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January 26, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments




The Morning Dish – Monday, January 26th

A Hand in NCAA Coverage: Hoopville partner College Sports Television will produce six shows during the NCAA tournament, beginning during the Sweet 16 games. The shows will air on Spike TV and will feature highlights, interviews, news conferences and special features.

Cardinals Take Tennessee: No. 6 Louisville beat a tough Tennessee team in Knoxville, Tenn., 65-62, behind a 12-0 run in the second half and sophomore forward Francisco Garcia’s 24 points. The Volunteers kept pace with Louisville until midway through the second half when Louisville stormed ahead and refused to relinquish the lead down the stretch. Junior forward Brandon Crump led the Volunteers with 16 points.

Holding Down the Fort: For the second time this week, the Florida State Seminoles beat a ranked opponent at home in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles beat No. 8 Wake Forest 75-70 as the Seminoles hit clutch free throws to take the lead and put away the game. The Seminoles’ final six points all came from the line. Good teams must be able to make those free throw attempts, making the difference between an upset and a mere close-call. Senior guard Nate Johnson led the Seminoles with 19 points, and freshman guard Chris Paul led Wake Forest with 17 points.

Jayhawks Strike Back: Fresh off an upsetting home loss to Richmond, No. 11 Kansas bounced back against conference rival Colorado, winning 78-57. Junior forward Wayne Simien simply dominated, scoring 20 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. In comparison, Colorado’s entire team only grabbed 30 rebounds. Overall, the Jayhawks grabbed 18 more rebounds than Colorado, and the Buffaloes created many opportunities for rebounds by shooting only 29 percent. You’re not going to win many games by shooting that poorly and not crashing the boards. Senior forward Lamar Harris was the highlight for Colorado, scoring 21 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

Encore by the Spiders: That Richmond team that upset aforementioned Kansas decided to take the road show to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Richmond brought down Xavier, 53-44. Senior guard Tony Dobbins scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Spiders in victory. Senior guard Romain Sato led Xavier with 11 points, but the team was collectively awful on offense. The Musketeers shot an abysmal 21 percent from the field. If you can’t say anything nice about teams shooting 21 percent, don’t say anything at all. So that’s the end of that.

Kentucky’s Got the Final Answer: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish did all they could to upset No. 7 Kentucky, but the Wildcats’ junior forward Chuck Hayes had the answer for seemingly every Irish attempt to cut into Kentucky’s lead. Hayes finished with 21 points, including several baskets that extended the Wildcats’ lead whenever Notre Dame pulled within striking distance. Junior guard Chris Thomas and senior guard Torrian Jones each scored 16 points for Notre Dame in the loss.

Wildcats Go Duck Hunting: No. 12 Arizona made a statement that the Wildcats do not want to play close games at home. The Wildcats jumped all over the Oregon Ducks in the first half, building a 52-27 halftime lead and cruising to a 90-66 win. Sophomore guard Hassan Adams led the Wildcats with 20 points while junior center Channing Frye was a beast inside, scoring 18 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking four shots. Oregon senior guard Luke Jackson scored 20 points for the Ducks, but anything Oregon could muster was too little, too late.

McKnight Wills Purdue to Victory: No. 23 Purdue trailed Michigan State by a deuce in the closing seconds of the game on Purdue’s home court. Junior guard Brandon McKnight took the ball coast to coast and drained a lay-up to tie the game, forcing overtime. In overtime, McKnight took the clutch shot that grabbed the lead for good for Purdue, which closed out the game for a 76-70 win. Senior guard Kenneth Lowe led Purdue in points, scoring 18 while playing all but one minute of the game. Junior guard Chris Hill and sophomore center Paul Davis each scored 18 points for the Spartans.

More Wildcats in Action: The Wildcats of Villanova invaded the warmer confines of Miami, enjoying the climate in the Hurricanes’ home with a 76-69 win. Sophomore guard Randy Foye scored 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished eight assists to lead Villanova to the victory. Sophomore guard Robert Hite scored 21 points for Miami, which failed to attack the glass as Villanova outrebounded Miami by 17. The game may not feature the Big East’s best, but it could help Villanova vie for a possible fifth or even sixth tournament bid, considering the strength of the conference’s elite.

Mid-Major Madness: Southern Illinois and Kent State are a pair of teams from mid-major conferences that don’t want to hear anything about fifth and sixth bids from a major conference if it means that the MAC or MVC only receive one automatic bid. Southern Illinois improved to 14-2 with a 53-44 win over Indiana State. Junior guard Darren Brooks led the Salukis with 14 points in a balanced team effort, driven by smothering defense. Meanwhile, Kent State beat fellow MAC-heavyweight Toledo to improve to 12-3. Junior forward Jason Edwin and senior guard Eric Haut each scored 20 points to lead Kent State’s 92-56 blowout victory.

Maryland’s Balance Beats Clemson: Although the Clemson Tigers have struggled more than any other ACC team this season, the Tigers do not roll over and allow teams to come into Littlejohn Coliseum and embarrass the home team. The Tigers hung tough with Maryland until late in the second half, but the Terrapins eventually pulled away for a 65-52 victory. Four Terrapins reached double-figures, led by sophomore guard John Gilchrist who scored 15 points.

Tonight’s Menu:

• No. 18 Texas Tech looks to continue to climb the rankings by beating in-state rival No. 16 Texas. That’s all for ranked teams tonight, but look out for some conference games like Georgetown at Providence in the Big East, Florida A&M at South Carolina State in the MEAC and Utah at Air Force in the Mountain West.

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