Sports Outside the Beltway

Houston Cougars Basketball Coach Tom Penders resigns

Inconsistent play by the Conference USA team may have done him in. From AP-

Tom Penders has resigned as coach at Houston, ending a six-year tenure that culminated in the Cougars’ first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1992.Tom Penders

The Cougars qualified after winning the Conference USA tournament, but lost to Maryland 89-77 in the first round Friday night.

The 64-year-old Penders became just the eighth coach to take four different schools to the NCAA tournament. He had also led George Washington, Rhode Island and Texas there.

Penders has been successful whereever he has coached. Considering his age, I don’t know if Penders will want to try a fifth school.

The rumor mill is already at work in concern to who will be Penders’ replacement. Right now the name that is being floated around is Sam Houston State’s Bob Marlin.


George Washington Wins Overtime Thriller

George Washington Wins Overtime Thriller (AP)

The shots kept falling, from contested 3-pointers to tough baskets in the lane. And each one appeared destined to send George Washington home in an abrupt end to the winningest season in school history. Instead of panicking, the Colonials steadied themselves and found a wild way to stay in the NCAA tournament.

Maureece Rice scored 20 points and had a key defensive play in overtime to help the Colonials erase an 18-point deficit and beat North Carolina-Wilmington 88-85 Thursday night in the first round of the Atlanta Regional, giving GW its first NCAA win in a dozen years. “The resiliency and will to win is just incredible,” George Washington coach Karl Hobbs said. “This team is very focused and very hungry, and they’re trying to fulfill their dreams.”

Omar Williams had 16 points and hit the go-ahead basket for the eighth-seeded Colonials (27-2), who will meet Duke in Saturday’s second round. Carl Elliott added 15 points and hit two free throws with 11.6 seconds left to send it to OT, while Danilo Pinnock had all 11 of his points after halftime. GW’s Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 10 points in his return after missing four games due to a knee injury.

This was March basketball at its maddest, with 18 lead changes and 10 ties. And the last wild momentum swing in a game full of them went to the Colonials, who scored the game’s final seven points to earn their first NCAA win since beating UAB in the first round in 1994.

Impressive. I suspect this will be the end of GW’s run, though.


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