No. 1 Illinois loses in final game of Big Ten regular season

Posted: Monday, March 07, 2005


  Illinois coach Bruce Weber shouts instructions to his team during their 65 - 64 loss to Ohio State Sunday March 6, 2005 in Columbus, Ohio. AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Illinois coach Bruce Weber shouts instructions to his team during their 65 - 64 loss to Ohio State Sunday March 6, 2005 in Columbus, Ohio.

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State reserve forward Matt Sylvester hit a 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left on Sunday to hand No. 1 Illini its first loss, 65-64.

The Illini (29-1, 15-1) were trying to cap the Big Ten's first unbeaten season in 29 years. Instead, they frittered away a 12-point lead in the second half and didn't score over the final 3 minutes.

Sylvester scored a career-high 25 points — eight more than his previous best — for Ohio State (19-12, 8-8), which didn't have a turnover in the second half.

It was the second straight season a team coached by Thad Matta ended a run at perfection. Matta's Xavier team handed Saint Joseph's its first loss last season in the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The last team to reach the NCAA tournament without a loss was UNLV in 1991.

The Illini led 64-58 after James Augustine's layup with 3:23 left — but didn't score again.

No. 2 North Carolina 75, No. 6 Duke 73

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Freshman Marvin Williams converted a three-point play with 17 seconds left to cap North Carolina's game-closing 11-0 run.

Sean May of North Carolina had 26 points and 24 rebounds to record his eighth straight double-double.

J.J. Redick missed a long 3-pointer that would have won it for the Blue Devils and teammate Daniel Ewing was short with a jumper after getting the rebound.

It was the Tar Heels' third victory over their Tobacco Road rival in the past 16 meetings.

North Carolina (26-3, 14-2) won its first ACC regular season championship since 1993, the same year of its most recent national title.

Florida 53, No. 3 Kentucky 52

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Anthony Roberson scored 21 points, including two free throws with 15 seconds remaining, and the Gators ended an eight-game losing streak to Kentucky.

Roberson, the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer, stripped the ball from Patrick Sparks with about 12 seconds to play, trailing 52-51. Sparks fouled Roberson as he headed the other way. Roberson stepped to the line and calmly made both ends of the 1-and-1 for Florida (20-7, 12-4).

Kentucky (23-4, 14-2) still had a chance to win it, but Kelenna Azubuike's 3-pointer just before the buzzer bounced off the left side of the rim.

Chuck Hayes led the Wildcats with 11 points.

No. 4 Wake Forest 55, N.C. State 53

RALEIGH, N.C — Chris Paul hit a running shot at the buzzer to lift Wake Forest past North Carolina State.

Paul finished with nine points and six assists for the Demon Deacons (26-4, 13-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won 10 of 11 games. Justin Gray added 15 points and a clutch tying 3-pointer to set up Paul's final shot.

Ilian Evtimov scored 19 points to lead the Wolfpack (17-12, 7-9), who had several chances to win the game and improve their uncertain NCAA prospects.

Missouri 72, No. 7 Kansas 68

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Thomas Gardner matched his career best with 23 points and Linas Kleiza tied his with 14 rebounds as the Tigers denied Kansas the outright Big 12 title.

Wayne Simien had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Jayhawks (22-5, 12-4), who were bumped to the second seed in this week's conference tournament behind co-champion Oklahoma.

Kansas' Keith Langford had five points in 3 minutes before re-injuring an ankle he hurt in practice last week. Langford is the Jayhawks' second-leading scorer at 15.1 points.

Jimmy McKinney added a career-best 21 points and Kleiza had 15 for the Tigers (15-15, 7-9), who had lost four straight to Kansas.

No. 12 Gonzaga 90, San Diego 74

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Adam Morrison had 25 points and a career-high eight assists to help Gonzaga rout San Diego in the West Coast Conference semifinals for the Bulldogs' 11th straight victory.

J.P Batista added 24 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga (24-4), seeking its sixth WCC tournament title in seven years. The Bulldogs will play Monday night against the winner of Sunday's late game between second-seeded Saint Mary's and No. 3 Santa Clara.

Floyd North III had 16 points for the Toreros (16-13).

Tennessee tops LSU

to take SEC title

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Tennessee coach Pat Summitt moved within a game of Dean Smith's career victories record, and the Lady Vols beat top-ranked LSU 67-65 on Sunday for their first Southeastern Conference tournament title in five years.

Shyra Ely, who had 25 points, made a fastbreak layup with 34.1 seconds left to give No. 5 Tennessee a 66-65 lead.

On the next possession, a wide-open Sylvia Fowles couldn't handle Temeka Johnson's pass beneath the basket. Alexis Hornbuckle collected the loose ball for Tennessee (26-4) and made a foul shot.

Scholanda Hoston's 3-point try hit hard off the rim and bounced away, ending the Lady Tigers' 16-game winning streak — and possibly their hopes for landing the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

No. 2 Stanford 73, Southern California 69

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Kelley Suminski scored 17 points, making three key 3-pointers, and Stanford held on to advance to the Pac-10 tournament title game.

Stanford aims for its third straight Pac-10 tournament title Monday night against Arizona State, a 54-47 winner over Oregon.

No. 4 North Carolina 78, Virginia 72

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Ivory Latta scored a career-high 32 points, including a spinning jumper with 34 seconds left in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

The Tar Heels (26-3) rallied from a 17-point, second-half deficit to advance to the finals for the fourth consecutive year. North Carolina will play No. 6 Duke for the title on Monday night.

No. 6 Duke 74, Maryland 44

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Duke continued to roll toward a record sixth straight Atlantic Coast Conference title, getting 14 points apiece from Mistie Williams and Chante Black.

Monique Curry, the ACC player of the year, had 13 points for Duke (28-3), winners of 17 consecutive ACC tournament games. The Blue Devils will face No. 2 North Carolina for the fourth-straight year in Monday night's final.

No. 8 Michigan St. 83, No. 23 Penn St. 76

INDIANAPOLIS — Kelli Roehrig had 19 points and Kristin Haynie added 18 to lead Michigan State to its first Big Ten tournament final.

Michigan State (27-3), winners of 11 straight, will face No. 15 Minnesota on Monday night. The Spartans seniors have won more games in a single season and a four-year span than any group in school history.

Jennifer Brenden led Penn State (19-10) with a career-high 24 points.

The Nittany Lions closed to 66-65 with 7:29 left, but the Spartans responded with a 7-0 run.

No. 9 Rutgers 69, St. John's 45

HARTFORD, Conn. — Chelsea Newton had 21 points for Rutgers, which had 11 steals, five blocks and scored 20 points off miscues to cruise into the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

Angela Clark had 16 points to lead the Red Storm (19-10), who closed out their most successful season since 1987-88.

No. 10 Notre Dame 70, West Virginia 59

HARTFORD, Conn. — Jacqueline Batteast scored 16 points, including seven straight during a late second-half run, to lead Notre Dame into the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

The Fighting Irish (26-4), who have reached the semifinals in six of nine years, will face Connecticut on Monday night.

Yolanda Paige led the Mountaineers (17-12) with 23 points.

Notre Dame outrebounded West Virginia 32-23 and got 20 points from its reserves.

No. 14 Connecticut 82, Syracuse 56

HARTFORD, Conn. — Jessica Moore had 14 points and 10 rebounds in only 20 minutes and UConn easily advanced to the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

The Huskies (21-7) entered the tournament without at least a share of the regular-season conference crown for the first time in 12 years. They made short work of the Orange (13-16) to reach Monday's semifinal against No. 10 Notre Dame.

No. 15 Minnesota 66, No. 3 Ohio State 63, OT

INDIANAPOLIS — Janel McCarville scored the last four points in regulation and teamed with Jamie Broback to score Minnesota's first eight in overtime.

Broback had 24 points despite early foul trouble and McCarville had 21 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. The Gophers (24-6) knocked off the Big Ten regular-season co-champs to reach their first finals. Minnesota will face No. 8 Michigan State on Monday night.

Ohio State (28-4) was led by Brandie Hoskins, who had a career-high 23 points. Conference player of the year Jessica Davenport finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds .

No. 16 Temple 64, Xavier 61

WASHINGTON — Candice Dupree scored 24 points and Ari Moore made two late free throws to lead Temple into the final of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The Owls (26-3) will play George Washington on Monday night.

Villanova 41, No. 22 Boston College 37

HARTFORD, Conn. — Kate Dessart Mager scored 15 points and Liad Suez added 11 to upset Boston College in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.

The Wildcats (19-10) will face Rutgers in Monday night's semifinals.

Santa Clara 77, No. 24 Gonzaga 66

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara snapped Gonzaga's 23-game winning streak — the longest in the nation — to win the West Coast Conference tournament and earn an NCAA automatic bid.

Michelle Cozad had 22 points and Ashley Graham 17 for Santa Clara (17-13). Gonzaga had aimed to become the first team to go unbeaten in the WCC regular season and tournament.

The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 25 before making a late run against the Broncos.

Ashley Burke had 28 points for Gonzaga (27-3), which used WCC player of the year Shannon Mathews sparingly because of a sprained right ankle.

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