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Northeast Notebook

January 12, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Northeast Conference Notebook

by Chris Roddy

Who’s Got My MoJo? Yeah Baby!

Quinnipiac University was off to its best start in a quarter of a century (that’s 25 years for all of you without an abacus nearby). Ripping it up with at a torrid pace of 6-1, the Bobcats looked unstoppable. After a minor setback against LaSalle, the ‘Cats rolled into their NEC opener against in-state rival Central Connecticut State. CCSU had been struggling to get on track; last year’s NEC champions were mired in a four-game losing streak and facing the hottest team in the league. To top it off, the game was postponed until 10:30 p.m. in order to get the game on television.

But, CCSU had a trump card. It’s called history. The Blue Devils own the NEC’s longest streak against a league opponent, beating Quinnipiac the 16 times. No need for an abacus, calculator or other mathematical adding machine folks. Make it 17 straight. CCSU stopped their skid, defeating the Bobcats 76-72 in this rematch of the 2002 NEC championship game. Forward Ron Robinson used his surname to play “Big Dog” for an evening, scoring 17 and collecting 13 boards. Frosh guard, Justin Chiera, also showed off his impression of Kobe, knocking down 7-9 from the floor (including three straight) for 17 points.

Quinnipiac has been absolutely manhandled by CCSU for over a decade. Central Connecticut is 41-11 against their downstate opponents and the Bobcats last win came on January 16, 1982. Yes, that was the year Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” topped the charts.

“Risin’ up straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance
Now I’m not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive . . .
the eye of the tiger”

(repeat and fade out with visions of Sly jumping on the steps of the library)

Maybe the Bobcats should change their mascot, again, to the Tigers? Just a thought.

Fairly Decent for Fairleigh U.

The thrilla in, err, Hartford? FDU had nothing short of a Jerry Springer catfight against Hartford University (only these were college men playing hoops, not transvestites baring claws against the trailer park moms who love them).

FDU’s head coach, Tom Green, quipped, “I’ve got to look over my contract after this one. I’m not sure I get paid to work overtime.” We at Hoopville believe that Green was ultimately compensated in appreciation for his players’ indomitable effort. But, come on, who wouldn’t want a little extra payola? Senior Iman Mattox hit the game winning three-pointer in the second overtime to beat Hartford, while forward Lionel Bomayako led the Knights with a 21-point effort.

Ooooooooooouch. UMBC Wants To Go Home

Three and oh my goodness the University of Maryland at Baltimore was off to a great start this season. But after a trio of victories, the Retrievers have stumbled hard, losing seven straight. The combined record of UMBC opponents over the last five games is 42-19. They’ve lost to the likes of Villanova, Santa Clara, #20 Maryland and Princeton to name a few. UMBC hopes to turn things around at Robert Morris or face matching their 1996-97 season for their longest losing streak (eight games).

Heartless Schedule

Yikes. Egads. Doh. The Sacred Heart Pioneers have had a tough schedule and it ain’t gettin’ any easier. They’ve had to square off against top picks for five different conferences (Manhattan, Vermont, Yale, UConn and Minnesota) and will face the NEC’s best (overall record) in a visit to Quinnipiac over the weekend. At 2-10, Sacred Heart owns the worst record in the league and is being out-rebounded on average by eleven boards per game.

NEC Player of the Week

Guard, Dan Swoger (St. Francis PA)

Swoger is made a bid for superhero status (is he the Red Flash?). In a simply stunning three-game set, the senior shot .500 (10-20) from the arc and averaged 13 points per game. He hit six three-pointers against Cornell, including the game-winner with two seconds left. He followed up his heroics with a solid 12 points and six rebounds against American. Most importantly, St. Francis (PA) went 2-1 during Swoger’s campaign.


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