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BASKETBALL / STATE JUNIOR COLLEGE QUARTERFINALS : Trade Tech Loss a Heartbreaker

March 14, 1993|FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN FRANCISCO — Few could hide the disappointment, or even tried.

For the Trade Tech men's basketball team, the 93-90 loss in overtime Thursday to Columbia in the quarterfinals of the State Junior College championships was devastating.

None of the other three losing teams in the opening day of the eight-team tournament took their setbacks with such visible emotion.

Sophomore forward Ryan Mack, who had 11 points and a game-high 18 rebounds, cried openly. Other players hugged, while some sat stunned on the bench as Columbia (30-2) celebrated on the court.

Coach Jeff Kritzer stood on the floor at the University of San Francisco's Memorial Gym, site of so much USF glory during the heyday of Bill Russell and K.C. Jones in the mid '50s, and struggled to explain the loss.

"We thought we were going to the finals," a teary-eyed Kritzer said, as well-wishers patted him on the back and offered encouragement. "These are the games we normally win."

The Beavers (25-9) almost did it again that night too. Eric Fuller, a sophomore guard who finished with a team-high 29 points, tied the score at 83 to send the game into overtime with a layup with 28 seconds remaining.

A Fuller dribble-drive and a five-foot jumper by forward Greg McDowell put the Beavers ahead, 87-83, early in the overtime period.

But Columbia went on a 10-3 run sparked by sophomore guard Roddie Anderson, who scored eight of his game-high 40 points in overtime.

Trade Tech outshot Columbia from the field 53% (38 of 72) to 44% (33 of 75), but converted only 10 of 22 free-throw attempts.

Freshman forward Terry Green had 18 points for the Beavers. McDowell and forward Ray Smith finished with 16 each. Fuller had a game-high 13 assists.

The lost snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Beavers. Their last defeat had been to L.A. City, 102-95, in a Southern California Athletic Conference game Jan. 29.

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