Texas Tech Shatters North Carolina's Day

From Associated Press

Texas Tech was filled with plenty of emotion and passion, even before Darvin Ham destroyed the backboard with a resounding first-half dunk.

After that, though, the Red Raiders simply couldn't be stopped.

Jason Sasser scored 27 points and Ham swung the momentum in Texas Tech's favor with his devastating play as the Red Raiders reached the final 16 of the NCAA tournament with a 92-73 victory Sunday.

Ham tore down the rim with an emphatic follow shot with 7:54 elapsed, tying the score, 16-16.

"I was already pumped up--we all were--but that play just set it off," Ham said. "I just wanted to run around the court and do back flips."

Instead, both teams were dismissed to their locker rooms, and the game was delayed 26 minutes while crews at the Richmond Coliseum cleaned the glass off the floor and replaced the backboard.

When the game resumed, Texas Tech went on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good. Sasser and Cory Carr made successive three-point shots, Carr followed with a layup and Tony Battie scored from the baseline to make the score 26-16.

By the time Ademola Okulaja made two free throws, ending a four-minute drought following Ham's dunk, North Carolina was forced to play catch-up.

Third-seeded Texas Tech (30-1) will bring a 23-game winning streak, best in the nation, into Thursday's game against Georgetown. It's the first time in school history the Red Raiders have won two NCAA tournament games in the same year.

North Carolina (21-11) failed to reach the Sweet 16 for only the second time in the last 16 years.

The Red Raiders, who entered the game as underdogs despite being seeded higher and owning a better record than North Carolina, shot 59% and got 19 points from Carr and 14 from Ham.

But the biggest shot of all was Ham's dunk.

"I was kind of mad because a foul had been called on me at the other end," Ham said. "I really didn't realize what I did until I turned around and looked at the rim."

Georgetown 73, New Mexico 62--Boubacar Aw politely listened to John Thompson's halftime speech, then made one of his own.

With Georgetown down by three points at the half, Thompson, the Hoyas' coach, lectured his players on playing the trapping, zone defense that hadn't done much to stop New Mexico.

But Aw, a sophomore forward, had other ideas.

"After I was finished, Boubacar said, 'Coach, let us go man and we'll get 'em.' " Thompson said. "I said, 'Do it.' So much for my knowledge. They went out and played man-to-man and that turned the game around for us."

Georgetown forced 10 second-half turnovers, converting three into fastbreak baskets in a 14-5 run that sent the Hoyas to victory.

Allen Iverson, in foul trouble for the fourth game in a row, scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half for the Hoyas. Victor Page added 14 points and Jerome Williams had 13 and 11 rebounds for Georgetown (28-7).

Clayton Shields scored 19 points for New Mexico (28-5), whose 11-game winning streak ended.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World