Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stephen F. Austin upsets WVU in East; Wisconsin takes out Pitt

Thomas Walkup, left, Trey Pinkney enjoy Stephen F. Austin’s win over third seed West Virginia. Walkup leads SFA with 33 points.

Getty Images

Thomas Walkup, left, Trey Pinkney enjoy Stephen F. Austin’s win over third seed West Virginia. Walkup leads SFA with 33 points.

NEW YORK — Thomas Walkup scored 33 points and 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin faced down West Virginia's full-court pressure with some of its own in-your-face defense, pulling off a rugged 70-56 first-round upset of the third-seeded Mountaineers on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament.

The Lumberjacks (28-5) ran the nation's longest winning streak to 21 games and will face either No. 6 Notre Dame or No. 11 Michigan, which played late Friday, at Barclays Center in the second round of the East Region on Sunday.

The Mountaineers and Lumberjacks played physical, chest-to-chest defense, contesting not just every shot but every pass. Neither team shot better than 31 percent.

Walkup, the two-time Southland Conference player of the year, took it to the teeth of West Virginia's defense and went to the line 20 times. He made 19 free throws, including two to make it 60-47 with 5:15 left in the second half after West Virginia coach Bob Huggins' griping to officials drew a technical foul.

When Clide Geffard slammed home an alley-oop to make it 66-54 with 2:40 left, the Lumberjacks' purple-clad supporters roared, knowing the biggest win in program history was all but complete.

West Virginia went in leading the nation in steals per game, averaging just under 10. "Press Virginia," the Mountaineers call it, but they met their match in Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks lead the nation in turnovers forced at nearly 19 per game. They forced 22 West Virginia turnovers.

Making its third straight NCAA appearance under coach Brad Underwood, Stephen F. Austin won in the first round for the second time.

The Mountaineers, from the Big 12, became the first No. 3 seed to be eliminated from the field of 68 and joined No. 2 seed Michigan State and No. 4 seed California as Friday's biggest surprise losers.

Wisconsin 47, Pittsburgh 43: Wisconsin freshman forward Ethan Happ, in his NCAA Tournament debut, scored 15 points and pulled down nine rebounds — none bigger than the one he grabbed in the closing seconds — to help the seventh-seeded Badgers edge No. 10 seed Pittsburgh in their first-round matchup at St. Louis.

"Defense won the game for us," said the Badgers' Bronson Koenig. "We got a couple different guys who had some really big rebounds for us, and we got the ball inside, and they converted."

The Badgers (21-12) advanced despite an abhorrent shooting night. Nigel Hayes was 3-for-17 from the field, Koenig failed to hit a 3-pointer for the first time in 44 games and Wisconsin finished 4-of-19 from beyond the arc.

It was still enough to reach the next round against No. 2 Xavier or No. 15 Weber State, which played late Friday.

Pittsburgh had a chance to take the lead in the closing seconds when Hayes missed a 3-point try and James Robinson took the rebound the other way. Robinson's wild layup taken while surrounded by defenders bounced off the rim, Happ corralled the loose ball and the Badgers put the game away with three free throws.

"Got the rebound. It was about 2 seconds on the clock. Just tried to get a good shot," Robinson said, "and I just ran into my own teammate."

Jamel Artis led the Panthers with 13 points. Leading scorer Michael Young was held to six.

"You can be as good as you want," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said, "but you've got to win two in the first weekend, and you've got to make some plays. But certainly we were in position."

Stephen F. Austin upsets WVU in East; Wisconsin takes out Pitt 03/18/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2016 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots


    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings


    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham


    UPDATE, 6:05: Cash gave both CF Kevin Kiermaier and SS Adeiny Hechavarria a day off, noting they have been playing pretty much everyday. ... That also gave them a chance to look more at two of their younger position players, OF Mallex Smith and INF Daniel Robertson. ... Cash said he was happy for Beckham that he …

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue


    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)