan with 2:39 to go. Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III are dominating inside, and the Gophers are still shooting fantastically.

In Charleston, Charlotte has crept back into the game, but is still down 30-24 at halftime to George Mason.

8:21 p.m. ET: Minnesota is up 40-34 on Western Kentucky at halftime in San Juan. Golden Gophers are on fire, shooting 56 percent from the field and 3. The Hilltoppers' are around only because they're getting second chances, which Minnesota honestly haven't needed. Sergio Kerusch and Steffphon Pettigrew have 21 of the Hilltoppers' 34 points.

In New York, Pitt has used an 11-2 run to open up a 42-29 lead on Maryland with 17:32 left in the game.

8:08 p.m. ET: It's a final in Charleston, where NC State wins 85-65. The Wolfpack will play the winner of George Mason-Charlotte tomorrow. Five NC State players hit double-figures in scoring, led by Lorenzo Brown (16). Ryan Harrow had a double-double (11 pts., 10 assists). Corvonn Gaines led the Pirates with 11.

8:00 p.m. ET: Halftime in New York, and it's been, um, interesting. Pitt leads Maryland, 31-27. The Panthers aren't shooting well (32.1%), but they're getting to the line and making their freebees (11-15). Maryland on the other hand is 0 for 7 from the stripe. Ouch.

NC State is up 81-55 on East Carolina and will advance in 2:15.

In Puerto Rico, watch out for Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are up 20-18 on Minnesota with a little more than 7 minutes left in the first. WKU, in red, has already made 4 threes, twice as many as Nebraska and Davidson (both in red) managed earlier today.

7:27 p.m. ET: In Charleston, NC State has opened up a 22-point lead on East Carolina, thanks to an 18-4 run to start the half. There's still 14:21 left, but the Wolfpack are looking good to move on. In New York, Pitt and Maryland are playing the game you'd expect, rugged and physical. Terps lead 13-11 with 10:47 to go in the 1st. 

7:10 p.m. ET: I really hope you're able to follow the Coaches vs. Cancer event with all of the advertising on the floor

6:58 p.m. ET: And the clock runs out in San Juan, where UNC shoots 56% from the field and a mind-boggling 12 of 17 from 3 to beat Hofstra 107-63. The Tar Heels will get the winner of Minnesota-Western Kentucky, which starts in about a half-hour. The Pride will play the loser of that contest. Charles Jenkins led all scorers with 24, while six Tar Heels hit double-figures, led by Harrison Barnes (19).

At halftime in Charleston, NC State is up 37-29 on East Carolina. The Pirates need to take better care of the ball, since they've turned it over 13 times and only hit 9 field goals.

6:48 p.m. ET: North Carolina is rolling, up 100-56 at the under 4 timeout. NC State, meanwhile, just got a 6-0 run to take the lead back from East Carolina. It's 28-23 Wolfpack, as that game just came out of the first half under 4 minute timeout.

Maryland-Pitt starts in a little more than 12 minutes in New York City.

5:53 p.m. ET: Hofstra has Charles Jenkins (20 pts., 9-11 FG), but UNC has too much of everything, led by Harrison Barnes (19 pts., 7-9 FG, 4-4 3P), and the Tar Heels are up 58-33 at the half. UNC is dominating on the boards, especially offensively. I think I'll be focusing more on NCSU-ECU until the Coaches vs. Cancer doubleheader starts at 9 and Western Kentucky-Minnesota wraps up the day's action in San Juan at around 7:30 p.m. ET. 

5:00 p.m. ET: Hofstra and North Carolina about to tip off in San Juan. N.C. State and East Carolina about an hour away in Charleston.

4:28 p.m. ET: Vanderbilt closed the game on a 16-3 run to finally get away from Nebraska, 59-49. The Commodores will face West Virginia in tomorrow's semifinals, while the Huskers will play Davidson in the consolation semis. Curiously, Vanderbilt's win means they avoid a second game against the Wildcats, as they're scheduled to host Bob McKillop's team on January 2. John Jenkins scored 22 for Vandy, while Brandon Ubel was the only Nebraska player to score in double-figures with 10. Nebraska ended up missing all 10 of their three-point attempts.

Wofford will play Georgetown tomorrow in Charleston, as the Terriers never gave USC Upstate a chance, prevailing 79-61. Four players hit double figures for Wofford, led by Jamar Diggs (18) and Noah Dahlman (17). Torrey Craig was the only Spartan to hit double figures, scoring 13 and grabbing 7 boards. The Spartans will face Coastal Carolina in the consolation bracket.

3:59 p.m. ET: Nebraska still leading what's been a tough battle with Vanderbilt, 44-43, at the under 8 timeout. Wofford is doubling up USC Upstate still, 66-33 with 10 minutes left in the game.

3:16 p.m. ET: Surprisingly, Nebraska leads Vanderbilt at halftime, 28-26. The Cornhuskers are forcing the 'Dores into a halfcourt game, which is hampering their efficiency. The team wearing red in San Juan really needs to stop shooting threes though. Nebraska is 0-5 from beyond the arc, following Davidson's 2-22 effort. Meanwhile, Wofford is doubling up USC Upstate, 46-23 with a minute to go in the half.

2:33 p.m. ET: Both games underway at about the same time, so my next update will come at around halftime.

1:58 p.m. ET: And West Virginia-Davidson just went final at 1:54, 84-70 in favor of WVU. Truck Bryant led the Mountaineers with 22, while Brendan McKillop had 15 for the Wildcats.  In Charleston, Jason Clark had 22 for the Hoyas, while Austin Freeman added 20. Those two combined to go 9 for 13 from 3. Kierre Greenwood led Coastal with 16. 

USC Upstate-Wofford is next up from S.C., while Nebraska and Vandy will play next in San Juan.

1:49 p,m. ET: Amazing. The noon tip in Charleston is over, while the 11:30 a.m. San Juan tip isn't quite over yet. Georgetown moves to the semifinals with an 80-62 win. Still 1:24 to go in PR.

1:43 p.m. ET: Davidson finally hit a 3, after 19 straight misses, to cut WVU's lead to 10. It's currently 72-60 with 2:48 left. The two clubs have combined for 52 fouls...oof. Georgetown is up 21 on Coastal with 2:30 to go.

1:32 p.m. ET: Davidson is still down 16--and 0 for 17 from 3. It's 62-46 West Virginia with 7:24 left. Coastal made a run to cut Georgetown's lead to 7, but the Hoyas responded with a run of their own to get it back to a 16-point advantage at the under 8 timeout.

1:19 p.m. ET: The Big East favorites are definitely in control now. West Virginia continues to lead Davidson by double digits. It's currently a 13-point gap in San Juan with 10 or so minutes left. Georgetown was up 18, but Coastal has scored 7 points straight to make it 51-40 Hoyas at the under 12.

12:44 p.m. ET: We could have a ballgame in South Carolina. Coastal is forcing turnovers (Hoyas have coughed it up 10 times in the 1st), which has allowed the Chants to stay in it. Georgetown even missed some chances to extend their lead at the buzzer, with Chris Wright missing a three and Vee Sanford and Hollis Thompson missing layups. Hoyas lead 32-26 at the break.

12:35 p.m. ET: It's halfime in San Juan, where West Virginia is in control against Davidson, leading 42-29. Truck Bryant leads all scorers with 11 points, while Jake Cohen leads the Wildcats with 7. Davidson would be in much better shape if they'd get some baskets to fall (12-31 from the field with no made 3s). 

Georgetown isn't having much trouble hitting shots in Charleston, where they lead Coastal Carolina 30-22 at the under 4 timeout. The Hoyas are 8 of 13 from 3 (not that the Chanticleers are doing too badly, hitting 3 of 5) and shooting 61.1% overall. 

12:20 p.m. ET: First up, Davidson-West Virginia in Puerto Rico (38-22 WVU, 3:52 1H) and Coastal Carolina-Georgetown in Charleston (17-10 GU 11:58 1H)

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