Langdon's shooting single-handedly tears up Temple
Posted: Sunday March 21, 1999 08:41 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Temple literally dared Duke to beat its aggressive, famed 2-3 zone from the outside in the East Regional final on Sunday, and Trajan Langdon did just that.
Langdon took the brashness out of Temple's zone by hitting three straight 3-pointers and scoring 11 points in a row in an early 17-2 spurt that led No. 1 Duke to an 85-64 win and its first Final Four berth since 1994.
Langdon, a fifth-year senior who had never made the Final Four, hit 6-of-7 shots from the field, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range and finished with a game-high 23 points in denying Temple's John Chaney his first trip to the Final Four in 27 years of coaching.
"Against Duke, we knew Langdon was going to hit shots, you just didn't know how well," Chaney said. "He was coming off screens, turning and shooting over a 6-foot-10 player and that just doesn't happen that often. We just didn't know how well he was going to do it."
Coming into the game, Temple packed the inside of its zone to stop Elton Brand with the hope that its defenders would jump out quickly and get a hand in Langdon's face.
In three previous games, the sixth-seeded Owls had not given up more than 55 points in any game.
"Our defense wasn't as aggressive as against the other teams we played," forward Mark Karcher said. "But Langdon is a good shooter. We had hands in his face, two or three people running at him. He is just a real good shooter and he was on."
Duke forward Chris Carrawell said Temple made a mistake challenging Langdon, a 45 percent shooter from the field in the regular season.
"I don't see how you can dare him," Carrawell said. "If you dare anyone I'd dare me. If they were going to dare me, OK. They might have a chance.
"I wouldn't dare Trajan Langdon. It's as simple as that," Carrawell added. "He's the best shooter in the country and he showed why today. He can knock them down. He can just knock them down."
Karcher said after Langdon banged a couple of shots down early, Temple (24-11) tried to adjust more and attack him. The problem with that was it spread the zone and offered the Blue Devils a chance to drive and penetrate and find Brand and company inside.
Brand finished with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
"Once we thought we had Langdon for a minute, somebody else would come and somebody else would come," Karcher said. "That's what makes Duke a great team. They can just constantly bring in good player after good player."
Temple guard Rasheed Brokenborough said anyone playing Duke in the future needs to concentrate of picking a couple of players to stop."You can't stop all of them and that's what we tried to do," the senior said. "You got to let one or two guys beat you. If they shoot the ball and miss we'll live with that. But you can't let the guys beat you who are supposed to beat you, like Langdon and Brand. You have to let Carrawell and guys like that score 25 or 30 points."
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.