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February 11, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 11th, 2003

by Andrew Flynn

First off this Tuesday morning please allow me to apologize. We’ve been awfully busy here at Hoopville, so we’ve been a little lax on the Morning Dish the past few days. Please forgive us. Also, the new Top 25 (with a new No. 1) will be updated shortly.

And you can forgive the 15,000-plus fans that packed the Frank Erwin Center in Austin (and rushed the court) last night to see their No. 3 Texas Longhorns tangle with the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners. Not only was it a matchup of two likely tournament teams, but Texas was looking to get off the schnide, as they had lost eight in a row to their neighbors to the north – a streak dating back to Y2K+15.

Texas opened at full-throttle, running out to a 28-14 lead in the first half, before letting the Sooners back in it. The Sooners charge was led by Hollis Price, who drained consecutive treys to help close the gap to three points just before halftime. In the second half, OU’s Hollis Price nailed a trey with a minute and a half remaining, to bring the Sooners within one at 60-59. However, UT nailed a jumper and sank five free throws to seal the deal in the final minute, 67-61.

The Longhorns were led by Brandon Mouton, who scored 14 points, and James Thomas’ 10th double-double on the season – an 11/16 split. The Sooners were led by Price, who had 23 points on the evening, including four treys, and Kevin Bookout added 12 points and Quannas White had 10.

With the win, the Longhorns remained unbeaten at home, though the rematch will be March 8th in Norman. Texas next faces Nebraska on the road, while the Sooners are on the road against the General and his Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock.

Meanwhile, in the only other ranked action of the night, the folks in Hartford, Connecticut were treated to a Big East tussle with the No. 18 Connecticut Huskies hosting No. 20 Syracuse Orangemen at their “big-game” arena, rather than their Storrs campus.

Connecticut was buoyed by the release of head coach Jim Calhoun from the hospital where he was treated for prostate cancer. They needed it, for a lesser Virginia Tech squad embarrassed them last week. The result? The -Huskies rolled over the Orange 75-61.

The name of the game for the Huskies was a balanced offense and defense, as four players scored in double digits, led by sophomore center Emeka Okafor, who had 15 points, 12 rebounds on the offensive side and six blocked shots on D.

Meanwhile, on Jim Boeheim’s side of the court, Carmelo Anthony was a one-man team for the Orange, which was the problem. While he notched 29 points and 12 boards, the rest of the squad managed only 32 points, with 12 each coming from Hakim Warrick and Kueth Duany. The ‘Cuse’s blame was with shooting percentage, as they didn’t even register 30% on the evening, and had a less-than-torrid 2-for-17 from the arc.

In fact, on percentages alone, UConn’s Okafor was the best shooter for Syracuse, as he accidentally put-back a rebound attempt. Want more? Syracuse’s first 17 points of the second half came on free throws. That’s not the best way to win a game.

The Huskies next travel to face Villanova this weekend, while the Orange will try to simultaneously regroup and host No. 9 Notre Dame. Ouch, babe.

Side Dishes

Going Downhill Fast: Well, at least Nolan Richardson III wasn’t involved. That’s the first thing that came to mind when I heard about the rumble between Tennessee State and Eastern Kentucky. In all, 19 players were tossed, and each team had to finish the game 4-on-4. In fact, Tennessee State had to finish with only three, as Jeremy Jackson fouled out of the game. With 8:13 remaining in the game and Eastern Kentucky up by 14, Tennessee State’s Cedric Bryson was called for a hard foul against Eastern’s Shawn Fields, which several folks took exception to. Both benches cleared, and when order was restored, Bryson, Fields and Eastern’s Kenyatta Dix and Champ Slaughter were ejected for fighting, and nine others were ejected for leaving the bench. Curiously, the other players on the court at the time were ejected as well. Videotape was headed to the OVC’s office for review and possible suspensions. Oh, Eastern won the game, 89-72. Like that’s the most memorable part of the game.

Majerus Bags his 400th: Utah coach Rick Majerus won his 400th game last night, as the Utes defeated Wyoming 69-56 in Mountain West action. The Utes were led by Marc Jackson, who scored 21 points, along with Tim Frost’s 16 points and Nick Jacobson’s 15. Majerus, who hadn’t won in Laramie in over 10 years (January 28th, 1993), has a career record of 400-138 in 19 seasons, 14 with Utah (301-86). The victory was Utah’s 13th in 14 games, and they now appear in the Hoopville Top 25 in the 25th position. Donta Richardson led Wyoming with 23 points.

“Whack” Passes On: Longtime Georgia Tech coach John “Whack” Hyder passed away Sunday at the age of 90. Hyder, Tech’s second winningest coach with 292 victories, led the Yellow Jackets from 1951-1973, including the school’s first NCAA Tournament visit in 1960, and two trips to the NIT. Hyder was a stellar athlete for Georgia Tech, graduating in 1937 as a multi-letterwinner, and spent three years in the New York Yankees’ farm system. After serving in WWII in the Navy, Hyder returned as an assistant coach. He was probably best known for his 1954-55 squad that downed Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats on January 8th, 1955, ending their 129-game home winning streak.

Tonight’s Menu:

• In SEC action, No. 3 Kentucky looks to extend their 12-game win streak against No. 22 Georgia. Kentucky hasn’t lost since a December matchup with No. 2 Louisville, who was not ranked at the time. Kentucky lead the all-time series 99-19.

• In SEC action, No. 3 Kentucky looks to extend their 12-game win streak against No. 22 Georgia. Kentucky hasn’t lost since a December matchup with No. 2 Louisville, who was not ranked at the time. Kentucky lead the all-time series 99-19.

• In the Ivy, Princeton travels the parkway to play Penn at the Palestra in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, in a better football game, Virginia Tech travels to face Miami (Florida) in Big East action.

That’s it for this Tuesday. Enjoy!

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