Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Temple, UAB win in NIT

The Associated Press

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. - Brian Polk had 19 points and nine rebounds as Temple advanced to the NIT quarterfinals with a 61-53 victory over Rhode Island on Tuesday night.

The Owls (18-15) will host Minnesota on Thursday.

In the other second-round game, Alabama-Birmingham beat Siena 80-71. UAB will play at St. John's on Thursday night. In the Wednesday night quarterfinal games, Georgetown is at North Carolina and Georgia Tech is at Texas Tech.

Temple built a late 55-45 lead but didn't hit another field goal. Brian Woodward's 3-pointer with 1:40 left pulled Rhode Island to 56-53, but the Owls sank six free throws to preserve the win.

Dustin Hellenga scored 15 points to lead the Rams (19-12).

Rhode Island led 29-20 with under 41/2 minutes left in the first half, but Temple ran off 10 straight points, capped by an alley-oop dunk from Maurice Collins to Polk. That gave the Owls a one-point halftime lead.

UAB 80, Siena 71

ALBANY, N.Y. - Demario Eddins scored 19 points and Gabe Kennedy had 14 points and 12 rebounds to help UAB pull away.

After falling behind 53-44 with 15:09 left, Siena scored 11 of the next 12 points to take a 55-54 lead. UAB regained the lead when Eric Bush made two quick baskets, and the Blazers (21-12) didn't trail again.

The Saints tied it at 64-all before UAB went on a 16-7 run over the final 5:58, sparked by 3-pointers from Morris Finley and Sidney Ball.

Michael Haddix scored 16 points to lead Siena (21-11).

Bush had 15 points and two steals, establishing a new Conference USA single-season record with 101 steals.

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