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February 10, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – February 10th

Last night belonged to the Big East, with two dynamite upsets:

Thomas The Tank Engine: Last night CT did not stand for the postal code for Connecticut. Far from it. CT was Chris Thomas, who hit for 22 of his 31 points in the second half as the Fighting Irish brought down Connecticut, 80-74, in South Bend. Not only did Thomas lead all players in scoring, he nailed the go-ahead trey-bomb with just under three minutes to play. Thomas wasn’t the only Notre Damer playing last night. Chris Quinn and Torrian Jones stepped it up, scoring 16 and 14 respectively. Their contributions were severely needed as Torin Francis was held to just seven minutes due to back spasms.

The win gave Notre Dame its first win over a ranked team in six tries this season. Meanwhile UConn’s win streak ends at five.

Miracle at the Meadowlands: Andre Barrett hit the back end of a two shot situation with nine seconds left and the Seton Hall Pirates stunned Pitt, 68-67, in double overtime. The Pirates acutally led by as many as many as eight in the second half, but Pitt roared back with Carl Krauser scoring the last eight points of regulation, not to mention the game tying free throw in regulation. Barrett finished with 20 points, including five of The Hall’s seven in the second OT, and JR Morris and Kelly Whitney each scored 10. Krauser led all scorers with 23 points before administering his fatal foul on Barrett with nine seconds left. Pitt had a chance to win it on a running floater by little-used freshman Antonio Graves. The shot clanged off the rim and the game ended in a scrum for the loose ball.

The Cowboy Way: Oklahoma State used balance to clobber Big 12 rival Kansas, 80-60. Five Cowboys scored in double figures led by John Lucas’s 21 points and Tony Allen’s 17. As a team OK State hit 46% from the floor and an efficient 47% from behind the arc. While Wayne Simien poured in 25 for the Jayhawks on 12-of-15 shooting, Keith Langford couldn’t find the hot hand and sank only 2-of-12 shots for eight points. Oklahoma State has now burned off eight straight wins and ups their mark to 18-2. Kansas’s win streak, which featured a win over Texas Tech, stops at two. The Hawks fall to 15-5 overall and 7-2 in the talent-loaded Big 12.

SEC Scolds Stansbury: Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury blew a gasket against referees in the Bulldogs 80-56 win over Mississippi on Saturday. On Monday, Stansbury received an official reprimands from the SEC. “Any further violation of conference policies of this nature may result in a suspension of coaching duties for one or more games,” said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. Nothing more needed to be done. Stansbury was ejected just five minutes into the game after he was assessed his second technical foul. While screaming at referee Karl Hess upon his exit, the Bulldog coach wrapped his hands around his own neck and made the choke sign.

TCU Bumps Bulls: Texas Christian used 11-2 runs to start both the first and second halves, but South Florida wouldn’t go away. They erased a 14-point lead and held the Frogs without a point for over five-and-a-half minutes in the second. But Marcus Shropshire’s jumper with 3:30 left put just enough distance between TCU and South Florida, and the Frogs went home with a 54-51 victory. Corey Santee led all scorers with 25 points including 13 of his team’s second-half 22 points.

At Least He’s Got His Scoring Lead: The Western Carolina Catamounts were bamboozled by Georgia Southern, 68-65. The Eagles scored 44 in the second half to overcome a 38-24 halftime deficit. But Kevin Martin, the nation’s leading scorer at 29.6 ppg, had a solid night with 34 points in the losing effort. Martin, who hit 18-of-19 from the foul line, was one of only two Catamounts to hit for double figures; David Berghoefer had 15. The 18-4 Eagles were led by Elton Nesbitt’s 22.

Tonight’s Menu:

• Carolina got back on its Heels with a W over Wake Forest on Saturday. Roy Williams and the gang hope to make it two straight against the Rambling Wreck in Atlanta…The Kentucky Wildcats, who squeaked by South Carolina on Saturday, do battle with an Alabama team that has struggled on the road. The Tide rolls into Lexington with 1-5 mark away from Coleman Coliseum…Syracuse is reeling. They’ve lost two straight and four of the last five. Can a Carrier Dome contest against Rutgers be their remedy?…Texas taught Oklahoma what good D is all about this past weekend. Baylor, coming off a victory over Texas A&M, might be the Horns’ next pupil.

• N.C. State and Florida State, two teams hoping to peck away at the Top 25, square off tonight on the Wolfpack’s home turf. N.C. State is building on a three game win streak that includes trimumphs over Maryland, Wake Forest and, most recently, Virginia…In a rare weekday evening Ivy League matchup, first-place Princeton (4-0 in conference play) hosts a mediocre, middle-of-the-pack Penn squad…From the Where Are They Now? File, Illinois welcomes Michigan State and Colorado travels to Missouri.

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