Griffin Challenge: Clark Saves Philly

<b>NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. –</b> Just like he did last year, Shane Clark took care of business and led his Philadelphia boys past the New Jersey squad to capture the 2005 Eddie Griffin Challenge.

Heading into the final game of the night at the Eddie Griffin Challenge, the Philadelphia area stars and the Jersey boys had split games with Philly, winning in the 2006 game and New Jersey scored the win the 2007 contest.

For the second year in a row, Shane Clark rose to meet a challenge and this time his 21-point performance not only was good enough for his second straight MVP award at the event but the 88-78 win secured bragging rights for the Philly crew.

Clark and Co. struggled to get the pace going in their favor but late in the game, Philadelphia was able create an end to end contest that favored Clark's transition game.

Stephan Jackson and Dionte Christmas got their running games in gear and scored 15 and 12 points respectively for Philadelphia.

Over on the Jersey ledger, forward Brandon Costner was awarded the MVP trophy for his 15 point effort. Costner was an efficient 4-for-7 from the floor and 7-for-8 from the line to go with 5 rebounds. Ryan Ayers had his confident stroke working and he burned it up from the perimeter for a team-high 17 points.

In terms of the battle of the big men, the Vernon Goodridge vs. Andrew Bynum matchup never got interesting. As is usually the case in all-star type settings, the guards tend to dominate and the bigs become an afterthought. Bynum had 9 points and 6 rebounds while Goodridge had four points and 5 boards. Both took 7 shots apiece.

After the game, Clark – who took a 7-hour train ride from Virginia to N.J. – opted to end his recruitment and commit to the Maryland Terrapins over the Villanova Wildcats. "It's going to be better for me to get out of the city and mature on my own," Clark first told


Philadelphia (88) – Scott Rogers 6, Stephan Jackson 15, Shane Clark 21, Kenny Tribbett 1, Aron Cohen 0, Dionte Christmas 12, Vernon Goodridge 4, Bilal Benn 2, Ryan Ayers 17, Harris Mansell 10.

New Jersey (78) – Tyrell Biggs 4, Brandon Costner 15, Gerald Inman 8, Jaron Griffin 11, Andrew Bynum 9, Anthony Farmer 7, Marquise Jones 14, Ahmad Nivins 3, Kevin Payton 3, Derek Mercer 4.

NOTES – Tribbett is going to wait until the spring period to sign with a team. He cites interest from Navy, Virginia Tech, Penn State and George Washington. …

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