NJCAA tourneys tip off in Kansas
From staff reports
March 20, 2002
The Itawamba Community College Indians opened their play in the 2002 Men's Division I Basketball National Championship at Hutchinson, Kan., with an 88-81 win over Coastal Georgia (formerly known as Brunswick Junior College) Tuesday night.
Itawamba, 22-5, placed four players in double figures. Trent Vaughn scored 20 points, Jason Pannel had 17, Shun Jenkins 15, and O'Brian Lowe 11. Jenkins also had 15 rebounds for Marty Cooper's Indians.
Tommy Thompson led Coastal Georgia, 24-10, with 21 points.
Itawamba led 42-38 at halftime. For the game, the Indians were 10-of-19 from 3-point range, while the Mariners were just 6-of-25 behind the arc.
The Indians won't play again until a 6:45 p.m. contest Thursday with unbeaten and top-ranked Schoolcraft College of Livonia, Mich. Schoolcraft eased past Allegany College (Md.) 84-81 Tuesday as Rulon Harris scored 29 points to up Schoolcraft's perfect record to 33-0.
In other first-day action at Hutchinson, Coffeyville (Kan.) got 24 points from Steve Smith and 23 from Devin Smith in a 110-71 thrashing of Walters State (Tenn.). The Smiths are brothers. Tommie Eddie added 18 points for Coffeyville's Red Ravens, while Jerry Nichols tossed in 21 points to pace Walters.
Lon Morris (Texas) slipped past Central Arizona 84-79 behind 19 points from Aaron Curtis, 18 from Diego Romero, and 15 from Hardy Asprilla.
Wabash Valley (Ill.) spanked St. Petersburg (Fla.) 92-74 with Tony Allen scoring 25 points. Moberly Area (Mo.) took a 71-65 win over Sheridan (Wyo.) with Derrick Wiley's 22 points leading the way.
Look who's back
Mark Nelson coached at Cowley County (Kan.), but after getting axed last season, he quickly landed a job with the defending national champion Wabash Valley Warriors. Last year's coach at Wabash, Jay Spoonhour, followed his father, Charlie, to UNLV.
Today's key matchup at Hutchinson has Region 22 champion Southern Union (Ala.), 30-3, facing South Plains (Texas), 30-3.
In other games today, Dixie (Utah), 30-3, plays Arkansas-Fort Smith, 25-6; Central Arizona, 23-9, meets Walters State (Tenn.), 23-10; Coffeyville (Kan.), 34-1, squares off with Lon Morris (Texas), 29-5; and Wabash Valley (Ill.), 31-4, plays Moberly Area (Mo.), 27-6.
Near shocker in Salina
The 2002 NJCAA Women's National Basketball Championship almost provided a huge upset in first-day play at Salina, Kan.
Sixteenth-ranked Southern Union (Ala.) gave top-seeded and unbeaten Northeastern Oklahoma A&M a big scare before falling 74-70. NEO is led by sophomore forward Maria Villarroel, who averages 24.4 points and 5.5 rebounds. She played at Independence (Kan.) last year before opting to transfer after Pirates' coach Keitha Green was named head coach at Texas-El Paso.
Villarroel is a native of Venezuela and is one of four South American players in NEO's starting lineup. Pabliana Lae, Carina Souza and
Lucimara Silva are from Brazil.
In other Tuesday games at Salina, second-seeded Gulf Coast (Fla.) remained undefeated with a 79-63 win over Vincennes (Ind.); seventh-seeded Weatherford (Texas) knocked off Louisburg (N.C) 75-72, and 11th-seeded Moberly Area (Mo.) upset Wabash Valley (Ill.) 79-69.
Co-Lin gets Iowa Western
The Copiah-Lincoln Lady Wolves are seeded No. 5 in the women's tournament and face Iowa Western in their first-round game today.
Iowa Western is making its fifth consecutive appearance in the national tournament but has yet to win a game. The Reivers could be ready for a breakthrough with a tall and talented frontline that goes 6-foot-4, 6-3, 6-3.
Tadtman is impressed with this year's field.