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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT | NOTES : SOUTHEAST
REGIONAL / GAME REPORT: Illinois 90, USC 77

Garris Wins This Round

March 15, 1997|GEORGE DOHRMANN

Illinois guard Kiwane Garris got the best of his matchup with USC's Stais Boseman, outscoring Boseman, 27-10, and collecting 12 assists to Boseman's four.

"I like his game," Garris said. "He's very competitive and a good defensive player. I needed to keep my composure and knew he'd be physical. I think I was able to do that."

Said Boseman, "Garris is a good, strong player. He created some problems for us because he got to the line and made all his shots [16 of 17]."

*

Freshman guard Danny Walker made what would have been the key basket for USC had the Trojans come back from a 15-point deficit to defeat Illinois. His 10-foot jump shot at 5:13 in the second half tied the score, 69-69, and brought back memories of USC's last game in the Charlotte Coliseum.

In a tournament in December, the Trojans, after a dismal first half, were trailing North Carolina Charlotte, 35-17. After a furious rally, the Trojans took the lead with 1:17 left when Walker made a three-point shot for a 59-56 lead and USC went on to win, 65-61.

"It was like Charlotte but I wasn't thinking about that during the game," said Walker, who scored seven points. "I was just thinking about what we needed to do to win."

*

USC senior Rodrick Rhodes was asked to assess his career, which included three seasons at Kentucky before transferring to USC.

"It's been very satisfying," he said. "I had the opportunity to play for two of the best coaches in America [Kentucky's Rick Pitino and USC's Henry Bibby]. Not many college players have the opportunity to do that.

"I was in kind of an unusual situation with just one year remaining [after transferring] and I wanted to thank Coach Bibby for giving me the opportunity."

*

Illinois forward Chris Gandy scored a career-high 21 points, making 10 of 14 shots. . . . Boseman passed Purvis Miller, moving into ninth on USC's scoring list with 1,248 points.

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