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West Coast Notebook

February 3, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

West Coast Notebook

by James Burns

Cox emergence isn’t all that surprising

Darrell Tucker who?

With the All-American power forward battling injuries and everyone’s defensive attention, San Francisco’s small forward John Cox has emerged as a prolific No. 2.

On any other team, Cox would be a legitimate first-option scorer. The 6-foot-5 forward currently leads the West Coast Conference in league scoring and ranks fourth overall with a 14.9 clip. Cox has led the Dons in scoring for nine straight games.

His recent outbursts – a career-high 27 points against Loyola Marymount, 24 vs. Pepperdine and 26 points against Portland – are a large reason why San Francisco has re-emerged from a sluggish conference start and survived without Tucker.

But this is nothing new to Cox or his family. Cox has interesting bloodlines that originate in the basketball hotbed of Pennsylvania, where he is a cousin with NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, much like Cox, has had to take the reins over for the Los Angeles Lakers who have been hobbled by Shaquille O’Neal’s foot problems. During O’Neal’s time on the bench, Bryant emerged as one of the game’s greats.

Up the coast at the University of San Francisco, Cox has similar dreams for himself.

Weekly Round-Up

San Francisco 91, Loyola 73

Loyola found out really fast they were no match for the streaking Dons on Saturday. The Dons shot 14-of-23 from the 3-point arc, chasing the Lions 91-73.

Cox led San Francisco with 27 points, while Tucker continues to play solid basketball after returning from a hand injury. Tucker, who missed four games with a sprained thumb, collected his second consecutive 20-point outing, netting 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Shamell Stallworth rounded out the scoring for the red-hot Dons, pouring in 21 points.

Saint Mary’s 74, Pepperdine 67

It went from bad to worse for Pepperdine. After dropping a tough road contest with the Dons, the Waves suffered their fourth conference loss, 74-67, at the hands of Saint Mary’s.

The Gaels’ Daniel Kickert (15 points) gave Saint Mary’s all the cushion they would need. With 2:45 left in the second half, Kickert nailed a pivotal 3-point bucket to give the Gaels a 68-64 advantage.

Gonzaga 89, San Diego 65

Gonzaga used an 11-2 run to break open a 23-23 deadlock midway through the first half. The offensive surge allowed Gonzaga to coast to its sixth straight conference victory.

Ronny Turiaf led the way for the Bulldogs, pumping in 22 points and hauling down a team-high seven rebounds. Blake Stepp, Gonzaga’s crafty sharpshooting guard, chipped in with 21 points, including 5-of-8 from 3-point land.

The Toreros were led by Jason Keep’s 16 points.

Portland 72, Santa Clara 47

There is no better way to get off the schnide than to blowout somebody.

Portland, who entered Friday’s game on a three-game losing streak, found its offensive and defensive niches early against the Broncos. The Pilots connected on a season-high 12 3-pointers, while forcing the Broncos into 21 turnovers.


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