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December 23, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 23rd

Zona Conquers Aztecs: San Diego State made things interesting, getting as close as 32-29, but Lute Olson’s Wildcats remain undefeated in December. Down 10 at the half, SDSU traded buckets with the Cats in the second stanza and but came up short, 83-71. Arizona had four players in double-figures, led by Hassan Adams’s 19 points. Chris Rodgers went 5-for-9 for 17 points including 4-for-4 shooting from the line and three 3-pointers. Andre Iquodala netted 10 and 12 rebounds, nine of which he grabbed in the first ten minutes of the second half. As a team, the Wildcats shot 16-20 from the charity stripe. The Aztecs were led by Aerick Sanders’s 24 points, his second straight night with the same point total. Sanders, one of the top-10 rebounders in the nation (11.0), also hauled in nine boards.

So SUU Me: Stanford slammed Southern Utah, 67-37, a housewarming gift for the Thunderbirds’ first year as a Division I program.
Dan Grunfeld shot a spectacular 9-for-9 from the free throw line and finished with 21 points, while Matt Haraysz popped 11-of-12 freebies as part of his 15 points. The Cardinal shot 86 percent as a unit but only hit 17-of-47 shots for 36 percent shooting. Despite Stanford’s flatness from the floor, their defense held up. David Palmer was Southern Utah’s leading scorer with a paltry seven.

Greater Gator: Florida gained a much-needed 101-84 W over Northeastern as David Lee shot flawlessly from the field. Lee hit 12-of-12 from the floor for 24 points and became only the fifth player in SEC history to hit on a dozen straight attempts. Although the Gators led by as many as 26 midway through the second half, the Huskies kept it as close as six for most of the first. Still, the Huskies are one of the few teams this season that can boast forcing 21 Florida turnovers.

38 Special: When you’re an annual powerhouse, there’s always one team that you dominate consistently, and Syracuse made it 38 straight victories over Colgate. The Orangemen opened with a 27-11 run and pummeled the Red Raiders, 101-63 at the Carrier Dome. Hakim Warrick led the campaign with 17 points, seven boards, while Billy Edelin added 14 points and seven assists. 5-4 Colgate got 23 points from Mark Linebaugh.

Marq-it Down As A Win: Marquette had little trouble with Florida A&M, spoiling the Rattlers visit to Milwaukee by handing them an 83-63 defeat. Steve Novak torched A&M for 19 points and Travis Diener added 14. The Golden Eagles improve to 7-0 at home and get a feel-good win after losing to Wisconsin, 63-59, on Saturday.

Happy Holidays in Steel Town: Pittsburgh edged Florida State, 63-56, in the Pittsburgh Holiday Hoops Tournament. While Carl Krauser led the Panthers with 17, it was 6-10 forward Mark McCarroll who really sparked the victory. McCarroll, a little-used reserve last season, scored six of his 13 points in a crucial 10-2 run early in the second half. Pitt is one win away from matching its best start – 12-0 back in the 1929-30 season. Those were the days of leather balls.

Teacher Schools Pupil: Iowa played the better second half, but Texas Tech held on for a 65-59 win, and Bobby Knight upped his record against Steve Alford to 3-0. The Red Raiders’ Andre Emmett shot 9-for-14 for 23 points while the Hawkeyes were led by Pierre Pierce’s 18 points. This was the first matchup between Iowa’s Alford and his former coach, Bobby Knight, since Knight was hired at Texas Tech. When Knight was still coaching at Indiana, the teacher and student met twice with Knight winning both games.

Former Terrier, Celtic Pick Dies: Steve Wright, 45, a former Boston U. Terrier and Celtic draft pick, died yesterday from complications from cancer. BU’s first three-time MVP, Wright currently ranks fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,641 points. The 1980 graduate was taken by the Celtics in the 8th round of that year’s draft.

Hard-vard: Again, the Cambridge Crimson came thiiis close to their first win but drop their 12th straight decision and 10th of the year, 101-95, to Rider, in overtime. Much like in their game with Northeastern, Harvard came from behind, erasing an 11-point deficit with 12:50 in the second half to go up 76-73 on a 23-9 run. But Rider D’d up big time, holding the Crimson to just three buckets in the last 4:46 of the second half. Rider’s Jerry Johnson tied up the game with a layup with 13 seconds left in regulation. Johnson wasn’t done yet. He scored five of the Broncs’ eight points in overtime and finished with 27 on the night. Harvard, which turned the ball over 25 times last night, has won only three of its last 22 games.

K-Mart Special: Kevin Martin, the nation’s leading scorer, filled it up for 33 points to lead Western Carolina over Arkansas, 62-59, in overtime. No other Catamount player even came close to double figures. Martin averages 28 points a game. Freshman guard Ronnie Brewer paced the Razorbacks with 15.

Blue-tiful: The Creighton Blue Jays have flown under the radar, quietly jumping out to an 8-0 start. That’s an 8-0 start without graduated All-America forward Kyle Korver. The Jays notched a 66-61 win at Wyoming last night and have defeated Nebraska and Fresno State for their biggest wins thus far.

Whitney Wonderful: Due to poor grades, Seton Hall’s Kelly Whitney was sidelined for the first six games of the college basketball season. While the sophomore center returned for the Pirates’ win over Ohio State Saturday, he hammered home his presence last night against Davidson. Whitney registered 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting to boost The Hall to a 73-50 win. The Pirates, who were led by Andre Sweet’s 21, have won three straight and four of their last five.

Tonight’s Menu:

• In the something’s-gotta-give game of the night, Ohio players Dayton (9-0) and Cincinnati (6-0) boogie down at the Fifth Third bank arena. If you’re converting to decimals that’s the 1.66666 Bank Arena. Also on tonight’s menu, Missouri hopes to gain some Top 25 ground when the Tigers meet up with Illinois at the Savvis Center in St. Louis.

• This year’s biggest surprise – so far – is Georgia Tech, and the Yellow Jackets hope to ramble on to the tune of 11-0 when they host struggling Marist in a 2 PM ET matinee. At night, Kentucky welcomes neighbor Eastern Kentucky to the Rupp and Maryland will see what UNC-Greensboro’s all about in College Park. Louisville gets “Keyed-up” for VMI at Freedom Hall.

• Local and in-state matchups abound as well this evening: William & Mary travels to Virginia Tech; America’s second-leading scorer Kiki Clark (26.3 ppg) and St. Peter’s visit Hofstra in a battle of commuter-belt schools; Fordham hosts Iona; LSU hopes to improve to 7-0 against Tulane; Austin Peay tries to go undefeated at home against OVC rival Middle Tennessee State; Utah State hosts BYU; Long Beach State hosts 6-3 Loyola-Marymount; UC-San Diego faces the San Diego without the UC; and Pacific cruises up the Pacific Coast Highway to meet up with 7-4 San Francisco.

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