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December 8, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Monday, December 8th

Carolina on Fire: The No. 6 Tar Heels ripped George Mason 115-81 behind sophomore forward Sean May’s career-high 26 points. North Carolina started slow, however, trailing George Mason by two at halftime. But coach Roy Williams apparently made the right adjustments as North Carolina outscored George Mason 68-32 in the second half. In addition to May, sophomore guard Rashad McCants and junior forward Jawad Williams scored over 20 points as 11 Tar Heels scored in the game. North Carolina shot a blistering 69 percent from the field.

Gonzaga Tested: No. 18 Gonzaga finished a successful East Coast trip by winning the BB&T Classic championship over George Washington 96-91. But the Colonials were not going to let Gonzaga walk away with an easy win. George Washington made seven of 11 three-pointers in the first half to lead 52-47 at halftime. The Bulldogs played tight defense to rally in the second half, and junior forward Ronny Turiaf was unstoppable inside. Turiaf tied a career high with 29 points. After Gonzaga had built a lead, George Washington attempted to rally, led by junior guard T.J. Thompson, who finished with 28 points. Gonzaga needed 66 percent shooting from the field to beat upset-minded George Washington.

No Consolation for Maryland: The Terrapins played West Virginia in the consolation game of the BB&T Classic, hoping to bounce back from an 82-68 loss to Gonzaga in Saturday’s game. But West Virginia bombarded Maryland with 13 three-pointers, including the game winner by sophomore center Kevin Pittsnogle that gave the Mountaineers a 78-77 overtime victory. West Virginia prevented Maryland from ebbing the three-point flood by distributing the workload. Eight different Mountaineers drained a three. West Virginia had built a double-digit lead, but Maryland rallied in the second half behind senior forward Jamar Smith’s 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Cardinals Survive the Cold: No. 25 Louisville beat Holy Cross 56-40 yesterday in a game in which nobody found the range, except for sophomore forward Francisco Garcia. Garcia carried the Cardinals with 24 points, which is more than twice as many points as any other player for either team. Louisville held Holy Cross to under 23 percent shooting from the field. But the Cardinals only shot 36 percent. The two teams combined for 33 turnovers and only 32 made shots. Junior center Nate Lufkin led Holy Cross with only nine points.

Marvelous Melvin: Senior forward Marcus Melvin led NC State to victory with 27 points and 13 rebounds, which helped the Wolfpack overcome a tenacious Wisconsin-Milwaukee squad. The Panthers jumped out to a 10-point first half lead over NC State before the Wolfpack battled back behind Melvin and junior guard Julius Hodge, who finished with 16 points. Senior forward Dylan Page registered a double-double in the losing effort for the Panthers, scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Air Force Grounded: Auburn hosted the scoring-challenged Air Force Falcons last night and struggled until the second half. Auburn managed to accelerate the pace of the game in the second half and won 68-49. Air Force lost the game on the boards as the Tigers outrebounded Air Force 35-10. Junior forward Marco Killingsworth and junior guard Ian Young led the offensive attack for Auburn. Killingsworth scored 17 and Young followed closely behind with 16.

Racers Outrun Hilltoppers: Murray State continues its great start by beating Western Kentucky 100-95 on the Hilltoppers’ home court. The Racers needed two overtimes but pulled out another victory against talented opposition. The Racers, out of the Ohio Valley Conference, have also beaten Southern Miss and TCU of Conference USA. Opponents will not forget the name Cuthbert Victor. Besides having an unusual name, Victor is a dominant force and scored 26 points and grabbed 20 rebounds against Western Kentucky.

Tonight’s Menu:

• It’s final exam time for most of the college teams, so it’s a light fare tonight. Only 27 Division I teams are in action tonight, with the best game being Indiana State of the Missouri Valley Conference against Valparaiso of the Mid-Continent Conference. Undefeated Stephen F. Austin of the Southland Conference faces its most difficult test of the season on the road against TCU.

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