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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Coppin State Does Not Pass Go Against Texas, 82-81

East Regional: Fifteenth-seeded Eagles throw away chance for victory on inbounds play with four seconds left.

March 17, 1997|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Coppin State called a timeout to set up a potential winning shot, but the move backfired on the Eagles.

DeJuan Vazquez intercepted an inbounds pass with four seconds left, preserving Texas' 82-81 victory over the upstart Eagles in the second round of the NCAA East Regional on Sunday.

After Texas' Reggie Freeman blocked Danny Singletary's shot out of bounds, Coppin State Coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell called a timeout to set up the final play. But the timeout allowed Texas Coach Tom Penders to insert 6-foot-10 Sheldon Quarles, whose size forced Fred Warrick to throw an errant inbounds pass.

Coppin State (22-9), which upset second-seeded South Carolina in the first round, was trying to become the first fifteenth-seeded team to reach the Sweet 16. "Athletes like to win, but it is hard for me to hang my head right now," Coppin State's Reggie Welch said. "You have to accept the bad with the good. We had a heckuva ride."

Freeman scored 22 points Texas (18-12). Antoine Brockington led Coppin State with 27 points.

Louisville 64, New Mexico 63--David Gibson badly missed a driving, over-the-head layup with 2.3 seconds left, preserving the sixth-seeded Cardinals' victory.

Third-seeded New Mexico (25-8) was done in by a bad shot and a bad foul.

Louisville's B.J. Flynn was called for traveling with 16.2 seconds left, giving New Mexico the ball.

The Lobos would have preferred that Charles Smith or Clayton Shields get the ball. Instead, Gibson, who had not scored in the second half, drove down the lane and threw the ball up hurriedly over his shoulder. The ball glanced off the backboard to Flynn.

The Cardinals (25-8) might not have won it at all had New Mexico center Kenny Thomas not fouled out for elbowing Damion Dantzler on the first of two Nate Johnson free throws with 3:53 left.

Johnson and Dantzler made all four free throws, making the score 62-56 rather than 60-56, if the foul had not been called.

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