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January 25, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 25th

Staying On Top: No. 1 Stanford looks like it should stay in the top spot, as the Cardinal remained undefeated with a 77-67 win over visiting USC. They trailed at the half, but played an excellent second half to pull away once they got the lead and shot just under 53% from the field for the game. The Cardinal (17-0, 7-0 Pac Ten) were led by Chris Hernandez with 18 points and 7 assists.

Big Road Win For Providence: Providence continues to play well during a key stretch, where Saturday’s game at No. 4 Connecticut was their fourth in eight days. The Friars won their fifth straight overall and third in a row over the Huskies, 66-56 behind 26 points and 12 rebounds from Ryan Gomes. With the win, the Friars (13-3, 4-1 Big East) took over the top spot in the Big East from the Huskies (15-3, 3-1). While Gomes led the way offensively, the Friars held the Huskies below 41% from the field at the defensive end. Emeka Okafor led Connecticut with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Ben Gordon, playing with a protective mask for his broken nose, was held to just nine points.

Another Big East Road Win: Staying in the Big East, No. 9 Pittsburgh played their second big road game of the week and had a much better result this time around. The Panthers beat up No. 15 Syracuse inside with a 50-36 rebounding edge and got 15 points each from Chris Taft and Mark McCarroll in a 66-45 blowout of the Orangemen. The 45 points was the lowest point total for Syracuse (13-3, 3-2 Big East) since a 71-41 loss at Kansas in 1968, and their lowest point total in the history of the Carrier Dome. The Panthers (19-1, 5-1) also got 12 points and 11 rebounds from Chevon Troutman.

Blue Devils Roll: For a while, Georgetown looked like they might give No. 2 Duke a good battle. Then Chris Duhon and Shelden Williams came alive and took over, as they led a 27-5 run to end the first half that broke the game open and helped the Blue Devils to their 13th straight win, 85-66 over the Hoyas. Williams led the Blue Devils (16-1) with a career-high 26 points (12-15 shooting) and Duhon had 17 points, making 7 of 9 from the field and helping Duke shoot 56% from the field. Brandon Bowman led the Hoyas (10-4) with 19 points as they had their first home sellout crowd since 1996.

ACC Home Cookin’: It was good to be a home team in ACC games on Saturday, starting with No. 9 North Carolina shooting 52% from the field en route to a 96-77 win over Virginia. The Tar Heels (12-4, 2-3 ACC) got 26 points from Rashad McCants to lead the way as they got back on track. Devin Smith led the Cavaliers (12-5, 2-4) with 16 points.

Not far away, North Carolina State looked to get back on the winning track against No. 13 Georgia Tech, and did just that in holding on for a 76-72 upset. The Wolfpack (11-4, 4-1) remained undefeated at home (10-0) and now stand alone in second place in the ACC, getting 18 points each from Scooter Sherrill and Marcus Melvin, the latter of whom added 12 rebounds, and 11 points and 14 rebounds from Ilian Evtimov. Allowing 21 offensive rebounds may have been what hurt the Yellow Jackets (15-3, 3-2) most in the loss, which is their eighth in a row in Raleigh.

SEC Too: Homecourt advantage showed in the SEC as well on Saturday, as every home team won. That spelled trouble for No. 20 Vanderbilt, which lost its third straight SEC road game, 70-62 at Arkansas. The Razorbacks (10-7, 2-4 SEC) held the Commodores under 38% from the field and got 21 points each from Jonathan Modica and freshman Ronnie Brewer. Matt Freije led Vanderbilt (13-3, 2-3) with 19 points and 7 rebounds.

No. 17 Florida snapped a two-game losing streak with a 68-52 win over Auburn, forcing 22 turnovers along the way. Anthony Roberson led the Gators (12-4, 3-2) with 21 points, while Auburn (11-6, 2-4) got 17 points and 11 rebounds from Marco Killingsworth.

No. 19 Mississippi State scored the first 19 points of the game en route to winning the battle of the Bulldogs, 71-58 over Georgia. Mississippi State (16-1, 5-1) got 17 points from Lawrence Roberts and 15 points and 9 assists from Timmy Bowers.

In the other contests of the day, South Carolina (17-2, 4-1) won its fourth straight, 61-55 over LSU (12-4, 2-3), and Mississippi (10-6, 2-3) got 28 points from Justin Reed to beat Alabama (11-5, 3-2), 71-60.

Close Games… Well, Not Really: No. 3 St. Joseph’s and No. 5 Cincinnati each won big on Saturday, winning by a combined 87 points. The Hawks scored 62 first-half points in a game that was never in doubt, a 114-63 thrashing of host St. Bonaventure. The Hawks (17-0, 7-0 Atlantic Ten) shot a scorching 66% from the field, including making 17-26 three-pointers, and held the Bonnies to 27.6% shooting, getting 21 points and 8 assists from Delonte West and 19 points and 6 assists from Jameer Nelson. The Bearcats, meanwhile, bounced back from their only loss thus far with an 83-47 rout of Southern Mississippi by holding the Golden Eagles to 23.3% shooting. Tony Bobbitt led Cincinnati (14-1, 5-1 C-USA) with 19 points and Jason Maxiell added 17 points and 6 rebounds.

Cowboys End Home Winning Streak: No. 16 Texas had won 25 straight home games coming into Saturday’s matchup with No. 24 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys put an end to that, getting 21 points and 10 rebounds from Joey Graham in 72-67 win. Ironically, the last road team to win in Austin was the Cowboys, when Eddie Sutton got his 700th career win nearly two years ago. The Cowboys are now 14-2 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play, while Texas (12-3, 3-1) hurt itself at the foul line in making only half of their free throws.

Staying Hot, Barely: No. 18 Texas Tech won its 12th straight game on Saturday, but needed some late heroics to do it. Andre Emmett capped a 23-point game with a layup in traffic with 6 seconds left, giving the Red Raiders an 80-78 win over host Texas A&M. The Red Raiders (16-2, 4-0 Big 12) led by 12 points late in the first half, but allowed the Aggies (7-8, 0-4) to eventually tie the game, with seven ties in the second half before Emmett’s layup broke the last one.

Sooners Win, But Lose: No. 22 Oklahoma snapped a four-game losing streak, its longest in five years, with a 61-49 win over visiting Kansas State, but got some bad news as well. In beating the Wildcats (9-6, 1-3 Big 12), the Sooners got 24 points from Jason Detrick and won despite shooting just 36% from the field.

On Friday, Sooner sophomore Kevin Bookout elected to have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder next week. The loss is another big blow, though Bookout has been hampered by it all season after initially suffering the injury in practice in October. The Associated Press reported that on Monday, when he went scoreless as the Sooners lost 67-47 at Texas Tech, Bookout could barely raise his right arm above his shoulder.

Badgers Win With Defense, Again: No. 21 Wisconsin shot nearly 52% from the field, but really turned it up defensively against slumping Illinois, holding the Fighting Illini to 36.5% shooting en route to a 76-56 win. Devin Harris and Mike Wilkinson nearly beat the Illini by themselves, as they led the Badgers (4-1 Big Ten) with career-high totals of 30 and 24 points, respectively, with Wilkinson adding 9 rebounds. Roger Powell led Illinois (12-5, 3-3) with 24 points, the only player in double figures as the starting backcourt of Dee Brown and Deron Williams had just 12 points on 5-21 shooting.

Bouncing Back: No. 25 Western Michigan bounced back from its upset loss at Kent State earlier in the week with a 70-66 home win over Ball State. The Broncos (13-2, 6-1 MAC) won despite shooting just 38% from the field, getting 17 points and 10 rebounds from Anthony Kann to lead four players in double figures.

Number 700 Will Have To Wait: Massachusetts blew a 23-point lead in the second half against Temple, but scored the final four points of the game to pull out a 66-65 win over the Owls, denying John Chaney his 700th career victory. The Minutemen snapped a seven-game losing streak in a game featuring two struggling teams.

Gopher Leaves: Junior guard Moe Hargrow will transfer from Minnesota, further hurting a Gopher team that has yet to win a Big Ten game. He met with head coach Dan Monson on Thursday night to inform him of the decision. A St. Paul native, he was a starter and averaged 11.4 points per game, and said he didn’t have a problem with the coaches.

Tonight’s Menu

• The ACC has two games on tap, starting with No. 8 Wake Forest traveling to Tallahassee to take on Florida State. In the evening, Maryland visits Clemson.

• No. 6 Louisville tries to stay hot as they travel to Knoxville and face Tennessee.

• No. 7 Kentucky tries to get back on track on the road at Notre Dame.

• No. 11 Kansas hosts Colorado, while No. 23 Purdue hosts Michigan State.

• No. 12 Arizona hosts Oregon in the lone Pac Ten matchup of the day, while the lone Big East game has Villanova traveling to Miami.

• Mid-majors with busy slates include the Patriot League and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

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