- - Monday, March 21, 2011

Wichita St. knocks Hokies out of NIT

BLACKSBURG, Va. | Joe Ragland’s layup with 2.6 seconds left in overtime lifted Wichita State to a 79-76 victory over Virginia Tech in the second round of the NIT on Sunday.

The Shockers (26-8) advanced to play the College of Charleston on Tuesday night.

It made for a sweet return for Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, who graduated from Cave Spring High school in Roanoke, Va., just a 45-minute drive from the Virginia Tech campus, and attended college at Randolph-Macon College near Richmond.

“I grew up coming to basketball games here and football games at Lane Stadium,” he said. “I’ve got some very good friends waiting on me as soon as I’m done here. I can’t wait to visit with them. … I’ve got a lot of people I want to touch and thank for sharing this experience.”

Ragland made it possible.

He made the shot after the Hokies’ Terrell Bell had made a layup to tie the game at 76 with nine seconds remaining. Ragland raced up the court, and Marshall decided against calling a timeout to set up a play. It worked as Ragland got into the lane to hit the go-ahead shot.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Texas Tech hires Gillispie as coach

LUBBOCK, Texas | Texas Tech hired Billy Gillispie as the new men’s basketball coach, two seasons after he was fired at Kentucky. He agreed to a five-year contract, according to a statement released by the school.

Gillispie will be introduced Wednesday at a news conference, school athletics spokesman Blayne Beal said Sunday. Gillispie replaces Pat Knight, who was fired this month.

In 2009, Kentucky fired Gillispie after the Wildcats went 40-27 in his two seasons and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in 17 years.

NBA

Two-game ban for Lakers’ Bynum

LOS ANGELES | Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has been suspended two games for his flagrant foul on Minnesota’s Michael Beasley.

Bynum missed Sunday’s game against Portland and will miss Tuesday’s meeting with Phoenix under the suspension announced Sunday by the NBA.

Bynum was ejected Friday night during the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 106-98 win over the Timberwolves after he turned his shoulder and sent Beasley crashing to the court in a midair collision when Beasley drove the lane.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he thought the penalty was “excessive” during his club’s pregame shootaround Sunday. Bynum will lose roughly $250,000 during his suspension without pay.

SOCCER

Holden out of U.S. squad with leg injury

CARY, N.C. | Midfielder Stuart Holden was left out of the U.S. national team’s squad for friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay after needing 26 stitches to close a gash near his left knee.

The U.S. Soccer Federation said Sunday that an X-ray of Holden revealed no broken bones after the challenge Saturday by Manchester United’s Jonny Evans during Bolton’s 1-0 loss at Old Trafford.

The U.S. plays Argentina on Saturday at East Rutherford, N.J., and Paraguay three days later at Nashville, Tenn.

Defenders Steve Cherundolo (groin) and Zak Whitbread (back) were also excluded to rest nagging injuries. Whitbread, the Norwich defender who scored his first goal in two years Saturday, would have been attending a national team camp for the first time.

COLLEGE HOCKEY

Yale top seed in NCAA tournament

@-Text.rag:NEW HAVEN, Conn. | Yale is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA hockey tournament.

The Bulldogs are joined by North Dakota, Boston College and Miami of Ohio as the top seeds in the bracket released Sunday.

Yale will play in Bridgeport against Air Force, while Union (N.Y.) takes on Minnesota-Duluth.

Miami faces New Hampshire in Manchester, N.H., and Notre Dame plays Merrimack in that same region.

Boston College travels to St. Louis to face Colorado College, with the winner playing the winner of Michigan’s game against Nebraska-Omaha.

North Dakota faces Rensselaer in Green Bay, Wis., while Denver plays Western Michigan.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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