Blacksburg, Va. — John Chaney's return to the bench for Temple came without any fanfare -- and without any success for the Owls.
Zabian Dowdell scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, six in a game-turning 8-0 run, and Virginia Tech beat the Owls, 60-50, Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.
Chaney was coaching his first game since serving a three-week suspension for sending Nehemiah Ingram in to commit hard fouls that left Saint Joseph's senior John Bryant with a broken arm Feb. 22.
He had nothing to say about his uncertain future.
"I think I hear my mother calling me," he said when asked. "I'll be leaving you now if you have no more questions (about) my kids. That's the only reason I'm here -- to talk about the team and the game."
Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said Monday that he, Chaney and others will get together once the season is over to talk about the future
The subject of the game was no bargain either for the Owls (16-14), who were trying to give their coach his 500th victory at Temple, but led only until Virginia Tech got a few three-pointers to fall in the first half.
"Coming into the season, I thought this was perhaps one of my greatest teams," the 73-year-old Chaney said. "It's a bunch of players that did not mix well, and we miscalculated how they could be effective."
The Hokies, meantime, gave the crowd of 7,416 plenty to cheer about.
Making their first postseason appearance in nine years and their first in the NIT in a decade, Virginia Tech (16-13) shook off some early shooting woes and grabbed control once it solved the matchup zone.
"I lined the guys up yesterday and had them look up and read the banners and the years," second-year coach Seth Greenberg said. "We've been playing basketball a long time here, and there's only nine banners.
"This is an opportunity. You don't build a championship program overnight. It's a process, and this is part of the process."
Holy Cross 78, Notre Dame 73
South Bend, Ind. -- Kevin Hamilton scored a career-high 26 points, 11 during a 23-5 run.
The Fighting Irish, who trailed by 13 points early in the second half, used a 9-2 run to close to 60-59 after a pair of three-pointers by Chris Thomas and a basket by Rick Cornett with 4:20 left. The Crusaders answered with five straight points and maintained the lead down the stretch.
It was the first postseason victory for the Crusaders (25-6) since beating Southern Mississippi, 56-54, in the first round of the NIT in 1981. Since then Holy Cross went 0-6 in postseason games, although it managed to throw scares into Kentucky in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, Kansas University in the 2002 NCAA tournament and Marquette -- an eventual Final Four team -- in the 2003 NCAAs.
South Carolina 69, Miami 67
Columbia, S.C. -- Josh Gonner's driving basket with 2.1 seconds remaining lifted South Carolina.
The Gamecocks (16-13) led most of the game, but Miami moved out to a 64-60 lead after Guillermo Diaz hit a three-pointer with 3:51 to go. South Carolina took a 67-64 lead with 22.7 seconds left.
But Miami (16-13) wasn't finished. Robert Hite hit his fifth three-pointer with 8.5 seconds left, tying the game. Gonner then rushed up court, sprinting past Anthony Harris and leaning in for the winning basket.
The Hurricanes had one final chance, but Diaz missed an off-balance three-point.
Powell led the Gamecocks with 18 points.