West Coast: San Francisco 73, UMPFN 70 (story)
- The proud Don tradition lies buried under decades of moldy mediocrity - behind Bill Russell, they rattled off 60 straight wins
back in the Fifties. With a new imported coach (Jessie Evans, formerly of Louisiana-Lafayette
), they're hoping to get dynastic again someday. A win over the blue-clads from Spokane is a step in the right direction - USF took advantage of their visitors' 30-minute sleepwalk with excellent guard play (6'4" Virgin Islander Jerome Gumbs had 18 points and 13 rebounds), and held off the hectic final rush to achieve the victory. If WCC teams continue to have success shooting long-range over UMPFN's defense, maybe we'll have to stop calling them the Unnamed Major Program From the Northwest.Mid-Continent: Missouri-Kansas City 81, IUPUI 76 (story)
- So, how are those New Year's resolutions doing? Have you finally quit smoking, still making it out to the gym? The Kangaroos (8-7, 6-0 Mid-Con) are sticking to their goal just fine - they resolved to stop losing, and haven't yet in eight 2005 tries. What's their secret? Whip-crack discipline
, and a lot of drawn fouls. Both teams shot 51%, but the difference was that the homestanding 'Roos hit 23 of 30 free throws - insoding, they sunk Ooie-Pooie for the second time this year. We'll have to wait until next Saturday to see if UMKC is just keeping the first-place seat warm for Oral Roberts
(12-4, 4-1 Mid-Con), who were 94-89 winners versus Oakland
last night.Shootaround!Western Athletic: Nevada
(12-4, 6-1 WAC) stays on top by trampling WAC-winless Tulsa
75-69, a victory keyed by super-soph Nick Fazekas' 33 points and a 18-7 run coming out of the break. TMM conference pick Rice
(10-4, 5-1 WAC) is a half-game back at 5-1 and began their crucial week
by mauling Fresno State 83-68, mostly without the services of former MMBOW Michael Harris
, who battled leg cramps; they head into a Saturday matchup with the aforementioned Wolfpack. The other 5-1 team, Texas-El Paso
, gets to beat on San Jose State
Purple Eagles (10-6, 5-3 MAAC) and their whopping 3rd-in-the-nation 87 points are not dominating this conference because they suffer from sudden and random defensive lapses - they survived a visit from pesky Rider
(9-7, 5-2 MAAC) in a 102-97 NBA game. Canadian superhero Juan Mendez, stronger than a blast of Arctic air, had 31 points and 11 rebounds.Sun Belt: Denver
leads the West division at 4-0 after beating Arkansas State
of the tougher East
95-78; the Pioneers have a red-hot center named Yemi Nicholson (18 pts, 7 rebs, 6 blocks in 20 minutes), and the Indians have a coach named Dickey Nutt. (Sometimes you wonder how certain folks got through high school alive.) Arkie's other Sun Belt denizens, Arkansas-Little Rock
, went to 4-1 by beating the Mean Green of North Texas
by a 71-64 count. The game was held at UNT's house and this year's home of the SBC tournament: the Denton Super Pit.Housekeeping!
With the upcoming surge in Saturday double- and triple-headers in the 100 Games Project
, Dribblings will revert to a 5 1/2-day weekly schedule, skipping Saturdays. Because we all know that Princeton
are going to win the Ivy and Patriot (respectively), there's little drama in Friday night coverage. The man needs sleep, peoples.
Until last season, Northern Iowa
was either heaven
, a state of mind, or something that got stuck to Southern Illinois'
shoes twice a year. A big reason why you've heard of the defending Missouri Valley champions (and the only team from the state to Dance last year) at all is due to their new emphasis on doing their homework. The Cedar Falls Courier
profiles the team managers who work the film room.
The great story of Georgian Travis Smith, who was on his way to a SEC future in high school until an errant effort in his other sport, the long jump, ripped his left ACL. Now Smith and his reconstructed knee are at The Citadel
, shooting the lights out. "Everything happens for a reason,"
If there really is a Hoop God
, there is a special place in the hereafter for ballers who go down with their sneaks on. At 7:15 PM last night, during the opening minutes of a Division III game in Worcester, Massachusetts, 6'4" senior guard Antwoine Key of Eastern Connecticut collapsed and died whilst running downcourt
. Shortly thereafter, he fed Hank Gathers
on a sweet dish-and-dunk, and the crowd screamed out for more.