- BeeJay Anya's hook shot rolled around and in with a second to play, lifting North Carolina State to a stunning, 66-65 victory over LSU in the East Regional last night.
The eighth-seeded Wolfpack (21-13) trailed by as much as 16 but rallied to earn a date with top-seeded Villanova in the round of 32 tomorrow.
Cat Barber led N.C. State with 17 points and Abdul-Malik Abu added 13, but Anya came up with the biggest play of the game. Senior Trevor Lacey tried to work for a shot with the clock winding down before giving up and feeding Anya in the block. The burly sophomore got off a lefthanded hook in the lane and it caromed in.
LSU's Tim Quarterman scored 17 points, but the Tigers (22-11) collapsed late. Jarell Martin had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Jordan Mickey had 12 points and 14 boards.
LSU missed its last 12 field goals and six crucial free throws in the final 4 minutes in another late-game collapse. A week after falling to Auburn in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, the Tigers' breakout season under third-year coach Johnny Jones ended with a thud.
Jones admitted he wasn't sure how his young team would react while making the program's first NCAA appearance in 6 years, maybe because the Tigers have been a talented but uneven work in progress all season.
LSU alleviated any of Jones' concerns early. Riding the athleticism of their two sophomore big men and Quarterman's budding confidence, the Tigers attacked. LSU filled the lane repeatedly, soaring over the Wolfpack at times and racing around them at others.
Mickey ended the half with a traditional three-point play, and then a dunk as the Tigers took a seemingly commanding 40-26 lead.