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S-TU prepares for East Regional

by Danny Carpenter

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

SALEM -- Thanks to its West Virginia Conference tournament championship, Division II No. 12 Salem-Teikyo reached one of its goals this season -- the East Regional, but there was little celebrating on the Salem campus

Despite reaching the East Regional for the fourth straight season, Salem coach Mike Carey was upset that the Tigers (27-3) weren't seeded No. 2 behind top seed and host Charleston. The top team seeds receive first-round byes.

Instead, Salem was seeded third behind Pfeiffer (N.C.) and will have to play an opening round game.

"I'm very disappointed," Carey said. "We deserved to be ahead of Pfeiffer. We ended our season on a positive note, winning five games, and they lost their tournament final."

Salem-Teikyo battles No. 6 seed St. Andrews (N.C.) at the Eddie King Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Charleston on Thursday.

Tip-off is 6 p.m.

In Thursday's other opening round game, No. 4 Fairmont State battles No. 5 Indiana (Pa.) University, which defeated Slippery Rock (Pa.), 63-50, in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament final on Saturday. Tip-off is 8 p.m.

St. Andrews (15-14) defeated Pfeiffer 82-81 in the Carolinas/Virginia Athletic Conference tournament final on Saturday.

"I know more about Pfeiffer than I do St. Andrew's," Carey said, "but we're trying to know more about (St. Andrews) real soon."

S-TU reached the East Regional by playing some of its best games of the season in the WVC tournament.

After losing two of its last five regular season games, Salem-Teikyo won four straight in the league tournament.

On Friday, the Tigers held Fairmont to a season-low 48 points in the semifinals and played well in spurts in the championship Saturday against Alderson-Broaddus.

"I feel real good about us," Carey said. "I saw us play well in spurts, both offensively and defensively. That's something I didn't see us do earlier in the year. Our defense is playing much better, and that's what we needed to do."

Carey said consistency is important this week.

"It'll take three good games to win this regional. I think any team can win this tournament, and I don't think there is a favorite to win it."

Charleston and Pfeiffer received first-round byes into Friday's second round.

UC battles the winner of Fairmont and IUP at 8 p.m., while Pfeiffer faces the winner of S-TU and St. Andrews at 6 p.m..

The championship is scheduled for Saturday.

"I hope we'll continue to be hungry," Carey said. "It doesn't mean anything to win the conference tournament. All it means is we got an automatic bid to regional."

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