Colonial: Old Dominion 60, Drexel 59 (story) - You can't tell much about this game from the boxscore - both teams shot around 40%, were even on rebounds, and neither club turned the ball over that much. But ask one of the 2,000 or so who showed up at Drexel's DAC, and they'll tell you how truly ugly this contest was. Old Dominion (12-2, 2-0 CAA) was on their way to a rout at 49-32 when narcolepsy struck. They ended up scoring only 19 points in a sludgy second half that saw neither team score for five entire minutes; Monarchs guard Arnaud Dahi had to bail his team out with a last-second jumper. Looming for the Dragons (4-6, 0-2 CAA) is a Saturday jaunt to Long Island to play 10-1 Hofstra, who kicked around William & Mary last night.Atlantic Sun: Gardner-Webb 79, Belmont 75 (story) - A gentleman from Florida recently asked me if I was "drunk" for picking G-Webb to win the A-Sun. The school's athletic department was made an example of by the NCAA for "lack of institutional control" during the school's recent ascension to D1: Their 2000-01 record was wiped out, they're down a scholarship, and they're on three-year double-secret probation. So they're playing angry, and could slice their way through a soft conference which they've been granted eligibility to win. They have a little talent too: Brian Bender is a name you might consider becoming familiar with (it'll be easier to remember if you're a Futurama fan). He's a physical 6-6 player with a feathery touch, and ended up with 27 points and 14 rebounds in this one. It was the first-ever victory over the Belmont Bruins for the Runnin' Bulldogs from Boiling Springs, who are now 4-0 in conference play. Big South: Coastal Carolina 76, Winthrop 68 (story) - Winthrop compiled a respectable 9-4 non-conference record and figured to cruise through a BSC riddled with squads with losses to Division II schools. But then their league schedule got off to an inauspicious start when they were beat by a team with a 20-person student section and a gigantic teal-colored chicken for a mascot. Quoth TMM's favorite quote machine, Eagles coach Gregg Marshall: "You play for Winthrop, the other team gets up for you and really wants to beat you. It makes me upset." Here's a touching Christmas story for you: the Chanticleers' leading scorer with 24, freshman guard Jack Leasure, returned to the starting lineup for the first time since being stranded in upstate New York for the holidays.
Shootaround!Northeast: St. Francis (PA) 79, Long Island 70
- Erstwhile superfrosh and comeback-player-of-the-year candidate junior guard Darshan Luckey had 24. Coach Bobby Jones' Red Flash is 2-0 early on, including a three-point home win over Central Connecticut State
... Monmouth 83, Wagner 61
- The defending conference champs' offense, which was milk-carton material last week
, seems to have returned home.SoCon: College Of Charleston 66, Elon 47
; Chattanooga 66, The Citadel 57
- CofC (8-4, 2-0 SoCon) and the Mocs (8-2, 1-0 SoCon) are emerging as the class of the north and south divisions (respectively). Both took care of business on this night, and won't get to test each other until their sole meeting at Chattanooga February 7.Virginia 80, Western Kentucky 79 (2OT)
- After 49 minutes and 53 seconds of action between a decent yet undermanned ACC team and a resurgent Sun Belt power, it came down to a lengthy scramble for a loose ball. Finally, with two seconds left, T.J. Bannister cavalierly laid it up for the win. Virginia coach Pete Gillen, whose team was down for almost the entire game before the last-second victory, was unable to put the event in historical perspective.
"I've been in college basketball 30 years. I don't remember a game like that, double overtime, where the ball's on the ground for four or five seconds. It probably was two seconds. It seemed like four or five."Games! Of! The! Night! Rice
is a matchup that features reigning MMBOW Michael Harris
of the Owls, and one that will go a long way in determining the shape of the WAC this season. In the Horizon League, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
is at Butler
in a battle of two teams that should be scrapping it out for the top spot all year.
A quick housekeeping note. A sizeable percentage of my 200-or-so unanswered e-mails are from proud fans/alums/boosters who have taken time out of their busy schedules to notify me that their teams' TMM pages are missing results from the So-And-So Classic or the Bank-Sponsored Holiday Hoop Jamboree last month. Friends, I share your frustration. The site's internal scoreboards get their data from USA Today, which occasionally dropped the ball in reporting consolations and placement-games during the dizzying array of faux
festivals and invitationals back in December. I've set aside some time next week to correct these neutral-court results, but please keep those cards and letters coming.Eastern Washington's
student newspaper recaps the headscratcher of a non-conference season
for the defending Big Sky champion Eagles.
League play gets going tonight in the super-exciting West Coast Conference. ESPN's Ed Graney says that it's all about the thousand-pound gorilla
, and leads with the same basic metaphor I did two months ago
(Hmmm.) The Seattle Times
' Bud Withers examines the evolution