Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves

    Blogs

    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  2. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure

    Bucs

    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?

    Blogs

    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.
  4. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.

  5. Kentucky recruit, former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox among top prospects for 2018 NBA Draft

    Preps

    Less than 24 hours after the NBA Draft, analysts have already begun looking ahead to 2018.

    Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox finishes a layup during the McDonald's All-American game in March at the United Center in Chicago. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]