Saturday, March 20, 2004

Wolfpack uses defense to subdue Ragin' Cajuns


Phoenix Regional

The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. - North Carolina State, seeded third in the Phoenix Regional, turned to its defense to overcome a slow start and beat Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana-Lafayette 61-52 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

N.C. State will play Vanderbilt on Sunday.

"There's going to be grind-out games when you just have to do whatever it takes to win," North Carolina State's Julius Hodge said.

Marcus Melvin scored 20 points and the Wolfpack (21-9) survived a subpar game by Hodge, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year who turned over the ball six times and was held to 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting.

"I wasn't scoring so I had to do other things," said Hodge, who had 10 rebounds. "I hit the boards and did whatever it took. I didn't necessarily have to score 30 for us to win."

Louisiana-Lafayette (20-9) kept it interesting, cutting its biggest deficit - 11 points - to seven on Antoine Landry's 3-pointer with just under three minutes to go. North Carolina State put the game away by going 6-for-6 from the foul line the rest of the way.

Landry led Louisiana-Lafayette with 16 points, but the Ragin' Cajuns shot just 32.7 percent from the field, including 5-for-22 on 3-point attempts, and were held to their second-lowest point total of the season.

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (20-9)-Hamilton 2-4 5-8 9, Cameron 2-3 0-0 4, Boyd 1-7 2-2 5, Greene 3-10 2-2 8, Bridges 0-5 4-7 4, Landry 5-11 2-2 16, Ch.Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 2-3 0-2 4, Ce.Williams 1-6 0-0 2. Totals 16-49 15-23 52.

N.C. STATE (21-9)-Hodge 5-13 4-4 14, Melvin 5-8 7-8 20, Evtimov 2-8 4-5 8, Bennerman 3-7 3-5 10, Atsur 3-6 2-2 9, O'Donnell 0-1 0-0 0, Watkins 0-3 0-0 0, Collins 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 18-49 20-24 61.

Halftime-N.C. State 27-23. 3-Point Goals-Louisiana-Lafayette 5-22 (Landry 4-7, Boyd 1-7, Mitchell 0-1, Bridges 0-2, Greene 0-5), N.C. State 5-17 (Melvin 3-5, Atsur 1-3, Bennerman 1-3, Collins 0-1, Hodge 0-2, Watkins 0-3). Fouled out-Hamilton, Mitchell. Rebounds-Louisiana-Lafayette 32 (Hamilton 8), N.C. State 37 (Hodge 10). Assists-Louisiana-Lafayette 9 (Greene 6), N.C. State 10 (Atsur 4). Total fouls-Louisiana-Lafayette 21, N.C. State 20. A-NA.

Vanderbilt 71, Western Michigan 58

ORLANDO, Fla. - Mario Moore scored a career-best 26 points and hit six 3-pointers for the sixth-seeded Commodores, who won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 1993.

Vanderbilt (22-9) led by only two points after 35 minutes when drained his fourth 3-pointer of the second half, putting the Commodores up 58-53. Matt Freije's 3-pointer stretched the lead, and Vandy pulled away as Western Michigan (26-5) missed seven of its next eight shots.

W. MICHIGAN (26-5)-Snider 1-9 3-4 5, Williams 10-20 4-6 24, Kann 3-6 1-2 7, Willis 1-2 0-0 3, Reed 4-13 2-2 10, Berry 1-5 2-2 5, Rost 1-3 0-0 2, Madison 1-5 0-0 2, Bronson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-63 12-16 58.

VANDERBILT (22-9)-Freije 4-9 3-5 13, Smith 2-2 0-0 5, Przybyszewski 3-5 0-3 7, Moore 10-16 0-0 26, Lakey 0-3 2-4 2, Payton 1-1 0-0 2, Cage 1-3 0-0 3, Hundley 1-2 3-4 5, Terrell 3-4 0-2 6, Schnedlitz 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-46 8-18 71.

Halftime score-W M 34, Van. 31. 3-Point Goals-W M 2-19 (Willis 1-2, Berry 1-4, Madison 0-1, Rost 0-1, Williams 0-2, Snider 0-4, Reed 0-5), Van. 11-19 (Moore 6-8, Freije 2-5, Przybyszewski 1-1, Smith 1-1, Cage 1-2, Lakey 0-2). Fouled out-Kann. Rebounds-WM 36 (Reed 10), Van. 33 (Freije 8). Assists-WM 10 (Snider 6), Van. 16 (Lakey 4). Total fouls-WM 19, Van. 15. A-15,199




NCAA TOURNAMENT (Special section)
XU: Musketeers fight back to advance
Patient Sato picks his spots, hits his shots
UC: Bobbitt hits game-winner
Daugherty: Little guy not so little in Tourney
ETSU's Smith plays big
Hicks gets job done as Bearcats' stealth sub
UK: 'Cats pull away in 2nd half to win
Hayes just misses triple-double
Murray St. gets taste of Illini's Big Ten
Cowboys get Sutton's angry halftime message
Wolfpack uses defense to subdue Ragin' Cajuns
Pacific waves goodbye to 5th seed Providence
Maryland sets sights on 'Cuse's sharpshooter
Calhoun could do without matchup
NCAA Tournament at a glance
It's not exactly home, but it's close for the Buckeyes
Tournament chase is all about class
Team by team in the women's field
WNIT: Scoring drought ends MU's season
Victory sends Wilmington to title game

REDS / BASEBALL
Reds pitcher lost for season
2003 Reds finances may have finished in the black
Inside Reds camp
Lidle in Opening Day hunt
Aching Nixon, Garciaparra out of action for Red Sox

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals, Sapp close in on deal
It's official: Keyshawn, Parcells reunited

PREP SPORTS
MND plays nation's top-ranked team for state title
C-J storms into Division I title game
Colonels discover that the 3 is king
Royals win one for the ages
Mason Co. pushed to the 3-OT brink
Prep sports results, schedules

TURFWAY PARK
Silver Minister, Bejarano aim to play spoiler

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Maruyama moves ahead
Sports digest
Sports this weekend on TV, radio