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February 28, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 28th

Princeton Stays Hot: Ivy League leader Princeton won its fifth straight game Friday night, rolling to a 75-52 win over visiting Columbia. The Tigers (16-7, 9-1 Ivy) got 24 points from Judson Wallace, including 17 in the second half, and broke open a close game in the second half with a run of 13 unanswered points. They lead Brown by a game and a half with four games left.

Bears Stay Right There: Brown got 25 points from Patrick Powers in a 77-54 win over visiting Dartmouth that was never close. The Bears (12-12, 8-3 Ivy) scored the game’s first 14 points, and Powers had good help from point guard Jason Forte, who posted a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Quakers Keep Winning, Cornell On Edge: Pennsylvania got 24 points from Jeff Schiffner and 17 from freshman Ibrahim Jabber to beat Cornell in a game of runs, 84-69. The Quakers (14-9, 7-3 Ivy) remain two games out of first place in the loss column with the win, and they all but eliminated Cornell (11-13, 6-5), which is now three games behind in the Ivy League with three games left.

Top Patriot League Teams Lose, Make It Interesting: The top two Patriot League teams both lost on Friday night, which makes the race for the top wide open heading into each team’s last game. League leader Lehigh (17-9, 10-3 Patriot) lost at Colgate (13-13, 5-8), 54-48, in a game where neither team shot well but the teams combined for 16 turnovers. Also, Bucknell (13-13, 9-4) lost at Holy Cross (12-14, 6-7), 72-61, as the Crusaders took the lead for good early when they ran off 15 unanswered points.

Monmouth Clinches Northeast: Monmouth got 24 points and 13 rebounds from Blake Hamilton to lead four players in double figures as they clinched the regular season title in the Northeast Conference with an 87-82 win over St. Francis (NY). The Hawks (18-10, 12-5) have a one-game lead over the Terriers, but they swept the season series between the two teams.

Trojans Win Easily: Troy State clinched at least a share of its third straight regular season Atlantic Sun title with a 113-73 blowout at Jacksonville. The Trojans (20-5, 17-2 Atlantic Sun), who got 22 points from Herbert Evans, will be the top seed in the conference tournament since they own the tiebreaker for seeding with Central Florida, who could still tie them for first place.

Other Scores: Rice (20-7, 11-4 WAC) edged host San Jose State (6-19, 1-14) 61-55, holding off a late run. Hawaii () easily handled visiting Tulsa (). Iona (9-17, 7-10 MAAC) shot over 53% from the field, led by Ricky Soliver’s 27 points on 10-13 shooting (including 5-5 on three-pointers), to beat St. Peter’s (15-11, 11-6). Yale (10-14, 5-6 Ivy) beat Harvard (4-20, 3-8) 80-62, forcing 23 turnovers and scoring 29 points off them.

Stoudamire Reinstated: Arizona reinstated junior guard Salim Stoudamire on Friday, according to ESPN.com. The Wildcats’ leading scorer was suspended on Thursday by head coach Lute Olson, but he practiced on Friday and will start on Saturday for the 13th-ranked Wildcats against Washington State.

SMU Coach Gone: One day after losing by 39 points to Boise State at home, SMU fired head coach Mike Dement on Friday. Dement never made the NCAA Tournament in nine seasons at the school, posting a 138-120 record, and he had one year left on his contract. The Mustangs have lost 12 of their last 16 games, and seven-year assistant Robert Lineberg will coach the team on an interim basis.

Sampson Reprimanded For Criticizing Officials: Both the Big 12 Conference and Oklahoma University reprimanded Sooner head coach Kelvin Sampson on Friday for criticizing officials after a loss at Colorado. The conference said that he violated their sportsmanship rule for his criticism of a foul called with 2.3 seconds left in Wednesday’s game at Colorado. A school spokesman had no comment about the reprimand on Friday.

Twins Suspended: The Pac-10 suspended USC junior guards Errick and Derrick Craven for one game on Friday for separate actions in the Trojans’ 70-60 win over California last Saturday. The suspensions were originally handed down on Tuesday, but the school appealed and they were allowed to play in Tuesday night’s 78-77 overtime win over UCLA. They will serve their suspensions separately: Errick will sit out their next game at Oregon next Thursday night, and Derrick will sit out the following game, at Oregon State, two days later.

Former Georgia Coach Sues: The Associated Press reported on Friday that former Georgia basketball coaches Jim Harrick and son Jim Harrick, Jr. have sued school and NCAA officials for defamation. The coaches filed the lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, naming a number of defendants that includes Georgia President Michael Adams, Athletic Director Vince Dooley and the University System Board of Regents. They are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney’s fees and other litigation costs. Last March, the younger Harrick was fired amidst investigations accusing the coaches of helping to give players academic assistance and improper benefits, and the elder Harrick resigned later in the month.

Dotson’s Trial Date Set: Texas State District Judge George Allen set an August 9 trial date for Carlton Dotson, the former Baylor basketball player charged with the murder of former teammate Patrick Dennehy. The trial had been set for March, but defense attorney Russ Hunt said he needed more time to review evidence in the case. Dotson has been jailed in Waco since October, three months after being arrested in his home state of Maryland. If convicted, he faces five years to life in prison.

NCAA Consisdering Standardizing Visits: The head of an NCAA panel on athletic recruiting said Friday that steps may be taken to standardize on-campus visits, the Associated Press reported on Friday. David Berst, NCAA Vice President of Division I, said the goal will be for athletes to have common experiences to use for making decisions between schools. The report also said that some of the major athletic conferences will discuss recruiting during conference meetings where all teams are present.

Bucknell Coach Will Be Okay: Bucknell head coach Pat Flannery did not travel with the team this weekend, but is resting at home and should be back with the team for next weekend’s Patriot League Tournament. Athletic Communication Director Jon Terry said that Flannery had a procedure done on Thursday and was released from the hospital later that day, all precautionary. Assistant coach Nathan Davis is assuming leadership of the team this weekend.

Tonight’s Menu

• Another full Saturday of college basketball action starts with No. 1 Stanford hosting Oregon. In the other big Pac Ten game of the day, No. 13 Arizona hosts Washington State.

• No. 2 St. Joseph’s visits Rhode Island in their last big test before the Atlantic Ten Tournament. The Hawks lost there last year on a last-second steal and basket.

• No. 5 Gonzaga hosts Santa Clara.

• In the ACC, No. 11 Wake Forest takes on Maryland in College Park, with the Terrapins needing a win. Also, No. 19 Georgia Tech visits Clemson, a tough place for visiting teams this year despite the Tigers’ struggles.

• In the Big East, No. 8 Connecticut travels to Villanova, Georgetown takes on Seton Hall in East Rutherford, and Notre Dame visits UCLA in a non-conference game.

• In Big 12 play, No. 6 Oklahoma State visits Baylor, and a big in-state matchup takes place in Austin as No. 25 Texas Tech takes on No. 10 Texas.

• No. 20 Louisville hosts No. 22 Memphis in a big Conference USA matchup of teams heading in opposite directions, while No. 15 Cincinnati travels to Charlotte in another important game. Two bubble teams match up in Birmingham as UAB hosts Marquette, and DePaul tries to keep its NCAA at-large hopes alive as the Blue Demons host Southern Mississippi.

• In the SEC, No. 7 Mississippi State visits Vanderbilt, while Florida travels to play Arkansas, Alabama hosts Mississippi, and South Carolina hosts Georgia.

• No. 18 Southern Illinois hosts Bradley.

• No. 23 Illinois looks to stay hot as they host Northwestern. In the other Big Ten game of NCAA significance, Michigan State visits Penn State.

• No. 24 Utah State travels to Irvine to take on UC-Irvine.

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