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Updated: Saturday, April 3, 2004 10:25 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(3) Georgia Tech 67, (2) Oklahoma St 65

SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Will Bynum made up for a terrible nine-second stretch with a fantastic finish.

Bynum's twisting layup with 1.5 seconds left lifted Georgia Tech to a thrilling 67-65 victory over Oklahoma State in a national semifinal at the Alamodome.

Georgia Tech (28-9) will play in a national championship game for the first time against either Duke or Connecticut on Monday night. The Yellow Jackets, who defeated both the Blue Devils and Huskies in the regular season, lost to Nevada-Las Vegas in their other Final Four appearance in 1990.

Georgia Tech led for nearly the entire second half. But Bynum missed two free throws with 2:01 left and fouled John Lucas nine seconds later, leading to Lucas' free throw that cut the Cowboys' deficit to 65-62.

After the teams traded turnovers, Oklahoma State (31-4) finally got even. Lucas, held in check for most of the night, drilled a tying 3-pointer from the right wing with 26 seconds remaining.

After a timeout by the Cowboys, the Yellow Jackets' Jarrett Jack barely survived a pressure defense before passing to Bynum. The 5-11 Bynum started his move to the basket before spinning around 6-8 Ivan McFarlin. Bynum was hacked by McFarlin, but managed to put in a shot off the glass for the game-winner.

"This is the biggest shot I ever took in my life," said Bynum, who also nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer in Sunday's St. Louis Region final against Kansas. "Its like a dream come true."

"At the end, there was no doubt we were going to put the ball in Will Bynum's hands," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "Because of his heart, his competitiveness, we felt that was the best option."

Lucas' desperation attempt was well short as the Cowboys' 10-game winning streak ended.

"I just put al the blame on me," said Lucas, who was screened on Bynum's final drive. "I was supposed to lock up and I didn't. That's basically all you can say."

Marvin Lewis provided Georgia Tech with early momentum with 15 points - all in the first half on 3-pointers while being defended by Lucas. The Yellow Jackets built a 37-30 halftime lead on the strength of his shooting touch.

"He is a good shooter," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "John has really been doing a good job on stand-still shooters. But he was just so slow getting to Lewis, and so finally we had to take him off of Lewis."

Luke Schenscher collected 19 points and 12 rebounds as the 7-1 Australian center took advantage of the smaller McFarlin down low and did most of his damage after the break. Schenscher's productivity was a result of excellent ball movement out of Georgia Tech's "high-low" offensive sets.

Bynum and starting guard Jarrett Jack combined for an excellent defensive job on Lucas, the hero of Oklahoma State's East Rutherford Region triumph over Saint Joseph's. Lucas misfired on 10-of-14 shots.

Lucas was not the only Cowboys guard to struggle. Leading scorer Tony Allen netted 13 points in 26 foul-plagued minutes, also committing five turnovers.

Sutton was denied his first trip to the championship game and Oklahoma State's first since 1949. Sutton lost in the semifinals in 1995 with the Cowboys and 1978 with Arkansas.


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