Hawks Fall To Gamecocks In NIT Final, 60-57
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  03/31/2005

March 31, 2005

Box Score

AP Sports Writer


Tarence Kinsey drilled a 3-pointer from the right elbow with 1.3 seconds remaining Thursday night to give Powell and South Carolina their first NIT championship, 60-57 over Saint Joseph's.

Kinsey let his winning shot go just 6 seconds after Pat Carroll tied it for the Hawks (24-12) with a 3 of his own. But that was one of the few shots Carroll, the Atlantic 10 co-player of the year, could get to go down. He finished 5-for-19, including 2-of-13 from 3-point range.

Powell scored a game-high 16 points and was chosen as the tournament MVP. Carroll's stellar career ended with a 15-point performance, after averaging 20.6 in the Hawks' first five NIT games.

Powell scored 31 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in his final two games.

South Carolina (20-13) reached 20 wins for the third time in coach Dave Odom's first four seasons there. The Gamecocks lost the 2002 NIT title game to Memphis.

Odom improved to 16-3 in the NIT. He won also won it in 2000 with Wake Forest.

Tre' Kelley gave South Carolina a 50-49 lead with a layup at 2:20. His 3-point attempt less than a minute later rimmed out, but Rocky Trice was fouled while grabbing the rebound and made both free throws.

Dwayne Lee cut it to 52-51 with a driving layup with 1:02 left, but Powell answered with a drive to push the lead back up to three points.

Kinsey made two free throws to make it 56-51 with 27.4 seconds remaining, seven seconds before Chet Stachitas hit a 3-pointer to bring the Hawks within two points.

Trice went 1-for-2 from the line, giving the Hawks a chance to tie with 19.6 seconds left.

Stachitas went up for a quick 3, but it was swatted out of bounds by Brandon Wallace with 13.5 seconds on the clock. Carroll got free soon after the inbounds pass and drilled the tying shot from in front his bench.

The crowd of 11,555 - made up of mostly Saint Joseph's fans - erupted only to have their cheers silenced seconds later by Kinsey's only 3 of the game.

Saint Joseph's came out hot in the second half, hitting three 3s in the first 3:13 after the break and grabbing a 40-34 lead. But the Hawks only scored from the foul line for the next 10{ minutes.

Carroll, who missed his first five shots of the second half, broke the drought with 6:26 remaining when his basket got the Hawks even at 47.

Saint Joseph's got to the title game the hard way, starting in the opening round and playing four times before reaching New York. Of the final four, only the Hawks played in the opening round and they were the only team to have to win a game on the road.

The Hawks were the NIT runners-up in 1996, Phil Martelli's first season as head coach.

The Gamecocks must've felt as though they were the visitors on Thursday, as there were approximately 8,000 Saint Joseph's supporters on hand.

Powell didn't seem to be slowed by the right forearm strain he sustained in the semifinal victory over Maryland on Tuesday.

The teams were tied at 28 after a back-and-forth first half in which they traded runs.

The Hawks closed the half by scoring 10 of the final 14 points - including 3-pointers by Lee and Carroll.