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January 31, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Friday, January 31st, 2003

by Jon Gonzalez

Act like you’ve been there before, act like your going back. That was Stanford’s feeling in regards to its 82-77 win over top-ranked Arizona. Funny thing is, Stanford didn’t have to act, because winning at the McKale Center is nothing new to the Cardinal.

For the third season in a row, Stanford (15-5, 6-2) beat Arizona in Tucson. Matt Lottich led Stanford with 23 points and knocked down a three-pointer with 58 seconds left to solidify the Cardinal’s shocking upset win.

Turnovers and poor free throw shooting were two factors that did in the Wildcats. Arizona (15-2, 7-1) turned the ball over 19 times and shot only 53 percent from the line, as opposed to Stanford’s 68 percent. But not only did Stanford shoot at a better clip from the line, the Cardinal hit the big ones when they had to. Julius Barnes hit both ends of a one-and-one with 8.5 seconds that allowed Stanford to hold on.

Two bright spots for Arizona were Jason Gardener and Luke Walton, who scored 22 and 20 points, respectively. In addition to Walton’s 20, the star forward also grabbed nine boards. But aside from Walton and Gardener, the rest of the team just looked slow and sluggish. It was as if they had eaten too many candy bars.

Maybe it was the candy that the Wildcats stole over the weekend in Lawrence, Kansas? But all kidding aside, the Wildcats surely cannot blame their loss to Stanford on the alleged vending machine incident. It would be hard to believe that the reason Arizona lost was because all of the players were just too concerned about the incident and were ridden with guilt. But you know what, you never know? Lute’s kids are pretty clean cut, so don’t put guilt over stealing some candy bars past them. Maybe their consciences were weighing them down so much that they couldn’t hit their free throws or take proper care of the basketball? You know what, it doesn’t sound so nutty after all.

Before the game, Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood addressed the candy situation and said that the school investigated the incident and has taken action in compliance with the school and the NCAA. Livengood did not mention specifically what action was taken.

Side Dishes

The Hits Just Keep On Coming: UCLA might have played one of its better games of the season, but it wasn’t good enough to avoid a seventh straight defeat. The Bruins 96-91 OT loss to Oregon extends UCLA’s skid that is the school’s longest in 57 years. Luke Jackson, tapped hand and all, led No.21 Oregon (15-4, 5-3) with 27 points and freshman Ian Crosswhite chipped in with 22 points. UCLA (4-12, 2-6) had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Ryan Walcott airballed an uncontested shot as time expired.

Butler Comes Up Short: Say this for the Butler Bulldogs, they played with heart and looked unfazed by playing in Cameron Indoor Stadium. But with all the heart they could muster, the Bulldog’s talent just could not match Duke’s. No.7 Duke (14-2, 4-2), led by freshman Shavlik Randolph, outscored Butler (16-3, 6-1) 80-60 on Thursday night. Randolph played his best game of the season and scored a season-high 24 points on 11-13 shooting. The freshman also added 10 rebounds. Dhantay Jones also had a big night scoring 25 as the Devils won their 23rd straight at Cameron. The game Bulldogs were led by Darnell Archey, who scored 14 points and hit some long-range three pointers.

Sun Devils Stop Cal: Curtis Millage scored 21 points and hit some crucial free throws for Arizona State as the Sun Devils beat No.24 California (14-3, 7-1) 75-70 on Thursday night. The loss snaps Cal’s eight game winning streak. Aside from Millage, ASU also got a good game from Shawn Redhage, who scored 10 points in 17 minutes of play. The win is another check mark Arizona State (13-6, 5-3) can add to its NCAA Tournament resume. Joe Shipp led Cal with 27 points.

Terps Take Sole Possession of First: No. 9 Maryland (13-4, 6-1) showed NC State that to be the best in the ACC, they’re gonna have to go through the Terps us first. The feisty Wolfpack could not and lost 75-60 on Thursday night. Despite leading at halftime 28-27, NC State was overmatched by Maryland’s hot shooting and inside dominance. The Terps, led by Drew Nicholas’ hot hand, pulled away from NC State in the second-half thanks in large part to a 14-0 Terp run. Nicholas hit two straight three pointers during the run and scored all of his 13 points in the second-half. The Pack countered with a 10-0 run of their own but could only pull within six before running out of gas. Stephen Blake led the Terrapins with 20 points on 7-10 shooting. NC State (11-5, 4-2), coming off of wins against UNC and Duke, was led by Marcus Melvin, who tallied 15 points. At halftime of the game, the Terps honored former coach Lefty Driesell, who recently retired from Georgia State.

Lobos’ Carey Undergoes Surgery: New Mexico senior point guard Senque Carey was left without most movement on his left side following spinal surgery. The surgery was to remove a bulging disc from Carey’s upper spine and fuse the spine in that area. Carey injured his spine on Nov.25 against Northwestern State.

More News:

The Big East acknowledged on Thursday that Seton Hall had six men on the court in the final seconds of regulation in the Pirates 93-82 overtime win. The league also said there is nothing they can do about it and cannot change the outcome.

Harding’s Aaron Farley fell nine short of an NCAA record for consecutive free throws. Farley missed the back end of a two shot technical to stop his streak at 88. The current record is held by Northern Kentucky’s Paul Cluxton, who made 98 in a row during the 1996-97 season. Harding won the game, beating Arkansas Tech 91-66.

Arkansas has until the end of February to respond to a lawsuit filed by former coach Nolan Richardson. The lawsuit claims that Richardson was fired because he was black and had his free speech rights violated. The new deadline is Feb.28.

Alcorn State center Lee Cook was dismissed from the team on Thursday for an unspecified rules violation. Cook was averaging 16.7 points a game.

Tonight’s Menu

• Big Ivy league action tonight as Yale takes on Columbia, Brown is at Cornell and Dartmouth tangles with Penn. All those games tip at 7 p.m. Also, Princeton takes on Harvard at 7:30 p.m.

• The academies square off at 9 p.m. as Navy makes a visit to Army.

• Surging mid-major Manhattan visits Niagara at 7 p.m.

• A Pac-Ten match-up of note as Washington State visits Washington at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time.

• For all of you Eastern time zone night owls, no pun intended, Rice visits Hawai’i at 12:05 a.m.

Have an eventful Friday. I am out.

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