College basketball tournaments results

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Associated Press
From around college hoops…
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. ó Cameron Rundles scored 21 points to send Wofford to a second straight NCAA tournament berth with a 77-67 victory over College of Charleston in the Southern Conference tournament championship Monday night.
Wofford (21-12) lost both regular season games to the Cougars. But the Terriers won their eighth straight game in part because they were perfect at the free throw line until the final minute, hitting their first 20 shots.
Charleston (24-10) missed its first NCAA berth since 1999 and coach Bobby Creminsí first since he last took Georgia Tech to the NCAA regional semifinals in 1996.
Gonzaga 75, St. Maryís 63
LAS VEGAS ó Robert Sacre scored 12 points, including a dunk and six late free throws and Gonzaga beat Saint Maryís 75-63 Monday night to win the West Coast Conference tournament for the second time in three years.
Gonzaga (24-9) received an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament for its 13th straight appearance. Saint Maryís (24-8) will have to hope for an at-large berth.
Steven Gray led Gonzaga with 15 points and Dower had 10. Sacre had four blocks and eight rebounds.
Old Dominion 70, VCU 65
RICHMOND, Va. ó Old Dominion showed plenty of tournament experience and mettle in taking control early and building an 18-point lead against Virginia Commonwealth University in the Colonial Athletic Association championship.
That composure helped even more when the Monarchs withstood a furious rally by the Rams that made it a one-point game late in the second half. Frank Hassell scored 22 points and Old Dominion relied used one of its most trusted weapons ó the offensive rebound ó to fend off the Rams on Monday night and defend its CAA tournament title with a 70-65 victory.
The second-seeded Monarchs won the leagueís automatic NCAA tournament berth for the second straight year, but also likely deprived the CAA of its first three-team contingent in the field of 68.
Regular season champion George Mason is expected to receive an at-large invitation, but Rams coach Shaka Smart said after his teamís quarterfinals victory that he figured they had to win it all to make the NCAA tournament.
They almost did it, too.
VCU rallied behind a defense-led 26-9 burst that made it 55-54 with 4:26 remaining.
The key, Hassell said, was not panicking.
ěI was thinking just relax our minds, calm down and be ready to punch them back,î said Hassell, who had nine rebounds.
They did in a way befitting the nationís top rebounding team ó with consecutive putbacks by Chris Cooper and Kent Bazemore that made the margin to 59-54 with 3:15 to go.
Bazemore added 14 points as the Monarchs (27-6) followed their season-best 57.1-percent shooting in the semifinals with an even better 58.5 percent showing in the most important game of their season.
ěSome people say weíre the team that canít shoot straight,î Taylor said.
The Rams (23-11) trailed 46-28 after 31/2 minutes of the second half, but cranked up their fullcourt defensive intensity, holding the Monarchs without a point for nine straight possessions in one stretch.
After getting to within a point with 4:26 left, they got burned by Old Dominionís rebounding prowess and came up just short.
ěIt wasnít too deep a hole at that point,î Smart said. ěIt was a one-point game, a one-possession game. Unfortunately we didnít get the critical stops. We made them miss, but they got the rebound and tipped it in.î
Bradford Burgess led VCU with 19 points, Jamie Skeen had 18 and Joey Rodriguez eight with seven assists.
ěWe had them on their heels,î Rodriguez said. ěWe just couldnít finish.î
The Rams had lost four of five coming into the tournament, but edged Drexel on a buzzer-beater and then handed top-seeded George Mason its first loss in 17 games. They hope it will get them invited somewhere in the postseason.
Trailing 46-28 with 161/2 minutes left, VCUís run had the crowd in its home city roaring, even after the Monarchs answered with consecutive putbacks.
But as Ben Finney stepped to the line with 15.3 seconds left and his team ahead 69-62, the smaller contingent of Monarchs fans chanted ěO-D-U! O-D-U!î to celebrate the Monarchsí league-best sixth tournament title and eighth straight win.
ěWe put them in a deep enough hole that even with that great run, it wasnít enough to get us,î Taylor said.
Old Dominion led 50-39 and had ended an 11-0 burst by VCU with consecutive baskets by Hassell, but the Rams rallied again.
Rodriguez hit a 3-pointer, Skeen followed a free throw with a putback and then made a reverse layup and was fouled. The free throw pulled the Rams within 51-47. Hassellís basket pushed the lead back to 53-47, but Burgess hit a pair of free throws and then followed a miss with a tip-in, and it was 53-51 with 5 minutes left.
Cooperís first field goal doubled the lead, but Burgess hit a 3-pointer from the left corner, cutting it to one before Cooper scored on a tip-in, and Bazemore followed with another. The Monarchs extended their advantage to seven in the closing minutes to win the seasonís third game between the state rivals.
Leading 39-26, the Monarchs opened the second half on a 7-2 run to open their largest lead at 46-28. But with their NCAA hopes fading fast, the Rams responded, sparked in part by their more urgent fullcourt defense.
The first half included a scary moment when Hassell elbowed the Ramsí Ed Nixon in the face after grabbing a rebound, dropping Nixon to the floor. Hassell was called for an intentional foul, but Rodriguez missed both free throws, and Keyon Carterís basket for the Monarchs shortly after launched a 10-3 run.
The Associated Press
03/07/11 23:05