June 25, 2021

Time Machine: Syracuse knocks Virginia out in NCAA Tournament

first_imgEditor’s note: The article below is a republished story from The Daily Orange’s coverage of Syracuse and Virginia NCAA Tournament matchup in men’s basketball on March 18, 1990. Syracuse and Virginia will face off again in NCAA Tournament on Sunday, this time in the Elite Eight.RICHMOND, VA. — Pittsburgh forward Brian Shorter now has some company.Joining Shorter on the list of All-Conference forwards who have had last second game-winning or game-tying shots blocked by Derrick Coleman this month is Virginia’s Bryant Stith.Coleman stuffed a dunk attempt by Shorter that would have given the Panthers a one-point lead in the last five seconds of SU’s 58-55 triumph in the first round of the Big East tournament on March 9th.Sunday, Coleman blocked the four-foot attempt of Stith with one second left to preserve SU’s 63-61 win over the Cavaliers in the second round of the Southeast Regional in Richmond.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orangemen, 26-6, advance to the regional semifinals where they will face Minnesota, 22-8, Friday night in New Orleans.“In the end, Derrick made the play, and that was the ball game,” SU coach Jim Boeheim said.The block was set up when SU’s Billy Owens missed a bonus free throw with 15 seconds left. Stith grabbed the rebound and handed off to point guard John Crotty, who raced downcourt and passed off to forward Kenny Turner on the left baseline.Turner went up for the shot, but a flying Stephen Thompson altered Turner’s intentions, and Turner passed the ball down low to Stith.Stith took the ball, turned and put up a one-handed, right-handed shot that was blocked by Coleman as time expired.“Turner had the ball in the corner, and he was pulling up for the shot,” Coleman said. “I tried to get out and make the steal, but I was too late. I just played behind Bryant and he went up and I just went up for the block.”“We just wanted not to let Turner get the three-point shot,” Thompson said. “When he squared up to take it, I ran out at him. He made a good recognition to Stith. Derrick just came up with the big play.”Stith blamed himself for not knowing Coleman was backing him in the low post.“I was a bit disoriented on the last play,” Stith said. “I didn’t know who was behind me. I just turned and shot. I think if I would have squared up, I would have made the shot.”Stith was obviously bumped on the play by either Coleman or SU center LeRon Ellis, but the forward didn’t think a foul should have been called.“This is NCAA tournament time, and when it comes down to a last shot like this, I don’t think you can make such a touch call,” Stith said. “That’s how things go. Maybe (the referees) didn’t think it made a different on my shot. I just wish things could’ve been a little more fortunate for us.”The Orangement were able to withstand a furious second-half rally by the Cavaliers. Syracuse led 54-39 with 12:23 left in the game, but the Orangemen made two of their final 12 shots and scored just nine points for the remainder of the second half.“Our offense just left down in the second half,” Boeheim said. “We just really couldn’t get the ball to Derrick and when we did, they covered him with two or three guys. We got some open shots but we couldn’t make them.”Stith, on the other hand, scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the final 12 minutes, including a 17-foot jump shot with 1:40 remaining that cut SU’s lead to 59-56.On the ensuing possession, the Orangemen ran the shot clock down to one second before Billy Owens spun, leaned and made a 10-foot bank shot for a 61-56 SU lead. Boeheim said he designed the play to get the ball to Coleman.“I set up Derrick and it didn’t work,” Boeheim said. “So Billy decided to correct my mistake. Billy knew he had to do something.”“I knew the shot clock was running down, and I called for the ball,” Owens said. “(Matt) Blundin was overplaying me so I leaned in and tried to get the foul. I shot it and I tried to bank it in.”Stith’s lay-in with 32 seconds left made the score 61-58, but Coleman countered four seconds later with a pair of free throws.Crotty missed a three-point shot on the next possession, but Turner chased down the rebound and found Stith, who made a double-clutch three-point shot with 15 seconds left.“We knew Stith was going to have a good game,” Boeheim said. “He just made some shots in the second half that would have been tough for anyone to stop.”The Orangemen scored the first nine points of the game, prompting Virginia coach Terry Holland to take a timeout. Coleman and Thompson combined for all nine points, while the Cavaliers missed their first eight shots from the floor.“Nine points at the beginning really opened up the lead for them,” Stith said. “But from that point on, things were really even.”Coleman scored 15 points in the first 12 minutes of the game. The 6-foot-10 All American hit all six of his free throws, grabbed six rebounds and dished out eight assists — all in the first half. After the game, several Virginia players indicated they may have been intimidated by Coleman at the start.“As long as they know my presence is there, I’m glad they were intimidated,” Coleman said. “I just got into the flow early on. I wasn’t rushing anything or forcing anything. As long as I have the wide open shot I’m going to put it up.”The two clubs traded baskets for the remainder of the first half, and SU forward Tony Scott’s 18-foot jump shot with 43 seconds remaining gave the orange a 41-28 halftime advantage.“We were very much into the ball game, but we weren’t getting done the things necessary to win,” Stith said. “Syracuse was dominating the boards and getting a lot of offensive stickbacks.Turner, who missed all four of his first half shots, scored nine points in a five-minute span to open up the second half. But the Cavaliers couldn’t cut into the SU lead until the 12-minute mark, as the Orange got points from all five s tarter sin the first eight minutes of the second half. Comments Published on March 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *