COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT : MIDWEST REGIONAL : Anderson Too Much for DePaul
Kenny Anderson pulled Georgia Tech out of its late-season tailspin with a little more of his outstanding NCAA tournament play Friday night, scoring 31 points in an 87-70 first-round victory over No. 24 DePaul in the Midwest Regional at Dayton, Ohio.
The sophomore guard, one of the stars of last year’s tournament, bothered the Blue Demons with outside shooting and no-look passes to set up easy baskets.
Georgia Tech (17-12) had lost its last three games to nearly miss out on the tournament in which it made a name last year before losing in the semifinals to Nevada Las Vegas. Once the Yellow Jackets were in, Anderson made sure it wouldn’t be one-and-out against DePaul (20-9), which had won 12 of its last 13.
Anderson scored six of Georgia Tech’s first eight points and set up a dunk by Matt Geiger with a blind-side pass under the basket. He had 12 points in the first half, as the Yellow Jackets built a 13-point lead.
Anderson made two three-point shots and a layup as Georgia Tech rolled to its biggest lead, 57-32, in the first 5:30 of the second half. He made two more three-point shots as the Yellow Jackets kept DePaul from getting closer than 15 points.
It was nothing new for Anderson, who averaged 23 points a game in the NCAA tournament last year and averaged 25.7 points this season. He had a lot of help from Jon Barry, who scored 22 and ran the offense when Anderson rested.
No. 5 Ohio State 97, Towson State 86--The Buckeyes used a 10-0 run early in the second half to take control of the game.
Ohio State (26-3) led by only six points before going on the run, which featured three-point baskets by Jim Jackson and Jamaal Brown.
Towson State called time out during the run, but during the break, an assistant coach was called for a technical foul. Jackson then made one of two foul shots to increase Ohio State’s lead to 55-39.
The Tigers cut the lead to 75-70 with 5:33 left, but Ohio State pulled away with a 7-2 run that included a three-point play by Brown and a three-point shot by Chris Jent. The lead never dropped below eight again.
Towson State (19-11), champion of the East Coast Conference, was led by Chuck Lightening’s 26 points.
No. 23 Texas 73, St. Peter’s 65--Guillermo (Panama) Myers’ presence dictated the outcome as the Longhorns were too physical for the Peacocks.
Myers, a muscular 6-foot-8 senior center, had nine points, grabbed 17 rebounds, blocked four shots and altered several others.
Myers had 11 rebounds in the second half. That matched the team total for St. Peter’s (24-7), which was making its first NCAA tournament appearance.
The Longhorns (23-8), who advanced to the regional finals last year, outrebounded St. Peter’s, 41-26.
No. 20 St. John’s 75, Northern Illinois 68--The Redmen built a huge second-half lead and coasted to the victory over the Huskies, who were making their first NCAA tournament appearance in nine years.
Northern Illinois (25-6), the Mid-Continent Conference champion, was playing a Big East team for the first time this season. The Huskies, who started only two players over 6-4, fell behind by 25 points with 14 minutes left.
But St. John’s (21-8) relaxed too early, allowing Northern Illinois to reduce the lead over the next 10 minutes. Mike Hidden scored six consecutive points and Donnell Thomas’s jumper moved the Huskies to within 65-59 with 2:16 left. But the Redmen made six free throws and got a layup from Malik Sealy in the closing seconds to clinch the victory.