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Bruins nip VCU, keep Final 4 hopes alive

PHILADELPHIA – Darren Collison had no doubt Eric Maynor would take the last shot. All he had to do was make sure it didn’t go in.

Collison refused to yield in the final seconds, pressuring Maynor into missing a 17-footer at the buzzer to give UCLA a 65-64 victory over VCU on Thursday night in the opening round of the East Regional.

The Bruins (26-8) kept alive their hopes of a fourth straight trip to the Final Four, advancing to play Villanova (27-7) on Saturday.

“Everybody knew he was going to take that last shot,” Collison said. “I mean, it’s his team. There’s a lot of pressure on him to get the job done. There’s a lot of pressure on myself to get a stop. When he tried to get me up in the air, I just had a good contest.”

Josh Shipp scored 16, Jrue Holiday had 13 and three others scored in double figures for the sixth-seeded Bruins.

Maynor led VCU with 21 points. The Rams (24-10) from the Colonial Athletic Association were a popular pick to pull off a 6-11 upset against the Pac-10 powerhouse – even President Obama circled VCU in his bracket.

But UCLA wasn’t ready to go home.

Trailing 63-60 with 1:19 left, VCU pulled within a point on a pair of free throws by Bradford Burgess. Alfred Aboya answered with two free throws for the Bruins. Then Maynor hit a pair for the Rams.

Larry Sanders blocked Collison’s shot at the opposite end, giving VCU the ball and a chance to win with 11.6 second left.

But Collison made up for it on the defensive end.

No. 10 Maryland 84, No. 7 California 71: At Kansas City, Mo., Grievis Vasquez had 27 points and Maryland (21-13) shut down the nation’s best 3-point shooting team in a West Region game.

Maryland (21-13) disrupted Cal with its pressure defense, rarely giving the Bears a good look from the perimeter.

No 4 Washington 71, No. 13 Mississippi State 58: At Portland, Ore., Quincy Pondexter scored a season-high 23 points and Washington (26-8) took advantage of early foul trouble to Mississippi State’s menacing Jarvis Varnado in a West Region game.

Jon Brockman had 14 rebounds and 10 points for the Huskies.


MIAMI – In the past, Jeff Pendergraph hasn’t paid much attention to the NCAA Tournament.

He flipped it on, caught up on scores, but the Arizona State forward didn’t allow himself to get pulled in.

It hurt too much.

“Last year was really bad,” Pendergraph said. “It was just like watching highlights of your team losing every day. I was just like, ‘I can’t do this.’ It’s hard to get away from it because you love basketball, but it stings.”

All those memories – from eight wins two years ago, to missing last season’s tournament despite 21 wins – wash away Friday when the sixth-seed Sun Devils meet 11th-seed Temple in a South Region first-round contest at 11:35 a.m.

This is foreign hardwood for the Sun Devils. Most were in middle school when ASU last dribbled in the NCAA Tournament in 2003.

“You have to maintain yourself,” said ASU associate head coach Dedrique Taylor, who coached in the NCAA Tournament when he worked at Nevada. “You have to stay within yourself. You have to do what got you to that point, but you have to do it even harder.”

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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