Friday, March 12, 2004

Owls Escape to WAC Semifinals 

A wide open 2-footer from Hawaii's Phil Martin rolled off the rim, and the Owls survived 70-68 to move on to play Nevada in the WAC Semifinals today. Coach Willis Wilson summed it up nicely...

"We've talked about this a lot this year, about being lucky. There's nothing wrong with having the ball bounce your way. We've had the ball bounce against us so many times over the years."

A year ago, the Owls lost this game to Hawaii by one point in overtime, and it cost them not only a NCAA bid, but a NIT bid as well. This year, the Owls are gonna get some sort of postseason bid with a 22-9 record, and are two wins away from their first NCAA bid in 34 years.

All four top seeds advanced in the WAC tourney with Nevada beating SMU 85-70, UTEP beating Louisiana Tech by 7 and Boise State crushing host Fresno State 71-54.

Today, the Owls play Nevada at 6pm PST (tnrssports.com), whom they split with during the season, beating them 87-75 at Autry Court on February 18 to avenge an embarassing 101-76 loss in January. Nevada has the top RPI of any WAC team, and is the most likely to get an at-large bid if they fail to get the automatic bid granted to the winner of this tournament.

The Lady Owls also play their semifinal match today, against Tulsa at 2:30 PST, after pulling away from San Jose State 67-54 on Wednesday. A finals matchup against #7 Louisiana Tech looms with the Owls likely needing a win to get to the NCAA Tournament.

Go Owls!

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