March 18, 1995 in Sports

Montana Exits From Nit With A 90-60 Whimper

Associated Press
 

NIT

NIT George Banks scored 19 points George Banks scored 19 points and Antoine Gillespie added 17 to lead Texas-El Paso to a 90-60 victory over Montana on Friday night in the first round of the NIT.

The Miners (20-9) move on to play regional rival New Mexico State on Monday. Montana ended its season with a 21-9 record.

UTEP also gave coach Don Haskins sole possession of seventh place on the list of all-time winningest Division I coaches.

Haskins has 665 victories in his 34 years at UTEP, one more than UCLA’s John Wooden, who retired in 1975 after winning the last of his 10 national titles.

The Miners, who never trailed after taking a 10-point lead to close out the first half, effectively decided the game about halfway through the second as they went on a 15-2 run to go up 67-51.

The overmatched Grizzlies never come closer than a double-digit deficit from there, despite the fact leading scorer Matt Kempfert began taking a toll on the inside.

Kempfert, who came in with a torn ligament in his right knee, added seven points in the second half during a futile rallying attempt. He finished with 13 points, followed by Jeremy Lake, who added nine.

The Miners had gone in at halftime up 40-30 after using a 10-2 run to get their biggest lead of the first half.

UTEP 90, Montana 60 MONTANA (21-9)

Spoja 1-7 2-2 5, Samuelson 3-9 3-4 9, Covill 1-2 0-0 2, Belnap 0-3 6-8 6, Lake 3-7 2-2 10, Walker 1-3 2-2 5, Dade 3-5 0-0 6, Camel 1-1 2-2 4, Kempfert 5-9 3-6 13, Olson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-48 20-26 60.

TEXAS-EL PASO (20-9)

Crocker 1-4 0-0 3, Primozich 4-4 0-0 8, Banks 6-7 7-9 19, Young 3-6 2-2 9, Gillespie 6-17 2-3 17, Davis 1-4 5-6 7, Ingles 5-9 2-2 16, Beal 5-7 0-0 10, Hernandez 0-1 1-2 1, Garcia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-59 19-24 90.

Halftime-UTEP 40, Montana 30. 3-Point goals-Montana 4-16 (Spoja 1-5, Belnap 0-1, Lake 2-2, Walker 1-3, Dade 0-1, Kempfert 0-1, Olson 0-1, Samuelson 0-2), UTEP 9-25 (Ingles 4-8, Gillespie 3-9, Crocker 1-2, Young 1-3, David 0-3). Rebounds-Montana 30 (Samuelson 9), UTEP 33 (Banks 6). Assists-Montana 14 (Belnap 5), UTEP 20 (Young 6). Total fouls-Montana 20, UTEP 21. A-10,492.

Va. Tech 62, Clemson 54

At Blacksburg, Va., Damon Watlington scored 20 points, including six consecutive free throws in the final 90 seconds, to lead the Hokies to a win over the Tigers.

Shawn Smith had 16 points, David Jackson 15 and Ace Custis added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Virginia Tech (21-10).

Clemson (15-13) got 18 points from Bruce Martin, 12 from Greg Buckner and 11 from Merl Code.

Virginia Tech pulled out to a 13-point lead with an 8-2 run to open the second half. But Clemson, with its methodical offense, came back within three, 47-44. on an off-balance 3-pointer by Martin with 3:44 to play.

Smith then hit a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to put Virginia Tech up 52-44 with 1:34 left. Virginia Tech made 10 of 12 free throws in the last 1 minutes to ensure the victory.

The Hokies will play at Providence on Monday night.

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