St. Joseph's guards go on scoring binge, gobble Pacific, 75-65 Hot-shooting Valparaiso swallowed by BC, 73-66

Kentucky rolls, 92-54

West Regional

March 14, 1997|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

SALT LAKE CITY -- St. Joseph's renaissance season turned ragged yesterday, but the Hawks had enough savvy -- and good fortune -- to plow past Pacific, 75-65, in a West Regional opener at the Huntsman Center.

St. Joe's backcourt of Rashid Bey and Arthur Davis supplied the savvy, hitting 15 of 27 shots and scoring 41 points.

Pacific, a school that hadn't been to the NCAA tournament since 1979, supplied the good fortune. The Big West champion shot a miserly 39.3 percent, coughed up 17 turnovers and failed to take advantage of opportunities.

The fourth-seeded Hawks should not expect any such largess from Boston College, a 73-66 winner over Valparaiso, in a second-round matchup tomorrow.

While Davis, a freshman, hinted that St. Joe's problems stemmed from NCAA anxiety, his coach, Phil Martelli suggested otherwise.

Speaking of his two Philadelphia-born guards, Martelli said, "They've played pickup games where some guys there are armed. Pressure in this game? No one had a gun."

The game was not without incident. Reserve St. Joe guard Terrell Myers dropped Pacific's Tim Bowman at midcourt with an elbow to the face in the final 32 seconds of the first half. The foul went uncalled because the two players trailed a fast break that ended with an 18-foot jumper by Bey.

"We ran into each other and he just got the worst of it," said Myers, who drew a second-half technical for complaining about a non-call.

That technical came barely more than a minute after St. Joe's assistant Matt Brady drew one for protesting a traveling call on Dmitri Domani.

After Pacific cut an 11-point deficit to one, St. Joe's put the game away with a barrage of three-pointers. Bey (22 points on 9-for-15 shooting) and Davis hit three straight threes around Myers' technical to open a 58-50 lead.

Davis, who scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, also

hounded Pacific's leading scorer, Mark Boelter, into a 1-for-8, 5-point performance.

"Every time I came off a screen, Davis was in my face," Boelter said.

BC 73, Valparaiso 66

Boston College subdued Valparaiso's Bryce Drew in the second half with box-and-one defense and outlasted the gritty Crusaders in yesterday's first game.

Drew shot Valparaiso into leads of 11-0 and 19-5 by hitting his first four three-point attempts. He hit 6 of 7 threes in the half for 19 points and a 37-32 halftime lead. But Drew was only 2-for-5 from behind the three-point line in the second half. He scored 27.

BC (22-8) got its first lead with just less than eight minutes remaining on a 5-footer by Bevan Thomas. A 6-foot-8 senior, Thomas came off the bench to trigger BC's comeback by scoring 11 of his season-high 16 points in the second half. Another reserve, Kostas Maglos, scored 11 as the BC bench outscored Valparaiso, 30-5.

The Eagles had just one field goal, a pullup jumper by Scoonie Penn, in the final seven minutes, converting 13 of their final 18 field goals.

The defeat ended Valparaiso's season at 24-7, but eased the sting of last year's 39-point loss to Arizona in the Crusaders' first-ever NCAA tournament game.

"That experience helped us to be the team we were this year," Valparaiso coach Homer Drew said.

Kentucky 92, Montana 54

Kentucky throttled outmanned Montana to launch its NCAA title defense before 13,832.

The top-seeded Wildcats (31-4) ran up an 18-point halftime lead and led by as many as 41 points in the second half.

Wayne Turner and reserve Cameron Mills led Kentucky with 19 points each. The Wildcats shot 51.6 percent, had 14 steals and blocked 11 shots. Montana (21-11) hit just 32.8 percent and had 20 turnovers.

Mills, a reserve, got his third consecutive career high. He scored 14 in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinal against Mississippi and 16 in the SEC final against Georgia.

After the Big Sky tournament champs crept to within 17-15, Turner scored seven points and Ron Mercer sank a three-pointer during a 12-3 run that made it 29-18. By the time the half ended, the Wildcats had outscored Montana 27-11 and led 44-26.

The Grizzlies cut the lead to 14 early in the second half, then Mills sank a 3-pointer to get Kentucky rolling again. A 16-0 spurt made it 66-35 with 11 minutes to play.

Pub Date: 3/14/97

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