Va. Commonwealth 74, Louisville 65
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Virginia Commonwealth’s Kendrick Warren scored 16 points and the Rams made their last 13 free throws to stun Louisville 74-65 in the first round of the Metro Conference tournament Friday night.
Fifth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth (14-14) will play regular-season champion Tulane in the semifinals Saturday night. Louisville (18-10) lost two of its last three games to damage its NCAA tournament hopes.
Virginia Commonwealth rallied from a 31-24 halftime deficit to go ahead 40-39 on Warren’s layup off a goaltending call with 13:12 remaining in the game.
The game was tied four times before Virginia Commonwealth went on an 8-0 run to lead 58-50 with 3:24 to go. Tyron McCoy and Eric Atkins each scored on rebound baskets and Rod Ladd and Carl Weldon made two free throws apiece in the spurt.
Louisville could get no closer than six points the rest of the way, the last time at 61-55 on Greg Minor’s 3-pointer with 1:29 to go.
Virginia Commonwealth’s Sherron Mills missed the first of two free throws with 1:21 left, then made the second to start the 13 in a row - six by Weldon, four from Chris Brower and two by Warren - to kill Louisville’s comeback hopes.
Brower finished with 16 points and Weldon contributed 13 as Virginia Commonwealth defeated the Cardinals for the second time in three games this season.
Dwayne Morton led Louisville with 13 points, followed by Minor with 12, James Brewer 11 and Keith LeGree 10.
Louisville bolted out to a 9-0 lead when Cornelius Holden made two free throws with 16:07 remaining in the half.
Mills made two free throws to pull Virginia Commonwealth to 18-16, but Louisville went on a 13-3 run behind Morton’s five points to open its biggest lead at 31-19 at 2:20.
Louisville went scoreless the remainder of the half while Virginia Commonwealth’s McCoy hit three foul shots and Mills scored on a rebound basket to slice the margin to seven points.