Post-Season Tournament Game Summaries
By Steve Porter
CIT Round 1: #8 seed Detroit Titans (17-11) vs #1 seed North Carolina State Wolfpack (17-13)—Led by SF Dwayne Poge’s two 3 pointers, the Titans jumped out on top 10-2 after just over 2 minutes of play. Detroit maintained a 4-9 point lead until the Wolfpack caught up and took a lead with 3-1/2 minutes left in the first half. The lead see-sawed back and forth with NC State holding a thin 43-42 margin at the break. Detroit’s PF Copley Scott led all scorers with 10 points. NC State pulled away in the middle part of the 2nd half and opened a 70-50 lead with 10-1/2 minutes to play. Detroit was unable to make a significant dent in the deficit. The Wolfpack whipped the Titans 90-72 as NC State outshot Detroit 52% to 42% and held a 17-5 turnover advantage. Detroit’s C William Rogers had a double-double (15 points and 10 rebounds). For NC State C Ericson Lazosky scored 20 and pulled down 9 boards.
NIT Round 1: #7 seed Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix (17-12) vs #2 seed Villanova Wildcats (17-13)—The Phoenix hung with Villanova for the first 3 minutes but then the Wildcats began to pull away. At the midpoint of the first half, Wisconsin-Green Bay trailed by 13. The Phoenix then tightened their defense and closed to within 9 at 45-36 when the half ended. C Steve Lawson scored 17 for Villanova while C Pete Richmond had 12 for Wisconsin-Green Bay. After 4 minutes of play in the 2nd half the Phoenix, led by PG Valter Morris and C Pete Richmond, had cut Villanova’s lead to 53-48. But with 11 minutes to go Villanova had stretched their lead to 16. The Phoenix continued to hang in the game though and with 9-1/2 minutes to go the score was 71-64 and Villanova’s home crowd was quieted. With 3 minutes to go there still was a 7 point difference and the Phoenix had possession coming out of a time out. Valter Morris got free for a 15 foot jumper that went clearly through the net making it 84-79. The next 3 possessions ended with the teams alternating with missed 3 point shots, but then the Wildcats fouled Pete Richmond inside for a 1-and-1 with 1:25 to play. Richmond missed the free throw but after rebounding Villanova threw the ball away as they tried to take time off the clock. Wisconsin-Green Bay called a time out to set up a 3 point shot but it went off the rim. ‘Nova was intentionally fouled and converted both free throws. The Phoenix hit a quick shot to make it 86-81 with 33 seconds on the clock and fouled again. This time Villanova made only one free throw. The Phoenix called a time out and again missed their resulting 3 point attempt. After a quick series of changes in possessions, Wisconsin Green Bay tipped in a shot at the buzzer but it only reduced Villanova’s winning margin to 87-83. Villanova’s C Steve Lawson had an awesome game, scoring 30, grabbing 8 boards, dishing out 3 assists, and making 3 steals and 2 blocks. SG Pat Alexander scored 21 for the Wildcats. Both C Pete Richmond and PG Valter Morris scored 18 for Wisconsin-Green Bay with Richmond garnering 10 rebounds and Morris having 7 assists.
CBI round 1: #5 seed S.E. Missouri State Redhawks (17-11) vs #4 seed Oakland Golden Grizzlies (17-12)—Oakland maintained a small lead throughout the first half which ended with the Golden Grizzlies holding a 37-33 edge. Oakland expanded their lead to 10 early in the 2nd half, but the Redhawks then began to reel them in. With 27 seconds remaining, the Redhawks hit a contested 12 footer that reduced Oakland’s lead to a single point. The Golden Grizzlies missed the front end of a one-and-one and S.E. Missouri State brought it up court with a chance to win. But Oakland’s SF Chris Lovett stole the ball and passed it up court to a streaking Keanan Cole who jammed it down to ice the game. Oakland pulled out a 72-69 victory to send them on to round 2. C Gary Johnson led Oakland offensively with 15 points. SG Donte Jones scored 20 for S.E. Missouri State.
CBI round 2: #4 seed Oakland Golden Grizzlies (18-12) vs #1 seed Duke Blue Devils (15-14)—Oakland took an early 5 point lead, but that dissolved midway through the first half as Duke’s defense shut down the Golden Grizzlies. By the end of the half, Duke was on top 40-27. The Blue Devils then blew Oakland away in the 2nd half and opened as much as a 31 point lead. The final score was: Duke-79, Oakland-51. Duke out-rebounded Oakland 41-29 and held a 22-6 turnover advantage. SF Wayne Webber scored 19 for Duke and PF John McKarney had a double-double (10 points and 13 rebounds). SG Donte Ferguson put in 13 points to lead Oakland.
NCAA Round 1:
Penguins Plucked by Bearcats
By Steve Porter
Youngstown State (24-6) faced a big challenge when they faced the #15-ranked and #6-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats (23-9) in round 1 of the NCAA Tournament. Cincinnati was led by their hot-shooting outside duo of PG Bobby Harrington (21.8 ppg) and SG Todd Johnson (16.0 ppg).
Cincinnati opened the scoring, but with 16:52 on the clock PF Aaron Tice scored inside and was fouled on the play. He converted the 3 point play giving YSU its first lead at 9-8. The Bearcats then scored 11 unanswered points. With the Penguins shooting horribly, Cincinnati opened a 19 point lead with 3 minutes remaining in the first half. The half ended with Youngstown State on the wrong end of a 50-32 score. In the first half, YSU was outshot 55% to 31%. C Will O’Neil carried the load offensively for the Penguins with 15 points. O’Neil also was credited with 6 rebounds. SG Todd Johnson hit for 13 for Cincinnati.
The double digit deficit stayed intact in the 2nd half. ith 11 minutes left in the 2nd half, PG Pat White cut under the basket, took a pass, turned and put the ball in to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 63-54. Then PF Lee Pauly put in a 14-footer with 8:38 remaining to make it 66-58. But that’s as close as the Penguins would get. From there the Bearcats sprinted away to an 87-69 knockout of the Penguins.
C Will O’Neil scored 26 and hauled down 12 rebounds and hit 10 of his 15 FG attempts. But the Penguins as a team hit just 40% of their shots compared to Cincinnati which knocked down 51% of their FG attempts. For Cincinnati, SG Todd Johnson scored 38 plus grabbed 9 boards and dished out 9 assists.
“We were hoping to get deeper into the tournament. But Cincinnati is a very good team,” said Coach KD Durst. “They were much quicker than us, and the Bearcats defense made it tough for us to get clear so we hit a low percentage of our shots. That spelled our defeat. Even though we didn’t get past the first round, I’m proud of how well our guys developed and came together to play as a team this season. We just came up against a better team tonight.”
Pat Walker, head coach for Cincinnati, said, “We knew that Will O’Neil had some good stats coming in and we were determined to stop him. But we simply couldn’t do it. He’s a heckuva player. It’s hard to believe he’s just a freshman.”
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