NJIT 65, Houston Baptist 64

Isaiah Wilkerson scored 20 points to help NJIT edge Houston

Baptist 65-64 in the first round of the Great West Conference

tournament Thursday.

The fourth-seeded Highlanders (14-16) will face top-seeded Utah

Valley in the semifinals Friday.

Chris Flores scored 13 points and had six steals, while Ryan

Woods and Lamar Kearse added 10 points each for NJIT, which has won

four in a row.

Tyler Russell’s 17 points paced the fifth-seeded Huskies

(10-20), who had eliminated NJIT the last two years. Jonathan Evans

and Art Bernardi scored 14 points apiece.

The Highlanders committed only nine turnovers while forcing 20,

helping them win despite shooting only 40 percent (27 of 68) to

Houston Baptist’s 50 percent (24 of 48).

NJIT led 65-60 with 1:10 to go. Russell cut it to 65-62, and

after an NJIT turnover, Bernardi made it a one-point game with 11

seconds left. But the Highlanders held on.