Georgetown, St. John's advance to final of NIT

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

NEW YORK -- Mike Sweetney took charge once again and led Georgetown to the NIT championship game, scoring 32 points as the Hoyas beat Minnesota 88-74 Tuesday night.

The Hoyas turned down a bid to the NIT last season because they would have had to play on the road and miss classes. Now they'll play for the title after winning four straight games in the tournament -- all away from home. The Hoyas (19-14) won at Tennessee, Providence and North Carolina before coming to Madison Square Garden.

Georgetown will play the St. John's, which turned back Texas Tech 64-63 in Tuesday's late game.

The Hoyas' opponent will have to do something no other team in the NIT has done yet -- find a way to stop Sweetney, who has been Georgetown's top scorer in 24 games this season, including all four games in the NIT.

Brandon Bowman had 14 points for Georgetown and Victor Samnick added 13.

Rick Rickert led the Gophers (19-13) with 17 points and Ben Johnson had 15.

St. John's 64, Texas Tech 63: Marcus Hatten made Bob Knight's return to the National Invitation Tournament an unpleasant one.

Hatten had a steal and layup with 16.2 seconds remaining to give St. John's (20-13)a thrilling 64-63 come-from- behind victory over Texas Tech. The Red Storm held on in the closing seconds after Hatten missed two free throws with 4.1 seconds left.

Texas Tech (21-13)got the ball back, and Will Chavis missed a 3-pointer off the rim as the buzzer sounded, sending the St. John's fans running onto the Madison Square Garden court.

Doherty resigns after third season at UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Matt Doherty resigned Tuesday as basketball coach at North Carolina, ending a bumpy three-year run marked by his failure to lead a storied program back to national prominence or even the NCAA tournament.

The Tar Heels failed to make the tournament in two of his three seasons. He leaves with three years left on a six-year contract that paid him $855,000 a season.

The 41-year-old Doherty was a Tar Heel fixture long before he took over the program, having played with Michael Jordan in the early 1980s.

He left Notre Dame and returned to North Carolina to succeed Bill Guthridge, and for the first season, things were fine. North Carolina went 26-7, but it slipped to 8-20 last season -- the worst record in the program's history.

This year, his young team finished 19-16.

Kansas coach Roy Williams, considered by many a candidate for the North Carolina job, declined to answer questions regarding the opening.

Elsewhere

  • Tennessee State:Teresa Phillips introduced Cy Alexander as Tennessee State's new men's basketball coach Tuesday morning.

    The athletic director said she plans to remain in the background from now on, leaving herself as an historical footnote as the first woman to coach a men's Division I basketball team.

    "He won't officially start for a couple weeks. We're still waiting for final regents approval on some things, but I'm pretty much through with it," Phillips said.

    Alexander inherits a program that has had seven consecutive losing seasons.

    UCLA:The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Pittsburgh men's basketball coach Ben Howland would be introduced as UCLA's coach as early as today following a meeting with chancellor Albert Carnesale. UCLA sports information director Marc Dellins declined to comment on the report. Howland, who met with UCLA officials Sunday, was said to be talking to the school about a contract Tuesday.

    -- From wire reports

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