Wake Forest Falls At Minnesota In NIT Opener 

Wake Forest Falls At Minnesota In NIT Opener

Vince Grier scored 18 points to lead Minnesota to a 73-58 victory over Wake Forest in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night.

For the Gophers (16-14), this one was all about their seniors. Grier also had eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Moe Hargrow scored 15 points, Adam Boone added 13 points and J'son Stamper had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Minnesota, the fourth seed in its group, will play a second-round game next Tuesday against the winner of Friday's Cincinnati-Charlotte matchup.

Chris Ellis led the Demon Deacons (17-17) with 12 points and six rebounds, and Justin Gray had 11 points and five assists.

The Gophers gave a sparse crowd - with students on spring break - two highlight-reel sequences in an even, fast-paced first half in which neither team led by more than seven.

In the opening minutes, Grier leaped high to catch a lob pass from Hargrow with one hand and landed on the low block before popping right back up for an easy basket. Later, Stamper got a steal and started a fastbreak that he ended with a one-handed, back-spinning bounce pass that landed in a streaking Rico Tucker's hands for a layup.

Set back with a broken finger in the season opener that kept him out of the next five games, Grier wasn't as consistently dominant as he was as a junior - but he clearly remained Minnesota's best player.

Grier has 47 points in the Gophers' last two games.

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