11th seed Texas ousts Oregon NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

March 17, 1995|By Jerry Bembry and Don Markus | Jerry Bembry and Don Markus,Sun Staff Writers

SALT LAKE CITY -- When Texas learned it was an 11th seed, the Longhorns felt slighted. Last night, their intention was to earn a little respect.

And Texas (23-7) did just that, using its defensive pressure to spark a 90-73 victory over sixth-seeded Oregon in a West Regional first-round game at the Huntsman Center.

Terrence Rencher scored 19 points and backcourt mate Roderick Anderson added 15 for Texas, which had six scorers in double figures.

It was the sixth straight win for the Longhorns, who advanced to tomorrow's second round against the winner of the Maryland-Gonzaga game.

"I'm happy we got the 11th seed," Texas coach Tom Penders said afterward. "If it were the other way around, the emotional edge would have been with Oregon."

The Longhorns dominated the second half, shooting 61.3 percent after a poor-shooting first half. Texas led by as many as 21 and, despite the big lead, Penders opted not to pull his starters late as he improved his first-round NCAA mark to 6-1.

Oregon (19-9) was making its first tournament appearance in 34 years but was hurt by poor shooting (seven of 33 on three-point attempts, 38 percent from the field overall).

"It was definitely more pressure than we expected," said guard Orlando Williams, who scored 23 points to lead the Ducks. "It turned into a much more up-and-down game than we expected."

Cincinnati 77, Temple 71

Temple hardly could be associated with accurate shooting, so when freshman guard Johnny Miller and the Owls began hitting three-pointers, the signs were good for an upset.

But the 10th-seeded Owls' impressive offensive display simply woke up seventh-seeded Cincinnati in their West Regional first-round game. Facing one of the nation's best defensive teams, the Bearcats shot 61.4 percent, including 60 percent from three-point range, and defeated Temple at the Huntsman Center.

"You're looking at a great Cincinnati team," said Temple coach John Chaney, whose Owls shot 39 percent during the season. "I'm very proud my team stood up and didn't give it up until the very last second."

Cincinnati (22-11), which fought off a late rally, moves on to face second-seeded Connecticut tomorrow.

The Bearcats hit 12 of 20 three-pointers, with guard LaZelle Durden connecting on six of 11 and scoring 24 points. That helped offset Miller, who scored a career-high 30, including nine three-pointers, the third-highest total in tournament history.

Miller played with a brace on his right ankle, which he sprained in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament final loss to Massachusetts.

"I didn't know he was going to play like he did today," said Cincinnati reserve guard Damon Flint, who shadowed Miller late and held him to one three-pointer in the last seven minutes. "Coach told us he was making shots, and we said, 'Yeah, right.' "

Why would Cincinnati think otherwise? Because Miller scored just two points when the teams met in December. In that 60-41 loss, Temple shot 21.6 percent, the worst in Chaney's 13 years at Temple.

The Owls held the Bearcats 25 points below their scoring average in December, but Cincinnati had no such problems yesterday. Its 61.4-percent shooting was a season high and a school tournament record.

Temple (19-11) wanted to shut down Cincinnati's inside game, especially freshman forward Danny Fortson. The strategy backfired.

"You have to make the other guys beat you," Chaney said. "Ijust so happened the other guys beat us today."

Cincinnati, which has won its past five games, gained some redemption after last year's disappointing first-round loss to Wisconsin.

"It's a two-game tournament," Bearcats coach Bob Huggins said of the first- and second- round games. "We came to win two games."

UConn 100, Chattanooga 71

Here's how not to start your first-round game in the NCAA tournament: Miss your first six shots, miss your first two free throws and commit three turnovers, all while waiting for the first television timeout.

That was what Tennessee-Chattanooga and its coach, Mack McCarthy, did against Connecticut at the Huntsman Center. It ++ resulted in the Huskies scoring 13 points before the timeout, and two more right afterward.

The fast start by Connecticut, the No. 2 seed in the West Regional, and 15th-seeded Chattanooga's abysmal beginning led to the expected result: The Huskies built a 25-point first-half lead, led by 20 at halftime and ran away to a 29-point victory. The Moccasins, McCarthy in particular, were left as red-faced as their mascot.

"The only thing that would have made a difference in the first five minutes was making the ball go in the basket," said McCarthy, whose team wound up shooting 22 of 81, including only five of 38 on three-point attempts. "I think we had a decent game plan, but you have to make some shots to make it work."

The victory put Connecticut (26-4) into the second round tomorrow against Cincinnati, which beat Temple, 77-71. Senior forward Donny Marshall led the Huskies with 22 points and sophomore forward Ray Allen added 18. Senior forward Maurio Hanson led Chattanooga (19-11) with a game-high 28.

"We wanted to come out and set the tone, whether it took us five minutes or 10 minutes or 20 minutes," said Marshall.

It took less than five, and the Moccasins were forced to play catch-up. They cut their deficit to 49-35 early in the second half, but the Huskies opened their lead up to as many as 35 by continually beating a winded Chattanooga team down the floor.

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