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NCAA Tournament Recap (Kent-Temple)

Posted: Sat March 13, 1999 at 2:32 a.m EST

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Pepe Sanchez had 15 points, nine assists and six rebounds as sixth-seeded Temple recorded a 61-54 victory over NCAA Tournament debutante and Kent in the first round in the East Region.

Rasheed Brokenborough also scored 15 points and Lamont Barnes added 12 and six rebounds for the Owls (22-10), who used a 19-6 run at the outset of the second half to open a 50-33 lead. Temple hit 8-of-20 shots (40 percent) from 3-point range, far better than its season average of 31 percent.

The Owls will face a familiar foe in the second round, third-seeded Cincinnati. It marks the third time in the past five years the two teams will meet in the NCAA Tournament. Cincinnati recorded a first-round win in 1995 and a second-round triumph the following year.

Despite the victory, Owls coach John Chaney was less than thrilled with his team's performance.

"I think we're really lucky to be here with a victory because I think we played horrible basketball today," said Chaney. "I think we were frightened stiff. Frightened maybe of (Cincinnati) or frightened of the team we were playing or both. We were just frightened."

John Whorton scored 13 points and Nate Meers added 10 for Kent (23-7), which made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Mid-American Conference tournament. The Golden Flashes, though, have suffered the same fate as the other three first-time entrants -- Arkansas State, Samford and Winthrop -- a first-round exit. Florida A&M is expected to join the foursome later when it plays top-seeded Duke in the East Region.

"It was a good game, I thought Temple deserved to win," said Golden Flashes coach Gary Waters. "Maybe Chaney felt bad about a couple of things, but I thought htey did a good job. They put pressure on us on the right times in their zone and took us out of the things we wanted to do."

The Owls led 31-27 at halftime, but after a basket by Brokenborough, Whorton had consecutive buckets to draw Kent within 33-31 at the 16:37 mark. Temple, though, regrouped with nine straight points. Brokenborough had a pair of free throws and Quincy Wadley hit a 3-pointer before Barnes had a pair of baskets to provide a 42-31 lead with 12:37 to play.

Whorton briefly stemmed the tide with a basket, but Karcher had a three-point play and Keaton Sanders had a field goal before Brokenborough had a bucket to cap the run, giving the Owls a 50-33 lead with 10:20 to go. The Golden Flashes were able to make a late flurry to close within single digits, but never mounted a serious threat.

Pepe, who played all 40 minutes, was able to withstand Kent's pressure and did not commit a turnover while recording three steals and adding a blocked shot. He was 5-of-8 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.

"You get nine assists and no turnovers, that's a hell of a game for Pepe," said Waters. "We pressed him and he still didn't commit a turnover."

Temple shot 47 percent (22-of-47) from the field but hit only 9-of-20 from the foul line.

The Golden Flashes made 8-of-23 from beyond the arc but hit only 34 percent (21-of-61) from the floor. The starting backcourt of Ed Norvell and Kyrem Massey combined to make it 3-of-17 from the field.

"We took the shots that were there for us, we just didn't make them from the outside," said Whorton, who went 6-of-9 from the field and grabbed seven of his nine rebounds on the offensive end. "Any other time, maybe the shots go in and we advance. But not tonight."

© 2000 Sportsticker Enterprises, LP

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