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Wake Forest '10' Isn't Pretty

March 17, 2001|From Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NCAA tournament, a dream come true for most teams, turned into a nightmare for Wake Forest on Friday.

The No. 7-seeded Demon Deacons scored only 10 points in the first half in a 79-63 loss to Butler in the first round of the Midwest Regional at Kemper Arena.

Wake Forest (19-11) made only three of 25 shots and fell behind by 33 points in the lowest-scoring half in any NCAA tournament game since the introduction of the shot clock in 1985-86.

The Demon Deacons scored 53 points in the second half, but Butler (24-7) never lost control in its first NCAA tournament victory since 1962.

Butler, a first-round loser in overtime to eventual finalist Florida last year, plays No. 2-seeded Arizona next. The Bulldogs lost, 72-60, to the Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl Classic in Tucson on Dec. 28.

"The emotions we're feeling are indescribable," first-year Butler Coach Thad Matta said. "The first half, I don't know if we can play better than we did. At the half, I didn't know what to say to the team."

Wake Forest missed its first 12 shots and and didn't score a basket until until Broderick Hicks got a put-back with 11:02 left. That still left the Demon Deacons trailing 25-5, and the Bulldogs didn't let up in scoring 28 of next 33 points in the half.

Mississippi 72, Iona 70--In foul trouble and a bit shaken up, muscular Rebel center Rahim Lockhart made the most of his 15 minutes of play.

Lockhart made a go-ahead free throw with 50 seconds left, then made the defensive play of the game as No. 3 Mississippi (26-7) avoided being upset by Iona (22-11).

With 1.8 seconds left, Lockhart stripped Iona's Courtney Fields of the ball in the lane and Jason Holmes then made a free throw. A 70-foot heave fell well short for Iona at the buzzer. Mississippi lost its first-round game in 1998 when Valparaiso's Bryce Drew made a three-point shot at the buzzer.

"My man broke open and left me," Lockhart said. "But I was able to get back to him. I knocked the ball out. Fortunately, Holmes was there to finish it off."

Lockhart was shaken up after crashing to the floor on the play. He played only four minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. He finished with 12 points.

Notre Dame 83, Xavier 71--Troy Murphy, the Irish's leading scorer, struggled with his shooting, but teammate David Graves didn't.

Graves, inserted into the starting lineup to add scoring punch, made all seven of his shots and had 20 points, and Notre Dame (20-9) shot 63% to win in its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1990. The Irish play Mississippi in the second round.

"Coach [Mike] Brey told me I would be starting when we were in the airport Thursday night," Graves said. "I've been feeling good about my shooting all week."

Matt Carroll led Notre Dame with 21 points, making nine of 11 shots. Murphy, the Big East co-player of the year, scored 19 points but made only six of 17 shots.

Xavier (21-7) was hurt by poor three-point shooting, making only three of 20 attempts.

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