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December 24, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 24, 2002

by Adam Shandler

Twas a fright down in Gainesville, and all through the game,

the Gators were losing, Charleston Southern’s to blame.

The Buccaneers led by ten points with a laugh,

and danced as they went up by a deuce at the half.

Gator visions of rank-dropping danced in their heads,

and Coach Donovan yelled, and here’s what he said!

“On Roberson, Nelson, Bonner and Lee,

On Hamilton, Walsh, let’s go, make some threes!

So Florida (9-2) rushed, their second half not so dirty,

They outscored the Bucs, 44-30.

And Bonner, he led, like Rudolph’s red nose,

He scored 17, ‘cluding two big free throws!

Kevin Warzynski had a hale 16 points,

but poor Charleston Southern was kicked out of the joint.

For the Gators were stronger, so what can you do,

cause they rallied to win – 74-62.

(Okay, we can stop rhyming now.)

Maintaining this theme of Hoopville Top 25 teams that struggled with unranked opponents, 2nd-ranked Alabama needed a big push to get away from pesky Morehead State. Up by only 2 with 16:45 left, Kenny Walker and Mo Williams pulled the Tide together (24 and 21 points respectively) and helped preserve an 82-64 win. Mark Gottfried’s club jumps to 9-0.

More too close for comfort games: Number 19 Xavier led by only 3 with 2:20 to play, but got by last year’s Number 64 tournament seed Siena, 96-88. The Musketeers shot just under 50 percent to notch the W. And Tulsa (Number 22) won its third straight, but not before huffing and puffing with TCU, 78-65. Tony Parker had a resume night with 25 points, seven assists.

In a battle of two beltways, Number 24 Maryland cruised (which is very hard to do on the Capital Beltway), to a 101-60 over Maryland-Baltimore County. Six Terps scored in double figures, as Ryan Randle paced the way with 21 points and 9 boards. 17 of those points were scored in the second half. Maryland improves to 5-3.

Side Dishes

Busy Legal Department at Arkansas: As if the University of Arkansas didn’t have enough legal woes with the Nolan Richardson lawsuit, the administration now must deal with a possible booster scandal. (Well, this is a time for giving.) This would be the second infraction for they Fayetteville school since 1997, and the Arkansas has already issued a 150-page response as to why they should not be tagged as a repeat violator. We’ll keep you posted as the story develops.

Look For Some Leap Froggin’: With Oregon losing to Cincy last week, and Missouri falling to Illinois, LSU upsetting Arizona, and Kentucky tripping up Indiana this weekend, look for some teams to take up new residences in our Hoopville Top 25. It’s the link in the upper right hand corner of your screen.

Backyard Matchups: Last night featured some in-state rivals, and in one case, an in-city battle. Michigan irked Eastern Michigan, 85-57; Manhattan mauled Hofstra, 93-75; Coastal Carolina brushed aside Eastern Carolina, 90-71, and the whole city of Portland shut down for the night while U. of Portland bested Portland State, 59-50.

Tonight’s Menu:

Not a creature was stirring…not even a Billiken!

You heard right, there are no college games tonight, tomorrow or Thursday. But beginning on the 27th, you get college tournaments up the wazoo! There are nine basketball festivals starting on Friday and 17 between the 27th and 30th.

That’s your Christmas Eve Dish. Merry Christmas! (And if you don’t celebrate, enjoy the Number 35 with egg roll and go see Lord of the Rings!)

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