CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS : Georgia Tech Isn't Boxed In by Virginia

From Associated Press

Virginia slowed Dennis Scott, but couldn't stop Georgia Tech.

Scott and Kenny Anderson scored 18 points each as the No. 14-ranked Yellow Jackets downed the Cavaliers, 70-61, Sunday at Charlotte, N.C., to win the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

A box-and-one defense slowed Scott's offensive production, but he grabbed 13 rebounds.

"One thing Coach (Bobby Cremins) told me before the game was that we knew they were going to play the box-and-one," Scott said. "Coach said go to the offensive boards, just go to the boards and get some easy points.

"When teams play me in the box-and-one, I try to do the other things I can do to help the team win besides just shooting."

With the victory, Georgia Tech (24-6) also earned the ACC's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Virginia (19-11) was awarded an at-large berth.

While Tech Coach Bobby Cremins celebrated his second ACC title, Virginia Coach Terry Holland saw his 16-year ACC career come to an end. Holland, who will become athletic director at Davidson, was looking to close his coaching career with his second ACC title, but the Cavaliers couldn't shake the cold field-goal shooting which hit them periodically this season.

After a 38.7% shooting performance in the first half, Virginia dipped to 30.8% in the second half and finished at 34.3%. Georgia Tech made 40.4%.

The Cavaliers went more than six minutes without a point and seven minutes without a basket. Also, from the 12:24 mark until the 2:08 mark, they made only one of 18 shots. In that span, Georgia Tech had a 17-4 run.

Georgia Tech's first title was in 1985, when the Yellow Jackets beat North Carolina in Atlanta.

"We wanted this one because we felt we could win," Cremins said. "A couple of days ago, we were down 10 at half, I was ready to pack my bags and go home. Now I'm sitting here with an ACC championship. It's amazing."

SOUTHWEST

No. 9 Arkansas 96, Houston 84--Todd Day scored 22 points and the Razorbacks used a stifling fullcourt press to beat the Cougars in the tournament final at Dallas.

Arkansas (26-4), the regular-season SWC champion, also earned an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament with its second consecutive title and fifth in the 15-year history of the tournament.

Houston (25-7) made the NCAA tournament as an at-large team.

The Razorbacks turned a 52-50 halftime lead into a runaway by scoring the first 13 points of the second half. Arkansas got 22 points off turnovers.

SOUTHEASTERN

Alabama 70, Mississippi 51--The Crimson Tide went inside to Melvin Cheatum, David Benoit and Robert Horry to down the Rebels at Orlando, Fla., and win the tournament for the third time in the last four seasons.

The Crimson Tide (24-8) built an 18-point lead early in the second half and withstood two runs by the Rebels (13-17) to earn the SEC's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

Cheatum scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds, Benoit also had 15 points and Horry turned in an outstanding defensive effort in addition to getting nine points and seven rebounds.

MID-AMERICAN

Ball State 78, Central Michigan 56--Curtis Kidd and Billy Butts scored 19 points each as the Cardinals rolled to the tournament championship at Detroit.

With the victory, Ball State (24-6) receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Cardinals (24-6), who earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, ended the dreams of seventh-seeded Central Michigan (13-17), who advanced to the final by upsetting both second-seeded Kent State and third-seeded Miami.

SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC

Texas Southern 94, Southern 89--Charles Price scored 26 points and joined Fred West, who had 25, in a second half rally that helped the Tigers upset the Jaguars and win the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament at Houston.

Texas Southern, making its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, will play Georgetown in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis.

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