Wednesday NIT Roundup
Fogler bows out as Gamecocks fall to UConn
Updated: Thursday March 15, 2001 8:52 AM
STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- There were handshakes and hugs all around in Eddie Fogler's final game as South Carolina's head coach.
Connecticut (20-11) ended Fogler's run at South Carolina on Wednesday night, beating the Gamecocks 72-65 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. Fogler announced his resignation two days earlier when the school did not extend his contract.
"I wanted our kids to have fun and play hard. Win and we go on. Lose, we lose," Fogler said. "I think they played hard and had fun."
The Gamecocks (15-15) played the Huskies tight until the final four minutes when UConn closed with a 13-6 run.
Edmund Saunders led the Huskies with 15 points, 11 rebounds and made key defensive plays in the closing moments. Saunders is one of three seniors who were members of UConn's 1999 national championship team.
"I want to go out with a bang, get as many wins as I can," said Saunders. "I'm kind of spoiled and we're used to getting 20 wins a season. So we got our 20th win today and we just have to keep going."
The Huskies (20-11) will play Detroit in the second round. Detroit advanced with a 68-49 win over Bradley.
UConn has appeared in 11 NITs and won the tournament in 1988 in coach Jim Calhoun's second season.
"We kept saying to the kids during time outs 'It's a 32-team field and there's a championship to be won,'" Calhoun said. "It is not the one we aspire for, but right now, it is the only one."
Caron Butler had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies, who outrebounded the Gamecocks 38-25.
Jamel Bradley had 19 points and was 6-of-9 from 3-point range for South Carolina.
Fogler, 52, finishes his career at South Carolina with a 123-117 record. He took over the Gamecocks after winning coach of the year honors at Vanderbilt. Fogler has taken three teams to the NCAA tournament -- Wichita State (1987-88), Vanderbilt (1991, 1993), South Carolina (1997-98).
The Gamecocks lost seven of their last nine games. Fogler said he doesn't he doesn't expect to be back in college ball.
"It is very difficult with college athletics being the way it is today and the pressures. You are darned if you do, darned if you don't," Fogler said. "I'm leaving college basketball with my dignity, my integrity and my sanity."
Minnesota 87, Villanova 78
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Burleson scored a season high 21 points as Minnesota knocked Michael Bradley out of the game in the second half and beat Villanova 87-78 Wednesday night in the first round.
Bradley, a second-team Associated Press All-American, went to the bench with a bloody nose with three minutes gone in the second half after a scuffle in the lane.
Two minutes later he went to the locker room and didn't return until the final minutes of the game.
Before that, however, Bradley had scored just two points, taking only two shots in the first half. He entered the game with a 21.4 scoring average.
Minnesota (18-13), which won the NIT in 1993 and 1998, will meet Tulsa, a 75-71 winner against UC-Irvine, in the second round.
Terrance Simmons added 16 points, all in the second half, for the Golden Gophers, who had lost ten of its previous 12 games.
Ricky Wright scored a career-high 26 points to lead Villanova (18-13). The Wildcats trailed by nine points early in the second half but fought back to go ahead 68-66 on Wright's turnaround shot with 9:23 to play.
Purdue 90, Illinois State 79
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Maynard Lewis scored a career-high 26 points, Carson Cunningham had 22, and the two combined for 11 3-pointers as Purdue beat Illinois State 90-79 Wednesday in the first round.
The Boilermakers were 12-of-19 from 3-point range, four short of the team record of 16.
Purdue will play Auburn in the second round.
The Boilermakers (16-14) had an 18-point first-half lead sliced to seven five minutes into the second half. Cunningham then made his fourth 3-pointer to push the lead to 54-44.
It was 56-46 when Lewis made three 3-pointers in a three-minute span and the lead was back to 18, 67-49.
Lewis, who missed only one 3-point attempt, followed with two more as Purdue maintained its double-digit lead until the final minute of the game. Lewis scored his previous high, 22, against Minnesota last Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
Illinois State (21-9) got 38 points from Tarise Bryson, the nation's ninth-leading scorer. Bryson led the Redbirds' comeback scoring 11 points in the final 3:50 of the first half and hitting a 3-pointer to make it 51-42 in the second. He was 11-of-18 from the floor, 12-of-15 from the free-throw line and made 4-of-6 3-pointers.
Pittsburgh 84, St. Bonaventure 75
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Ricardo Greer scored 26 points as Pittsburgh beat St. Bonaventure 84-75 on Wednesday night in the first round.
Pittsburgh (19-13) will play Mississippi State on Monday or Tuesday.
St. Bonaventure (18-12) led 48-39 after Pittsburgh played its worst defensive first half of the season. The Panthers gave up 40 points in the first half of regular-season road games against Notre Dame and West Virginia.
The Panthers struggled early and trailed by as much as 13 as they were unable to work the ball inside, and struggled from 3-point range, shooting just 3-of-14 for the first half.
The Bonnies were able to keep Pittsburgh at bay by double- and triple teaming Isaac Hawkins, who had just two points in the first half and six for the game.
J.R. Bremer was 6-of-10 from 3-point range in leading St. Bonaventure with 26 points.
Auburn 60, Miami 58
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Marquis Daniels scored 15 points and Kyle Davis set an NIT record with 13 blocked shots as Auburn shut down Miami in the second half for a 60-58 win in the first round.
Daniels hit one of two free throws with 23 seconds left and Darius Rice's off-balance 3-pointer over Daniels fell well short of the basket. Joe Gordon got the rebound but couldn't get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.
The Tigers (18-13) won for only the second time in six NIT trips and held Miami (16-13) to 17 points in the second half.
Auburn advances to play Purdue, a 90-79 winner against Illinois State on Wednesday, next week.
Miami hasn't won an NIT game since 1963 and is 1-6 overall. The Hurricanes are just 5-36 against Southeastern Conference teams on the road.
Miami led 41-31 at halftime, but were just 6-of-28 from the floor after that and missed all seven 3-pointers.
Davis had 11 second-half blocks against a team with four starters at least 6-foot-7. The 6-10 freshman, who led the league in blocks, had the fifth-highest total in NCAA history and the second most in SEC history.
He also broke Mamadou N'diaye's Auburn single-season record of 77 and finished with seven points and eight rebounds.
Dayton 68, N.C.-Wilmington 59
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- Freshman center Keith Waleskowski scored 19 points to lead Dayton to a 68-59 victory against North Carolina-Wilmington on Wednesday night in the first round.
Tony Stanley and Ramod Marshall added 11 points apiece as the Flyers (20-12) combined balanced scoring, nearly flawless free-throw shooting, and a full-court press that forced N.C.-Wilmington (19-11) to turn the ball over 17 times.
Dayton will play Monday or Tuesday against the winner of Friday's West Virginia-Richmond game.
The Flyers took a 60-47 lead with 1:53 remaining. But the Seahawks refused to go away, using two 3-pointers by Stewart Hare to stay within striking distance.
However, the Seahawks were forced to foul, and Dayton put the game away at the line, hitting eight straight down the stretch.
Waleskowski paced the Flyers, grabbing five rebounds and shooting 7-for-7 from the line. He electrified the crowd with a couple of dunks and drew a technical foul on one for slapping the backboard.
Mississippi St. 75, Southern Mississippi 68
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Marckell Patterson scored 21 points, 18 in the first half, as Mississippi State beat Southern Mississippi 75-68 in the first round.
Freshman center Mario Austin added 12 points and had three nifty assists, showing off his excellent vision and passing skills from the low post.
Austin's hook shot over Vandarel Jones, Conference USA's defensive player of the year, gave Mississippi State (17-12) a 54-46 lead with just under 10 minutes to play.
Jones, the Eagles' leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, was hampered by foul trouble and hounded by double-teams all game. He finished with seven points, four rebounds and four blocks, and fouled out with 5:08 left right after missing a layup.
Mario Myles scored 20 points to lead the Golden Eagles (22-9), including eight straight in a little more than a minute that cut Mississippi State's lead to 67-63 with 1:40 to play.
Tulsa 75, UC Irvine 71
TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Greg Harrington scored 20 points as Tulsa held off UC Irvine 75-71 Wednesday night in the first round.
Kevin Johnson added 17 points and eight rebounds for Tulsa (22-11), and Dante Swanson had 10 points, including a 15-foot jumper with 1:09 to play that gave the Golden Hurricane a 73-67 advantage.
Tulsa led 68-54 with 5:37 to play but Irvine (25-5) made three conventional 3-point plays over the next four minutes to pull to 71-67 with 1:40 remaining.
Tulsa give the Anteaters a chance to get back into the game by missing three free throws down the stretch, but Irvine couldn't take advantage.
Jerry Green led Irvine with 15 points. Malachi Edmond, J.R. Christ and Ben Jones had 13 each and Adam Parada added 10.
Irvine took to an 18-9 lead as Parada and Jones helped the Anteaters dominate the opening 10 minutes.
Detroit 68, Bradley 49
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) -- Rashad Phillips scored 17 points to lead Detroit Mercy to a 68-49 victory over Bradley on Wednesday night in the first round.
Detroit (23-10) snapped Bradley's 12-game home winning streak before a crowd of 6,506 at Carver Arena. The Titans will play Connecticut in the second round.
The 19-point loss was the worst ever in postseason play for Bradley (19-12), which played without Jerome Robinson, its leading scorer. Robinson, who is the Missouri Valley Conference's defensive player of the year who averages 16.9 points per game, is battling a torn left rotator cuff, tendinitis in his right shoulder and shin splints.
Prior to Wednesday's loss, the Braves' worst postseason loss was a 58-40 setback to Temple in the first round of the 1938 NIT.
Detroit, which was coming off a 53-38 loss to Butler in the title game of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament, started slowly against Bradley before taking control. Down 9-3 after five minutes of play, the Titans went on a 20-12 run to take the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Marc Mazur.
UTEP 84, McNeese St. 74
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- Brandon Wolfram scored 24 points to lead Texas-El Paso to an 84-74 victory against McNeese State on Wednesday night in the first round.
Brian Stewart added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Miners.
UTEP (23-8) took the lead with 11:41 left in the first half, and led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
The Cowboys (22-9) made seven 3-pointers during a 29-14 run in the final 8:30 to close the margin to 10 points.
The Miners trailed 14-13 with 12:24 left in the first half and then went on a 31-9 run to finish the half at 42-23.
Demond Mallet led McNeese State with 23 points. Tierre Brown added 15 and Jason Coleman and Fred Gentry each had 12.
Pepperdine 72, Wyoming 69
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- Brandon Armstrong scored 29 points, including eight of Pepperdine's last nine as the Waves beat Wyoming 72-69 in the first round Wednesday night.
Pepperdine (22-8) advances to the next round to play New Mexico.
Wyoming, which recorded its first 20-win season in a decade, ended its season at 20-10.
Armstrong was 7 of 18 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and canned 12 of 13 free throws, including 5-of-6 in the last 15 seconds.
Kelvin Gibbs contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Derrick Anderson added 13 points for the Waves, who shot 40 percent from the field (21-53).
New Mexico 83, Baylor 73
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Ruben Douglas scored 27 points to lead New Mexico to an 83-73 win against Baylor in a first-round NIT game Wednesday, spoiling the return of former Lobos head coach Dave Bliss.
New Mexico (20-12) pulled away from a 72-71 lead on back-to-back baskets by Wayland White and a short bank shot by Marlon Parmer with 1:20 left in the game.
Baylor (19-12) had rallied from a 12-point second half deficit behind Terry Black and Greg Davis. Black scored 22 points, most of them on a variety of dunks. Davis, who played two years at New Mexico and transferred to Baylor when Bliss took the Bears' job two years ago, finished with 17 points.
Douglas hit five 3-pointers and eight of 14 shots overall. Parmer added 16 points and White had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
New Mexico plays Pepperdine in a second-round game next week.