EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 25, 2013

Methuen's Niang nets eight points in loss to Ohio State

Associated Press
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Coming off a season-high 19 points to lead Iowa State over Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament first round Friday, Georges Niang of Methuen didn’t have as memorable of a night yesterday vs. No. 2 seed Ohio State.

Ohio State’s Aaron Craft whittled down the clock and swished a 3-pointer with .5 seconds left for a 78-75 victory over No. 10 seed Iowa State to advance to the Sweet 16.

The Buckeyes will meet sixth-seeded Arizona on Thursday in the regional semifinals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

With the game tied, Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas deflected a pass to force a turnover. Then, Craft missed a 15-footer, but the ball went out of bounds to OSU at 29.9.

Craft dribbled the clock down and hit his pull-up from the top of the key, atoning for some costly missed free throws earlier.

The Cyclones couldn’t get a shot off after that.

Niang finished with eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal in 33 minutes.

Indiana 58, Temple 52

On the verge of being the second No. 1 knocked from the NCAA tournament, Indiana finally stopped Temple’s No. 1.

Victor Oladipo hit a key 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining and the top-seeded Hoosiers, their season moments from ending in disappointment, shut down Owls star Khalif Wyatt in the final 3 minutes to hold off the Owls.

The Hoosiers (29-6) trailed by four with 2:56 left, but closed with a 10-0 run and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year. Indiana will play No. 4 seed Syracuse in the regional semifinals on Thursday in Washington, a rematch of the classic 1987 title game won by the Hoosiers.

Wyatt scored 31 points to lead the Owls (24-10).

Oladipo finished with 16 and Cody Zeller added 15 for the Hoosiers.

Kansas 70, North Carolina 58

Behind the impassioned play of Travis Releford and Jeff Withey, the top-seeded Jayhawks shook themselves out of a first-half slumber and blitzed No. 8 seed North Carolina down the stretch.

Withey had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Releford finished with 22 points for the Jayhawks (31-5), who also knocked former coach Roy Williams’ team out of the NCAA tournament during their 2008 title run and again last season, when Kansas marched to the Final Four.

Kansas will play No. 4 seed Michigan at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Friday.

P.J. Hairston scored 15 points and James Michael McAdoo finished with 11 for the Tar Heels (25-11).

Florida 78, Minnesota 64

Mike Rosario scored 25 points and Florida used an overpowering first half to roll past Minnesota and into the Sweet 16 for third consecutive year.

The No. 3 seed Gators (28-7) shot a blistering 65 percent in the first half and led by 21 at halftime. Florida plays No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Friday.

Andre Hollins scored 25 points to lead the No. 11-seed Gophers (21-13). Hollins’ 3-point shooting sparked a second-half rally that pulled Minnesota within seven points, but Rosario’s sixth 3-pointer with 3 minutes left pushed the Gators’ lead back to 16.

Rosario was 8 of 12 shooting overall and 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.

Florida Gulf Coast 81, San Diego State 71

Florida Gulf Coast became the first 15th seed to advance to the Sweet 16 with a convincing win over seventh-seeded San Diego State just two days after an upset of second-seeded Georgetown.

The Eagles advanced to play Florida in Arlington, Texas, on Friday.

Point guard Brett Comer finished with 10 points and 14 assists, while Bernard Thompson led the team with 23 points.

Florida Gulf Coast trailed at the halftime for the first time in 22 games when San Diego State held a 35-34 lead. But a 17-0 run in the second half turned an early 54-52 lead into a 71-52 edge for the Cinderella story.

La Salle 76, Ole Miss 74

The last time La Salle advanced this far in the NCAA tournament the field was only 24 teams.

Tyrone Garland banked a scooping layup with 2 seconds left and 13th-seeded La Salle beat No. 12 seed Mississippi, vaulting the Explorers to their deepest run in the NCAA tournament since they played for the 1955 championship.

La Salle (24-9) plays ninth-seeded Wichita State in Los Angeles on Friday,

After Tyreek Duren’s two foul shots tied it 74-74 at the 1:07 mark, Mississippi star Marshall Henderson missed an off-balance bank shot that would have given the Rebels the lead.

Duren had 19 points for La Salle and Ramon Galloway netted 24 points.

Miami 63, Illinois 59

Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1 minute left and Miami kept possession on a ball knocked out of bounds that probably should have gone to Illinois, helping the Hurricanes hold on for a four-point victory to advance to the Sweet 16.

After Larkin’s first field goal in about 9 1/2 minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a 3-pointer. In the fight for the rebound, the ball appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami’s Kenny Kadji and go out of bounds. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.

Miami (29-6) is in the round of 16 for only the second time in school history. The Hurricanes play Marquette (25-8) in Washington D.C. on Thursday night.

Larkin, the ACC Player of the Year, finished with 17 points. Rion Brown had 21 with five 3s.

Duke 66, Creighton 50

Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points while Seth Curry had 17 as No. 2 seed Duke held off seventh-seeded Creighton to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years.

A year after they lost their NCAA tournament opener, the Blue Devils (29-5) are back in the regional semifinal for the 23rd time. They’ll play No. 3 seed Michigan State (27-8) on Friday in Indianapolis.

Creighton (28-8) went cold and never made a serious run in the second half. Doug McDermott scored 21 points but made only four baskets.

With McDermott slumping, the Bluejays were knocked out in the third round by an ACC team for the second straight season.

METHUEN MADNESS Georges Niang of Methuen played pretty well in his two NCAA tournament games for Iowa State: First round: 19 points, 9-13 field goals, 1-1 free throws, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover in 76-58 win over Notre Dame on Friday. Round of 32: 8 points, 3-6 field goals, 1-2 free throws, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers in 78-75 loss to Ohio State yesterday.