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.
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 six of seven 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.
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.
Iowa 73, Virginia 60
Eight-seeded Iowa outhustled Virginia for loose balls and out-rebounded the Cavaliers 44-27 to take a decisive victory.
The Hawkeyes (22-9) scored the first nine points of the second half to open an 18-point lead. They will play No. 1 seed Kentucky tomorrow in the second round.
"That's something you always dream about, getting to play Kentucky," said Iowa's Ryan Bowen after a 15-point, 16-rebound performance.
Iowa point guard Andre Woolridge scored 17, but more impressive was his 10 assists with no turnovers. "That's just phenomenal for a pressure-packed game," coach Tom Davis said after running his first-round record in the NCAA tournament to 10-0.
Pub Date: 3/14/97