UCLA holds on to beat Miami Hughes scores last nine in Saint Louis' 51-46 win

South at Atlanta

March 14, 1998|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

ATLANTA -- It was the long NCAA tournament tradition of sixth-seeded UCLA against the wide-eyed enthusiasm of 11th-seeded Miami last night in an emotional first-round NCAA tournament South Regional matchup at the Georgia Dome.

And what a show these two teams put on in front of a roaring crowd before UCLA walked off the court with a 65-62 victory and a 5 p.m. second-round game tomorrow against third-seeded Michigan.

The Hurricanes, making their first NCAA tournament appearance in 38 years, were led down the stretch by the Baltimore connection of Lake Clifton's Kevin Norris (14 points, three assists, four steals) and Southern's Johnny Hemsley (13 points, 11 rebounds), with both players taking turns making big plays and key baskets.

The Bruins (23-8), making their 34th NCAA tournament appearance and 10th straight, countered with the relentless inside presence of 6-9 senior J.R. Henderson and the lightning quickness of 6-5 senior Toby Bailey. In the end, Henderson and Bailey were too much for Miami (18-10) to overcome.

Henderson scored a game-high 26 points and Bailey had 21.

Henderson hit two free throws to give UCLA a 63-62 lead with 25.2 seconds left, and Hemsley came down court with the ball and called Miami's last timeout with 20.5 seconds remaining.

The Hurricanes then got the ball to Hemsley in the corner who tossed up a jumper in an attempt to put his team ahead, but the shot was a little long with eight seconds left.

Miami was forced to foul Bailey with 7.4 seconds left and hit hit both free throws for a 65-62 lead, with UCLA then taking their last timeout. Norris brought the ball up court for Miami and got it to reserve Charles Wiseman for a three-pointer and a possible tie at 65, but the shot rolled off the rim, with Rico Hines rebounding for UCLA as time ran out.

Saint Louis 51, Massachusetts 46: THe 10th-seeded Billikens received a clutch performance down the stretch from freshman guard Larry Hughes to turn back seventh-seeded UMass.

Hughes scored the final nine points of the game for Saint Louis (22-10) during a 9-2 game-ending run that put away the Minutemen (21-11).

Hughes threw in off-balance jump shots from all over the court and wound up with a game-high 18 points in a show befitting his status as the Conference USA's second-leading scorer (21.4 ppg).

Kentucky 82, South Carolina State 67: The crowd at the Georgia Dome yesterday seemed to be hoping South Carolina State could produce a little 1997 Coppin State magic.

But lightning did not strike twice for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, as second seed Kentucky rolled over the 15th-seeded Bulldogs.

S.C. State (22-8) made two strong runs at Kentucky (30-4), but the Wildcats had too much size up front for the guard-oriented Bulldogs.

Michigan 80, Davidson 61: Louis Bullock rocked, Robert "Tractor" Traylor rolled and Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe cajoled. The result was a victory for the third-seeded Wolverines (25-8) over 14th-seeded Davidson (20-10).

Bullock, from Laurel Baptist Academy in Maryland, scored 20 points before injuring his right leg and leaving with 4: 28 left in the game. Ellerbe said after the game that he wasn't sure of the extent of Bullock's injury.

The massive Traylor, listed at 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds, looked much bigger than that to the smaller Wildcats and established a strong inside presence throughout the game.

Pub Date: 3/14/98

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