ATLANTA -- The NIT is about brighter tomorrows, and Dion Glover gave Georgia Tech fans a glimpse of one Wednesday night.
One week after announcing that he'll definitely be back for his sophomore year, Glover lit up Seton Hall for a career-high 33 points, helping the Yellow Jackets to an 88-78 victory before a crowd of 6,371 at Alexander Coliseum.
Tech advances to the second round of the 32-team consolation tournament and will host Georgetown on Monday night. The Hoyas defeated Florida 71-69 Wednesday night in Gainesville.
Glover made 10 of 17 shots from the field, including a career-high six three-pointers, and his 33 points were the most by a Yellow Jacket since James Forrest scored 36 against Mayland on Jan. 4, 1994.
"It was just one of those nights where the basket was big," Glover said. "You felt like you could throw three balls in at one time."
The runnerup to Wake Forest's Robert O'Kelley for ACC Rookie of the Year, Glover finished the regular season with an 18-point scoring average -- third highest in the nation among freshmen. He scored 29 points against Louisville and Maryland and 27 in an upset at home over Clemson last month.
"We all know what Dion's capable of," Tech coach Bobby Cremins said. "All freshmen have to go through the learning stage, and Dion continues to go through it, but tonight he looked spectacular."
Tech set a Coliseum record with 15 three-pointers, breaking a mark it set last month with 14 against Virginia. The school record is 16 treys, established twice in 1996, against North Carolina and Boston College.
Senior Matt Harpring had 16 points and four of the treys despite being treated for cut in the back of his head during the second half. Jason Floyd contributed 15 points off the bench. Freshman center Alvin Jones blocked four shots, and freshman point guard Travis Spivey played only his fourth game of the year without a turnover.
Seton Hall was led by sophomore point guard Shaheen Holloway with 21 points and senior forward Donnell Williams with 18. Holloway took a scary dive into the stands while chasing a loose ball late in the game, but he appeared OK after being checked by medical personnel.
Tech seemed disinterested in the early going, perhaps beaten down by its rugged ACC schedule and unexcited about being in the NIT and missing the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years.
But after falling behind 8-0 and struggling through the rest of the first half, the Jackets played hard. They took their first lead with 17:04 left in the game on a Harpring three. Shortly thereafter, they had a 58-48 advantage.
Seton Hall cut the lead to five points three times over the remaining 14 minutes, but got no closer. Tech sealed it at the free throw line in the final 31 seconds, with Glover and Michael Maddox each making two and Michael Maddox one.
"I challenged them a little bit at halftime," Cremins said. "I told them, `Grow up. Everybody loses. Put those losses behind you.' But in our league you get up. We had three freshman, and freshmen tend to get a little wild."
Glover said the players took the halftime redress to heart, particularly the part about the pro scouts watching and wanting to see more Harpring and Maddox play hard after their team finished the season with four straight losses.
"He got on us and really good," Glover said. "I just decided then i wanted to go out and play hard and try to win the thing."
Although Tech missed the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years, it is playing in the postseason for the 13th time in the last 15 years under Cremins.