Colonial: Old Dominion 67, Hofstra 66 (story) - As was the case in their recent squeaker against Drexel, Old Dominion raced out to a big lead and then hit the cruise control button too early. The second half was filled with streaky back-and-forth runs, and the homestanding Pride grabbed a 66-64 lead on a Antoine Agudio trey with two minutes to go. But the final basket would be ODU's - reserve swingman Kiah Thomas answered with a three, and the Monarchs stayed perfect in conference (16-2, 6-0 CAA). Troubling foreshadowy statistic of the game: Old Dominion was outrebounded by a smaller Hofstra team, 42-27.Southland: Southeastern Louisiana 66, Lamar 60 (story) - SELU (11-6, 4-1 SLC) has shown their mettle by twice holding Lamar - a team accustomed to the 80's - down in the grittier neighborhood of the 60's. In this victory, the Lions outhustled, outworked and out-everythinged this site's conference pick, and beat 'em up good. When you see a team get seven assists from their center, you know they were able to do pretty much anything they wanted. The only bad mark on SELU's Southland record is last weekend's failed comeback at 4-0 Northwestern State; at press time, it looks like a two-team race.
Shootaround!Missouri Valley: Southern Illinois
maintains the conference lead at 6-0 by defending their turf from a game Bradley
squad, 67-59. The Braves - led by former MMBOW Marcellus Sommerville
- fought back from 14 down to trail by a bucket with three minutes to go, but the home team held on to win its 31st straight Valley game in Salukiville. SIU heads into a Saturday showdown at 5-1 Wichita State
Remember two weeks ago, when Hartford
scored 22 points against Boston University
and we all had a good laugh about it?
Perhaps with Game 27's writeup posted to their bulletin board, the Hawks have won two games since, including last night's 73-67 win over a Maine
team that was an early pick to challenge Vermont
for the league title. The Black Bears are fading into a fog thicker than the one that regularly rolls into Bar Harbor, and are 3-4 in conference.Big South:
There's a three-way tie at the top of the table: Winthrop
, Charleston Southern
and High Point
are all 4-1. Winthrop was the only team in action last night, beating Birmingham Southern
on the road 65-57 with a barrage of threes.Mid-American: Western Michigan
(13-3, 6-0 MAC) keeps rolling, beating a hapless Northern Illinois
squad 67-60 at home to stay undefeated in the MAC West - reigning MMBOW Levi Rost
poured in 10 points, but co-team-leader Ben Reed ladled on 27. The East race, on the other hand, is a mess. Today's division leaders Miami (Ohio)
(9-5, 4-2 MAC) went into Eastern Michigan
and topped the Eagles 83-73. Two blue and yellow teams lurk behind at 4-3: TMM conference pick Kent State (85-80 winners at home over underachieving Buffalo
), and the mighty Zips of Akron
65-55 to keep the Thundering Herd winless in MAC play).Metro Atlantic:
With all this talk about Niagara and Manhattan, and renewed interest in Rider, there are a certain bunch of Red Foxes who are trying to go from 4-14 to respectability in one post-Dave Magarity
season. Last night, Marist
(9-7, 6-1 MAAC) won at Fairfield
74-72 on the strength of big Will McClurkin's 26 points. McClurkin even hit a trey with two ticks left to ice the win. Centers nailing game-winning threes
- happens all the time in the wacky MAAC. Yawn.Game! Of! The! Night!
Let's go to the Mid-Continent Conference. Missouri-Kansas City
(7-7, 5-0 Mid-Con) has a scarcely-believable perfect conference record, and a seven-game winning streak to match a season-opening seven-game skid. The match that lit the Kangaroos' fuse was a dominating 58% shooting performance at the house of IUPUI
(9-6, 3-1 Mid-Con), a team that has jumped into Hoops Nation's consciousness in recent years with its explosive play and highly-pronounceable acronym. Tonight is the back leg of the home-and-home, and the Jaguars are coming back for revenge in a series in which the road team often wins out
. 8 o'clock Eastern is the tip time, and you can find a free webcast here
In the Northeast, college basketball season means snow season. On their recent trip to Philadelphia, a sudden snow squall almost kept the St. Bonaventure
team (1-13, 0-4 A-10) from getting to their scheduled 71-47 whoopin' at Temple
. The Bonnies may be bad on the court, but they're a tough crew who's not afraid of a few flakes
Arguably the most stunned of all was the St. Bonaventure men's basketball team, which got on the team bus outside the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown at 12th and Market Streets at 5:15 p.m. for a 7 o'clock game at Temple University. The team got to the Liacouras Center at 6:40 p.m., a trip that should take 15 minutes.
"We were gridlocked right in front of our hotel," said Steve Mest, sports information director for the team from the Buffalo area - where heavy snow is commonplace. Nobody on the bus could believe that traffic was at a standstill. "We were saying, 'What weather?' This is absolutely expected on a daily basis" at home, Mest said.
Brian Milne of the San Luis Obispo Tribune
asks if it's time to hit the panic button
for the Big West's Cal Poly
(3-11, 1-5 BWC). Senior Nick Enzweiler says, "We could go 0-26 and I'd still feel we could make some noise in the tournament." But remember, Nick, only the top eight of the ten teams get to go to Anaheim in March. My advice to Poly fans is to revel in the memories of your upset win over Santa Clara
, enjoy your snow-free weather, and sing that cool, crazy fight song of yours
a few times.
With this academics-first story about high-school hoops in theaters called Coach Carter
, it got me to thinking that there's never been a decent movie about small-college basketball. Dig through the history, and you'll find a thousand scripts. One good story is that of Charles Greer, a well-beloved player and coach at Middle Tennessee State
who presided over the Blue Raiders as they made the jump up to the Ohio Valley Conference in the Fifties. Greer passed away last Friday at 86 and was laid to rest earlier this week; the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal pays tribute