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November 16, 2003 Columns No Comments

The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 16th, 2003

Getting Underway On A Good Note: In Cincinnati, No. 23 Xavier opened its season in the Black Coaches Association Classic with an easy 62-37 first round win over Coppin State in a game where both teams apparently forgot how to shoot the ball. The Musketeers (1-0), who shot just 36.7% from the floor, got 24 points and 9 rebounds from Romain Sato. Coppin State (0-1), meanwhile, shot just over 25% from the floor in the defeat.

Scoring Machine: As individual efforts go, the night in Cincinnati belonged to Oakland senior guard Mike Helms, the nation’s top returning scorer. Helms set a BCA Tournament record with 31 points to lead Oakland (1-0) to an easy 93-68 win over San Diego (0-1). The Toreros got 19 points and 13 rebounds from Nick Lewis.

Starting On Fire: Illinois-Chicago got 25 points from Cedric Banks and forced 24 turnovers in a 77-65 win over UC-Irvine. The Flames (1-0), who trailed 36-35 at the half, also got 17 points from Aaron Carr. They won despite being out-rebounded 36-27. Senior Stanislav Zuzak had 29 points and 8 rebounds in the defeat for UC-Irvine (0-1), connecting on six of seven three-point field goal attempts along the way.

Coming Through In The Clutch: James Odoms hit a desperation three-pointer with seven-tenths of a second left to give Mercer a 67-64 win over Ohio in a game that had 15 lead changes and 10 ties. Odoms and Scott Emerson led four scorers in double figures with 14 points each for Mercer (1-0), with Emerson grabbing 14 rebounds as well. Jaivon Harris led Ohio (0-1) with 17 points.

Calipari Close to Sticking Around: A reliable source has told ESPN’s Dick Vitale that Memphis head coach John Calipari is close to signing a contract that will take him through 2010. With several Conference USA schools announcing departures recently to effectively gut the conference of many of its best teams, some wondered how long Calipari would stay. It looks like he is planning to be there for the long haul at the school that could consistently dominate the re-shaped conference.

Tonight’s Menu:

• Just one game is on tap today, in the opening round of the Guardians Classic. Mt. St. Mary’s heads north to take on New Hampshire at Lundholm Gym in Durham, NH.

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