No. 4 North Carolina, No. 6 Purdue advance to final
Nov. 29, 1997
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ It will be No. 4 North Carolina's offensive firepower against sixth-ranked Purdue's pressure defense for the championship of the Great Alaska Shootout.
In their second offensive explosion in as many nights, the Tar Heels raced past Seton Hall 95-65 Friday while the Boilermakers blew by Massachusetts 82-69.
North Carolina's outside quickness and inside strength were more than Seton Hall could handle. Antawn Jamison scored 25 points, Vince Carter 18 and Ed Cota 15 for the Tar Heels, who blew out No. 7 UCLA by 41 points on Thursday.
``We did some really nice things. We were very unselfish,'' said Tar Heel coach Bill Guthridge, alluding to the team's 26 assists.
``I don't think we've played anybody of the caliber of the teams in our league,'' he said. ``I think we'll get a much better read on our team tomorrow night.''
The Tar Heels (5-0) took charge early, shooting 70 percent from the floor in the first half, the fourth time this season they have shot 70 percent or better in the first half. Even with Pirate Donnell Williams' four 3-pointers and 14 points in the first half, North Carolina led 47-29 at the break.
``It was an unbelievable performance, I guess as usual, by North Carolina, said Seton Hall coach Tommy Amaker, ``but we contributed a lot to their success. We got our royal whatevers handed to us.''
Williams finished with 23 points and Shaheen Holloway added 19 for Seton Hall (3-1).
In the other semifinal, Purdue's defensive pressure and Chad Austin's 20 points wore down UMass.
``It was a hard-fought game and we're happy to get out of here with a W,'' said Purdue coach Gene Keady. ``I just wanted us to play hard, make our free throws and be smart.''
The Boilermakers made 30-of-34 free throws and won despite having more turnovers (19-13) and being outrebounded 41-31, including 28 offensive rebounds by UMass.
``They were really good at pushing us out underneath,'' said Keady.
Both Keady and UMass coach James Flint credited Austin's 3-pointer with just under three minutes to go as the turning point. UMass had chipped the lead down to 10 and looked as if it might make a run.
``That broke our back,'' said Flint.
Charlton Clarke paced UMass (1-2) with 15 points and Lari Ketner added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
UMass will play Seton Hall for third place Saturday while UCLA takes on Alabama Birmingham for fourth.
UCLA rebounded from its crushing loss to North Carolina by trouncing Alaska Anchorage 92-68 behind 21 points from J.R. Henderson and 20 by freshman guard Baron Davis.
``I was just really encouraged by the way our team bounced back,'' said UCLA coach Steve Lavin. ``There were definitely some positive things we can build on after last night's horrific experience. Our guys were able to come back with great spirit and great intensity.''
Lavin praised Davis for his poise on the offensive end and his enthusiasm on the defensive end. ``He's really the key at both ends of the floor,'' Lavin said.
``I thought their confidence might be down,'' said Charlie Bruns, coach of the Division II Seawolves. ``They're a lot better athletes than I thought they were coming into the game.''
Alabama-Birmingham advanced in the consolation bracket with a 75-67 victory over Southwest Louisiana. Cedric Dixon scored all 17 of his points in the second half as the Blazers (3-2) pulled away in the final four minutes.
Casey Green led the Ragin' Cajuns (1-3) with 25 points.
UAA plays Southwestern Louisiana for seventh place Saturday.