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NCAA Tournament Recap (Alcorn St-Stanford)

Posted: Thur March 11, 1999 at 10:46 p.m. EST

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Stanford's dreams of a second straight Final Four almost ended before they got started.

Mark Madsen had 23 points and 13 rebounds as the second-seeded Cardinal closed the game with a 14-2 run and clawed out a 69-57 victory over 15th-seeded Alcorn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in the West Region.

Stanford (26-6) found itself in a 55-55 deadlock with 4:11 to play after a 12-foot fadeaway jumper by Alcorn's Karl Jones.

Kris Weems slashed into the lane and hit an eight-footer 19 seconds later. Pete Sauer added a free throw and Arthur Lee hit two with 2:38 to go after Alcorn's Eddrick Wheaton was called for an illegal screen.

After another miss by the Braves (23-7), Madsen was able to seal off his defender, take an entry pass from David Moseley and hit a lay-in as he was fouled. He completed the three-point play to give Stanford a 63-55 lead with 1:53 to go.

Brian Adams pulled Alcorn State within six pointss before Lee hit four free throws around two by Madsen to seal the victory.

Lee scored 13 points for the Cardinal, who will play 10th-seeded Gonzaga in the second round Saturday. Stanford won the Midwest Region last year, advancing to its first Final Four in 56 years before losing to eventual champion Kentucky in overtime in the national semifinals.

This win was similar to its first-round win over the College of Charleston last year in which Stanford pulled away down the stretch due to its strong offensive execution.

Wallace Harris scored 17 points and Marcus Fleming added 10 for the Braves, who were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1984. Alcorn State dug itself out of an early 15-point deficit and gave Stanford fits with its aggressive man-to-man defense.

The Cardinal threatened to turn the game into a blowout, scoring the first nine points. The lead mushroomed to 21-6 with 13:07 to go on a 16-footer by Young. Alcorn State reeled off seven straight points, closing to 21-13 on a lay-in by Chad Slaughter with 11:16 to go.

Stanford rebuilt its lead to 30-18 on a 3-pointer by Sauer with six minutes to go in the first half and led 40-26 at halftime. After a 17-footer by Lee, Alcorn State countered with a 17-5 run to make it 49-48 as Harris scored Alcorn State's final seven points.

Moseley and Tim Young each sank two free throws around a follow shot by Wheaton, giving the Cardinal a 53-50 lead with 6:19 to go. But Harris nailed an open 3-pointer from the right wing to knot the game, 53-53. Madsen sank two free throws before Jones pulled the Braves even for the last time.

Stanford had a commanding 45-33 advantage in rebounds and shot 43 percent (21-of-49) from the field. Sauer contributed 12 points and Young 10 for the Cardinal, who held a whopping 23-3 edge in free throws made.

Reuben Stiff, who led Alcorn State in scoring at 12.3 points per game, was held to five on 2-of-11 shooting before fouling out with less than four minutes to play. The Braves shot 36 percent (24-of-66) and made only 6-of-27 from 3-point range.

© 2000 Sportsticker Enterprises, LP

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