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Men’s college basketball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001


Penn St. shocks MSU

CHICAGO -- Michigan State isn't going to win any tournaments like this, Big Ten or otherwise.

Joe Crispin made an off-balance three-pointer with 21 seconds left, then sealed Penn State's victory with a pair of free throws as the Nittany Lions upset the sloppy Spartans 65-63 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament Friday night.

The No. 2 Spartans are the highest-ranked team Penn State (19-10) has ever beaten, and the players rushed the floor as the buzzer sounded. Coach Jerry Dunn hugged his daughter and son while Gyasi Cline-Heard picked up the Nittany Lion mascot and threw him over his shoulder.

Crispin finished with 22 points, 12 from three-point range. Titus Ivory added 17 and Cline-Heard had 10.

IU 64, NO. 23 WISCONSIN 52: Kirk Haston had 19 points and a stifling Hoosiers defense held the Badgers without a field goal for almost 141/2 minutes in their quarterfinal game in Chicago.

"I love this town. I'm tired of staying here one day and then leaving and packing the bags," said Haston, whose team lost in the tournament's first round the past two seasons. "I left all my stuff all over the hotel room to make sure I was coming back to stay the night."

It was the first victory in the tournament since 1998 for the Hoosiers, who were 1-3 in the tournament under Bob Knight.

Wisconsin went home without a tournament victory for the first time in four years.

NO. 4 ILLINOIS 83, PURDUE 66: Frank Williams can shoot, score, handle the ball and defend. Still, his most important role for the Illini is getting teammates involved.

When Williams distributes the ball, Illinois is tough to beat.

"Frank is a true point guard who can score, but our team is usually best when he doesn't have to," coach Bill Self said after Williams led the quarterfinal rout in Chicago. "He reads situations well and today was a day he didn't have to get his own shots. So he focused on creating for others."

Williams scored 13 and had a season-best 11 assists. Illinois' depth did the rest.

Big 12

BAYLOR 62, NO. 7 IOWA ST. 49: There should be plenty of tickets available for the last two days of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo., and they'll probably go cheap.

About 12,000 Iowa State fans who flocked to the tournament expecting to see their Cyclones romp to their second straight tournament title will be heading home early.

Big 12 Player of the Year Jamaal Tinsley had just eight points before fouling out, and the Cyclones shot 31 percent as the Bears stunned the two-time defending regular-season champions in the quarterfinals.

"I apologize to our fans," said Iowa State's Larry Eustachy, the Big 12 Coach of the Year.

"Money is tight and a lot of them made the drive down here."

Losing to eighth-seeded Baylor could end Iowa State's hopes of being a No. 1 or 2 seed in the Midwest Region.

Playing poorly from the opening tip, the Cyclones had twice as many turnovers (16) as field goals (eight) in a sloppy first half, then missed their first six shots of the second half.

NO. 9 KANSAS 94, KANSAS ST. 63: Jeff Boschee hit five three-pointers and had 23 points for the Jayhawks.

Drew Gooden added 21 points for Kansas, which won the first three Big 12 tournament titles before Iowa State broke its streak last season. Three other Kansas players reached double figures.

Kansas beat the Wildcats for the 22nd straight time, including six consecutive wins in the Big 12 and Big Eight tournaments. The Jayhawks also broke their tournament-game scoring record, set in 1998 in a 91-59 win over Nebraska.

The Jayhawks blew open the game with a 20-point run in the first half, holding Kansas State scoreless for almost 81/2 minutes. Gooden scored eight in the run as Kansas widened its three-point lead to 37-14 with 3:50 left in the half.

NO. 16 OKLAHOMA 67, MISSOURI 65: Nolan Johnson atoned for a crucial missed free throw by scoring the go-ahead basket. Justin Gage's basket with 29.3 seconds left gave the sixth-seeded Tigers a 65-63 lead, but Johnson hit the first of two free throws with 13.2 seconds left to cut the margin to one.

He missed the second but the Sooners got the ball back when two Tigers collided going for the rebound, sending the ball out of bounds.

Johnson, who finished with 20 points, then scored with 3.2 seconds left to give Oklahoma a 66-65 lead, and Missouri threw the ball away at the other end of the court.

"This is a tough one," Missouri coach Quin Snyder said. "We didn't make plays down the stretch."

NO. 20 TEXAS 55, OKLA. ST. 54: Chris Owens scored 12, and Brandon Mouton made the defensive play of the game for the Longhorns in the quarterfinals.

"We didn't score in the first five minutes of the second half and we could not rebound from that," Oklahoma State's Fredrik Jonzen said. "We can't have that happen in a tournament."

The Longhorns won their seventh game in a row and face upstart Baylor in today's semifinals.

Big East

PITT 55, NO. 17 SYRACUSE 54 (OT): Isaac Hawkins' free throw with three seconds left sent the Panthers to tonight's tournament final in New York.

Hawkins, who entered shooting better from the field than the free-throw line, lifted Pitt into its first title game. It will be the second time a team has played four games in the tournament -- Connecticut did it last year, losing to St. John's in the final.

It also is the second time a team with a losing conference record has reached the title game -- the Panthers went 7-9 in the league. Syracuse was 6-8 in 1981 when it beat Villanova in triple overtime to win the championship.

NO. 10 BC 75, SETON HALL 48: The Eagles ended the Pirates' unlikely march through the tournament and advanced to today's championship.

Troy Bell, co-player of the year in the Big East, led BC with 24 points. Xavier Singletary added 15, Ryan Sidney had 11 and Jonathan Beerbohm had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Seton Hall, playing its fourth must-win game in six days, simply ran out of energy down the stretch. It was tied at 42 with 11:59 left when BC shifted into overdrive. The Pirates managed just two more baskets. BC plays the winner of the late Syracuse-Pitt game.

Atlantic 10

TEMPLE 77, GW 76: Lynn Greer made three free throws after getting fouled on a three-point attempt with 2.9 seconds left to put the Owls into their third straight tournament final.

With the Owls trailing 76-74, Greer put up a three-point attempt and was fouled by Patrick Ngongba. Greer, who scored 24 and had seven assists, calmly converted all three free throws.

UMASS 75, NO. 21 ST. JOE'S 70: Monty Mack scored 27 to lead the Minutemen in the upset to reach the final.

Mack shot 10-of-16 from the field, including 5-for-10 from three-point range, and UMass got to the conference championship game for the first time since winning the last of its five consecutive titles in 1996.

Kitwana Rhymer added 15 points and 13 rebounds for fourth-seeded Massachusetts.

St. Joe's Jameer Nelson, who scored a career-high 23 points in Thursday's quarterfinal win over La Salle, was held to six on 1-for-5 shooting.

WAC

HAWAII 76, NO. 25 FRESNO ST. 67: In Tulsa, Okla., Predrag Savovic scored 23 and the Rainbow Warriors held off every challenge in the semifinal upset.

Hawaii committed 25 turnovers, but only fell behind three times and never by more than one point.

After looking sluggish in the first half, top-seeded Fresno State played more inspired ball during a second-half rally. But the Bulldogs weren't able to sustain it and wound up shooting 35 percent (24-for-68). Hawaii plays the winner of the late UTEP-Tulsa game in today's final.

Patriot League

HOLY CROSS 68, NAVY 64 (OT): Ryan Serravalle made a key basket late in regulation, then added two three-pointers in overtime for the Crusaders to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament in Worcester, Mass.

Serravalle hit a left-handed scoop shot with 29 seconds left in regulation to give Holy Cross its first lead since halftime 57-55. But Robert Reeder made a short jumper in the lane to tie it with 15 seconds to go.

Juan Pegues could have won it for Holy Cross in regulation, but his shot at the buzzer hit the bottom of the rim.

Texas Tech fires Dickey

LUBBOCK, Texas -- James Dickey was fired as Texas Tech's coach, clearing the way for the possible hiring of Bob Knight.

Athletic director Gerald Myers said the decision to drop Dickey was made a week ago and he and school president David Schmidly met with Knight on Monday in Florida.

"We felt it was necessary for us to talk to Bob Knight to assess his interest and also our interest," said Myers, who preceded Dickey as Tech's coach and is longtime friends with Knight.

Knight has been out of coaching since Indiana fired him Sept. 10 for a "pattern of unacceptable behavior." He won three national championships in 29 years at the school, but his tenure was marred by emotional outbursts and physical attacks.

Texas law requires the job to be open for 10 business days, which means no deal could be official before 5 p.m. March 23, according to Cindy Rugeley, a school spokeswoman.

IDAHO: Coach David Farrar was fired after five seasons. He leaves after a 6-21 season as the only coach in the league not to make the Big West tournament.

LA SALLE: Speedy Morris was fired after 15 years as coach. He had a 239-202 record with the Explorers.

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