Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cal Poly: 2013-14 Big West Men's Basketball Champions


ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Freshman guard Ridge Shipley hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds left and seventh-seeded Cal Poly completed its improbable march to the school's first Big West Tournament championship, beating Cal State Northridge 61-59 Saturday night and putting coach Joe Callero's Mustangs into the NCAA tourney for the first time in school history.
Cal Poly (13-19) became the lowest seed to win the title in the tournament's 39-year history. Shipley scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half and Chris Eversley had a team-high 18 and Dave Nwaba added 17.
Cal Poly also was the lowest-seeded team in the history of the tournament to eliminate both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, and the lowest-seeded team to play for the Big West crown since 1994, when 10th-seeded UC Irvine lost to No. 1 New Mexico State.

New Mexico State: 2013-14 WAC Men's Basketball Champions


LAS VEGAS -- New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies walked into the postgame news conference with a net around his neck, the latest trophy from a run of titles.
No matter how many times the Aggies have earned a spot in the NCAA tournament, it never gets old.
Daniel Mullings scored 18 points, Sim Bhullar added 14 and New Mexico State won its third straight Western Athletic Conference tournament title by routing Idaho 77-55 Saturday night.
"Making the (NCAA) tournament is obviously a goal we had," Menzies said. "I'm very excited about getting back and hopefully making some noise when we get there."
New Mexico State (26-9) often worked its offense through Bhullar, and the Vandals were unable to stop the Aggies' 7-foot-5, 355-pound center around the rim or rotate fast enough when he kicked it out.
The second-seeded Aggies jumped to a big early lead and never gave Idaho a chance, shooting 56 percent while outscoring the Vandals 46-16 inside.
Bhullar was named tournament MVP. Tshilidzi Nephawe added 12 points for New Mexico State, which had a 38-21 advantage in rebounds to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament instead of having to sweat out Selection Sunday.
"This year's been a roller coaster ride," Mullings said. "Like coach always says at the beginning of the season, all the teams in the NCAA, every team has its trials and tribulations just like we had ours. We had a couple highs, good games and good wins in nonconference and we had a couple of lows in conference play, but the good thing about us is we stick together."
Idaho (16-18) beat New Mexico State in the teams' last meeting this season, but was no match for the Aggies in its first conference title game since 1993.
Stephen Madison scored 17 points and Mike Scott had 14 for the Vandals, who haven't made the NCAA tournament since 1990.
"Our team battled. There was a point in the season where we could have given up and we didn't," Idaho coach Don Verlin said. "The last month of the season, we were playing as well as anyone in the Western Athletic Conference. I thought we played well in this tournament, but New Mexico State played better."
The Vandals were the surprise of the bracket, the plucky underdogs with the losing record who had won one WAC tournament game in eight years before this season.
After going 7-9 in the WAC and 14-17 overall, Idaho opened the conference tournament by rallying in the second half to beat Missouri-Kansas City and followed that by knocking off top-seeded and regular-season champion Utah Valley.
New Mexico State had to survive a last-second shot to hold off Seattle in its tournament opener and rallied in the second half to knock off Cal State Bakersfield in the semifinals.
These teams split two games during the regular season; New Mexico blew out Idaho by 24 in Las Cruces, and the Vandals pulled out a six-point win on their home court.
New Mexico State dominated early, using its inside-out game and motion to hit 10 of its first 15 shots. The Aggies went on a 12-2 run to build a 23-13 lead and kept dropping shots, hitting 15 of 27 in the first half for a 39-25 lead.
The Vandals had particular trouble with Bhullar. With no one within eight inches or 130 pounds of him, Bhullar simply turned and dropped the ball into the basket several times in the first half, scoring 10 points to go along with six rebounds by halftime.
"He's really difficult to prepare against because you have to put so much attention to him," Verlin said. "He really makes it tough."
Little changed in the second half.
Bhullar kept getting deep post position -- no one on Idaho's team had any chance of pushing him out -- and he scored a few baskets around the rim or kicked out to open shooters when the Vandals double- and triple-teamed him.
Idaho shot better early in the second half after going 9 for 27 in the first, but cooled off and continued to struggle with slowing the Aggies, never able to put a dent in their big lead.

Iowa State: 2013-14 Big 12 Men's Basketball Champions



KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- DeAndre Kane scored 17 points, Georges Niang added 13 and No. 16 Iowa State rallied to beat Baylor 74-65 on Saturday night to win its first Big 12 tournament title since 2000.
Naz Long and Dustin Hogue had 12 points apiece, and Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejimfinished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (26-7), who knocked off top-seeded Kansas in the semifinals before ending the Bears' tremendous tournament run.
Kenny Chery had 16 points for the seventh-seeded Bears (24-11), who have never won a postseason conference tournament. They've lost all three tries since the formation of the Big 12.

Tulsa: 2013-14 Conference USA Men's Basketball Champions



EL PASO, Texas -- Danny Manning is taking Tulsa back to the NCAA tournament.
James Woodard scored 27 points to lead the Golden Hurricane to its first NCAA berth since 2003 with a 69-60 victory Saturday against Louisiana Tech in the Conference USA tournament final.
"It's an indescribable feeling," said Woodard, who is from Tulsa. "Growing up as a kid, you can't wait for March Madness. To be a part of that, this time around, and for us being so young as a team, it's definitely a dream come true."
Woodard, who scored 18 points in the second half, made 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to help Tulsa hold off the Bulldogs.
Tulsa (21-12), which was the No. 2 seed, will carry an 11-game win streak into the tournament. Top-seeded Louisiana Tech came up short, extending an NCAA tournament drought dating to 1991.
The Bulldogs (27-8) were led by Kenneth Smith with 16 points and Kenyon McNeail with 15.Alex Hamilton finished with 12.
The Bulldogs led 35-34 at the half in a game with 16 lead changes. Neither team led by more than five points until Tulsa took control in the final 5 minutes, pushing the advantage to 10 points on a free throw by Woodard with 1:12 left.
"This was a lot of fun," said Tulsa second-year head coach Manning, who won an NCAA title playing for Kansas in 1988. "It was a hard-fought game. Louisiana Tech is a talented team. We have three other teams in our league deserving of a bid."
Louisiana Tech, which made 7 of 10 3-pointers in the first half and shot 45 percent from the field, cooled off in the second half. The Bulldogs, limited by a stingy Tulsa defense, shot 32 percent for the game. They went just 4 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half and 15 of 23 from the free-throw line.
"Right now, I feel bad for the four seniors," Tech's Alex Hamilton said. "I just wish there was more could do. We came out on the short end. I feel bad for the guys."
Meanwhile, Tulsa shot 72 percent from the line (18 of 25), 55 percent from 3-point range (5 of 9) and 43 percent from the field.

Providence: 2013-14 Big East Men's Basketball Champions



NEW YORK -- Bryce Cotton scored 23 points and Providence won its first Big East tournament title since 1994 with a great defensive effort against Doug McDermott and No. 14 Creighton in a 65-56 victory Saturday night.
The fourth-seeded Friars (23-11) used a 2/3 zone to hold the second-seeded Bluejays (26-7) 24 points below their season average and to an 8-for-30 effort from behind the 3-point line.
Cotton, the senior guard who finished second to McDermott in the conference scoring but was also a unanimous first-team All-Big East selection, was the scoring star in the championship game and he was selected the tournament MVP.
McDermott, who came in leading the nation in scoring with 26.5 average, finished 10 for 19 from the field, including 5 of 12 from 3-point range, for 27 points. He shined in his first two Big East tournament games, getting 35 in the quarterfinals against DePaul and 32 in the semifinal win over Xavier.
He had nine points at halftime as Providence held the Bluejays to a season-low 17 points in taking a nine-point lead.
The Friars led by 12 points twice in the second half, the last time at 45-33 on a jumper byKadeem Batts with 12:47 left.
The Bluejays got as close as 58-56 on McDermott's fifth and final 3 with 1:18 to play.
But the Friars held on from the free throw line, going 8 for 8 over the final 2:47 while scoring just one from the field.

Stephen F. Austin: 2013-14 Southland Men's Basketball Champions



KATY, Texas -- Thomas Walkup had 19 points and Stephen F. Austin used a big second half run to defeat Sam Houston State 68-49 Saturday and earn its first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2009.
Deshaunt Walker added 12 points, and Jacob Parker had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Lumberjacks (31-2), who won their 28th straight game.
The Lumberjacks shot 49 percent from the field and hit 12 of 17 from the free throw line.
Terrance Motley had nine points, and Will Bond and James Thomas each had eight points for Sam Houston State (23-10), which finished shooting 39 percent but struggled in the second half.
The Bearkats have not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2010.
Leading by three, SFA used a 21-5 run over an 11-minute stretch of the second half to push its lead to 56-37. Connor Brooks' layup capped the surge 7:07 remaining. Parker had six points to lead the run for the Lumberjacks.

Weber State: 2013-14 Big Sky Men's Basketball Champions



OGDEN, Utah -- Kyle Tresnak scored 27 points and Davion Berry added 19 to help Weber State beat North Dakota 88-67 on Saturday for the Big Sky tournament championship and an automatic NCAA berth.
Joel Bolomboy added 11 rebounds for the Wildcats (19-11, 14-6 Big Sky) who clinched their first NCAA tournament spot since 2007.
Troy Huff had 17 points and Alonzo Traylor added 15 to lead North Dakota(17-16, 12-8 Big Sky) which trailed from start to finish. UND has lost all six meetings in its series with Weber State.
North Dakota shot just 39.3 percent from the field and trailed by double digits almost the entire second half. The Wildcats had no trouble finding their shot. Weber State shot 56.6 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from the perimeter.

New Mexico: 2013-14 Mountain West Men's Basketball Champions



LAS VEGAS -- No. 8 San Diego State grabbed the lead with 81 seconds left in a tight Mountain West championship game. The Aztecs couldn't close the deal.
No. 20 New Mexico took San Diego State's shot, steadied itself and won the league title and NCAA automatic bid with a 64-58 victory on Saturday.
The Aztecs (29-4) completed an 8-0 run over the Lobos (27-6) and took a 57-56 lead whenWinston Shepard stole Hugh Greenwood's inbounds pass and passed to Dwayne Polee II, who was fouled while successfully driving in to the basket. Polee completed the three-point play.
"I just saw the lane open up, so I just took what the defense gave me," Polee said.
Shepard said: "It felt good. We got the lead back, Our press was doing a good job on them. So of course we felt good."
A deep three-pointer by the Lobos' Kendall Williams with 24 seconds left gave New Mexico a 62-57 lead and cemented the win. The Aztecs will now wait to find out where they are going for the NCAA tournament.
"We know what we have got to do to get better," Polee said. "Like coach put it to us, we've got a two-day tournament every week. We can't let this linger. It hurts. We all came here to cut down nets, but we're not going to let this loss linger. We've got another big chapter in our book to move forward to next week, so that is what we are looking forward to."
San Diego State was led by Xavier Thames, who scored 15 points.
"We competed from wire to wire, but we didn't quite have enough to finish," San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said. "If we continue to play that way we'll have a chance to be playing after the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and that's our goal now."

Louisville: 2013-14 American Men's Basketball Champions


MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Rick Pitino switched from coach to lobbyist the moment his Louisville Cardinals won their third straight conference tournament title.
Of course, Pitino thinks the defending national champs deserve a No. 1 seed, even if he knows they likely won't get one.
Montrezl Harrell had 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, and fifth-ranked Louisville beat No. 21 Connecticut 71-61 Saturday for the inaugural American Athletic Conference title in the Cardinals' lone season in the league.
Pitino said he's extremely biased.
"But I'm very impressed with our guys," Pitino said. "What they've done to win a regular season, conference tournament the way we have done it, in the fashion we have done it fits the eye test. I can't talk about the strength of the league. If you want to blame anybody, blame football. Don't blame us."
The Cardinals (29-5) clinched their 40th NCAA tournament berth in style with their 19th overall tournament title. They took the last two in the Big East and added the American to go with their share of the regular-season title with Cincinnati. They will play next season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"To win a regular-season championship and a tournament championship back-to-back is not easy. You have to have special players, and these two epitomize exactly that," Pitino said, praising Russ Smith and Harrell.
Smith, named the tournament's most outstanding player, scored 19 points. He also had five steals to move into a tie for Louisville's career record with 254. Chris Jones added 11 points.
Smith said he thought a year ago that he had done almost everything a college athlete can, but he wanted to enjoy being a senior on campus and work on his game. Now he has another title to enjoy.
"I have a lot of fun being at Louisville," Smith said.
UConn (26-8) came in looking for an eighth tournament title to go with seven from the Big East. It was barred from postseason play a year ago, but is a virtual lock to return to the NCAA tournament this year.
The Huskies left Memphis with a third loss this season to Louisville -- all by double digits.
"Louisville's playing great basketball," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. "They won the championship last year, they went to the Final Four the year before. They got pretty much their whole team back, an experienced bunch, they play hard and well coached. But this tournament is wide open. It's a one-game elimination. Somebody can get hot, and hopefully that team will be us."
Ollie also looked ahead to a conference that will be losing Louisville and Rutgers and adding teams like Tulsa. He said UConn plans to continue being at the top of the American.
"This conference is going to be great," Ollie said.
DeAndre Daniels led the Huskies with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Conference player of the year Shabazz Napier had 16 points on 4-of-12 shooting, and Amida Brimah finished with 14.
UConn outscored Louisville 32-28 in the paint, but the Cardinals turned the Huskies' 13 turnovers into 13 points. Louisville also outrebounded the Huskies 38-33 and enjoyed a 14-6 advantage on second-chance points.
Louisville routed UConn 81-48 a week ago on the Cardinals' home court. But the Huskies were a confident bunch heading into the final, coming off victories over No. 19 Memphis in the quarterfinals and No. 13 Cincinnati in the semis.
The Cardinals grabbed an early lead and controlled the action for much of the game. Harrell scored 10 points in the first half and was a blur at times, blocking Brimah twice on one possession. He also swooped in for a dunk off a Smith assist that looked more like a layup that just missed the basket short.
UConn stayed within six of the Cardinals down the stretch, but Louisville finished the half on a 10-2 run that included 3s by Terry Rozier and Luke Hancock. Smith also had a steal and a pass ahead to Rozier for a fast-break layup that gave the Cardinals their biggest lead yet at 37-23 going into the break.
"We just didn't find our rhythm," Napier said. "They did play good defense. Once we got into the middle, guys had open shots, and we just couldn't knock them down."
The Huskies tried to take advantage of Louisville's shooting woes to open the second half.
The Cardinals missed their first five shots, but Harrell had big three-point play for a 45-28 lead. Louisville went up by as much as 20 a couple times, the last at 52-32.

UCLA: 2013-14 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Champions



LAS VEGAS -- UCLA went into the season with the uncertainty that comes with a new coach. The Bruins suffered their share of setbacks, a notable one just a week earlier.
Once the Pac-12 tournament got rolling, the Bruins took off.
Now, after trading body blows with one of the nation's best defensive teams, UCLA takes home a Pac-12 championship in its first season under Steve Alford.
Outlasting one of the best closing teams in basketball, UCLA knocked off No. 4 Arizona 75-71 in the conference tournament final on Saturday.
"We've got an edge to us now, it's a lot of fun," Alford said. "To win a championship means a lot to us."
They definitely earned this one, emerging from a battle of the Pac-12's best teams that featured big plays, big blows and floor burns.
The Wildcats locked UCLA down in the second half after an offensive show in the first.
The Bruins (26-8) countered by doing the same thing to Arizona down the stretch, and then made the big plays against the big-play Wildcats to finish it off.
UCLA point guard Kyle Anderson was at his all-around best, finishing with 21 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. Jordan Adams made a big 3-pointer with 45 seconds left and scored 19 points. Norman Powell scored 15 points and combined with David Wear to hit four free throws in the final five seconds.
After three games in three days, the Bruins are Pac-12 champions and on a big roll headed into the NCAA tournament.
"This gives us the confidence that we not only play with anybody, but beat anybody," Alford said. "But you've got to get hot and stay hot."
Arizona (30-4) started flat defensively, clawed back behind its offense and shut down the Bruins through most of the second half.
The Wildcats were unable to finish it off for one of the rare times this season, hurt by 10 missed free throws and questionable shot selection down the stretch.
Nick Johnson led Arizona with 22 points and Kaleb Tarczewski added 12. Aaron Gordon had 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Wildcats, who may have lost out on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with the loss.
"We lost a game we could have won," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "Jordan Adams hit a great shot and I believe some of the things we learned in today's game will better serve us for the biggest prize, why we all do this, and that's to hopefully advance next week in the NCAA tournament."
After 10 games in three days, the Pac-12 tournament came down to UCLA and Arizona, the top two seeds, on a big roll since arriving in Sin City.
Arizona, the conference's regular-season champion, overwhelmed its first two opponents with its don't-let-them-breathe defense. The Wildcats raced into the tournament record books with their 32-point win over Utah in the quarterfinals and cranked up the highlight reel in the second half of its semifinal rout over Colorado, allowing 82 combined points in the two games.
UCLA swamped Oregon in its opener, turning what was supposed to be a track meet into a stomping. The Bruins did the same thing to Stanford in the semifinals, all but putting the game out of reach in the opening five minutes.
These teams met once during the regular season, Jan. 9 in Westwood. Arizona ended a three-game losing streak to the Bruins in that one, escaping with a 79-75 win despite 17 turnovers and blowing a 13-point lead in the final 6 1/2 minutes.
UCLA had the advantage early in the rematch by doing what two previous tournament opponents couldn't: Score on the Wildcats.
Pushing the pace at every turn, the Bruins got shots seemingly wherever and whenever they wanted.
UCLA used a 12-0 run to go up 14-3 and kept pouring `em in against one of the nation's best defenses. The Bruins hit 18 of 31 shots and scored 43 points in the first half -- more than Utah did the entire game against Arizona and matching Colorado's total.
"They came out and punched us in the mouth," Johnson said.
The Wildcats kicked their offense into gear to get back in it, shaking off some questionable shots in the opening minutes with a string of 3-pointers, including three by Gabe York. Arizona shot 16 of 30, including 5 of 8 from the arc, to close to 43-40 at the half.
The game turned from an offensive show to a defensive shutdown in the second, every possession a struggle to get off a pass, much less a good shot.
Travis Wear and Gordon typified the effort of the entire game late in the half, sprinting from beyond midcourt, simultaneously diving and skidding across the floor for a loose ball.
Wear came up with the ball and the Bruins the win, giving them a big notch on the belt in their first season under Alford.

Western Michigan: 2013-14 Mid-American Men's Basketball Champions



CLEVELAND -- David Brown scored 32 points, Tucker Haymond added 21 and Western Michigan earned its first trip to the NCAA tournament in 10 years by beating Toledo 98-77 on Saturday night in the Mid-American Conference championship.
The top-seeded Broncos (23-9) won their first title since 2004, and along with it, the league's automatic spot inside the NCAA brackets.
Shayne Whittington added 20 and 13 rebounds for WMU, which had to overcome an 18-point deficit in the semifinals to sneak past Akron.
The title game was much easier for the Broncos, who pulled away in the second half, outrebounded the Rockets 46-27 and set the tournament record for points.
Julius Brown and Rian Pearson scored 22 apiece to pace Toledo (27-6). The Rockets set a school record for wins this season, but their hopes of making the NCAA field for the first time since 1980 hinged on them winning this tourney.
Brown, who made five 3-pointers, nine free throws and delivered a big bucket whenever the Broncos needed one, was the tournament's MVP.
The senior guard had plenty of help as Western Michigan shot 68 percent (19 of 28) in the second half and showcased its offensive firepower, something that any team it faces in the NCAA tournament had best be prepared to handle.
With his team comfortably ahead in the final minute, Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins pulled out his starters, who embraced in front of the bench as the Broncos fans danced in the aisles behind them.
The bald-headed Hawkins then put his sport coat back on. His work was done.
It wasn't an easy trip to Cleveland from Kalamazoo.
The Broncos had got caught behind a major accident on the Ohio Turnpike in a severe snowstorm, turning their four-hour bus trip into an 11-hour marathon. But once they got to Quicken Loans Arena, the Broncos made the most of every second and are now back on top in the MAC after a decade-long drought.
Leading by just two at halftime, Western Michigan pushed its advantage to 14 with less than five minutes left and then Whittington put a pair of exclamation points on the title with two alley-oop dunks.
Toledo was simply outplayed in every facet.
The Rockets, making their first appearance in the final since 2006, couldn't cut deep enough into WMU's lead. And even when it appeared Toledo was ready to make a run, the Broncos answered back.
Connar Tava added 13 points -- 11 in the second half -- for Western.
J.D. Weatherspoon's dunk in traffic just before the horn, brought a high-intensity first half to a close and pulled the Rockets within 42-40.
Pearson, who finished the half with 16 points, scored Toledo's first eight and the senior had several other clean looks at the basket that didn't drop in the opening 10 minutes.
WMU had three offensive weapons as Brown, Haymond and Whittington had the Rockets scrambling on defense as they tried to figure out whom to stop. The trio combined for 36 of Western Michigan's points in the opening half.
Brown made consecutive 3-pointers -- both from well behind the arc -- and then scored on a traditional three-point play as the Broncos opened a 24-14 lead.
Brown, who banked in a long 3-pointer in overtime to help seal Western's semifinal win over Akron, knocked down another 3 to put WMU up 33-25.
The Rockets were reeling, but snapped out of it with three 3-pointers, and Julius Brown made two free throws as Toledo overcame a 10-point deficit.

North Carolina Central: 2013-14 MEAC Men's Basketball Champions



NORFOLK, Va. -- N.C. Central coach LeVelle Moton ends every practice by picking someone on his team and asking them to make a pressure free throw.
That practice paid off in a big way Saturday as the Eagles' free throw shooting carried them to a 71-62 victory against Morgan State in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship game, and into the NCAA tournament. The Eagles will arrive riding a 20-game winning streak.
"We set goals at the beginning of the year and this was one of them," senior guard Emmanuel Chapman said. "But this wasn't the last goal, so it's great, it's tremendous, it's all of those great adjectives that you want to us for games like this, but we still feel like we have unfinished business."
A first-round exit as the favorite last season only heightened their desire to make a better showing this time around.
"If someone was going to beat us, they were going to have to beat us," Jeremy Ingramsaid. "It wasn't going to be because of our effort."
Jeremy Ingram scored 29 points and the Eagles (28-5) used an 8-1 run to get some separation, then held on with their free throw shooting. They made 17 straight in one stretch and 25 of 30 after halftime, helping to overcome the fact that they made just six field goals in the second half.
Karamo Jawara added 10 points for the Eagles (28-5), who won the tournament in only their seventh season at the Division I level.
"I can't sit here and make like I remember everything that happened," Moton, in his fifth year as coach, said, the freshly clipped net hanging around his neck and the glistening tournament trophy beside him. "I kind of lost it there for a while."
Ian Chiles scored 26 points to lead Morgan State (15-16), which was appearing in the championship for the sixth time in eight seasons under coach Todd Bozeman and seeking its fourth championship. Chiles and fellow senior Justin Black played in three championship games, but came up short each time.
"It's tough," said Chiles, a 7-foot-2 senior. "We fought every time. Today the better team won."
Anthony Hubbard added 12 points and Blake Bozeman 10 for the Bears.
The game was close throughout, but Ingram and Jawara each scored four points during the short run that finished with 9 minutes to go and the Eagles leading 50-43. Morgan State pulled to 55-52 with 4:31 to play, but Jordan Parks hit four straight free throws to rebuild the lead and the Eagles held on.
N.C. Central finished 26 for 33 from the line; the Bears were 13 of 19.
N.C. Central, a former Division II power, finished 18-1 against MEAC competition this year and hasn't lost since Jan. 11 against Florida A&M.
"It hasn't really hit me yet," Moton said. "I don't know about these guys, but it's tremendous."
The game was knotted at 31 at halftime, and tied three more times -- at 33, 39 and 42 -- before Jawara's dunk sparked the 8-1 burst. Ingram added two free throws, Jawara hit two and Ingram hit two more. The Eagles hit just two field goals in the last 13 minutes, a shot-clock-beating 3-point heave by Reggie Groves with 4:45 to play, and Ingram's 17-footer with 1:57 left. That gave N.C. Central a 61-54 lead, and the Eagles' free throw shooting kept them ahead.
The Eagles made just six field goals in the second half, and the Bears made just nine.