NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Miami Hurricanes are earning respect and adding to the school record books with every NCAA Tournament victory.
Johnny Hemsley scored 24 points as Miami upset third-seeded Ohio
State 75-62 on Sunday in the South Regional to advance to the round
of 16 for the first time.
Miami (23-10) had never won an NCAA Tournament game before last
season, let alone two in the same year. The loss spoiled the
Buckeyes hopes for a return trip to the Final Four.
"Once again we are swimming in uncharted waters," Hurricanes
coach Leonard Hamilton said. "It feels kind of good. Each time we
win a game, each time we take another step forward, we're making
history for our program."
Sixth-seeded Miami will play seventh-seeded Tulsa in the South
Regional semifinals Friday in Austin, Texas. Tulsa beat
second-seeded Cincinnati 69-61.
Elton Tyler added 20 points for Miami, and John Salmons 13.
"We're trying to build that tradition and mystique the way the
Kentuckys and Connecticuts have," Hemsley said. "This is just a
Although Miami won a share of the Big East regular season title,
it was given a No. 6 seed in the tournament. The Hurricanes weren't
happy about it at the time, but haven't let it affect them.
"I don't want to put a number on it, but if we play defense and
execute like we did today we can play a few more games," center
Mario Bland said.
Scoonie Penn led the Buckeyes (23-8) with 19 points, eight of
them in a 90-second span late in the game after Miami had taken a
13-point lead. Michael Redd added 13 before fouling out with 4:17
left to play, and George Reese had 11.
"It's tough," Penn said. "We felt we were a team that could
have moved on, but we didn't play well enough today to move on and
The smaller Hurricanes scrapped their way to a 41-26 rebounding
advantage and outshot the Buckeyes, hitting 26-of-51 (51 percent)
to Ohio State's 20-of-56 (36 percent).
Sun, March 19
Scoonie Penn's career is over at Ohio State, but the senior should be remembered as one of the genuine winners in his class.
Penn took Boston College to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and then Ohio
State to the Final Four last season. This season, he took Ohio State to the brink of a
Big Ten title and a No. 3 seed in the tourney.
The Buckeyes lost to Miami (Fla.), but it wasn't
because of Penn's poor play. Penn scored 19 points, and while he struggled
on 3s, his winning attitude kept the Buckeyes in the game down to the end.
Penn was never a quitter. He followed Jim O'Brien from Boston
College to Ohio State because the Eagles' program had been dismantled by the top of the school's administration. O'Brien had the luxury of having Penn with
him to jumpstart the Buckeyes' program. He may have trouble finding someone
who could win games as well as Penn.
Miami never let Ohio State get into the offensive flow it used
to route Appalachian State in the first round Friday.
"I think they're every bit as good a defensive team as we've
played all year," Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said.
Hemsley's back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Hurricanes a 56-51
lead with 6:16 to play.
Hemsley fired another 3-point attempt on the next possession to
beat the shot clock, and Mario Bland snared the long rebound. He
passed to Tyler, who hit a 15-footer to make it 58-51.
Redd, the Buckeyes' leading scorer, picked up two fouls in a
span of 18 seconds and left with 4:17 to play.
A basket and two free throws by Salmons made it 62-51 with four
minutes to go, and Tyler added a field goal to make it 64-51.
Miami closed the first half with a flurry.
With just seconds left, Redd picked off a pass at midcourt and
soared in for a dunk, which he slammed off the back of the rim.
Ohio State's Brian Brown, trailing the play, got the rebound and
promptly ran over Hemsley for a charge.
The Hurricanes quickly inbounded and Salmons launched a long
3-pointer that beat the buzzer for a 36-31 lead.
"That was a big play," O'Brien said. "What can you say? He
didn't miss it on purpose."
|Miami's Johnny Hemsley drives past Ohio State's Brian Brown for two of his game-high 24 points.||
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