Men's College Basketball Roundup

Holy Cross runs into Patriot final

Associated Press / March 9, 2009
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Eric Meister scored 19 points and led a decisive second half surge as Holy Cross defeated visiting Colgate, 61-44, yesterday in the semifinals of the Patriot League tournament.

Second-seeded Holy Cross (18-13) will play at American for the title on Friday. The Eagles, regular-season conference champions, defeated Army, 61-60, in the other semifinal. Holy Cross and American split two games this season, each winning at home.

Meister scored the opening basket of the game and Colin Cunningham added 5 quick points, and Holy Cross never trailed.

With Ben Jonson and Yaw Gyawu in foul trouble, sixth-seeded Colgate (10-20) wound up going 5 for 23 from the floor in the first half and fell behind, 28-14, at the break.

Holy Cross extended the lead to 51-26 with 10:46 left in the game.

America East semifinals - D.J. Rivera capped a 26-point effort with a steal and slam dunk with 10 seconds remaining, sealing top-seeded Binghamton's comeback against New Hampshire, 72-67. UNH (14-16) turned the ball over twice in the final seconds to lose to the Bearcats (22-8) for the third time this season. Binghamton, winner of 10 straight, will host the title game against defending champion UMBC, a 64-58 winner over host Albany, Saturday.

Colonial semifinals - Cam Long scored 14 points and had three 3-pointers and two key assists in the last eight minutes to lift George Mason past Towson, 56-48 . . . Eric Maynor scored 13 of his 23 points in the second half and top-seeded Virginia Commonwealth advanced to the championship game with a 61-53 victory against Old Dominion. VCU (23-9) trailed, 30-27, early in the second half before Maynor scored 4 points and had a steal and fast-break assist in a 13-2 run.

Metro Atlantic semifinals - Ronald Moore had 12 points and a record 14 assists as top-seeded Siena defeated fifth-seeded Fairfield, 80-65. Siena (25-7) will face Niagara (26-7) - which needed two overtimes to beat Rider, 93-89 - for the championship tonight.

Missouri Valley final - Ali Farokhmanesh scored 8 of Northern Iowa's 12 points in overtime, helping the top-seeded Panthers overcome an Illinois State rally fueled by tournament MVP Osiris Eldridge in a 60-57 victory. Northern Iowa (23-10) matched a school record for victories while earning its first NCAA bid since 2004.

Southern semifinals - Tony White had 17 points and Andrew Goudelock scored his 12 points in the second half as College of Charleston beat Davidson, 59-52. Stephen Curry finished with 20 points but was just 5 of 18 from the floor for the Wildcats (26-7), who reached the Elite Eight last year and would have assured themselves an NCAA Tournament berth with their fourth straight SoCon title . . . Stephen McDowell scored 32 points to lead Chattanooga (17-16) to a 81-70 win over Samford.

Summit quarterfinals - Davis Baker had four 3-pointers and 25 points as Southern Utah beat IUPUI, 53-48. The Thunderbirds (11-19) advance to play top-seeded North Dakota State in a semifinal today . . . Will Hudson had 15 points to lead Oakland to a 75-62 win over IPFW.

Sun Belt quarterfinals - A pair of John Fowler 3-pointers in the final 1:29 capped a 14-point second-half comeback as Arkansas-Little Rock defeated Denver, 58-55 . . . Tristan Thompson's 4-point play started a 22-11 North Texas run that lifted the Mean Green to an 88-79 victory over Middle Tennessee . . . Orlando Mendez-Valdez scored 18 points to lead Western Kentucky over Florida International, 66-48, and a step closer to another NCAA Tournament berth. The Hilltoppers (22-8) reached the round of 16 last year . . . Dominic Tilford scored 20 points and LaShun Watson 18 as South Alabama beat Troy, 78-75.

West Coast semifinals - Austin Daye scored a career-high 28 points, Micah Downs hit four 3-pointers, and No. 14 Gonzaga (25-5) rolled into another final, beating Santa Clara, 94-59.

North Carolina 79, Duke 71 - Tyler Hansbrough scored 17 points in his final home game to help the No. 2 Tar Heels beat the No. 7 Blue Devils and win the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title.

Ty Lawson added 13 points and several key plays late for North Carolina (27-3, 13-3), which earned the top seed for next week's league tournament in Atlanta. The Tar Heels shot 53 percent and led most of the second half for their sixth win in seven meetings with Duke.

Jon Scheyer scored 24 points for the Blue Devils (25-6, 11-5), while Kyle Singler added 23. But they never could overtake the Tar Heels once they fell behind midway through the second half, falling short in their bid to clinch at least a share of the league's regular-season crown for the first time since 2006.

Wake Forest 96, Clemson 88 - With James Johnson scoring 17 of his 21 points after halftime, the 10th-ranked Demon Deacons had their offense humming in a comeback home win over the No. 18 Tigers.

Johnson, taking charge of the offense with guard Jeff Teague in foul trouble, hit his first eight shots. He finished 10 for 14 from the field, while the Demon Deacons (24-5, 11-5) shot 60 percent in their fourth straight win to leapfrog past Duke and grab the No. 2 seed for the ACC tournament.

After starting 16-0, Wake Forest fell into a midseason slump. But now the Demon Deacons enter the postseason riding a four-game winning streak.

Michigan St. 62, Purdue 51 - Kalin Lucas scored 21 points to help the No. 8 Spartans beat the No. 19 Boilermakers in East Lansing, Mich.

Michigan State (25-5, 15-3) already had clinched the outright Big Ten title.

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