Tuesday , Mar , 15 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

NIT Basketball Game Capsules

South Bend, IN (Sports Network) – Kevin Hamilton poured in a career-high 26
points for Holy Cross as the Crusaders recorded a 78-73 win over the Fighting
Irish of Notre Dame in the first round of the NIT from the Joyce Center.

Torey Thomas checked in with 16 points, while Nate Lufkin chipped in 11 and
seven rebounds as the Crusaders (25-6), who now wait for a second-round
matchup against one of four possible opponents (Drexel, Buffalo, Hofstra or
Saint Joseph’s), picked up their first postseason victory since topping
Southern Mississippi in the first round of the NIT back in 1981.

Chris Thomas led Notre Dame (17-12) with 21 points, nine assists and seven
rebounds, while Colin Falls and Rob Kurz tallied 18 and 11 points,
respectively, in the setback.

A 10-5 run early in the first half put Holy Cross ahead, but the Irish
remained close behind and managed to knot the contest at 32-32 at the break
thanks to 10-of-15 shooting at the free-throw line while the Crusaders were
just 1-of-3 at the stripe.

In the second half Holy Cross came alive at the free-throw line, converting
19-of-27 opportunities, in addition to shooting 44.8 percent from the floor in
the five-point win on the road.

Notre Dame, which allowed the Crusaders to register 20 offensive rebounds on
the night, turned the ball over 19 times, resulting in 20 points for Holy
Cross.

Near the end of the contest Thomas recorded a new school record with the 302nd
three-pointer of his career, breaking the mark set by Matt Carroll, but that
was the extent of the good news for the Irish, a team that entered this year’s
NIT with a 22-8 mark in the event all-time.

Heading into the game the Irish held a 10-2 edge on Holy Cross all-time and
had taken six in a row, with the last win for the Crusaders coming 50 years
ago in an 84-72 decision in Boston on February 12, 1955.

With just 2,517 in attendance, Notre Dame saw one of its smallest crowds in
recent memory at the Joyce Center.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 60, Temple 50

Blacksburg, VA (Sports Network) – Coleman Collins recorded a double-double
with 11 points and 13 rebounds in helping to lead the Virginia Tech Hokies to
a 60-50 win over the Temple Owls in the first round of the NIT.

Although he shot just 4-of-12 from the field and 5-of-10 at the free-throw
line, Zabian Dowdell finished with a team-high 16 points, followed by Carlos
Dixon with 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists in the victory for the
Hokies (16-13)

With the win Virginia Tech now faces the winner of the Northeastern/Memphis
contest in the second round.

Mardy Collins posted a double-double for the Owls (16-14) with team highs of
16 points and 13 rebounds, while Antywane Robinson checked in with 14 points
thanks to 4-of-6 shooting behind the three-point line on the night.

Despite shooting just 32.3 percent from the field in the first half, Tech
managed to post a 31-25 edge at the break thanks to 6-of-17 shooting from
behind the three-point line.

The Hokies continued to struggle from the field in the second half, making
just 33.3 percent from the floor and a mere 11-of-20 at the free-throw line,
yet picked up the win due to Temple’s 24.1 percent shooting from the field
after the intermission.

The Owls, who forced just five turnovers, shot a mere 32.1 percent from the
field and were outscored at the charity stripe, 16-8.

Temple coach John Chaney, who had been serving a suspension following the
meeting with Saint Joseph’s back on February 22nd that ended in a Hawks’
player breaking his arm, failed in his attempt to pick up his 500th win as the
top man with the Owls.

Final Score: South Carolina 69, Miami-Florida 67

Columbia, SC (Sports Network) – Josh Gonner knocked down a jumper down the
stretch to give the South Carolina Gamecocks a 69-67 victory over the Miami-
Florida Hurricanes in the first round of the NIT.

Gonner finished the contest with 10 points off the bench for the Gamecocks
(16-13), one of four players to score in double figures for the squad. Carlos
Powell tallied 18 points and seven rebounds, while Tarence Kinsey and Brandon
Wallace checked in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

With the victory the Gamecocks now play the winner of the Arizona State/UNLV
contest in the second round.

The Hurricanes (16-13) were led by Robert Hite who tallied 23 points, hitting
5-of-10 shots from behind the three-point line, while Guillermo Diaz added 23
points, six rebounds and five assists. Anthony Harris knocked down 4-of-7
beyond the arc to finish with 14 points, while Gary Hamilton cleared a game-
high 12 rebounds in the setback as well.

Despite shooting just 2-of-7 at the free-throw line, South Carolina held a
36-33 edge at the break thanks to 51.7 percent shooting from the field in the
first half.

In the second half Miami was limited to just 12 field goals, although the
squad made it interesting by converting 7-of-16 from three-point range in the
two-point setback.

The Hurricanes shot just 37.7 percent from the field on the night but still
made 13-of-27 out on the perimeter, while USC allowed Miami to stick around by
shooting just 10-of-18 at the charity stripe.