Brewer, Louisville turn heads Midwest Regional

March 22, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Louisville point guard James Brewer was literally and physically knocked out of Friday's game against Delaware in the opening round of the NCAA Midwest Regional. Brewer, who banged the back of his head after he flipped over some chairs while chasing down a loose ball, was carried out on a stretcher and was diagnosed with a mild concussion.

Yesterday, the player his teammates and coaches call "Boo" came back to knock Oklahoma State out of the tournament. In 25 minutes off the bench, Brewer scored 26 points in the Cardinals' 78-63 victory over Oklahoma State. Brewer hit seven of 10 shots from the field, and all 10 of his free throws.

"I expect Boo to play well every time he plays," said Louisville coach Denny Crum, who'll be making his first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1989 and will face top-ranked, top-seeded Indiana on Thursday night in St. Louis. "He creates a lot of enthusiasm."

What the fifth-year senior did against the fifth-seeded Cowboys was create offense. After the fourth-seeded Cardinals (23-8) got off to a slow start and trailed Oklahoma State (20-10) 19-9, Louisville cut its deficit to 31-30 by halftime. But Crum's team fell behind again by 10 early in the second half.

That's when Brewer, along with sophomore center Clifford Rozier (19 points, eight rebounds) and junior guard Greg Minor (15 points), helped the Cardinals go on a 46-21 run. The three combined for 40 points during that stretch. Brewer also had five rebounds, one assist and no turnovers for the game, and made three of five three-pointers.

"Our three-point shooting didn't surprise me because we're a good three-point shooting team," said junior forward Dwayne Morton. "But our free-throw shooting usually isn't too good. I can't believe that Clifford Rozier made five of five, or Troy Smith made four of four."

Louisville, which won its seventh straight game, shot 21 of 23 from the free-throw line. Not bad for a team that hit 66.6 percent during the regular season, and only 13 of 25 against Delaware in a 76-70 opening-round victory.

Crum tried a little psychology on his Cardinals. At practice Saturday, he did not allow them to shoot a single free throw. At the team's shoot-around yesterday, that's all the Cardinals did. Obviously it worked.

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