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COLLEGE BASKETBALL NATIONAL ROUNDUP : Mississippi State Happy to Share SEC Title

From Associated Press

After 28 years of waiting, it didn’t matter to Mississippi State that Louisiana State was at less than full strength.

The No. 23 Bulldogs, picked for no better than seventh in the 10-team Southeastern Conference, beat No. 18 LSU, 76-73, Saturday to earn a share of the conference crown with the Tigers.

It was Mississippi State’s first SEC title since 1963 and only the fifth in the school’s 58 years in the conference.

LSU (20-8 overall, 13-5 in the SEC) played without sophomore center Shaquille O’Neal, who has a leg injury, and ailing three-point shooter Mike Hansen played only 14 minutes.

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Mississippi State (20-7, 13-5) will be top seeded in the SEC tournament starting Thursday in Nashville because of its two victories over LSU.

Greg Carter scored 11 of his 20 points as Mississippi State took a 28-17 lead. LSU rallied in the second half, cutting the deficit to 68-65 with 4:40 left on Lenear Burns’ three-pointer.

Nate Morris’ basket gave Mississippi State a 71-65 lead with 3:23 left and after a flagrant foul was called on LSU’s Harold Boudreaux, the Bulldogs made one of the technical foul shots and got the ball back.

Geert Hammick had 20 points and 10 rebounds for LSU.

No. 5 Indiana 74, Wisconsin 61--Calbert Cheaney scored 24 of his 30 points in the second half as the Hoosiers beat the Badgers in a Big Ten Conference game at Madison, Wis.

The Hoosiers (25-4, 13-3) had a 46-38 lead with 11:41 left, but Wisconsin (13-13, 7-9) pulled to 50-48 on a free throw by Patrick Tompkins with 7:37 to play. Indiana opened a 60-52 lead, but Carlton McGee’s two baskets made the score 60-56 with 3:40 to play.

Indiana scored the next nine points, including two baskets and two free throws by Jamal Meeks, to clinch the victory.

Willie Simms scored 22 points for Wisconsin.

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No. 11 New Mexico State 105, Fresno State 80--Tracey Ware scored 21 points and the Aggies overpowered the Bulldogs in a Big West Conference game at Las Cruces, N.M.

New Mexico State (23-4, 15-3) finished the regular season in second place behind top-ranked and undefeated Nevada Las Vegas.

Carl Ray Harris scored 20 points for Fresno State (12-15, 7-11).

Iowa State 68, No. 12 Oklahoma State 67--Skip McCoy scored five points in the final 2:30 at Ames, Iowa, and the Cyclones kept the Cowboys from clinching a share of their first Big Eight title in 26 years.

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Kansas can win the regular-season title by beating Nebraska today.

McCoy, who finished with 10 points, made a three-point shot with 2:30 to play to pull the Cyclones (12-18, 6-8) to within 63-62. A minute later, McCoy made two of three free throws to give the Cyclones a 64-63.

Byron Houston scored 24 points for Oklahoma State (21-6, 10-4), but missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with 2:04 to play and the Cowboys holding a 63-62 lead.

No. 13 Kentucky 114, Auburn 93--Jamal Mashburn scored 21 points and Richie Farmer added 20 as the Wildcats, denied a share of the SEC title because it is on NCAA probation, finished with the best conference record by beating the Tigers at Lexington, Ky.

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Kentucky (22-6, 14-4) will be able to participate in postseason play next season.

Ronnie Battle scored 21 points and Wesley Person had 20 for Auburn (12-15, 5-13).

Tulane 82, No. 14 Southern Mississippi 65--Anthony Reed scored 22 points and the Green Wave upset the Golden Eagles in a Metro Conference game at New Orleans.

Southern Mississippi (21-6, 10-4) wrapped up the Metro regular-season title two weeks ago. Tulane (15-12, 7-7) finished its second season since reinstating basketball.

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Clarence Weatherspoon scored 18 points for Southern Mississippi.

DePaul 79, No. 17 St. John’s 69--David Booth scored 27 points and the Blue Demons strengthened their chances for an NCAA tournament bid by upsetting the Redmen at Rosemont, Ill.

The victory was the 10th in 11 games for the Blue Demons (18-8). St. John’s (20-7) has lost six of 10 road games.

Malik Sealy scored 17 points for St. John’s.

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No. 19 East Tennessee State 104, Tennessee Chattanooga 71--Keith Jennings moved into second place on the NCAA all-time assist list and helped the Buccaneers beat the Moccasins to reach the championship game of the Southern Conference tournament at Asheville, N.C.

The two-time defending champion Buccaneers (27-4) tied a school record for victories set last season and will play Appalachian State (16-13) in a rematch of last season’s tournament final, won by East Tennessee State, 96-75.

Jennings, who scored 21 points and added 10 rebounds, had nine assists and moved past former Syracuse star Sherman Douglas on the all-time NCAA list with 965. North Carolina State’s Chris Corchiani has 1,004.

Derrick Kirce scored 23 points for Tennessee Chattanooga.

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No. 20 Seton Hall 81, Boston College 74--Anthony Avent had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Terry Dehere scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half as the Pirates rallied to beat the Eagles in a Big East Conference game at East Rutherford, N.J.

Seton Hall (19-8, 9-7) trailed, 52-48, with 12:05 to play when Dehere scored on a drive at 10:44 to make the score 52-50. After Avent made one of two free throws, Dehere sank consecutive three-point baskets, giving Seton Hall the lead for good, 57-52.

Boston College (11-18, 1-15) rallied to 69-67 on a free throw by Doug Able with 4:10 remaining, but the Pirates scored nine of the next 11 points, all on free throws, to wrap up their sixth victory in the last seven games.

No. 21 Princeton 56, Dartmouth 49--The Tigers completed the first undefeated Ivy League season since 1976 by defeating the Big Green at Hanover, N.H.

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Sean Jackson scored 17 points for Princeton (23-2, 14-0), which will complete its regular season March 10 against Loyola Marymount.

The Tigers were the last team to finish with a perfect Ivy season, going 14-0 in 1975-76.

James Blackwell scored 15 points for Dartmouth (9-17, 4-10).

Connecticut 78, No. 22 Pitt 68--Chris Smith scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half as the Huskies beat the Panthers in a Big East Conference game at Pittsburgh.

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Connecticut (18-9, 9-7) has won six of seven league games after losing six in a row.

Pitt (20-10, 9-7) led, 21-20, when Smith scored 11 consecutive points and 14 during a 16-3 Connecticut run. The closest the Panthers got in the second half was five points.

No. 24 Alabama 96, Tennessee 88--Freshman James Robinson scored 20 of his 25 points as the Crimson Tide took a 22-point lead at halftime and coasted past the Volunteers in an SEC game at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Allan Houston scored 26 points and Jay Price had 20 of his 22 in the second half for Tennessee (9-21, 3-15).

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Melvin Cheatum added 17 for Alabama (18-9, 12-6), which had a 53-31 lead at halftime.

Maryland 78, No. 25 Virginia 74--Walt Williams scored 21 points and Cedric Lewis made two free throws with 28 seconds remaining in overtime as the Terrapins beat the Cavaliers in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Charlottesville, Va.

Virginia (20-10, 6-8) had a 39-27 halftime lead, but Maryland (16-12, 5-9) took a 67-65 lead on a basket by Kevin McLinton with 1:15 left. Two free throws by Ted Jeffries of Virginia tied the score, 67-67, with 50 seconds to play and sent the game to overtime.

Matt Roe and Kevin McLinton each added 18 points for Maryland, which won its first ACC road game. Bryant Stith had 23 points for Virginia.

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REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

EAST

Eric Murdock had 30 points and 10 assists to lead Connecticut (16-11, 7-9) to an 86-75 victory over Villanova in a Big East game at Providence, R.I. . . . Steve Carney had 19 points and 18 rebounds as Northeastern (20-8, 8-2), the North Atlantic Conference champion, posted a 77-70 victory over Boston University (10-17, 5-5) at Boston.

MIDWEST

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Jimmy Oliver scored 21 points, including a three-pointer with 31 seconds left, to lift Purdue (15-11, 7-9) to a Big Ten victory over Iowa (18-10, 7-9) at Iowa City. . . . Brian Grant had 20 points as Xavier (18-9, 11-3) clinched the Midwestern Collegiate Conference title with a 102-79 victory over Dayton (13-14, 8-6) at Cincinnati. . . . Doug Smith scored 23 points and Missouri (16-10, 8-6) routed Colorado, 76-51, in a Big Eight game, handing the Buffaloes (15-12, 5-9) their 20th consecutive defeat in games played at Columbia, Mo. . . . Northwestern (5-21, 9-15) broke a 67-year-old school record with its 17th consecutive defeat by losing to Illinois, 91-81, in a Big Ten game at Evanston, Ill. Larry Smith had 26 points for the Illini (21-8, 11-5).

SOUTH

Dale Davis had 23 points and 18 rebounds as Clemson (11-16, 2-12) ended a five-game losing streak with a 69-62 victory over Georgia Tech in an ACC game at Clemson, S.C. Kenny Anderson had 25 points for the Yellow Jackets (16-11, 6-8). . . . Chris Corchiani had 12 assists, becoming the first player in NCAA history to top 1,000, but Chris King and Anthony Tucker each sank two free throws in the final 23 seconds to help Wake Forest (18-9, 8-6) to an 89-84 victory over North Carolina State at Raleigh, N.C. Rodney Monroe scored 32 points for the Wolf Pack. . . . Ronnie Ellison scored 24 points as Texas San Antonio (20-7, 12-2) clinched the Trans-America Athletic Conference title by beating Mercer (2-24, 1-13), 91-63, at Macon, Ga.

SOUTHWEST

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Derrick Daniels made a three-point shot with four seconds left to give Houston (18-9, 20-6) a 71-68 victory over Texas A&M; (7-20, 2-14) in a Southwest Conference game at Houston. . . . Keith Amerson’s three-point play started a 7-0 run by Kansas State (13-14, 3-11) in overtime that carried the Wildcats to a 101-98 victory over Oklahoma (16-13, 5-9) in the Big Eight.

TOURNAMENTS

NE Louisiana 87, Texas Arlington 60--Chris Crease had 21 points as the Indians (24-7) held the Mavericks (20-9) 36 points under their average to win the Southland Conference tournament at Monroe, La.

Coastal Carolina 89, Augusta 54--Tournament most valuable player Tony Dunkin scored 22 points and the Chanticleers (23-7) routed the Jaguars (14-16) to win their second consecutive Big South Conference title at Anderson, S.C.

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Fordham 84, Holy Cross 81--Jean Prioleau’s three-pointer as overtime ended gave the Rams (24-6) the Patriot League tournament title over the Crusaders (18-12) at Worcester, Mass.

Jackson State 70, Texas Southern 66--Creig Charles scored 12 of his 19 points in the final 5:19, lifting Jackson State (18-12) over Texas Southern (13-17) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament championship game at Houston.

Florida A&M; 84, Delaware State 80--Reginald Finney, who scored 23 points, had a key three-point play in overtime, and the Rattlers (17-13) beat the Hornets (19-11) to win the Mid-East Athletic Conference tournament at Norfolk, Va.


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