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Spring-Summer 2002
Vol. 64, No. 3

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Coaching milestone: Men's basketball coach (left) Mike Neer earned his 400th career victory this season when the Yellowjackets defeated Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Rochester, which was 24-6 this year, finished sixth nationally in the final poll. Pictured here with guard Tim Sweeney '03 and assistant coach Ben Keegan '00, Neer just completed his 26th season on the sidelines. His career record is 403-273.

The men's basketball team capped its most successful season in the last decade with a trip to the NCAA Division III Final Four last March.

The Yellowjackets lost in overtime, 93-83, in the semifinal game to Elizabethtown College of Pennsylvania. The team battled back from a 75-71 deficit with 19 seconds to play to send the game into the extra period when Seth Hauben '05 tied the score with four-tenths of a second left on the clock.

The Final Four appearance - the team's second since winning the NCAA Division III title in 1990 - capped a season in which Rochester went 24-6 overall and 12-2 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Yellowjackets finished second in the UAA and received one of eight at-large bids to the 2002 playoffs.

As one of the top four seeds in the East/Northeast Region, Rochester received a first-round playoff bye. The Yellowjackets hosted Williams College in the second round of the tournament and defeated the Ephmen, 66-51, in front of the largest crowd in the Palestra in 10 years.

Rochester advanced to the Final Four by defeating Babson, 71-60, and SUNY Brockport, the region's top-ranked team, 71-62, at Brockport.

In the Final Four consolation game, the Yellowjackets lost 72-51 to Carthage College, the top-ranked team in the nation.

In addition to their top-four showing, the team highlighted the season with a number of personal achievements, including head coach Mike Neer's 400th career coaching victory. That came in the regular-season finale when Rochester beat Carnegie Mellon, 51-44.

Five players earned All-UAA honors: Brian Jones '04 and Jeff Joss '03 were named to the First Team; Andy Larkin '04 was named to the Second Team; and Tim Sweeney '03 and Hauben were named Honorable Mention. Hauben also took home UAA Rookie of the Year honors.

Jones was named First Team All-Region by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and he earned Honorable Mention All-American honors. Joss was named Second Team All-Region by the coaches, and he was named Second Team All-American.

Joss also earned First Team honors from

Highlighting his standout year, Hauben scored 39 points and pulled down 18 rebounds versus Elizabethtown in the semifinal game. That tied Gordon Turner '74 and Jonathan Jones '89 for the fifth-highest scoring game in school history.

The Yellowjackets were nearly invincible in the Palestra during the regular season, winning 14 of 15 games. The only loss was a buzzer-beating tip-in by Washington University.

Rochester's roster represented seven states plus Australia (Matt Conacher '05) and the Bahamas (Makedo Wisseh '04). Fifteen of the 16 players will return next season. Kyle Leach '02 was a strong front court contributor, but he missed the playoffs when he broke bones in his foot in the Carnegie Mellon game in late February.


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