Koch leads SMS to WNIT title

Friday, April 1, 2005

Kari Koch had 23 points, Jenni Lingor added 20 and Southwest Missouri State rode a barrage of 3-pointers to the Women's NIT championship with a 78-70 victory Thursday night over West Virginia in Springfield, Mo.

Southwest Missouri (25-8) from the Missouri Valley Conference used 11 3-pointers to down West Virginia (21-13) from the Big East and set an NCAA season record of 305 from beyond the arc.

"This is a great way to end the season for us, to win a national championship especially for our seniors," coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said.

After trailing by as many as seven points in the first half and 36-35 at the break, Southwest Missouri took the lead at 40-38 on a 3-pointer by Lingor with 16:44 to play. Two free throws by Chakhia Cole tied the game.

But K.C. Cowgill's second 3-pointer of the night put Southwest Missouri ahead 43-40 with 15:10 left.

West Virginia went 5:27 without a basket until Meg Bulger hit a 10-footer with 13:32 left to make it 46-42. But five straight 3s by Southwest Missouri pushed its lead to 61-46 with 8:05 remaining.

Cowgill finished with 18 points and Sarah Kalassan 10 for Southwest Missouri.

Yolanda Paige had 22 points for West Virginia and Cole finished with 17.

NIT final

S. Carolina 60, St. Joseph's 57

Carlos Powell's final collegiate game went better than Pat Carroll's.

Tarence Kinsey drilled a 3-pointer from the right elbow with 1.3 seconds remaining Thursday night to give Powell and South Carolina their first NIT championship, 60-57 over St. Joseph's in New York.

Kinsey let his winning shot go just 6 seconds after Carroll tied it for the Hawks (24-12) with a 3 of his own. But that was one of the few shots Carroll, the Atlantic 10 co-player of the year, could get to go down. He finished 5-for-19, including 2-of-13 from 3-point range

Powell scored a game-high 16 points and was chosen as the tournament MVP. Carroll's stellar career ended with a 15-point performance, after averaging 20.6 in the Hawks' first five NIT games.

Powell scored 31 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in his final two games.

South Carolina (20-13) reached 20 wins for the third time in coach Dave Odom's first four seasons there. The Gamecocks lost the 2002 NIT title game to Memphis.

Odom improved to 16-3 in the NIT. He won also won it in 2000 with Wake Forest.

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