NEW YORK (AP) -- Gonzaga was looking for a big victory in the
post Adam Morrison era. The Zags got it.
Derek Raivio scored 21 points to help No. 23 Gonzaga upset No. 2 North
Carolina 82-74 in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals Wednesday
Despite losing Morrison to the NBA after last season, Gonzaga
didn't seem fazed playing against a top program on a big stage at
Madison Square Garden.
"A lot of people doubt the play of Gonzaga now that Adam is
gone and we've just been preparing for a moment like this,"
Gonzaga guard Jeremy Pargo said. "We took advantage of it today."
The Bulldogs (5-0) advanced to the championship game Friday
night against Butler. In the first semifinal, Julian Betko scored 11 of his career-high 15 points in a decisive second-half run to
give Butler a 56-44 victory over No. 22 Tennessee.
"It was a great night for our team and our program," Gonzaga
coach Mark Few said. "Any time you can beat a program and a team
like Carolina, that's a great thing."
Trailing 65-50 with 11:52 left in the game, the Tar Heels (3-1)
used an 18-5 run to get to 70-68 on Tyler Hansbrough's putback dunk
with 4:16 left.
Gonzaga didn't fold. Pargo scored a basket and was fouled to
push the lead back to five.
"The opportunity presented itself to get to the basketball and
lay it in, so I just took advantage of it," Pargo said.
North Carolina could get no closer than four points the rest of
"That was a must stop," Hansbrough said. "We didn't get it
and gave the momentum back."
The teams traded free throws, and Brandan Wright's dunk made it
75-71 with 2:11 left. Raivio answered with a jumper to extend the
lead to six. His free throw with 38 seconds left iced the game.
Josh Heytvelt added 19 points and eight rebounds for Gonzaga.
Pargo finished with 16 points.
Wright led the Tar Heels with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
"He's going to be a very good player," North Carolina coach
Roy Williams said. "We've got to learn it's going to be a long
"We didn't execute," Frasor said. "It's hard to make a
comeback when you can't get guys to make a play."
Hansbrough, the preseason All-America selection, didn't get many
good looks at the basket. He scored just nine points on 2-of-5
"We did a very poor job of giving him the basketball,"
Williams said. "He probably did the least effective job he's maybe
ever done as far as moving without the basketball."
The Tar Heels shot just 37 percent from the field (25-for-68),
including only 31 percent in the second half (11-for-35).
North Carolina advanced to New York by rallying to beat
Winthrop. The Tar Heels had been 16-2 in the Preseason NIT before
losing to Gonzaga.
North Carolina jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first 2:24
before Gonzaga rallied behind Heytvelt to take a 40-37 halftime
lead. Heyvelt's layup with 1:10 left gave the Zags a 40-33
advantage. The sophomore, who is the Bulldogs leading scorer,
finished the half with 14 points.
The game marked the first meeting between North Carolina and