West Sub-Regional Round One Recap

March 17, 2000

TUCSON, Ariz. - People ought to know how to pronounce Gonzaga by now.

For the second year in a row, the little Jesuit college from Spokane, Wash. - the zag rhymes with bag - knocked off a first-round opponent in the NCAA West regional, this time beating Louisville 77-66 Thursday night behind Richie Fram's 31 points.

After last year's run to the regional final, Gonzaga is 4-1 in the tournament the last two years, with a second-round date against No. 2 seed St. John's on Saturday.

"We didn't come here to get just one win," the Bulldogs' Matt Santangelo said. "We have a chip on our shoulder. We want to prove that last year was no fluke, that Gonzaga is a good basketball program."

St. John's almost didn't survive a first-round matchup with No. 15 seed Northern Arizona, hanging on for a 61-56 victory thanks to Lavor Postell's three-point play with 10.9 seconds remaining and Erick Barkley's steal with three seconds to go.

"I expected to have a tough game, but I did not expect anything like that," St. John's coach Mike Jarvis said.

In the other first-round games in Tucson, No. 6 seed Purdue edged No. 11 Dayton 62-61, and No. 3 seed Oklahoma rolled over No. 14 Winthrop 74-50.

"We aren't a Cinderella team anymore," the Bulldogs' Ryan Floyd said.

Despite a season-high 24 turnovers, Gonzaga pulled away in the second half with timely shooting and a tight defense that held Louisville to 38 percent from the field. Louisville coach Denny Crum, though, said the Cardinals were more responsible for the lousy shooting than Gonzaga's defense was.

"We had open shots all over the gym and we just couldn't make them," he said.

Marques Maybin scored 21 and Nate Johnson 14 for Louisville. It was the second year in a row that the Cardinals lost in the first round as a No. 7 seed.

Santangelo scored 16 points and Axel Dench had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists for Gonzaga, which shot 57 percent from the field.

Frahm, one of four seniors in the Bulldogs' starting lineup, was 4-for-8 from 3-point range and figured at both ends of the most spectacular and decisive moments in the game.

With Gonzaga leading 49-48, Louisville's Quintin Bailey was headed for a breakaway stuff. But the 6-foot-5 Frahm, who had seven blocks all season, somehow blocked Bailey's dunk from behind. At the other end, Frahm sank a 3-pointer to the roar of the pro-Bulldogs crowd, and Gonzaga led 52-48 with 10:51 to play. The play ignited an 11-4 run, and the Cardinals never recovered.

Bailey thought Frahm fouled him.

"I thought I was wide open coming from halfcourt," Bailey said. "I turned around as I went up and he hit me. I believe it was a foul, but the ref didn't call it and things can't change now. It was a definite momentum shifter."

St. John's was in trouble through most of the night against a pesky Northern Arizona team in front of a hostile crowd.

Cory Schwab's only 3-pointer of the night, after five misses, gave the Lumberjacks a 56-55 lead with 29.9 seconds to go. But Lavor Postell got free inside for a three-point play, putting the Red Storm up 58-56.

NAU coach Mark Few called timeout and set up a play, but Ross Land lost control of his dribble, Erick Barkley tipped it away, and was fouled. He made one free throw and missed the second, but Bootsy Thornton, who scored 20, slipped in for the rebound and layup to finally put the game away.

"We didn't play St. John's basketball," Postell said. "I kind of felt I let my teammates down. At the end, with 11 seconds left, I finally did something right, and it turned out to be the game-winner."

Land, one of the best 3-point shooters in college basketball, was just 3-for-10 from the field, 3-for-9 from 3-point range and scored just nine points. Dan McClintock, NAU's 7-foot center, scored 18 points. Billy Hix added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Jaraan Cornell broke out of a season-long shooting slump to make three 3-pointers in the final nine minutes to help Purdue beat Dayton.

"With about eight minutes left I asked Jaraan, `Could you please make a shot,"' Purdue coach Gene Keady said. "He laughed, and maybe he was able to relax a little after that."

Brian Cardinal, who led all scorers with 18 points, gave Purdue a 61-58 lead with 1:20 remaining with another 3-pointer.

With his team down 62-61 with 6.7 seconds to go, Dayton's Brooks Hall was fouled. He made the first of two shots, running his free throw string to 23, but missed the second.

Cornell finished with 13 points and Carson Cunningham added 10 for the Boilermakers, who lost their previous two games.

Tony Stanley and Mark Ashman each had 16 points for the Flyers. Yuanta Holland added 14.

Oklahoma made 10 of 21 3-pointers in its onesided victory over Winthrop.

Five players scored in double figures for the Sooners. J.R. Raymond scored 14, Tim Heskett and Nolan Johnson 12 apiece, and Hollis Price and Eduardo Najera each scored 10.

The Eagles of the Big South Conference shot just 26 percent, missing 18 of 20 3-pointers.

By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer


 

 

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