UNC-Asheville wins in OT

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2003

DAYTON, Ohio - Andre Smith scored 10 of his 28 points in overtime as North Carolina-Asheville, the only team in the NCAA tournament with a losing record, outlasted Texas Southern 92-84 Tuesday night in the play-in game.

The Bulldogs received a dubious prize for advancing - they next play top-seeded Texas in the first round of the South Regional on Friday in Birmingham, Ala.

Bryan McCullough added 15 points, Alex Kragel hit three second-half 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, Ben McGonagil had 12 points and Joseph Barber 11 for Asheville, in the NCAA tournament for the first time.

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The Bulldogs are the unlikeliest of NCAA entrants. They ended the regular season with four consecutive losses before storming through the Big South postseason tournament 10 days ago.

Allan Lovett led Texas Southern with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Ra'Kim Hollis added 18 points and Lionel Willis had 17.

In the overtime, the Bulldogs never trailed after Smith hit a 3-pointer on the first possession. He scored six of Asheville's first eight points before Chad Mohn's 3-pointer from the right corner upped the lead to 86-79 with 2:22 left.

Smith added a layup with 47.6 seconds left and then made two more free throws with 28.6 seconds remaining to push the lead to 90-82.