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South Roundup

Gonzaga goes to great lengths to win

March 22, 2009|Associated Press

Freshman Demetri Goodson streaked the length of the court and made a short, running bank shot with 0.9 seconds to play Saturday, lifting fourth-seeded Gonzaga to an 83-81 victory over Western Kentucky in an NCAA South Regional second-game at Portland, Ore.

Gonzaga (28-5) advanced to the regional semifinals semifinals to play North Carolina on Friday in Memphis, Tenn.

Steffphon Pettigrew converted a tip-in for the 12th-seeded Hilltoppers (25-9) that tied the score, 81-81, with 7.2 seconds left. But Goodson took the inbounds pass and went straight to the basket with little resistance, hitting from close in on the left side.

"I drove left and there were two guys there, and the 'big' went with Matt [Bouldin]," he said. "That opened up the lane so I just took it. I was really surprised to get that look."

Western Kentucky, which made a surprise run to the regional semifinals last year, was led by Orlando Mendez-Valdez, who scored 25 points.

No. 1 North Carolina 84, No. 8 Louisiana State 70 -- Ty Lawson got back just in time to help the Tar Heels hold off the Tigers in front of a friendly crowd at Greensboro, N.C.

The Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year had missed the previous three games after he jammed his right toe in practice two days before the regular-season finale against Duke. Against LSU, he scored 23 points and made a three-point play that sparked a decisive second-half run.

Wayne Ellington scored 23 points to lead the Tar Heels (30-4). Marcus Thornton scored 25 points to lead the Tigers (27-8).

With the Tar Heels ahead, 64-63, Lawson split two defenders after a turnover and drew a foul while lobbing a shot to the rim. The ball hung there for a moment before dropping through, and Lawson's free throw completed a three-point play. North Carolina wasn't threatened again.

No. 2 Oklahoma 73, No. 10 Michigan 63 -- Bulling through double teams and soaring in for vicious dunks, Blake Griffin finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds to power the Sooners at Kansas City, Mo.

Still sore from being dumped by Morgan State's Ameer Ali during a first-round game, Griffin dominated the undersized Wolverines to help the Sooners (29-5) advance to next week's regional semifinals against the winner of today's game between Syracuse and Arizona State.

The Wolverines (21-14), who upset Clemson in the opening round, couldn't handle Griffin's tenacity to make it two in a row.

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