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Oklahoma State beats Harvard in NIT opener

Marshall Moses had 18 points and eight rebounds, and third-seeded Oklahoma State had its highest-scoring first half of the season in a 71-54 victory over sixth-seeded Harvard on Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Oklahoma State (20-13) scored 41 points in the first half and won an NIT game for the first time since 1997. The Cowboys had lost three straight from 2006 to 2008.

Reger Dowell went 6 for 7 from the field and scored 15 and Matt Pilgrim added 12 as six Cowboys scored six or more points.

Kyle Casey led Harvard (23-7) with 13 points, while Ivy League player of the year Keith Wright scored 10 and hit double figures for the 15th straight game. Laurent Rivard added 10 off the bench for Harvard, which scored its fewest points since managing 52 in a loss to Connecticut on Dec. 22.

The Crimson were making their first NIT appearance after winning at least share of the Ivy League for the first time in school history. They lost to Princeton on a game-winning shot at the buzzer in a tiebreaker for the league's automatic NCAA tournament berth.

Oklahoma State, which won its 32nd consecutive non-conference home game, will play the winner between No. 2 Washington State and No. 7 Long Beach State. The higher seed will host.

Oklahoma State took a 14-point lead into halftime thanks to a 14-4 run midway through the first half. Keiton Page hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to start the spurt and Roger Franklin capped it with a jump shot from the baseline. The Cowboys held Harvard to one basket during the four-minute stretch.

Dowell, Moses, J.P. Olukemi and Markel Brown all scored during the run. Page finished with eight points and Brown had seven points, three rebounds and three assists.

Oklahoma State outrebounded Harvard 17-9 in the first half and 31-23 for the game.

The Crimson ranked second nationally in free throw percentage, but went 4 for 7 from the line. It was a season low in both attempts and makes.