Siena prevails, will face Terps

Karangwa's 31 drop Alcorn State, 81-77, in NCAA play-in game

March 13, 2002|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

DAYTON, Ohio - An unexpected scoring spree lifted Siena to an 81-77 victory over Alcorn State last night in the NCAA tournament play-in game before 8,681 at the University of Dayton Arena.

The win earned the Saints (17-18) a first-round East Regional date with top seed Maryland on Friday night.

A career-high 31 points from junior guard Prosper Karangwa, picking up the slack for star forward Dwayne Archbold, highlighted the firepower for the Saints, who made the NCAA field by winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament and have now won five games in a row.

Karangwa shot 12-for-16 and was clutch at the end. His three-point play - he was fouled while hitting a floating jumper - gave Siena a 79-74 lead with 43 seconds to go.

Jeff Cammon hit a three-pointer for Alcorn State (21-10) to make it 79-77, but Tori Harris' driving shot was blocked by Siena's James Clinton in the closing seconds and Archbold hit two free throws with five seconds left to clinch the victory.

"That was an NCAA tournament game," said Siena coach Rob Lanier, in his first year as a head coach after serving as a Texas assistant last season. "It's also an example of how overrated coaching is - this was an example of players making plays."

Advancing to Friday night's game at MCI Center in Washington, the Saints know what they're up against in fourth-ranked Maryland.

"We watch them [the Terps] every time on TV," said Archbold, who finished with 11 points. "If they weren't a good team, they wouldn't be a No. 1 seed."

Siena entered the game banking on another great performance by Archbold, a Brooklyn native who scored 111 points during the MAAC tournament, including 30 in the championship-game win over Niagara.

Instead, Archbold's foul trouble and 3-for-12 shooting put things into the hands of Karangwa, a junior guard from Montreal.

Archbold got his third foul 10 minutes into the game and didn't play for the rest of the first half and the first five minutes of the second. However, he got what he'd been waiting for from Karangwa, a beast in practice who often becomes reticent in games.

Not last night. Karangwa, pressed into point guard duty during the MAAC tournament, turned into a scorer, getting 12 of his 15 first-half points after Archbold went to the bench and sparking his team to a 39-36 halftime lead.

"I told him after the game that that was what I was waiting for," Archbold said. "Some days he doesn't do that and I know he can."

Said Karangwa: "When [Archbold] got in foul trouble, Coach ran plays for me. That gave me more opportunities to score."

Getting a 20-point, 17-rebound effort from power forward Marcus Fleming and 16 second-half points from Harris, Alcorn State overcame a size disadvantage and 10 second-half turnovers to battle Siena late into the game.

But poor free-throw shooting (15-for-25), turnovers and Karangwa ultimately conspired to derail the Braves.

Harris' three pointer with 2:42 left gave the Braves a 73-72 lead, but it was an edge Alcorn State was unable to maintain.

Siena took the lead when Karangwa hit a three-pointer with 2:07 left - "It was just a random shot," he said - to make it 75-73. The Saints never trailed again.

"How can I describe that?" Lanier said of Karangwa's performance. "What you saw tonight is what I see in him every day."

SIENA-Archbold 3-12 5-6 12, Clinton 3-5 0-1 6, Miller 5-9 4-8 14, P.Cavo 3-9 2-2 8, Karangwa 12-16 5-6 31, Price 1-2 0-0 2, Andrews 1-3 0-0 3, Mitchell 2-4 1-1 5, Sniezyk 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-60 17-24 81.

ALCORN STATE -B.Jackson 2-5 1-2 7, Fleming 6-10 8-13 20, Harper 3-7 3-5 9, Cammon 1-7 2-2 5, Cable 7-17 0-0 16, Harris 6-11 1-1 16, C.Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Callans 1-2 0-2 2, Cook 1-4 0-0 2, Norris 0-0 0-0 0, Robinson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-64 15-25 77.

Halftime-Siena, 39-36. 3-point goals-Siena 4-14 (Karangwa 2-2, Andrews 1-2, Archbold 1-5, Miller 0-1, Mitchell 0-1, P.Cavo 0-3), Alcorn State 8-23 (Harris 3-5, B.Jackson 2-5, Cable 2-7, Cammon 1-6). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Siena 40 (Clinton, Karangwa 9), Alcorn State 36 (Fleming 17). Assists-Siena 16 (Karangwa 6), Alcorn State 14 (Cammon 6). Total fouls-Siena 21, Alcorn State 21. A-8,681

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