Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Rapid reaction: UNC Asheville 81, UALR 77
By Brian Bennett
DAYTON, Ohio -- The 2011 NCAA tournament is officially one game old. And if the rest of the games are as fun as the first one, we're in for a wild March.
Here is a quick recap from UNC Asheville's 81-77 overtime win over Arkansas-Little Rock in the First Four at University of Dayton Arena.
Turning point: UNC Asheville had only one lead in regulation, a brief one-point edge near the end of the first half. But the Bulldogs kept hanging around and chipping away before closing the second half on a 9-2 run, capped by Matt Dickey's 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds left. Arkansas Little-Rock's top scorer, Solomon Bozeman, fouled out in the final minute of regulation, and the Trojans could generate only one field goal in overtime without him.
Key stat: UNC Asheville converted 23 of 28 free throws, including 10 of its final 12 to hold off the Trojans. J.P. Primm was 12-of-14 from the line.
Star player: Dickey scored 14 of his team's final 18 points in the second half to lead the charge into overtime, and his step-back 3-pointer from the corner is the first shining moment of this year's tournament. He finished with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists.
What's next: UNC Asheville advanced to take on Southeast Regional No. 1 seed Pittsburgh on Thursday in Washington D.C. All five of the Bulldogs starters are 6-foot-5 or under, so expect them to have trouble combating Pitt's size inside.