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Updated: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 9:25 PM EST
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West Virginia 65, Kent St 54

KENT, Ohio (Ticker) -- Kent State was disappointed it did not make the NCAA Tournament but did nothing to bolster its case.

The Golden Flashes lost on their home floor in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament as West Virginia pulled away for a 65-54 victory behind a late run keyed by Johannes Herber.

Kent State (22-9) had its NCAA Tournament hopes dashed with a loss to Western Michigan in the championship of the Mid-American Conference tournament. It settled for a second straight NIT appearance but again was ousted in the opener.

West Virginia (16-13) never trailed after the opening eight minutes, but Kent State reeled off nine straight points to pull within 46-43 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Mountaineers responded with 14 of the next 20 points. Herber scored all of his eight points consecutively during the spurt, which D'or Fischer capped with a pair of free throws for a 60-49 cushion with a minute to play.

Tyrone Sally had 17 points and nine rebounds and Patrick Beilein added 14 points for West Virginia, which will face Rhode Island in the first round.

Clif Brown scored 14 points and John Edwards collected 13 and 10 rebounds as Kent State fell to 2-6 all time in the NIT.

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