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January 19, 2003 Columns No Comments

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 19th, 2003

by Phil Kasiecki

My colleague, Brian Strong, spoke of how big the rivalry between the last two national champions has become in yesterday’s Morning Dish. With the outcome of yesterday’s game between No. 1 Duke and No. 16 Maryland, the game took on added significance.

The defending national champions controlled the glass and made an impressive 29 of 31 free throws en route to an 87-72 victory, almost identical to their victory last season in the final meeting between the teams at Cole Field House (Maryland won that by a score of 87-73). Ryan Randle lead the way with 15 points and 17 rebounds, while Drew Nicholas did most of the scoring from the perimeter with 24 points. But they were far from the only Terrapins who contributed, as all nine Terrapins who played were on the floor for at least 10 minutes and every player scored. They improve to 10-4 overall and 3-1 in the ACC with the win.

Dahntay Jones led Duke (12-1, 3-1 ACC) with a career-high 26 points. Casey Sanders led Duke on the boards with just 6 rebounds, a sign of how they were dominated on the glass. Their two top freshmen up front, Shelden Williams and Shavlik Randolph, were a combined 3-10 from the field for 8 points, and had just 4 rebounds.

Duke entered the game as the only remaining undefeated team in the nation, and should fall from the top spot in the rankings. This game led a day of upsets and close calls among ranked teams, but one team that held serve is No. 2 Arizona, which should take over the top spot after handing UCLA its worst loss ever at Pauley Pavilion, 87-52. Arizona (13-1, 6-0 Pac Ten) had five players in double figures and dominated the lifeless Bruins from the outset.

Side Dishes

Losing Ways: Four other teams among the top 10 in the Hoopville rankings were upset. North Carolina (11-5) became the second school to win 1800 games as they upset No. 6 Connecticut (11-2), 68-65. No. 15 Kentucky (13-3) shut down star point guard Chris Thomas to knock off No. 8 Notre Dame (14-3), 88-73, making the Irish 0-8 all-time at Rupp Arena. No. 17 Indiana (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten) got a big day from Jeff Newton (28 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks) as they upset No. 9 Illinois (13-3, 2-2 Big Ten) by a 74-66 margin. Auburn (15-2, 4-0 SEC) continues its big start in making a bid for the top 25 with a 77-68 upset of No. 10 Alabama (12-3, 2-2 SEC) in a game known more as a football rivalry. 13 was a very lucky number for the Tigers, as four players had 13 points to lead the way in the victory.

Winning Ways: Several top 10 teams managed to hold serve during the carnage on Saturday. No. 3 Pittsburgh (14-1, 4-0 Big East) ended the 11-game winning streak of No. 23 Syracuse (11-2, 2-1 Big East) with a 73-60 win in just the second game Syracuse has played outside the state of New York this season. No. 4 Oklahoma (11-3, 2-1 Big 12) knocked off pesky Iowa State (11-4, 0-3 Big 12) by a 70-60 score behind 31 points from Hollis Price. No. 5 Texas (12-2, 3-0 Big 12) had an easy time with slumping Texas A&M (9-5, 1-2 Big 12), 89-61. And No. 7 Florida (15-2, 4-0 SEC) narrowly averted an upset at the hands of South Carolina, hanging on for a 77-75 win in a game that featured just 7 turnovers between the two teams.

Familiar Result: Few things are guaranteed in life, but it looks like one of them is Kansas beating Kansas State. On Saturday, the No. 11 Jayhawks beat the Wildcats for the 25th straight time, 81-64. They improve to 13-3 overall and 3-0 in Big 12 play behind 26 points from Kirk Hinrich, though an important contributor was Jeff Graves with 8 points and 13 rebounds in the absence of Wayne Simien.

Road Warriors: Saturday saw several road teams come out on top. Arizona, Oklahoma and Florida won on the road, as did No. 21 Georgia (10-4, 2-1 SEC) with an 81-64 win at Arkansas, No. 22 Marquette (12-3, 4-1 C-USA) with their first ever win at Charlotte, and No. 24 Xavier (12-4, 3-1 Atlantic Ten) with an 86-73 win in Massachusetts.

Same Old Wacky SEC: Besides the aforementioned SEC matchups, Mississippi got a big road win at LSU with a 67-57 win over the Tigers as SEC teams continue to beat up on each other. Both teams are now 1-2 in conference play.

Welcome Back: Rick Apodaca wasted little time making an impact. In his first game after a 14-game suspension, the senior guard scored a career-high 34 points, handed out 5 assists and had 4 steals in leading Hofstra to a 69-65 win over Old Dominion. He made 10 of 17 shots from the field. Sophomore Wendell Gibson, who was suspended along with Apodaca, had a less auspicious return, fouling out in 25 minutes with 2 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Tonight’s Menu:

• We appropriately have a light college basketball schedule on the NFL’s Championship Sunday, with just 8 games on the docket. The only one involving a Top 25 team is an ACC battle, as No. 20 Wake Forest welcomes Georgia Tech.

• Boston College looks to continue their momentum from Thursday night’s big win at North Carolina State as they welcome West Virginia to Chestnut Hill.

• St. Joseph’s looks to continue to make their case for the Top 25 as they bring a 12-1 record into South Kingston against the Rhode Island Rams, who aren’t too shabby at 10-4 and 2-1 in the Atlantic Ten.

• An early season Sun Belt showdown takes place in Denver, where the 2-1 Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans come to town against the Pioneers, who lead the conference with a 3-0 mark.

That’s it for this Sunday. Enjoy!

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