Eddie Griffin Challenge 2004: Philly Wins Series

<b>PHILADELPHIA – </b><i>The New Jersey stars raced out to a big opening quarter lead. However, they didn't take care of business late and the Philadelphia stars captured the 2004 Eddie Griffin Challenge game and the overall series win. </i>

In the inaugural Eddie Griffin Challenge, the 2006 stars from New Jersey knocked off their Philadelphia counterparts to set things in motion for the three-game series. But, after the sophomores took care of business for Jersey, the kids from Philadelphia rose to the occasion and captured the final two games of the series, giving the boys from Philadelphia bragging rights until next year when the event moves onto Jersey turf.

The final game featured the stars from the Class of 2004, led by North Carolina bound J.R. Smith. Jersey got out of the gates quickly as Smith heated up fast but when his jumper cooled so did Jersey and Philly rallied for the 103-94 win.

Much in the manner of who Shane Clark took over the 2005 game, Desean White got it done for Philadelphia. He scored a series-high 23 points in the win and was outstanding. The Providence-bound senior scored in a variety of ways.

White's game appears to be predicated on staying active, being around the ball and capitalizing on his opportunities. He's like a smart veteran player out there; he understands how to score and maximizes his chances. He got points off drives, jumpers and stickbacks. It was his day for sure.

Sean Singletary wasn't bad either. He stated before the game that his chronically injured shoulder was still just at 80%. He got off to a slow start but made some huge buckets in the second half for Philly. He finished with 18 points and like we said, was a key player down the stretch.

Kyle Lowry pushed it hard and shared the basketball to the tune of 13 points and at least five assists. Uncommitted senior Mark Tyndale had 12 points and so did Notre Dame-bound power forward Rob Kurz who shook himself loose for some nice finishes inside.

The Jersey boys were missing Alex Galindo who was late coming home from an official visit but they still had a pair of Top 100s in Smith and Joakim Noah. The latter finished with 10 points and is going to be a player but getting stronger and adding weight is going to be a major point of emphasis for him at Florida.

Double figure scorers for Jersey included Dayton-bound forward Chris Alvarez (13 points), JMU-bound Albert Fisher (11) and uncommitted forward Kyle Hines (12).

GAME NOTES— Galindo made his official visit to UTEP over the weekend and did not return in time for the game. He was replaced by St. Anthony's point guard Ahmad Mosby. … Game announcer Howard Garfinkel, when announcing Lowry, described his status as "not quite committed but close." Most in the crowd thought that meant Villanova. … "Tabby" Cunningham did not score but had some fine assists and is an excellent game manager. …

BOX SCORE:

NEW JERSEY (94)– JR Smith 21, Ahmad Mosby 3, Joakim Noah 10, Courtney Nelson 9, Cedric Jackson 7, Chris Alvarez 13, Albert Fisher 11, John Oates 3, Jonathan Hart 5, Kyle Hines 12.

PHILADELPHIA (103) – Sean Singletary 18, Kyle Lowry 13, Richard Cunningham 0, Bilal Benn 8, Marshall Taylor 2, Mark Tyndale 12, Rob Kurz 12, Desean White 21, Matt Walden 2, Stanley Branch 8.


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