February 21, 2012

Men's Hoops Defrocks Bishops Tournament Hopes

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – No. 7 Shenandoah University registered the biggest upset of the night with a 72-68 victory over second-seeded N.C. Wesleyan in the opening round of the USA South Conference men's basketball Tournament Tuesday night at Everett Gymnasium.

Shenandoah (5-21) snaps an eight-game losing streak with the victory over the Bishops (14-11).

The win is qualifies the Hornets for the tournament semi-finals for the 11th time in the 20 years that SU has been a member of the Dixie/USA South.

Shenandoah will face No. 3 Greensboro in the tournament semi-finals on Friday. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.

SU split with Averett during the regular season, with each winning on the other's home floor. GC swept the Hornets in 2011-12.

The Hornets, who had lost two games to N.C. Wesleyan this year when the Bishops made a pair of 20-point runs, traded the lead with NCWC 15 times and were tied on nine other occasions Tuesday night.

Shenandoah did not trail in the final three minutes, but the game was tied two more times before Avery Green gave SU the lead for good with his jumper at the 1:05 mark.

The Hornets then hit 5 of 6 from the line down the stretch, including 4 for 4 by Dominic Chappell, to ice the victory.

N.C. Wesleyan appeared to tie the game at 70-70 with 10 seconds remaining on Devin Nichols layup, but Nichols was called for a charge (his fifth foul) and the bucket was waved off.

Chappell then hit his final two free throws with seven seconds left to clinch the victory.

Green paced the victors with 20 points with George Williams adding 10 points off the bench.

Domarius Thomas had 19 for the Bishops.

Notes: Shenandoah outscored N.C. Wesleyan 28-18 in points off turnovers and 28-12 in bench points… This is the first time since 2010 that the Hornets have advanced to the semi-finals… SU is now 3-1 against NCWC in the USA South Tournament… The last time Shenandoah played in Rocky Mount as the No. 7 seed, in 1996, SU also registered an upset…