Monarchs fall short of victory
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Stewart Hare and Brett Blizzard hit 3-pointers to give N.C.-Wilmington the late lead Sunday and the Seahawks held on to beat Old Dominion 57-54 in the Colonial Athletic Association semifinals.
The top-seeded Seahawks (19-9), seeded first because regular season league champion Richmond is ineligible for the tournament, extended their winning streak to eight in search of a second NCAA tournament bid.
Old Dominion (13-18), coming off an overtime victory against William & Mary in the quarterfinals on Saturday, got to within one on Andre McCullum's foul-line jumper with 1:09 left, but Pierre Greene made a wild drive for a potential go-ahead layup in the final minute and missed.
Old Dominion seemed to get a break when it fouled Blizzard with 4.7 seconds left and the 74 percent free-throw shooter missed, but Ed Williams rebounded for Wilmington and made a pair to make it 57-54.
The Monarchs had 1.8 seconds to do something, but Hare intercepted a three-quarter-court-length pass and the Seahawks were advancing.
Blizzard and Hare paced Wilmington with 13 points each and Barron Thelmon had 11. The Seahawks won despite shooting just 35 percent, but also because they forced the Monarchs into 16 turnovers while committing six.
McCullum, Greene and Rasheed Wright scored 11 apiece for Old Dominion. Greene had all 11 in the second half before the late miss.
Wilmington, the defending tournament champion, will play the winner of Sunday's second semifinal between No. 2 seed George Mason and No. 6 James Madison for the championship and tournament berth on Monday night.