SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 23, 2013

Florida Gulf Coast stuns Georgetown


The Salem News

---- — Sherwood Brown scored 24 points and Bernard Thompson had 23 to lead Florida Gulf Coast to an incredible NCAA tournament debut, a 78-68 win over second-seeded Georgetown last night in the second round of the South Regional in Philadelphia.

The Eagles, in their second season of being eligible for Division I postseason, became just the seventh No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2.

FGCU (25-10) will play the winner of the game between seventh-seeded San Diego State and No. 10 Oklahoma in the third round tomorrow afternoon.

A night after America’s oldest university, Harvard, pulled off a major upset over fourth-seeded New Mexico, one of its youngest — FGCU’s first student was admitted in 1997 — got one that was even bigger.

The Eagles took control with a 21-2 run that gave them a 52-33 lead with 12:28 to play, though the Hoyas used a furious rally to get within 72-68 with 52 seconds left.

Florida 79, Northwestern St. 47

Erik Murphy had 18 points to lead four Florida players in double figures and the Gators shut down the NCAA’s highest-scoring team last night in Austin in the second round of the South Regional.

Third-seeded Florida turned this one into a rout with a 19-1 run in the second half and held the 14th-seeded Demons (23-9) to their fewest points this season — 34 below their average.

Patric Young had 16 points and nine rebounds for Florida (27-7). Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin both scored 11. DeQuan Hicks had 12 points for the Demons, who upset Iowa as the No. 14 seed in their last NCAA tournament seven years ago.

Illinois 57, Colorado 49

After letting a big first-half lead slip away, senior guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson bailed out the Illini with consecutive 3-pointers with 6 minutes to play and No. 7 seed Illinois pulled out a tough win in the second round of East Regional of the NCAA tournament in Austin.

Cincinnati 67, Creighton 63

Doug McDermott had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Gregory Echenique scored 13 points to help Creighton hold on to beat Cincinnati 67-63 in the second round of the Midwest Regional in Philadelphia.

Ethan Wragge added 12 for the Bluejays, who won their NCAA tournament opener for the second straight year.

McDermott, the two-time Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and 2012 All-American, made all 11 free throws to help the seventh-seeded Bluejays (28-7) move on to play Duke tomorrow.

Duke 73, Albany 61

The second-seeded Blue Devils used the perimeter shooting of Seth Curry and the inside dominance of Mason Plumlee to put last season’s NCAA tournament upset to rest in the second round of the Midwest Regional.

It was in the same round — and with the same seeding — that Duke was shocked by Lehigh last March.

It may not have been a blowout against 15th-seeded Albany, but the Blue Devils (28-5) held a comfortable lead throughout and will play seventh-seeded Creighton, which beat Cincinnati 67-63, in the third round tomorrow.

Mississippi 57, Wisconsin 46

Wisconsin’s vaunted defense did its job, holding Mississippi to its lowest point total of the year. It was the suspect offense that failed, making just 15 of 59 shots that snapped a six-year string of first-game wins for one of the NCAA’s most consistently successful programs of the past 15 years.

Marshall Henderson missed 12 of his first 13 shots and was 0-for-6 from 3-point land when he finally connected for a long 3-pointer. Then he remained unusually stoic and businesslike while scoring 17 of his 19 points in the second half.