Miami's experience humbles Arkansas, 75-71

Near 60 percent shooting boosts Ohio State, 87-61

Tulsa coasts by UNLV

South at Nashville, Tenn.

Ncaa Tournament

March 18, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Miami Hurricanes took advantage of Arkansas' inexperience with their three seniors, specifically Johnny Hemsley, jumping on the Razorbacks early in a 75-71 win in front of a packed Gaylord Entertainment Center last night.

"I think our experience helped us out in that first half," said Hurricanes coach Leonard Hamilton. "But if Arkansas keeps giving that type of effort, they are going to create a lot of problems for someone. Tell Coach Richardson [Arkansas' Nolan Richardson]: Please don't call me asking to play a game because we've had enough of that 40 minutes of hell to last us until the next time we see them in a tournament."

Hemsley led with a game-high 20 points, and Miami (22-10), which is making its third straight NCAA appearance for the first time in school history, will face Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament tomorrow.

Arkansas (19-15) went on a 10-0 run to close within 72-69 with 23 seconds left. But one of the Hurricanes' seniors, Mario Bland, made one of two free throws on the next possession to open up a four-point lead, then forward James Jones' dunk after a missed Razorbacks three-pointer sealed the game.

After shooting 2-for-16 at one point during the first half, the Razorbacks converted six of their first 10 attempts after halftime to cut the deficit under 10 points.

But Hemsley (Southern-Baltimore) answered with a three-pointer for the Hurricanes, pushing the lead to 56-43 with 8: 46 left.

"I thought we had plenty of time," Richardson said. "But then we threw the ball away, or over the head of somebody, and that is typical of a young team. You want to do something and you want to do it in a hurry because you feel like you are going to catch them. Sometimes you want to do it to quick. I think that happened to us."

Ohio State 87, Appalachian State 61: Scoonie Penn scored 23 points as the third-seeded Buckeyes (23-6) jumped on the Southern Conference champion Mountaineers (23-9), scoring on 11 of their first 12 possessions to take a 23-7 lead, and were never seriously threatened.

The Big Ten co-champion Buckeyes shot 58 percent (34-for-59), including 9-for-15 on three-point attempts. The Mountaineers shot 39 percent.

Appalachian State righted itself slightly after Ohio State's early surge, and cut the lead to 27-13 on a three-pointer. But the Buckeyes answered with an 11-0 run for their largest lead of the game, 38-13 with 7: 10 left in the half.

The lead was 21 points at the half and was never below 16 points in the second half.

Tulsa 89, UNLV 62: Tulsa is becoming an old hand at winning first-round games in the NCAA tournament.

With David Shelton scoring 21 points, the Golden Hurricane (30-4) routed the 10th-seeded Runnin' Rebels (23-8), marking the fifth time in six years Tulsa have won in the opening round.

Now the work gets considerably harder. Seventh-seeded Tulsa goes into the second round tomorrow against No. 2 seed Cincinnati, a winner over North Carolina-Wilmington.

The Rebels lost to both Cincinnati and Tulsa this season, and coach Bill Bayno thinks Tulsa might have a chance with Bearcats star Kenyon Martin sidelined by a broken leg.

"That may be one of the better games of the tournament," Bayno said.

Tulsa broke the game open by finishing the half with a 15-2 run, highlighted by three straight threes -- including two by Dante Swanson -- for a 44-22 lead.

Cincinnati 64, North Carolina-Wilmington 47: Even without injured All-American Kenyon Martin, the Bearcats (29-3) had far too much firepower for the overmatched Seahawks (18-13).

Martin, on crutches because of a broken right leg, became emotional as the game began. He used a towel to wipe away tears as the teams lined up for the opening tap.

"It didn't hit me until they called the starting lineup and I wasn't part of it and I knew I wasn't going to play," he said. "Right before the game, it was hard. I got over it and I started cheering my team on."

The Bearcats had runs of 11-2 and then 10-2 in the first half, and they scored eight of the first 10 points in the second half. By then, Martin was leading cheers and advising teammates as they came to the bench during timeouts.

Now comes the hard part for the Bearcats. They've been eliminated in the second round of the past three NCAA tournaments and try to end that jinx tomorrow.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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