The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 30, 1998 · Page 37
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March 30, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 37

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Monday, March 30, 1998
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4C THE PALM BEACH POST MONDAY, MARCH 30, 1998 tr c College basketball Holdsclaw, having done this Utah: A familiar scenario before, says she will again Junior year of college was ahead of her, but after that, Holdsclaw wasn't sure. She'd accomplished everything she could. She proved she could dominate the college 1 v x game and be a standout at the next The Utes have been ::-t derailed by Kentucky - before, but this time it's level. What if. Holdsclaw Dondered, Cheryl Rosenberg my junior year was my last? What if for the national title. I became the first woman to leave school early for the pro leagues? If anvone could make that kind of jump, Holdsclaw could. Her game is that good, and she proved it against Louisiana Tech. She can Men's national championship WHO: Kentucky (34-4) vs. Utah (30-3) WHEN: Today, 9:18 p.m. TV: WPEC-12, WF0R-4. How the scales tip Palm Beach Post staff writer Greg Stoda predicts the score for tonight's NCAA Championship game will be based on point totals (and subractions) in 10 categories on a 0-to-10 scale. dribble, she can dnve. she can pull By Greg Stoda j Palm Beach Post Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO Utah must make a U-turn on history. That's what tonight's NCAA,, Tournament title game in the Ala-modome comes down to for the'; Utes when they take on KentuckyV;ri Utah has come barging into the championship contest from a No:"l up and knock them down. She has the kind of on-court chansma tnat inspires her teammates and any one who is lucky enougn to De watching. Holdsclaw is fire tempered by Utah Kentucky grace. No one has ever done it Key player 8 7 KANSAS CITY, Mo. This certainly wasn't going to faze Cha-mique Holdsclaw. The junior for the Tennessee Volunteers, who could wear Best Ever above the No. 23 on her uniform, was much too cool to yell or shriek or cry after her team won its third consecutive National Championship on Sunday. What she planned on doing was taking a shower as soon as possible. For the last seven years, Holdsclaw has ended her season with a victory and a title. It's becoming so repetitive, she even asked Vice President Al Gore when he called after the game Sunday if he was getting tired of seeing her around the White House. Too smooth. "I've been there, done that," said Holdsclaw about her subdued demeanor. She was trained for winning on the courts of the projects in Astoria, Queens. She led her high school, Christ the King, to four state championships. Not much changed once she got to Knoxville. She was the first rookie ever to start the first game of the season for Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who was beginning her 24th year. The season ended with the Vols winning the National Championship and Holdsclaw being named All-America. Last season was much, much different. Holdsclaw had to take on much of the offensive burden for the team. It was a laid-back team, and though that may be Holds- The best ever? better. She's got the right game, she's from the right city, and, when the Jeff Sheppard. Every team needs a fearless shooter Andre Miller. He scores (16.8 ppg)! He rebounds (7.8 rpg)! He assists (7.1 apg)! Those are the five-game tourna who has no conscience. This is the guy for the Wildcats. braces come off her teeth, she u have the right smile to complete claw's personality off the court, when she's in the game, it was like trying to run through water. The current turned this season with the arrival of freshmen Semeka Randall and Tamika Catchings. Together with Holdsclaw, they soon became known as the Meeks. Randall and Catchings didn't realize it, the rest of the country probably couldn't believe it, but Holdslaw, who is known as the female Michael Jordan, actually improved with their presence. The Best got Better. "This year's team has helped my game and taken it to another level," said Holdsclaw, who won this year's Naismith award. "If I played on a team like last year's, I'd probably be gone." Gone? Holdsclaw was ready to take her game to either the WNBA or ABL, to the world of designer sneakers and shampoo and whatever else will make her some money a sure attraction for someone who didn't grow up with much and a nice thank-you to June, the grandmother who raised her. She returned to Tennessee this fall after playing with USA Basketball and the top professional women's players in the world. the package that is sure to make hpr a riiiae star. But there is the small matter of 3-seeded position in the West Re-';.' gion. The Utes emerged from that" bracket with a demolition of defending champion and top-seeded r" Arizona, and on Saturday night roasted this year's top-ranked" ; team with a cuffing of North Caro- lina. ( ' ' Now, Kentucky awaits. 'l As has typically been the case' -for the Utes in recent years. " , In 1997, Kentucky popped. i ! Utah 72-59 in a regional final in San Jose, Calif. ' In 1996, the Wildcats draped a; 101-70 loss on Utah in a regional ' semifinal in Minneapolis. "' And in 1993, Kentucky beat' d Utah 83-62 in a second-round; game in Nashville, Tenn. ' ' It has been a coast-to-coast 4 thing. ,fl ment averages for the Utes' point guard. Signature play Miller is dangerous every- y The Wildcats run where, but especially on " Sheppard off an assort- slashing forays to the basket. ment of staggered screens, and he has a quick trigger on the three-point shot. Coaches . her degree, which is more important her grandmother than any paycheck. Fear of a career-ending injury before graduation is lightened by an insurance policy which would pay her if that happened. Holdsclaw reiterated Sunday she planned on being back in her orange and white uniform next season, playing for Summitt and watching the other two Meeks grow. She still has room for another ring. And maybe getting Even Rick Majerus. He is meticu- O J Tubby Smith. He has suc-lous in preparation, ere- ceeded in his first season ative in motivation and underrated as successor to Rick Pitino, and as a manager of the game. juggled minutes with a deep bench. But is he too frenetic? Floor burners Drew Hansen. He took one C T Scott Padgett. He flunked " out of school as a freshman, worked his way back to shot in 33 minutes during a semifinal victory over North . j j ynii.i ..in in.. i Carolina. Why? Too busy doing grunt work. pound boards and trade elbows. "Gauze, gaaze," he shouted with a bloodied mouth (and blackened eye) during the semifinal win over Stanford. , - ' T Bench 4 7 Majerus asks his reserves 0 Smith must get substantial production from eight play to do little more than give Michael Doleac, who was then; a sophomore and is now Utah's ' star center, holds particularly vivid memories of the 1996 thumping. ' 5 "I walked into the huddle dur-', ing a timeout and said, 'OK, guys', let's get it within 30,"' Doleac1 said. "I really said that. The bad thing is we never did get closer', than 30." f That was then. ; ' This is now. ' ; This is a very different Utah ' team. The Utes are big Doleac ( 1 is 6-feet-ll, 269 pounds; Hanno ' Mottola is 6-10, 221; and Alex 1 Jensen is 6-9, 210 across thej frontline and dangerous with An- ! ' dre Miller at the point. ; ; "We're a better defensive' j team," m Miller said. "We look to; ; go out and keep teams under 60 points." The Utes have done just that' ; 23 times, and won 22 of those games. . -. , Arizona, for example, was a 76-51 loser to Utah. North Carolina. How the 1997-98 Lady Vols compare to other dominating sports teams: Women's college basketball 1997-98 LADY VOLUNTEERS: Became first women's team to win three straight NCAA titles. First women's team to win six titles (all in past 12 years). Have not lost since March 2, 1997. i IS' i II I the starters time to breathe for a few minutes at a time. ers, and he runs substitutions almost constantly. i t" S 7 Achilles' heel -6 -5 That bench. Point guard Wayne Turner, who controls the ball much of the time, makes an inviting foul target in close games. He is 12-of-21 at the line through five tournament games. Tradition ,rV Tradition? What tradition? Does winning the title in 1944 count? 1 fli e Wildcats might as well V schedule the Final Four as part of their season as often as they qualify (13 times) for the party. 5- w&gw-,rx&,-wi?ri(?.;r iwjj Rally factor 8 10 The Utes are very capable in this regard despite their The Wildcats can score in bunches, and often do. .',A They depend to great extent on Sheppard's three-point shooting, but also rely on defensive pressure to create quick-score turnovers. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS deliberate style. What facilitates Utah when it trails in any game is a fierce defense capable of squeezing an opponent long enough to allow the Utes to recover on offense. went down 65-59. ' What's worth noting, however, is that Kentucky, which emeged from the South Region as the-; second-seeded team by beating top-seeded Duke, has not been x held to anything below 63 points all season. And the Wildcats man-.' j aged to beat both Vanderbilt and LSU with that total. Not that the Wildcats don't play some pretty good defense,"' too. They're 11-0 when limiting opponents to fewer than 60 points.. "We believe we can create ,' some offensive opportunities," said Kentucky coach Tubby Smith' of his team's ability to pressure the entire court. "They have to ' learn multiple positions." That's because Smith runs a shuttle system off the bench, and. Have 45-game win streak. Became only third women's team in history to repeat as national champion. The Meeks cnamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings and Semeka Randall averaged 60.2 points in five tournament games this year entering Sunday . Finished 39-0 the most victories for a women's team in NCAA play. Third unbeaten NCAA champion in Division I women's play (Connecticut went 35-0 in 1995 and Texas went 34-0 in 1986). Men's college basketball 1976 INDIANA HOOSIERS: Last undefeated men's team to win the national championship. 1971- 74 UCLA BRUINS: Their 88-game winning streak hasn't been challenged. NHL 1972- 79 MONTREAL CANADIENS: Won 5-of-7 Stanley Cups with an overall 373-94-89 record. Best season under Scotty Bowman: 1976-77 (60-8-12), 132 points. 1983-90 EDMONTON OILERS: Won 5-of-7 Stanley Cups with an overall 332-1 66-62 record. Best season: 1983-84(57-18-5), Wayne Gretzky 208 points. NBA Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and her son Tyler, 7, celebrate the Lady Volunteers' third straight national championship. Lady Vols make it easy Fans The Utes are beauts. The A red horde has enjoyed the tournament ride, and the folks have gone apoplectic with back-to-back victories over high-profile Arizona and North Carolina programs. Let's just say they're eager for the final course. C They are vocal and loyal, but more than a little demanding. It's not enough that the Wildcats have climbed to the championship game for a third consecutive time. Kentuckians want a sixth championship, and a trophy to match the one earned in 1996. suDstituuons create many ainer- l TENNESSEE From 1C The taller Vols double and triple-teamed the guards, and Louisiana Tech couldn't see over the outstretched arms in order to exploit its inside game. Tennessee Writer's shot 9 9 The Utes were the third-seeded team in the West The Wildcats were the second-seeded team in the "We felt we had a chance, like we were still in the game," Burras said. "But Tennessee came back and took it away from us." Jolly, who scored a career-high 20 points, exited the court with 2:10 left, her arms outstretched with a finger on each hand pointed to the sky. One finger quickly became three. She danced, she bounced from foot to foot, she cheered on her teammates still left on the floor. With 39 seconds left, the starters joined her as the fans chanted, "Three-peat Three-peat." It was perfection. What's next? "You know what?" Holdsclaw said. "Next year's team will be the best ever." South Region, but not far removed from the Big Four -North Carolina, Arizona, Kansas Region, and have produced a rollicking and entertaining show to reach the championship game. 1958-1966 BOSTON CELTICS: Eight straight titles under Red Auerbach. Overall record: 409-145. Best . rr A r rr . o ent lineup combinations. Light players drew at least 14 minutes of , playing time during Kentucky's semifinal victory against Stanford. " The Wildcats' offense de- . pends, in considerable measure, to .' three-point shooting. The problem ' Utah presents in that circum-, stance North Carolina was 3-of- ' 23, for example, is that the Utes are aggressive with their size in, . contesting perimeter shots. "We're confident," Doleac said. "We know we can get some things done. We can't stop ever-ythig they'll do, but we'll stop ! enough." . t Utah isn't a secret anymore. The Utes are 30-4 with consecutive high-profile victories, and . now draw an opponent making its j third title-game appearance in t-three seasons. ; But can they make a U-turn on history by making a U-turn on Kentucky? , , and Duke -in terms of reputation. They are resourceful and resilient. '51 Final score' ' '1 64 ""' " ' '-- Sony, but that's no good. The tournament has been filled with tremendous games that have been in doubt to the very end. The feeling is that this one win be. too. Writer's shot II: Utah gets a 10-point bonus. Final: Kentucky 64, Utah 61. Utah statistics pa ft MM M-A M-A LA TECN Maxwell 0-0 37 7-11 2-4 t-la 0- O 1- S M O-T 3-1 IS S-IO 0-1 0- 4 04 04 1- l 04 0-4 Milton 31 Burrat 34 Stellworth 30 Jackson 37 Cochran 1 Scheppmen. IS Gilmoro I Bowman 7 31 34 III) 0-0 0-0 00 IS 04 04 J? Ptl 501 447 404 7H IN 137 105 0-1 2-3 10-24 17 H 7S S-IO 200 37 73 To'ait kept up with the opponent s guards, widely considered the fastest in the country. Every time the Techsters tried to make a run, Tennessee had the answer usually, Holdsclaw, who scored 18 of her 25 points in the first half, or Catchings, who finished with a team-high 27. "I wasn't in shock as much as my team," Barmore said. "They were so in shock is was hard for them to get over it" Tennessee took a 55-32 lead into half time, an NCAA final record for points in a half. Jamie Scheppman made a three-pointer and Melshika Bowman followed with a layup to pull the Techsters to within 72-54 with 1 1 :45 left. Tennessee's Kellie Jolly then cooly sank two consecutive threes of her own. "I told her she was going to have an opportunity to get some shots off, because you have, obviously, to be concerned about other players on our basketball team." Louisiana Tech kept pushing. With 8:08 remaining. Tamicha Jackson's three made it 79-62, the closest margin since it was 30-13 with 1 1:28 left in the first half. Alisa Burris then missed two free throws for Tech, but Jackson's pull-up jumper during a fast break cut the lead to 15. But the Vols scored the next six points, and the Techsters never got Percentawt: FG 131, FT 500 Three-aaint tae: Art 16 172 27 77 44 24 45 W 31 t I I I I Pet .441 .557 m .443 451 .445 .470 434 341 545 304 .447 500 ooo 000 442 a II 17 1 0 00 342 rT-T 164 20? 113-155 evtle 45- H 24- 44 20- 24 17- 22 17- 33 21- 2 21- 34 4- 4- 13 1- 3 3 1 0- 0 571-713 443472 M 2 74 1 Player Ml FG-G Doleec 31 17 2 160-3J Wilier 33 31 i l7 300 Mollola 33 21 2 15313 Jentan 33 27 2 20-15 Hanteti 32 24 1 55-172 Caton 33 14 4 44- Jacktan 31 14 7 34-11 Jolwiten 20 Ml 23-53 McTaxitH 33 10 0 2a- 72 Canine X to 3 2a- at Sarrert IJ 7 2 11-34 AimoM 17 5 4 13- W Dalton 3 10 1-2 Smoe 3 17 0-2 Gooch 3 13 0-3 UTAH 33 TI5-la3 Oopeaean 33 434-142 Of 77 .741 734 430 33 .773 .515 724 .410 500 442 .333 447 ooo .724 .711 a-It. 333 (Jackson 4-13. nKaxwell 1-3. Scheppmenn I-7. Saiiworth 0-1) Team refeevneH: S Blocked tftotv 7 (Burrat 2. Bowman 2. Maxwell. Jeckton. more) Ternaven: 10 (S'aiiworth I Jecktoa 4 Ma-wall 3. WMton X Burrat L Scheppmenn 2. Bowman) Sfaett: 11 (Witton 3 Maxwell 2. Burrat 2, Stailwortti 2. jackton 2). TaclMticjri fpwtl.- None, 3 73 27 X 4 I 1312 144 1 season: i sw-oa yoi- i oi. 1990-97 CHICAGO BULLS: Phil Jackson's teams won 5-of-7 NBA titles including three in a row behind Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Overall record: 428-146. Best season: 1995-96(72-10). NFL 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS: Don Shula coached only NFL undefeated team (17-0) behind Larry Csonka and Paul Warfield. Super Bowl champions. 1972-79 PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Won 4-of-8 Super Bowls behind the "Steel Curtain" defense. Overall record: 88-27-1. Best season: 1978 14-2. 1993-96 DALLAS COWBOYS: Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith led team to three Super Bowl titles. Major League Baseball 1927 NEW YORK YANKEES: 'Murderer's Row" team finished regular season 1 1 0-44 and swept the Pirates in the World Series. 1954 CLEVELAND INDIANS: Won a record 1 1 1 games (in a 1 54-game season) behind Bob Lemon and Early Wyrtn. FF FT Updates and scores Cal 511 and enter the codes 27 I 17.0 312 0 7S 70-44 Ac Taxis 20-54. Millar 20- 44 Caton 25-54 Jeckton TKree-ert aeafe 171-454. 375 IHanteo 41 27 JOMien 3-11. Dalton 1-1. Barratt I S, Gooch 0-21. 57, Motlote 15-52. Jenttfl 13-44. Doleec 12 32. FT M- O-T 3-4 a-H) 11-11 3-7 04 13 27 0-4 74 24 04 1-1 II-2S 01 03 7 1 0 20 W 2 I Kentucky statistics below for frequent updates and final results for the college basket Tina) Hold" l Cercfcingt Stephena Jolly Panda Bra EH, Miii'oan Greena Laxton Clemen? Gec Toa 3 34 34 34 IS 34 0-1 ek Mia PG-PGA Pet 442 1J4 405 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 t I a 544 474 447 505 451 432 354 337 337 01 0-1 3-7 1-2 0 3 3 IS 13 O 700 1H 10-71 13-41 fg ; ft ;o PT-PT 74-104 M-135 U- 41 4VI04 42 47 57 44 40- 41 70- 21 21- 35 It 35 4- 13 2 S I- 2 S3t-74 Af 13 4 12 I 4 I Art 101 a si 144 It 42 10 24 53 IS 7 I 1 74 Pterer Sheppere: . . Mohammed . Peooert Turner FdxxarOt . . . fr" rent tAagioirt . . . r.'i Smita . , . . ft'eoiev Anthony . . . . Mftoen V, riia HI4TIXIY 47 452 47 475 414 .4 454 457 400 .5 14 15 400 500 71 . 37 . 31 . 3 . 31 . 34 . 30 . 37 37 . 31 31 31 W 1 30 4-4 444 I JoHv 4-S. Cecr.gt b-i Team I IISJ04 154-377 135-700 177 7?7 132 741 75 155 51-173 32 44 30- 43 25- 43 7- 24 4- 10 1132 2352 4 Biectet) then: S fGe'er 4. jottrt ball tournaments. 50 for up to 5 min. See 2A for more details. FINAL FOUR 3038 Men 3098 Women I On the net For the latest scores, games, contests and polls, go to Palm Beach Interactive: www.GoPB.- xomSportsTowii 45 447 37 344 ano 71 71 71 II Cecft-ngt 4. Pandal) 4, Clement 2 Motoview 1 Jolly 2 epeni Elrr t-Oxon. Ger fleetf: II tCatrh.nei 4. Jo" 3 ftenoau 2. Heuiciew, Geer). Tecwcai v nene Leanueae Tat 32 43 - 7S Tenrtenee J ) -l7't 0ie.e!-Sa"y Be. Bok T'emmen xVettey Dean a 4 337 444 534.702 .4? 44-7244 3 W, Pedom 34 W2. Willi 43. EH war OS 31 3. l taehv 745-444. 344 iSnr-ppe'4 71 Turner 21 54. E xant 14-at Anrhon, 12 3a. Smim 13 42, Hoen 5-11 AAatieue 2-41 ' - It m -T

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