National Taiwan Normal University proved National Taiwan University of Science and Technology to be mortal in a 94-63 rout at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City yesterday afternoon, handing the Techies their first defeat in the three games played in the second round so far.
The win not only paved a clear path for the top-ranked National Taiwan Normal into the upcoming Final Four in Sinjhuang, New Taipei City, but also ended the Cinderella run for the Techies, who had pulled off back-to-back upset victories in their two previous contests to keep their title hopes alive after barely making it into the second round with a dismal 3-4 mark in the preliminaries.
“We knew [the run] would end at some point, we just didn’t know when it would happen,” Techie skipper Lee Yong-hsiang said after the game.
His crew needed to run the table in all six of their second-round games just to have an outside chance to make it into the Final Four. However, for two days, with their two big wins against formidable opponents, the Techies actually had their fans talking about making the trip to Sinjhuang early next month for a chance to take the Holy Grail of the nation’s college hoops fans.
Fresh off a down year in which they finished at a humbling No. 4 spot in the final standings after having won three straight titles, National Taiwan Normal entered this post-season as clearly the team to beat, with an awesome 6-1 record in the preliminaries.
Freshman shooter Yu Huan-ya led the Future Educators with a team-high 14 points, while the Techies’ Ni Hsueh-chien led all scorers with 19 in a losing effort.
In other University Basketball Association action yesterday, I-Shou University beat Shoufu University 80-60, while National Taiwan University of Arts defeated Hsing Wu University 74-64. National Kaohsiung Normal University beat Mingdao University 63-53, while Chinese Culture University routed a hapless Shih Hsin University 86-48.