Gonzaga Upsets No. 2 N.C. in NIT Semis


Thursday, November 23rd 2006, 6:39 am
By: News On 6


NEW YORK (AP) _ Gonzaga showed it still belongs with the elite teams in the country even with Adam Morrison playing in the NBA. Derek Raivio scored 21 points to help the Zags upset No. 2 North Carolina 82-74 in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals Wednesday night.

``It was a great night for our team and our program,'' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. ``Any time you can beat a program and a team like Carolina, that's a great thing.''

Gonzaga didn't seem fazed playing against a top program on a big stage at Madison Square Garden.

``A lot of people doubt the play of Gonzaga now that Adam is gone and we've just been preparing for a moment like this,'' Zags guard Jeremy Pargo said. ``We took advantage of it today.''

Gonzaga will face Butler in the championship game Friday night. Butler upset No. 22 Tennessee 56-44 in the other semifinal.

``I think they have just rolled in and just played harder and outplayed everybody thus far,'' Few said of Butler.

In other Top 25 games, it was: No. 5 UCLA 88, No. 19 Georgia Tech 73; No. 12 Memphis 80, No. 20 Kentucky 63; No. 14 Georgetown 73, Fairfield 60; No. 15 Arizona 86, Samford 57; No. 17 Syracuse 79, Charlotte 67; and Providence 73, No. 23 Boston College 64.

Trailing 65-50 with 11:52 left in the game, the Tar Heels (3-1) used an 18-5 run to get to 70-68 on Tyler Hansbrough's putback dunk with 4:16 left.

Gonzaga (5-0) didn't fold. Pargo scored and was fouled to push the lead back to five.

``The opportunity presented itself to get to the basketball and lay it in, so I just took advantage of it,'' Pargo said.

North Carolina could get no closer than four points the rest of the way.

Butler was able to withstand Tennessee's pressure and only turned the ball over 16 times. The Bulldogs also held the Vols to just 25 percent shooting from the field, including a 10 percent (3-for-29) effort in the second half.

``We were swimming uphill offensively,'' Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said. ``We really struggled and had a lot of good looks, we just didn't finish. You have to give Butler credit.''

Julian Betko scored 11 of his career-high 15 points in a decisive second-half run to give Butler the win.

``Today was a great game,'' Betko said. ``We're just going to try and compete on Friday.''

With Butler leading by one, Betko hit three 3-pointers and a layup to give the Bulldogs a 46-38 lead with 7:49 left.

``He can really shoot the basketball,'' Lickliter said of his senior forward from Slovakia. ``I think you're seeing some of the things he can do.''

No. 5 UCLA 88, No. 19 Georgia Tech 73

At Lahaina, Hawaii, Arron Afflalo bounced back from a poor shooting game to score 19 points for UCLA in the championship of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Darren Collison, selected tournament MVP, had 15 points and seven assists for the Bruins (4-0), who shot 61 percent (20-for-33) in taking a 47-36 halftime lead. They extended it to as many as 22 points in the second half, and the Yellow Jackets were never able to get closer than 12 down the stretch.

Luc Richard Mbah A Moute had 14 points and Lorenzo Mata had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins. Lewis Clinch had 21 points for Georgia Tech (5-1).

No. 12 Memphis 80, No. 20 Kentucky 63

At Lahaina, Hawaii, freshman Willie Kemp scored 10 of his 12 points in the opening minutes of the second half for Memphis in the third-place game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The Tigers (3-1) were too fast for the Wildcats (3-2) because of Kemp and fellow guard Andre Allen pushing the ball on the break. And 6-foot-9, 260-pound Joey Dorsey keying the game-breaking 14-0 run in the second half with two monster dunks.

Memphis bounced back from a disheartening 92-85 semifinal loss to No. 19 Georgia Tech, a game which the Tigers held a 16-point halftime lead.

Randolph Morris led Kentucky with 18 points.

No. 14 Georgetown 73, Fairfield 60

At Bridgeport, Conn., freshman DaJuan Summers scored 17 points and Georgetown rebounded from its first loss of the season.

Georgetown opened the second half with a 17-2 run to break open a close game.

Summers, who came in averaging just over two points, hit six of 10 shots. Jesse Sapp added 14 points for the Hoyas (3-1).

Mike Van Schaick led Fairfield (1-6) with 14 points.

No. 15 Arizona 86, Samford 57

At Tucson, Ariz., Marcus Williams, Chase Budinger and Mustafa Shakur scored 14 points apiece for Arizona.

All five starters scored in double figures for the Wildcats (3-1), who led 46-18 at the half. Jawann McClellan finished with 12 points and Ivan Radenovic had 10.

Randall Gulina led Samford (1-3) with 21 points.

No. 17 Syracuse 79, Charlotte 67

At Syracuse, N.Y., Demetris Nichols scored 21 points, and freshman Paul Harris added 17 points and nine rebounds for Syracuse (5-0).

It was the first meeting between the teams since Charlotte (1-2) ruined the afterglow of the Orange's 2003 national championship with a 96-92 victory in the Carrier Dome to open the 2003-04 season.

Leemire Goldwire led Charlotte with 14 points.

Providence 73, No. 23 Boston College 64

At Providence, R.I., Geoff McDermott had 18 points and 16 rebounds and Providence withstood Sean Williams' career-high 12 blocks to beat Boston College.

Williams returned from a two-game suspension for violating team rules.

Sharaud Curry had 18 points, Weyinmi Efejuku 17 points and Jonathan Kale 11 for the Friars (2-1).

Tyrese Rice led the Eagles (1-2) with 19 points and Jared Dudley had 17.