Georgia's defeat is bitter for off-target Roundtree

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Georgia guard Saudia Roundtree made a promise to her coach, Andy Landers, when she signed as a transfer student out of Kilgore (Texas) Junior College that she would lead him to his first national championship.

Given the chance in last night's national title game against Tennessee, Roundtree, the consensus national Player of the Year, came up short. She burst into tears following her worst performance of the year, with eight points on 3-for-14 shooting, as the Lady Vols blasted Georgia, 83-65.


"I didn't think that pressing had anything to do with that. I just didn't play well," said Roundtree, who had 26 points in Friday's semifinal win over Stanford.

Said Landers: "Three nights ago, we sat here and sang her praises and we know that some of the things she did, only she can do. You saw the dipsy-do's, the 1-on-3 pull-up jumpers and we all thought it was great, and now we question the same shots. If those shots go, everyone wants her autograph."


Tennessee guard Latina Davis drew the defensive assignment on Roundtree, when the Lady Vols weren't playing a zone designed to cut off her penetration.

"After watching the scouting films, they [the coaching staff] told me to stay on her left side and take that away from her," said Davis. "That's what I tried to do. I think she tried to play more with her team . . . and she didn't try so much one-on-one play."

"I give a lot of credit to Latina for Saudia not playing well," said Tennessee's Michelle Marciniak. "When the opposing point guard is not playing well, you can see in their eyes. When you see that, you try to take advantage of it."

Home fires keep burning

The NCAA women's tournament continues to take forward steps, but has not grown to the point where it can completely be played on neutral courts.

That's the feeling of Jean Lenti-Poinsetto, senior women's administrator at DePaul and the incoming chair of the Division I basketball committee.

Lenti-Poinsetto told the U.S. Basketball Writers Association yesterday that sending host teams off their floors for the first four rounds of the tournament is at least "two or three years or more away."

"We don't have that kind of interest to take eight teams to a neutral place, as the men do. We still need that home court to draw," said Lenti-Poinsetto.


Currently, the top four seeds in each region play host to first- and second-round games.

Turning pro

The American Basketball League, the latest effort to bring a creditable professional women's league to the United States, announced more plans yesterday.

The ABL, scheduled to begin play this fall with a 40-game schedule involving teams in eight cities, will hold a try-out camp in Atlanta from May 28-June 2, with some 800 players invited to try out for 44 remaining slots.

The league has reached agreements with 10 members of the U.S. women's national team, which is expected to form the core of the Olympic squad, and 26 other noted players, including former Maryland star Vicky Bullett.

Stupid mascot tricks


The start of the game was delayed for a few minutes as a maintenance crew cleaned up the debris left when the Tennessee mascot accidentally broke open a stuffed bulldog, the symbol of Georgia, while engaging in pre-game hijinks.

The contrite Tennessee mascot came over to the scorer's table on bended knee to offer apologies, but it was too late, for he had been barred from cheering for the rest of the evening.

Pub Date: 4/01/96