Omaha defeats Washington in 3-on-3 final, 16-13

November 02, 1992|By Michael Gunstanson | Michael Gunstanson,Contributing Writer

DALLAS -- The ball hung on the rim for what seemed an endless amount of time.

At least seven hands went up for it. Bodies collided. Someone grabbed the net. The rim rattled. A whistle blew.

At that moment, with defending champion Omaha up 14-13, the national Hoop It Up 3-on-3 basketball tournament men's title was in doubt. But moments later, when the referee called goaltending against Washington's John Miller and awarded Omaha a point, doubt was removed.

The final: Omaha 16, Washington 13. Had the women's team from Amarillo, Texas, not rallied to beat Omaha -- led by former superstar Nancy Lieberman-Cline -- the Midwest city would have had a sweep. Amarillo edged Washington, 16-12, to make the final.

"At a turning point of the game, you don't make a call like that on something like that," Miller said. "If they had a question, they should have just given them the ball out front."

Washington's David Gately lost the inbounds pass out of bounds and Omaha had a shot at the victory. Omaha got the ball inside to 6-foot-10 Steve Criss, who laid it up. Miller banged against the basket supports and the ball rolled off the right side of the basket. But Criss was there to put it back in for the victory.

"I saw it coming off and I had to go and get it," Criss said. "I just happened to stay with it and got lucky."

The Washington women's team was down 9-2 before rallying to get within 13-10 before falling 16-12. Former University of Maryland standout Jazz Perazic-Gipe was a key to the comeback.

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