Monday, March 09, 2009

Chattanooga, VCU Earn NCAA Auto Bids

Southern Conference Final: Chattanooga 80, College of Charleston 69

With the game tied at 34-all at the half, Ty Patterson hit three 3-pointers from off the bench to key a 20-0 run by the Chattanooga Mocs that stunned the College of Charleston and sent the Mocs on to victory in the Southern Conference tournament finals and into the NCAA tournament field.

Patterson, a freshman guard, has been a key all season for the Mocs, contributing 8.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game on average, but in the biggest game of his short college career, he was almost perfect, hitting 4 of 5 shots from the floor. Keyron Sheard led the Mocs in scoring with 18 points. Patterson also grabbed 5 boards in his limited minutes.

After the big run, Chattanooga nearly collapsed, allowing a 14-point Charleston run to close the gap to six points, but the Mocs got it back together in time to remain in front the rest of the way.

Charleston's Tony White Jr. tried to keep the Cougars in the game, hitting 7 of 13 3-pointers and leading all scorers with 31 points.

Chattanooga will be making their 10th NCAA appearance, posting a 3-10 record. They lost to wake Forest in the opening round in their last trip to the big dance, in 2005.

Colonial Athletic Assn. Final: VCU 71, George Mason 50

Eric Maynor and Larry Sanders led VCU to an automatic NCAA bid by dominating George Mason in the finals of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.

Maynor led the scoring with 25 points while Sanders was a beast on both ends of the floor, scoring 18 points with 20 rebounds and 7 blocked shots.

The Rams led from start to finish, establishing a lead of as many as 13 points in the first half, keeping George Mason off-balance and out of sync throughout. The Patriots shot just 31% from the field.

The Rams will be making their 9th NCAA tournament appearance. Over the years, they've compiled a record of 5-8.

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