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February 15, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 15th

Continuing To Win, Part 1: No. 1 Stanford remained undefeated with a 69-58 win over rival California in Berkeley, getting 16 points from Rob Little and 15 points and 9 rebounds from Josh Childress. Stanford (21-0, 12-0 Pac Ten) held Golden Bear leading scorer Leon Powe without a field goal and also got him in foul trouble, and held them to 36.5% shooting. California (11-10, 7-5) got 16 points from Marquise Kately and 14 from Amit Tamir. Before the game, California retired Jason Kidd’s No. 5 jersey, joining Kevin Johnson’s No. 11 and Alfred Grigsby’s No. 4 in the rafters at Haas Pavilion.

Continuing To Win, Part 2: No. 3 St. Joseph’s got out-rebounded by 22, but got a big game from their backcourt once again to remain undefeated with a 73-59 win over visiting Rhode Island. Jameer Nelson had 20 points and 6 assists to lead the Hawks (22-0, 11-0 Atlantic 10), while Delonte West added 14 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists and Tyrone Barley added 14 points with a 4-5 effort from behind the three-point line as the Hawks shot over 48% from the field. The Rams (14-11, 3-8) got 19 points and 13 rebounds from Brian Woodward, but shot just 36% from the field and committed 21 turnovers.

Also Remaining Perfect: Keeping an unblemished conference mark was No. 23 Southern Illinois, which eked out a 59-58 win at Southwest Missouri State. The Salukis (20-2, 14-0 Missouri Valley) shot just 36% from the field, but got 19 points from Darren Brooks and reached the 20-win mark for the third straight season. The Salukis also clinched a tie for the regular season title in the Missouri Valley Conference, as they are four games up on both Creighton and Wichita State with four to play. They already have the tie-breaker with the Bluejays by virtue of sweeping the regular season series, while they still play the Shockers on the road on February 25.

Ho-Hum, ‘Zags Win West Coast Again: Another team keeping perfect and clinching its conference title was No. 6 Gonzaga, which scored 16 unanswered points in the second half in a 79-60 win at St. Mary’s. The Bulldogs (21-2, 11-0 West Coast) got 22 points from Adam Morrison and 16 points and 6 assists from Blake Stepp to lead five players in double figures, and shot nearly 53% from the floor while holding the Gaels (15-10, 6-4) below 33%.

Win Streak Over: No. 25 Utah State had the nation’s fourth-longest winning streak coming into Saturday’s game at Pacific, but the Tigers held the Aggies scoreless for the final 3:25 and got four free throws in the final 28.2 seconds from Miah Davis in a 64-60 upset. Davis had 18 points to lead the Tigers (17-7, 12-1 Big West), who now pull into a tie for first place with the Aggies (20-2, 12-1). The teams combined for just 10 turnovers.

Upsets in the SEC: Two SEC teams were victims of the upset bug on Saturday, starting with No. 8 Kentucky. Minus leading scorer Gerald Fitch, still out with a sprained right indexd finger, the Wildcats went to Georgia, a team that won in Lexington earlier in the season. The Bulldogs had a miserable first half, shooting just 31% from the field, but came back in the second half to complete their second season sweep of the Wildcats in three years with a 74-68 win in a very physical game. The Bulldogs (12-10, 4-7 SEC) scored 51 points in the second half and forced 22 Kentucky turnovers, getting 19 points from Jonas Hayes to lead four players in double figures. The Wildcats (17-4, 7-3) got 23 points from Kelenna Azubuike and 16 from Cliff Hawkins.

Also going down was No. 20 Florida, which dropped a 73-70 decision to surging LSU in Gainesville. The win was the sixth straight for the Tigers (17-4, 7-3), who got 19 points and 9 rebounds from Jamie Lloreda and 18 points from Darrel Mitchell. The Gators (14-7, 5-5) missed six of their final seven shots, getting 24 points from Matt Walsh.

SEC Favorites Win: One favorite in the SEC won on Saturday as well, as No. 6 Mississippi State won at Arkansas for the first time since 1972, knocking off the Razorbacks by a 77-70 margin. The Bulldogs (21-1, 10-1 SEC) had a 17-point lead that eventually dwindled to just three, but four free throws from Winsome Frazier (23 points) in the final 1:32 sealed the win.

Streaking Cowboys Romp: No. 11 Oklahoma State continued its hot play with a 91-58 blowout of visiting Baylor. The win was the ninth straight for the Cowboys (19-2, 9-1 Big 12), who are now all alone in first place in the Big 12. They opened the game with a 17-2 run and led 43-14 at the half, getting 14 points each from Tony Allen and Ivan McFarlin and 13 from John Lucas in his first game against the school he transferred from.

Longhorns Can’t Hold Up Their End: No. 10 Texas had lost just once since the start of the year as they headed to Ames for Saturday’s game with Iowa State. The Longhorns looked like they might do it again, as they led by 14 points with less than 14 minutes left to play, but the Cyclones got going at that point and eventually completed the rally in a 78-77 upset. Jake Sullivan led the Cyclones (14-7, 5-5 Big 12) with 24 points, and freshman Curtis Stinson had 18 points and 10 assists. Brandon Mouton had a career-high 29 points to lead Texas (17-4, 8-2), which now drops to second place in the Big 12.

Friars Beat Nearest Rival: No. 22 Providence traveled to Chestnut Hill on Saturday to take on Boston College, looking for their third straight win. The Friars broke open a close game early and had several double-digit leads, holding off Eagle comebacks in a 61-52 victory. After the Eagles (16-8, 5-6 Big East) had their last lead of the game at 8-6, Providence scored 7 straight points and started getting fast break opportunities to take the game over. Then when the Eagles got within three at 48-45 with 6:35 left, the Friars scored the next 11 points as part of a 13-1 run to put the game away. Ryan Gomes led Providence (17-5, 8-3) with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Dwight Brewington filled the stat sheet with 10 points, 4 assists and 4 steals off the bench. Craig Smith led Boston College with 13 points and 8 rebounds in defeat.

Smith May Be Out: As has been the case much of the season, Smith was banged up during the game, and may not play in the Eagles’ next game on Monday night at Seton Hall. On a play in the second half, he fell on another player’s foot and hurt his lower back as he tried to resist falling down. He said after the game that it was really bothering him, but he will treat it Sunday and travel with the team to New Jersey before making a decision on Monday.

Cavaliers Pull Off Upset: Todd Billet made a three-pointer from the top of the key with 2.4 seconds left to give Virginia a big upset win, 82-80 over No. 15 Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers (13-9, 3-8 ACC) desperately needed this win, as they snapped a five-game losing streak. Billet’s three-pointer was his only field goal of the game, as Elton Brown led the Cavaliers with 21 points, while Devin Smith added 16. B.J. Elder led Georgia Tech (18-6, 5-5) with 22 points.

Wildcats Romp, Check The Box Score: No. 14 Arizona blew out UCLA, 107-83 at home on Saturday in a game that had some real statistical oddities. UCLA (10-11, 6-7 Pac Ten) shot a scorching 66% from the field, which leads one to wonder how they lost. The answer: 28 turnovers against Arizona’s full-court press, which the Wildcats (16-6, 8-5) turned into 50 points. Salim Stoudamire led the way with a career-high 34 points on 13-17 shooting, and Andre Iguodala set a school record with his third triple-double (14 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists).

Orangemen Show Signs of Life: No. 24 Syracuse needed to get going offensively, and junior Hakim Warrick gave them some life on Saturday at Miami. Warrick set a school record for shooting in a Big East game, making all 11 of his field goals en route to 27 points in a 91-74 win over the Hurricanes. His effort led a 64.4% shooting day for the Orangemen (16-5, 6-4 Big East), and he got good support from Gerry McNamara, who had 23 points. The loss was the seventh in a row for Miami (13-12, 3-8), their longest in a decade, and making things worse is that Darius Rice left the game after aggravating an injury to his right arch. He said after the game that he does not expect to play in their next game against Connecticut on Wednesday night.

Texas Tech Holds On: No. 18 Texas Tech had a 13-point lead over visiting Kansas State early in the game, but it didn’t last long. The Wildcats cut it to three by halftime, but the Red Raiders were able to pull away in the second half for an 82-71 win. Andre Emmett led Texas Tech (18-6, 6-4 Big 12) with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Badgers Rout Visiting Buckeyes: Devin Harris had himself a night in Madison, scoring 33 points and grabbing six rebounds, making 16 of 18 free throws along the way to lead the 16th-ranked Badgers to a 78-48 rout of Ohio State. After the Buckeyes (11-12, 3-7 Big Ten) got within 43-34, the Badgers broke the game open and never looked back. The win keeps Wisconsin (17-4, 8-2) in first place in the Big Ten)

Other Notable Results: Saturday featured several other noteable games.

  • Fresh off a big upset win over Connecticut on Monday night, Notre Dame (12-9, 6-5 Big East) won another big game, knocking off streaking Seton Hall (16-6, 6-4) 71-68 behind 26 points from Chris Thomas.
  • Michigan State (13-9, 8-3 Big Ten) tried to keep pace with Wisconsin atop the Big Ten, staying a half game back with a 69-58 win over visiting Minnesota behind 20 points from Chris Hill.
  • South Carolina (20-5, 7-4 SEC) got back on track after losing two straight, beating Vanderbilt (15-6, 4-6) 82-75 in a battle of teams that were recently ranked.
  • Behind 28 points from freshman Sean Banks, Memphis (18-4, 9-2 C-USA) won its sixth straight, 89-71 over slumping Marquette (13-8, 4-6).
  • St. Louis (12-9, 5-5 C-USA) picked up a big 46-45 win over Charlotte (15-6, 7-3), which was fresh off its third win over a top 10 team this season after beating No. 9 Louisville Thursday night.
  • Air Force (18-3, 8-1 Mountain West) remained on a roll, winning its 16th in 17 games and setting a school record for wins in a season with a 51-50 squeaker over visiting New Mexico.
  • Nevada (16-7, 10-4 WAC) dealt a major blow to any at-large hopes UTEP (18-5, 9-4) had with a 92-63 rout of the Miners behind a career-high 32 points from Nick Fazekas.
  • Drake dealt a severe blow to any hope Creighton (18-4, 10-4 Missouri Valley) has of an NCAA Tournament at-large bid with a 78-73 upset of the Bluejays in double overtime.
  • Lafayette (18-5, 9-1 Patriot League) remained in the lead in the Patriot League with a 78-72 win over visiting Holy Cross behind 16 points from Justin DeBerry.

Forward Reinstated: St. John’s reinstated Tyler Jones on Friday, eight days after they suspended him. He will be eligible to play Wednesday night against Georgetown at Madison Square Garden. With just eight players, including four walk-ons, on the roster prior to his reinstatement, the Red Storm will certainly benefit from having Jones rejoin the team.

Wildcat Down: Northwestern guard Evan Seacat appeared to have a concussion after a nasty collision during the Wildcats’ 65-52 win over Penn State. Seacat ran into a screen set by 7-foot center Jan Jagla and was motionless on the floor while play continued. He was taken to Evanston Hospital, and no word on his condition was immediately available after the game. A spokesman for the team said that he was able to move his extremities.

Tonight’s Menu

• Pittsburgh is home to a Big East showdown, as No. 5 Connecticut travels there to take on the 4th-ranked Panthers at the Peterson Events Center. The Panthers have never lost there.

• No. 12 Cincinnati travels to Winston-Salem to take on No. 19 Wake Forest.

• That’s not all for ACC action in the Tar Heel State. No. 2 Duke heads a few miles east to take on No. 21 North Carolina State, while Maryland heads to Chapel Hill to take on No. 17 North Carolina. In the former, things could be interesting with the comments made by North Carolina State guard Scooter Sherrill about Duke’s J.J. Redick on Thursday.

• Nebraska welcomes No. 13 Kansas in a Big 12 matchup.

• Two mid-major conferences have games involving two teams atop the conference. Boston University travels to Vermont to take on the Catamounts, trailing by a half game in America East play. In the Atlantic Sun, Troy State takes a one-game lead into Belmont.

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