Tampa native's 3 gives S.C. NIT title

Associated Press
Published April 1, 2005

NEW YORK - Tarence Kinsey was a timeout from being a spectator instead of the hero.

Known more for defense, Kinsey, the Tampa native and former Jefferson High standout, hit a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left to lift South Carolina to a 60-57 victory over Saint Joseph's Thursday night in the NIT championship game.

After Pat Carroll tied it with a 3 for the Hawks at the end of a miserable night for the sharpshooter, Kinsey came up the floor and sank the winning jumper from the right elbow.

"I figured if I miss, we're in OT," Kinsey said. "I didn't want to pass because of the time, so I said, "Why not take the shot?' "

He was only in the game to guard Carroll, who went 5-of-19 and made 2 of 13 3-pointers. Coach Dave Odom was about to call timeout and get his shooter, Josh Gonner, back in the game.

But Odom didn't pull the trigger.

"I didn't want their defense to set for the last play. So I swallowed my tongue, or whatever," Odom said. "Had I called a timeout, I would have put Josh in and taken Tarence out, no question."

South Carolina was only the second team in the NIT to get to 60 points against the Hawks, who controlled the tempo with ball control and good defense.

"I felt if we could hit 60 we would win," Odom said. "I didn't know it would come on the last shot."

Kinsey let his winning shot go six seconds after Carroll tied it. But that was one of the few shots Carroll, the Atlantic 10 co-player of the year, could get to fall.

The Hawks started 3-6 this season to follow their run to the NCAA round of eight in 2004. But they turned it around and went 21-6 after Jan. 1.

Carroll's stellar career ended with a 15-point performance after he averaged 20.6 in the first five NIT games.

"You're going to have good nights and bad nights as a basketball player. Tonight was definitely a bad night," Carroll said. "The only thing I wanted to do as a player was have no regrets.

"I am proud of the team because everybody gave everything they've got, and that's all you can ask for."

USC's Carlos Powell scored a game-high 16 and was chosen tournament MVP.

ST. BONAVENTURE: Coach Anthony Solomon received a one-year contract extension through 2008-09. He is 9-47 in two years, but the program has been under NCAA sanctions because of a player eligibility scandal in March 2003.

W. VA.: Coach John Beilein, who guided his team to this year's round of eight and its best showing in more than four decades, earned a two-year extension through 2011-12.

Women's NIT

SW MISSOURI ST. 78, W. VA. 70: Kari Koch had 23 points, Jenni Lingor added 20 and the host Bears rode a barrage of 3-pointers to the championship.

Southwest Missouri State sank 11 3-pointers to set an NCAA season record of 305 for the season.

"This is a great way to end the season for us, to win a national championship, especially for our seniors," coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said.