NEW YORK — Kenrich Williams had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and TCU routed Georgia Tech 88-56 in the NIT championship on Thursday night.
TCU opened with a 20-3 run on its way to the program’s first NIT title. Vlad Brodziansky scored 18 points for the Horned Frogs (24-15), and Alex Robinson had 10 points and 11 assists.
Williams was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Tadric Jackson led Georgia Tech (21-16) with 19 points. Josh Okogie had 12 points and six rebounds.
It was the first meeting between the ACC and Big programs since Dec. 21, 1967, and No. 3 overall. And it mostly belonged to TCU, which never trailed.
The Horned Frogs led 38-27 at halftime, and it was more of the same in the second half. Williams and Brodziansky threw down thunderous dunks, and Williams knock down a 3 to help push the advantage to 54-39.
TCU shot 51 percent (35 for 68) from the field and held Georgia Tech to 35.7 percent (20 for 56) shooting.
The lead grew to 69-49 on Williams’ breakaway jam with 6:44 left. Desmond Bane tacked on a 3 from in front of the TCU bench, helping kick off the celebration for the Horned Frogs.
TCU coach Jamie Dixon emptied his bench in the final minutes, and reserve Josh Parrish had a breakaway windmill jam in the final seconds.
Georgia Tech: Despite the loss, it was a successful season for the Yellow Jackets. A program Pastner referred to as a “major rebuild job” as recently as Tuesday won 21 games and competed in a national postseason tournament.
TCU: Coach Jamie Dixon improved to 28-15 all-time at Madison Square Garden.
The Yellow Jackets did not have a field goal until Ben Lammers’ jumper 5:03 into the game. Prior to Lammers’ basket, Georgia Tech was 0 for 6 from the field and had committed four turnovers.