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USF salvages Hawaiian trip
By STEPHEN TSAI
Published December 24, 2005
HONOLULU - James Holmes scored 24, including the decisive 3-pointer with 31.8 seconds left, to lift USF to a 54-50 victory over Loyola Marymount in the seventh-place game of the Rainbow Classic.
"We had some breakdowns, but we got the win," the senior said. "We didn't want to leave beautiful Hawaii without a win."
The Bulls (6-5) finished the eight-team tournament 1-2.
USF led 34-19 at halftime, but Chris Ayer's hook put Loyola (3-9) ahead 50-49 with 1:49 left. Brandon Worthy stole it from Solomon Jones on USF's ensuing possession. But Worthy missed a jumper from the right wing, and the Bulls got the rebound.
USF coach Robert McCullum called for "triple," in which Holmes sneaks behind a succession of screens near the baseline. Chris Capko lobbed a pass to Holmes, who was open in the left corner.
"We run that play all of the time in practice," Holmes said. "Practice builds confidence. I ran the fade (to the corner), and (Capko) got me the ball. I was confident I could make the shot. I'm pretty good in H-O-R-S-E."
The Bulls ran the play unsuccessfully two possessions earlier. But McCullum decided to call it again, figuring, "It's a very familiar play. It's important that we minimize turnovers, and not many players have to touch the basketball on that play. It's something (Holmes) can run in his sleep.
"He wanted the basketball, and we wanted him to have it."
Loyola's hopes ended on a turnover with 24.7 seconds left and John Montgomery's missed 3-pointer with five seconds left.
In the fifth-place game, Chris Stephens scored 23 and Oregon State used a 16-4 second-half run to beat Western Michigan 73-68.
More Big East
NO. 2 UCONN 129, MOREHEAD ST. 61: Rashad Anderson made all seven of his 3-pointers and scored a career-high 33 for the host Huskies. Rudy Gay added 18 points, six blocks and a career-high eight assists. Anderson made four 3-pointers and Ed Nelson scored 12 to help UConn lead 27-4 six minutes in.
NOTRE DAME 75, COLUMBIA 68: Chris Quinn scored 15 of his 18 in the second half for the host Irish. Up 47-46, the Irish went on a 12-2 run with half of the points coming from the free-throw line. Quinn scored six and Kyle McAlarney five, including a three-point play.
CINCY 75, LSU 72: James White made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:51 left for the Bearcats in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. At 4-0, they and Northern Iowa shared the title of the round-robin event. White, who scored 19, also made two free throws with 17 seconds left.
NO. 19 KENTUCKY 73, IONA 67: Rekalin Sims, who scored a combined five in his previous three games, scored 11 on 5-of-8 shooting for the Wildcats in Louisville, Ky. Kentucky, which never trailed, led by 13 midway through the second half. The Gaels cut it to three with just more than a minute left. But Patrick Sparks, who had a season-high eight assists and game-high seven rebounds, made a 3-pointer, his only field goal, to help seal it.
NO. 16 MARYLAND 81, AMERICAN 55: Nik Caner-Medley and Chris McCray scored 17 for the host Terps. Six consecutive points by Ekene Ibekwe sparked an early 12-0 run, and a 16-2 run made it a 23-point game. Maryland led by 26 at halftime and by at least 20 throughout the second half.
VIRGINIA 98, LOYOLA (MD.) 59: J.R. Reynolds scored 25 and Adrian Joseph 24 and Jason Cain had 15 points and 16 rebounds for the host Cavs, who ended a three-game losing streak. The Greyhounds led 7-3 2:59 in, but Reynolds made three 3-pointers as Virginia outscored Loyola 45-9 during the next 12:37 and led 60-29 at halftime.
NO. 9 WASHINGTON 54, LEHIGH 37: The Huskies extended the nation's longest home win streak to 31. Washington improved to 10-0 despite scoring 42 fewer points than it averaged going in. A 20-4 run helped the Huskies take a 32-13 lead late in the first half, and they scored the first 11 of the second.
NO. 12 UCLA 86, SACRAMENTO ST. 56: Aaron Afflalo scored 22 for the host Bruins. UCLA allowed one field goal and blocked six shots during the first 6:25 to take an 18-2 lead. Up 42-28 at halftime, the Bruins scored the first nine of the second half.
NO. 18 INDIANA 73, BUTLER 55: Marco Killingsworth scored 27 and Robert Vaden 22 for the Hoosiers in Indianapolis. The Bulldogs pulled to 49-46 with 7:22 left. But they didn't make another field goal for more than five minutes. Meanwhile, Indiana scored seven, capped by Killingsworth's three-point play with 4:22 left that made it 56-46.
NO. 24 OHIO ST. 74, TENN. ST. 65: Je'Kel Foster, who averaged 18 points in three wins last week, scored 19 for the host Buckeyes. The Buckeyes, 8-0 for the first time in 15 seasons, trailed 55-52 with 10:43 left. But the Tigers didn't score during the next 71/2 minutes. Meanwhile, Foster made two baskets and a free throw and had two assists during a 13-0 run.
FAMU 74, HAWAII-PACIFIC 67: Rome Sanders scored 17 for the Rattlers at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. Down 38-28 at halftime, the Sea Warriors cut it to three with 1:37 left. But FAMU scored nine of the game's final 14.
OBITUARY: Former St. Joseph's coach Jim Boyle died of lung cancer at his home near Philadelphia. He was 63. Mr. Boyle, who hired current Hawks coach Phil Martelli as an assistant, coached from 1981-90, going 151-114 with two Tournament berths.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.