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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT | SOUTHEAST ROUNDUP

Georgia Sent Home Early by Tennessee Chattanooga

March 15, 1997|GEORGE DOHRMANN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Guard Willie Young acted as if it was nothing, saying he knew all along that 14th-seeded Tennessee Chattanooga would upset third-seeded Georgia on Friday in the first round of NCAA tournament's Southeast Regional.

And who would have argued with him after his two baskets in the final 1:31 at the Charlotte Coliseum--both on off-balance jump shots--allowed the Moccasins to hold on for a 73-70 victory and send Georgia and Coach Tubby Smith home earlier than most expected.

"Coach told us to get in our one-four offense, which is basically me out in front and four guys on the baseline," said Young, who scored a game-high 24. "I could see the shots open up and I just took it."

It was the fifth time a No. 14-seeded team has upset a No. 3.

"They're ready to play. I won't be surprised to see them in the Sweet 16," said Georgia point guard G.G. Smith, who led Georgia with 18 points. "UTC is not a joke."

That was something Georgia (24-9) found out from the opening tip. Tennessee Chattanooga scored the game's first 15 points and went ahead, 20-2, after the first five minutes.

"We dug a hole for ourselves early and didn't get back until it was too late in the second half," said Ray Harrison, who had 14 points.

The Moccasins (23-10) led, 46-31, at the half but watched the Bulldogs slowly cut into the advantage. Smith made two free throws with 4:12 left to trim the lead to four, 65-61, and Larry Brown's pair put it at 67-65 with 1:51 remaining.

Young then made the first of his baskets, a 15-foot running jump shot. After a Georgia miss, Young was fouled on a drive and made one of two free throws and the Moccasins led, 70-65.

A free throw by Lorenzo Hall and a three-point basket by Harrison got Georgia within one, but then Young struck again. Leaning to his left, he scored from 10 feet at :51. Georgia was unable to get off a decent shot the rest of the way.

"When you get to this level you have to have a guy who can create his own shot," Tubby Smith said. "UTC has that in Willie Young and Johnny Taylor (19 points). We didn't play that badly if you look at the stats sheet. They are just a good ballclub. They are for real."

Providence 81, Marquette 59--Forward Austin Croshere scored a career-high 39 points and set a Southeast Regional record by making 15 of 15 free throws as the 10th-seeded Friars shot 50% against the nation's best field-goal percentage defense to advance in the first round game.

Croshere's most spectacular basket was the 60-footer to end the first half that gave the Friars a 50-32 lead. Providence closed the first half with a 12-3 run.

"When it goes in from the opposite foul line you know it's not your day," said Marquette Coach Mike Deane, whose team finished 22-9. "It was Providence's day."

Croshere, from Santa Monica Crossroads High School, made four of seven three-point shots. He also had six rebounds as Providence (22-11) outrebounded seventh-seeded Marquette, 34-20.

Duke 71, Murray State 68--Senior Jeff Capel scored 18 points of his 25 points in the second half, including five three-point baskets, and the second-seeded Blue Devils held off the No. 15 Racers to advance to the second round.

The score was tied, 35-35, at the intermission but Capel scored four of his three-pointers in the first five minutes of the second half as Duke (24-8) went on a 16-4 run and took a 12-point lead, 51-39, with 15:26 remaining.

Murray State (20-10), from the Ohio Valley Conference, gradually came back behind senior forward Vincent Rainey, who finished with 23, and pulled within 64-60 with 2:36 left on a driving layup by DeTeri Mayes (17 points). But Duke made eight of 10 free throws to hold on.

"Every time we got a 10- or 12-point lead they came back and made the big shots," Duke junior guard Steve Wojciechowski said. "We weren't able to put them away and you have to give them credit for that."

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