EKU's national tourney win its first in 68 years

March 20, 2013 

NCAA NC A T Liberty Basketball

North Carolina A&T forward Bruce Beckford dunked against Liberty in the first half of a first round NCAA college basketball tournament game Tuesday. Beckford had 16 points for the Aggies, who are on their way to Lexington to play Louisville in the tournament's second round Thursday night.


Corey Walden banked in a three-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1:08 left in the game to give Eastern Kentucky the lead, and the Colonels went on to beat Gardner-Webb 69-62 in the first round of the Postseason Tournament on Tuesday night in Boiling Springs, N.C.

The win is the first for EKU in a national postseason tournament in 68 years, since the Colonels took third in the NAIB (now NAIA) tournament in 1945.

The Colonels (25-7) led by 15 with 13:04 left to play when Glenn Cosey's 3-pointer capped an 18-6 run to open the second half.

But the Runnin' Bulldogs (21-13) answered by scoring 10 straight to get back in it.

Later Gardner-Webb had a 13-3 run to tie the game at 60-60 with 4:31 left, but then went almost three minutes without scoring. The Colonels went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the final 1:11

Walden finished with 26 points hitting 7 of 10 shot, including all four of his three-point attempts. Cosey hit six 3-pointers for the fourth time this season and finished with 22 points. Eric Stutz had 10 points and six rebounds.

North Carolina A&T 73, Liberty 72: Jeremy Underwood came off the bench to score 19 points, allowing North Carolina A&T to end an NCAA winless streak at nine games.

The Flames — only the second team ever to make the NCAA tournament with 20 losses — had a chance to win it. John Caleb Sanders drove coast to coast and flipped up a left-handed layup in heavy congestion that just missed. A&T (20-16) rebounded and, while Sanders rolled in pain on the baseline, began to celebrate an end to more than 30 years of disappointment.

Underwood came in averaging six points, but hit all six of his shots. Bruce Beckford added 16 points.

Drury 67, Bellarmine 61: Bellarmine's season end ended as the Knights fell to Drury in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship in Springfield, Mo.

"The difference in tonight's game was our 19 turnovers led to (Drury) getting 12 more shots than us," Bellarmine coach Scott Davenport said.

Senior Chris Dowe led the Knights in with 20 points and he made the All-Tournament team.

Drury's Brandon Lockhart wrapped up Most Outstanding Player honors with a game-high 21 points.

NAIA women's tourney

Tugce Canitez scored 25 points and pulled down 20 rebounds to lead Westmont (Calif.) past Lee (Tenn.) 71-65 to win the NAIA Division I women's championship in Frankfort, Ky.

Louisville assistant hired by UMKC

Rick Pitino will be losing one of his top lieutenants after the NCAA tournament.Louisville assistant Kareem Richardson was hired as the new coach at Missouri-Kansas City, where he'll be rebuilding a program that has never qualified for postseason play and is leaving the Summit League for the Western Athletic Conference next season.

Richardson, who will remain with the Cardinals throughout the NCAA tournament, has agreed to a five-year deal that will pay him $250,000 a year. The 38-year-old coach was an assistant at UMKC from 2007-08.

He replaces Matt Brown, who was fired after one winning season in five years.

Ohio State women's coach won't return

Jim Foster, who won 783 games at Saint Joseph's, Vanderbilt and the last 11 years at Ohio State, will not return as women's basketball head coach next season.

Ohio State did not specify if Foster had been fired or was retiring. He compiled a record of 279-82 (.722) with the Buckeyes, departing as the program's winningest coach in victories and percentage.

Foster declined comment.

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