Seton Hall beats long odds, second-seeded Temple in OT

Pirates overcome loss of Holloway, advance with gritty 67-65 win

East at Buffalo, N.Y.

Ncaa Tournament

March 20, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A devised script couldn't have provided Seton Hall with any more pitfalls yesterday in its NCAA East Regional second-round game.

First, second-seeded Temple drained five of its first six shots, including two three-pointers by Baltimore's Mark Karcher (St. Francis), to zoom to a quick 11-point lead.

A few minutes later, point guard Shaheen Holloway, the last-second hero of the Pirates' opening-round overtime victory, couldn't get up after a driving basket and was carried off the court by teammates, sidelined for the rest of the game.

Early in the second half, freshman center Samuel Dalembert was charged with his third and fourth personal fouls within 50 seconds and retired to the bench for nearly 14 minutes, unable to provide the shot-blocking and intimidation that could neutralize Temple's bulky big men.

It seemed there was no way the Pirates were meant to win. But they fooled everybody.

Seton Hall persevered with true grit and beat all the odds as Holloway's replacement, Ty Shine, played the game of his life to help stun the second-seeded Owls in overtime, 67-65, to reach the regional semifinals against Oklahoma State.

"We drew closer together in the face of adversity," said Seton Hall coach Tommy Amaker. "I don't think anyone could have expected us to play the way we did without Holloway. Our whole school drew closer as a result of the tragic fire we had on campus [in January]. Our team has shown a lot of heart and guts to perform under those circumstances. It has to do with their mental toughness."

Seton Hall (22-9) had a chance to win in regulation after Karcher (27 points) tied the score at 57 with a three-pointer from the wing with 24.7 seconds left. With an open 10-footer, Kevin Wilkins missed and the upset-hungry crowd at HSBC Arena let out a collective sigh of disappointment.

In the extra period, one of two free throws by Karcher shoved the Owls ahead 65-63, before the unflappable Shine drilled the last of his season-high seven three-pointers to regain the lead for the Pirates. With 14.5 seconds to go, Temple coach John Chaney called a timeout.

But he didn't have Pepe Sanchez to direct the crucial final play. The senior point guard had fouled out with 37 seconds to go in regulation and watched helplessly from the bench while the Owls committed a turnover.

"I drove to the hole and went up to shoot when I saw the big guy [Dalembert] come up," said Temple guard Lynn Greer. "Coach told me to pass the ball if he came. I tried to dish it off to Lamont [Barnes], but I threw it too hard."

Greg Morton, a freshman, hit one of two free-throw attempts to give Seton Hall a two-point lead before Greer's desperation heave to win it at the buzzer caromed off the left side of the rim.

The Pirates consistently beat Temple's famed matchup zone with guard penetration by Shine, Rimas Kaukenas and Darius Lane, then kick-out passes to the bombers. They set an East Regional record with 15 three-pointers, hitting half their attempts to shoot 17 percent higher from beyond the arc than inside it.

"All they did was make big shots, 23-, 24- and 25-footers," Chaney said. "There is always one game in the tournament that you dread, but if you get over that one, you're better off for it. This was ours."

Many observers believed Temple (27-6) was a team that could go all the way, and there was a groundswell of sentiment for Chaney to do so. But his team shot poorly from the free-throw line (6-for-18) and was out-rebounded by the smaller, rangier Pirates. He opted for a smaller lineup at crunch time because his post players were so ineffective on offense.

Still, it required a Herculean effort from Seton Hall, especially after Holloway was knocked out of the game and Dalembert sank into foul trouble.

"This is something I wasn't new to. He went out last year and I was able to provide a boost for the team," Shine said of Holloway. "We were pretty down when I came in. I was just ready to play regardless of whether I started or came off the bench."

Said Kaukenas: "At the end of the game, we had a timeout and I told everyone that we owed Shaheen a lot, that he got us into this position. I was really excited to give something back to him."

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