Utah State 77, Ohio State 68

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The best two-year period in Utah State University basketball history got a little longer and a lot more storied Thursday afternoon when the 12th-seeded Aggies upset fifth-seeded Ohio State 77-68 in the first game of the 2001 NCAA Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum in the Eastern Regional.

The Aggies will now play the winner of UCLA and Monmouth on Saturday.

It was Utah State's first NCAA tournament win since 1970.

Tony Brown's eight-footer in the lane with :01.8 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 60 and brought on an overtime in which the Aggies pulled off a quick five-point lead on a layin and a three-point play by Curtis Bobb. Bobb's first points of the game came in the final five minutes of regulation when he hit two 3-points. He ended with 14 points.

The Ags outscored the Buckeyes 17-8 in the overtime but never overcame Ohio State's biggest edge, on the boards, where they won 41-26. USU's advantage came from 12 steals and 75 percent shooting in the second half, 46 percent in the overtime.

The Buckeyes had held a 17-2 record when leading at the half, much like USU's mark for halftime advantages, but the Ags destroyed that and beat a team that finished third in the Big Ten Conference and held wins over No. 1 seeds Michigan State and Illinois.

USU is now 28-5 for the season, matching the school record for wins that it set last year when it was 28-6 and lost to defending nationl champion UConn in the first round of the NCAA at Birmingham, Ala.

Bernard Rock led USU with 18 points followed by 17 from Tony Brown and 11 from Dimitri Jorssen.

The Aggies trailed for most of the game, but rallied late to force the overtime.


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