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December 17, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments



The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 17, 2002

by Adam Shandler


The days of hosting a holiday tournament, thinking you’re going to sweep through its sub-par competition, are slowly fizzling out. It was just a Grizzly night for Stanford.

Struggling Montana, still trying to find its groove after a 2002 Tourney appearance and the loss of some key guys, held off the Cardinal, 70-68, at their own Stanford Invitational Tournament. The upset will most certainly affect Mike Montgomery’s team, which checked in with a 22 ranking last week.

The Griz’s David Bell, one of the few returning players on a 4-6 ballclub, paced all scorers wit 24 points and the decisive 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to seal the deal.

Said the 6-1 Bell, “I don’t think Stanford thought I was a 3-point threat at all. I was able to get open all game. They pressured me a lot more in the second half.”

Not to take anything away from Bell and the Grizzlies, but Stanford, which actually had five players in double figures, including four with 11, didn’t exactly help its cause. They shot 17-of-32 from the foul line.

Stanford has been hosting this tournament for four years now, but this will be the first time they will lose it. Ironically, Mike Montgomery coached Montana for eight seasons in the late 70’s, early 80’s.

In the other bracket, Pepperdine outlasted Richmond, 84-77.

Side Dishes

Blue Jays Still Flying: Creighton continued their winning ways with a 68-48 trouncing of Delaware State. This game wasn’t as easy for the Jays as the scoreboard indicates. Creighton, Number 24 in a recent Hoopville Top 25 poll, came out shooting blanks – missing their first 8-of-9 shots – committed 19 turnovers and led by only six at the break. Kyle Korver was held in check in spite of the twenty-point win. He finished with 7.

Just a Good Ol’ Fashion’ Drubbin’: In a relatively light night on the college hoops scene, the theme was evidently “throttle your opponent.” But this is what the early season is all about, showing the world that for every Montana-Stanford, there are a hundred Creighton-Delaware States. In games where parity took a night off, Arkansas State smashed in-state rival Arkansas Pine Bluff, 92-49; Chattanooga leveled Furman, 66-49; Georgetown rocked Norfolk State 84-48; Illinois-Chicago had their way with Samford, 73-45, and Louisiana-Lafayette blasted Alcorn State, 99-66. Joy to the world.

The Close Ones: In games of narrower gaps, Minnesota transfer Shane Schilling played his first game in a Mustangs uniform and led Cal Poly-SLO with 16 points in a 72-70 overtime win over Loyola-Marymount. Elswhere, Austin Peay squeaked by Belmont, 76-75, and in a battle of A&Ms, Florida A&M scooched by Alabama A&M, 91-89.

Tonight’s Menu:

• It’s the Jimmy V. Classic at New Jersey’s Continental Airlines Arena. The Classic, which honors the late N.C. State and Iona coach and more importantly, raises money for cancer research, will actually feature Valvano’s Wolfpack as they face Gonzaga. In the other matchup, it’s Number 5 Oregon versus Cincinnati, which returns center B.J. Grove from a struggle with weight problems.

• After their stunning road victory over Kentucky on Saturday, Michigan State will likely receive a hero’s welcome at the Breslin Center tonight when the Spartans take on Loyola-Chicago. Tom Izzo’s club looks for its fourth straight W.

• Duke offers some goodwill by scheduling winless North Carolina A&T. What happens during the game is a completely different story. Duke will face A&T on the road, so to speak. This contest will be played at the Greensboro Coliseum, where the Devils succeeded over Ohio State on December 3.

• It’s mid-December, which means the unofficial start of holiday tournament fever. In addition to the championship and consolation games of the Stanford Invitational, Louisville kicks off the Billy Minardi Classic. The host Redbirds will take on Eastern Kentucky in one game, Manhattan and Wright State square off in the other.

That’s your Tuesday Dish. Enjoy!

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