Originally created 03/20/00

Hurricanes get first Sweet 16 appearance



NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Miami Hurricanes are earning respect and adding to the school record books with every NCAA tournament victory.

Johnny Hemsley scored 24 points as Miami upset third-seeded Ohio State 75-62 on Sunday in the South Regional to advance to the round of 16 for the first time.

Miami (23-10) had never won an NCAA tournament game before last season, let alone two in the same year. The loss spoiled the Buckeyes hopes for a return trip to the Final Four.

"Once again we are swimming in uncharted waters," Hurricanes coach Leonard Hamilton said. "It feels kind of good. Each time we win a game, each time we take another step forward, we're making history for our program."

Sixth-seeded Miami will play seventh-seeded Tulsa in the South Regional semifinals Friday in Austin, Texas.

Elton Tyler added 20 points for Miami, and John Salmons 13.

"We're trying to build that tradition and mystique the way the Kentuckys and Connecticuts have," Hemsley said. "This is just a great step."

Although Miami won a share of the Big East regular season title, it was given a No. 6 seed in the tournament. The Hurricanes weren't happy about it at the time, but haven't let it affect them.

"I don't want to put a number on it, but if we play defense and execute like we did today we can play a few more games," center Mario Bland said.

Scoonie Penn led the Buckeyes (23-8) with 19 points, eight of them in a 90-second span late in the game after Miami had taken a 13-point lead. Michael Redd added 13 before fouling out with 4:17 left to play, and George Reese had 11.

"It's tough," Penn said. "We felt we were a team that could have moved on, but we didn't play well enough today to move on and that hurts."

The smaller Hurricanes scrapped their way to a 41-26 rebounding advantage and outshot the Buckeyes, hitting 26 of 51 (51 percent) to Ohio State's 20 of 56 (36 percent).

Miami never let Ohio State get into the offensive flow it used in routing Appalachian State in the first round Friday.

"I think they're every bit as good a defensive team as we've played all year," Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said.

Hemsley's back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Hurricanes a 56-51 lead with 6:16 to play.

Hemsley fired another 3-point attempt on the next possession to beat the shot clock, and Mario Bland snared the long rebound. He passed to Tyler, who hit a 15-footer to make it 58-51.

Redd, the Buckeyes' leading scorer, picked up two fouls in a span of 18 seconds and left with 4:17 to play.

A basket and two free throws by Salmons made it 62-51 with four minutes to go, and Tyler added a field goal to make it 64-51.

Miami closed the first half with a flurry.

With just seconds left, Redd picked off a pass at midcourt and soared in for a dunk, which he slammed off the back of the rim.

Ohio State's Brian Brown, trailing the play, got the rebound and promptly ran over Hemsley and was called for a charge.

The Hurricanes inbounded and Salmons launched a 3-pointer that beat the buzzer for a 36-31 lead.

"That was a big play," O'Brien said. "What can you say? He didn't miss it on purpose."