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November 27, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 27th

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Edwards Dies: Central Michigan announced yesterday that junior Brent Edwards has died from injuries sustained in a car accident. Edwards, a 21-year old walk-on, was critically injured just outside of St. Louis on Monday and was pronounced dead the following day. His teammates were informed of his passing at the Maui Invitational, where Central Michigan is participating in the three-day tournament. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Brent’s family,” head coach Jay Smith said in a statement. “We wish we could be there with them right now.”

UConn Knocked Off: Georgia Tech pulled off a huge, early-season upset by downing top-ranked Connecticut, 77-61, in the Preseason NIT. B.J. Elder and Isma’il Muhammad each scored 22 to lead the Yellow Jackets over the Huskies, while UConn’s All-American duo of Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon combined for just 22 points on 7-20 shooting. With the win, Tech will next play another Tech, Texas that is, in the NIT final.

Syracuse Falls: Syracuse, defending NCAA champs, came back down to earth with a thud as the Orangemen dropped their season opener to Charlotte, 96-92. Brendan Plavich knocked down 10 three-point shots, a Carrier Dome record, finishing the game with 31 points for the visiting 49ers. Syracuse sophomore Gerry McNamara scorched Charlotte for a career-high 34 points (28 in the second half), but not even the fiery guard could cool down a Niners team that shot over 56 % on the night. The loss snapped the Orangemen’s 19-game winning streak at home.

Red Raiders March On: Texas Tech upped its mark to a perfect 4-0 by downing Utah in the semis of the Preseason NIT, 65-54. Tech’s Andre Emmett paced the Red Raiders with 23 points in the win, while Devonne Giles and Jarrius Jackson each contributed 13 against the Utes.

Other Action:

• Illinois cruised to its second win in as many games by overpowering Mercer, 93-61, in Champaign. The Illini’s Roger Powell notched his first collegiate double-double by contributing 16 points and 10 boards in the win. Illinois scorched out the box with a 30-10 run to start the game, and never looked back. The Fighting Illini will next hit the road for four games, beginning with Temple on Saturday.

• Pittsburgh beat Robert Morris 75-61 in a game much closer than the score indicated. The Panthers finally broke the game open with just under two minutes to play in regulation, enabling Pitt to notch its 24th straight victory at home. The Panthers’ Jason Brown led all scorers with 19 in the win.

• And last but not least, the final of the Maui Invitational saw Dayton take home the title with an 82-72 win over Hawaii. At one point the contest was tied at 50, but the Flyers proceeded to score on nine straight possessions to take control of the game. Dayton

Hoya Shot: Former Georgetown star Victor Page is in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center after being shot in the Southeast section of Washington, D.C. Page, who suffered from gunshot wounds to the eye and torso, was wounded while sitting in his vehicle. He managed to drive three blocks before a citizen flagged down a fire engine for help. Page, 28, played in the CBA after making himself eligible for the NBA Draft following the 1997 season, in which he averaged 22.7 points per game.

Gopher Down: Minnesota will be without center Jeff Hagen, who suffered a high ankle sprain during practice Monday night. Hagen, who had averaged 17 minutes in the Gophers’ first two games, will likely miss the next two weeks, including the Gophers’ matchup with Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Hagen had averaged just over 5 points and four rebounds per game so far this season. Head coach Don Monson indicated that forward Stan Gaines would see more action due to Hagen’s injury.

More Big East/ACC: The Big East Conference has requested a stay of the lawsuit filed against them by the University of Miami last month. The suit, filed to counter the Big East lawsuit against the Hurricanes, claimed that the school lost money by staying in the conference. The Big East contends that the Miami suit is “opportunistic” and asked that U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro-Benages at the minimum delay it until after the Big East vs. Miami case is heard, and even review it for dismissal. The Big East suit alleges that Miami was in concert with the ACC while still participating in the Big East. The suit was also against the ACC, but the ACC was dropped as a defendant by a Connecticut judge.

Tonight’s Menu

• Only two games on the slate this holiday, as No. 2 Duke hosts Pacific in opening round action in the Great Alaska Shootout. Duke will be led by freshman sensation Luol Deng, who notched 21 points and 8 rebounds in his debut against Detroit. Pacific started out the season on a positive note last week, by downing San Jose State in overtime Friday. In the teams’ only other meeting, Duke won, 68-66 in the 1983-84 season. The winner of this game will face the winner of the Liberty-Canisius matchup, scheduled for 9pm Eastern.

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