East – Rutgers needed overtime to top Monmouth, 78-75 at the RAC. Perhaps the Scarlet Knights were prematurely looking ahead to a one day "vacation." Head Coach Gary Waters had promised his team the following day off if they defeated the Hawks. Monmouth led 32-31 at the half, and went ahead by as much as seven in the 2nd half. A late Rutgers spurt put the Scarlet Knights up by three points before Monmouth's Dwayne Byfield hit a 3 point shot with 2.8 seconds remaining to tie the game at 60 and send it to overtime. In the extra session freshman guard Marquise Webb took charge, scoring 8 of his 11 points as Rutgers finally pulled away for the win. The Knights Herve Lamizana led all scorers with 18 points. #6 St. Joseph's remained undefeated at 14-0 by thumping Fordham at home, 79-35. All American PG Jameer Nelson had 13 points for the Hawks, moving him into 2nd place on their career scoring list.
South – # 20 Mississippi State suffered their first loss of the season, as the Bulldogs were nipped at home by #5 Kentucky 67-66. The Wildcats trailed by one point with just under 3 seconds remaining. They were inbounding from sidecourt after getting the ball back after a tie-up on the alternate possession rule. Kentucky tried a long pass under the Bulldogs' basket which deflected right to senior forward Erik Daniels. He immediately put up the game-winning basket. Mississippi St. has no one to blame but themselves for the loss. They failed to convert the first half of two "one and ones" in the final minute, wasting an impressive 2nd half comeback effort. Kentucky had led by as much as 16 points in the 2nd half before the Bulldogs roared back. Senior guard Gerald Fitch led the way for the Wildcats with 23 points, while Daniels scored 16. Senior guard Timmy Bowers led Mississippi St. with 20 points. In the ACC Clemson scored an impressive road win, defeating Florida St. 53-48.
Southwest - #18 Texas used a balanced scoring attack to hand #4 Wake Forest their first defeat of the season, 94-81. Freshman guard P.J. Tucker scored 21 points for the Longhorns and senior PF Brian Boddicker contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds. Texas had three other players score in double figures. The victory was Texas' 24th consecutive at home, and was played in front of a record crowd of 16,837 at the Frank Erwin Center.
East - #1 Connecticut ran their record to 14-1 with an easy 94-70 win over Georgetown at Storrs. Junior center Emeka Okafor was a force at both ends of the court. He led all scorers with 27 points, and also had 11 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Senior PG Taliek Brown had 20 points, 7 assists, and a career-high 3 blocks for the Huskies. The win was the 11th straight for UConn, and the 7th straight over Georgetown. Most of the Hoyas' scoring came from three players. Ashanti Cook led the way with 18 points, while both Gerald Riley and Brandon Bowman had 17. Bowman also grabbed 11 rebounds... In other Big East games, Villanova scored an impressive road win 92-89 over Boston College. Freshman PG Mike Nardi scored 24 points and sophomore SG Allan Ray had 23 to lead the Wildcats. Fifteen of Ray's points came on 3 point shots, as Villanova was an amazing 14-20 overall from 3 point range! The Eagles were led by sophomore PF Craig Smith's 21 points and freshman Jared Dudley's 19... Miami went into Madison Square Garden and defeated St. John's 70-64 behind Robert Hite's 18 points. Virginia Tech nipped West Virginia, 69-67. In the Atlantic 10, Duquesne surprised Xavier 71-58.
South – In the SEC, Alabama topped Arkansas 81-65; South Carolina needed overtime to nip Auburn 53-51; and Tennessee dumped # 23 Vanderbilt 76-66... In Atlantic 10 play, Dayton triumphed at Richmond 55-50.
Midwest - #10 Cincinnati remained unbeaten at 12-0 with an impressive road win, beating #21 Marquette 85-73. The Bearcats defense forced 23 turnovers, a season high for the Golden Eagles. Senior guard Tony Bobbitt led the way for Cincinnati with 18 points, while junior guard Nick Williams chipped in with 16. Junior PG Travis Diener was the leading scorer for Marquette with 19 points. The loss snapped Marquette's 4 game winning streak... In the Big Ten, Michigan State topped Penn State 76-58; Northwestern upset Illinois 70-60; and Purdue nipped # 19 Wisconsin 53-51... In the Big 12, #14 Kansas defeated Kansas State 73-67 and Colorado outlasted Nebraska 68-60... In the Missouri Valley Conference, Northern Iowa handed #24 Creighton their 1st loss of the year 82-73.
Southwest – Oklahoma State has been a thorn in the side of in-state rival Oklahoma in football recently. Add basketball to the list as the Cowboys drubbed the 11th ranked Sooners 77-56 in Stillwater.
South – In the ACC, #2 Duke thrilled the Cameron Crazies with an easy 76-57 win over rival North Carolina State. Sophomore SG J.J. Reddick led the Blue Devils with 20 points and junior guard Daniel Ewing added 18. The victory was the 10th straight for Duke, now 13-1. It was also their 35th consecutive win at home, the second longest current home winning streak in Division 1. Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski gained his 676th career win, moving him into 17th place past Denny Crum. Freshman guard Engin Atsur was the leading scorer for the Wolfpack with 14 points... Also in the ACC, #12 Georgia Tech held off Virginia at home 75-57. Senior guard Marvin Lewis led the Yellow Jacket attack with 17 points to snap their two game losing streak... In CUSA, #8 Louisville moved to 12-1 with a 76-66 road win at East Carolina. Taquan Dean and Larry O'Bannon each scored 16 for the Cardinals, who have won 12 in a row. Senior guard Derrick Wiley of the Pirates led all scorers with 23 points.
West – USC pulled the upset of the day, knocking off #7 Arizona at home 99-90. Senior guard Desmon Farmer had a monster game for the Trojans with 40 points and 7 rebounds. Junior center Channing Frye led the Wildcats with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Elsewhere in the PAC 10, UCLA topped Arizona State at Pauley Pavilion 66-58, Oregon took care of Washington 84-74, and Oregon State defeated Washington State 52-41... In the West Coast Conference, #16 Gonzaga raced to a 55-16 halftime lead en route to a 92-50 rout of San Francisco. Senior guard Blake Stepp led the Bulldogs with 23 points.
Midwest – In CUSA, it was the Golden Eagles facing the Golden Eagles as Southern Mississippi "hosted" #21 Marquette. Hosted is in quotation marks because the game was actually played a long way from Hattiesburg. The game took place in Green Bay after promoters offered Southern Mississippi a reported 100K to move their home game to Titletown. In effect this resulted in Milwaukee-based Marquette having an extra conference home game, something that should be scrutinized by the NCAA. It's simply not fair to the other teams in CUSA. Fortunately, in this case it didn't matter as Southern Miss shocked Marquette 83-61. Senior forward Greg Johnson sparked the upset by scoring 24 points. PG Travis Diener was Marquette's leading scorer with 16.
East – #13 Pittsburgh raised their record to 18-0 with a come-from-behind 59-49 win over Rutgers. The Panthers' victory extends their Division One best home court winning streak to 37. Rutgers trailed 30-24 at the half but rallied in the 2nd half to lead by as many as 6 points. Trailing by 47-43 with about eight minutes remaining, Pitt's defense clamped down on the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers scored only one basket the rest of the way as Pitt closed the game with a 16-2 run. Senior SF Jaron Brown was again the key man for the Panthers, scoring 19 points while limiting Rutgers senior Herve Lamizana to just 6. Freshman center Chris Taft was also instrumental in the victory with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Rutgers only had one player in double figures, junior guard Ricky Shields with 10 points. Also in the Big East Providence won at home against West Virginia 87-66 behind 24 points from senior guard Sheiku Kabba and Boston College handed Seton Hall a 72-63 defeat. Sophomore PF Craig Smith was nearly unstoppable for the Eagles, scoring 26 points on 12-17 shooting and adding 9 rebounds. Senior PG Andre Barrett led the Pirates with 19 points... In the Atlantic 10 Dayton won at Fordham 75-56, George Washington topped LaSalle 74-57; St. Bonaventure nipped Rhode Island 74-71; and Richmond upset Temple 59-52 in Philadelphia.
South - #1 Connecticut traveled to Chapel Hill to face #9 North Carolina and left town an 86-83 loser. The Tar Heels dominated the 1st half, leading 50-36. The Huskies roared back in the 2nd half and went ahead 83-80 on a basket by junior center Emeka Okafor with 1:30 left. Sophomore forward Rashad McCants continued his 2nd half tear by tying the game with a 3 point shot with 1:15 remaining and hitting another trey with just 6.2 seconds left for the win. UConn had a final opportunity to tie the game, but junior SG Ben Gordon missed a long 3 point attempt at the buzzer. McCants scored 27 points, 21 coming after halftime. Okafor had another huge game for the Huskies. He scored a career-high 29 points and added 13 rebounds and 6 blocked shots... In a key ACC match-up, #2 Duke held off #4 Wake Forest 84-72 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Blue Devil SG J.J. Redick led the way with 23 points. Two other Duke players had career-best games. Sophomore forward Sheldon Williams blocked 8 shots. He also contributed 16 points and 14 rebounds, narrowly missing a "triple-double." Senior PG Chris Duhon had 14 assists as well as 8 points. Sophomore PG Justin Gray led Wake Forest with 18 points. Elsewhere in the ACC, #12 Georgia Tech won at home over Maryland 81-71 and North Carolina St. drubbed Clemson 86-69... It was "Upset Saturday" in the SEC, none bigger than Georgia's shocking 65-57 win over #5 Kentucky in Lexington. Leading the way for the Bulldogs were a pair of seniors. Guard Rashad Wright had a game-high 20 points and forward Damien Wilkins scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. The Wildcats' leading scorer was senior forward Erik Daniels with 15 points. The "other Bulldogs" in the SEC also managed an upset road win. #20 Mississippi St. rebounded from their heartbreaking last-second loss to Kentucky earlier in the week and handled LSU 64-54. The final upset was a slight one as #23 Vanderbilt took care of #15 Florida 86-72 in Nashville. In other SEC games Alabama blasted Auburn 69-46 and South Carolina beat up on Tennessee 85-64... In the Big East, Miami came away with a 65-59 road victory over Virginia Tech. Soph SG Robert Hite had another huge game, scoring 26 points on 9-10 shooting including 5-5 from 3 point land... In CUSA, #8 Louisville continued to roll with a 79-58 thrashing of Tulane. It was the Cardinals' 13 consecutive win. Memphis got back on track with a 91-69 win over Charlotte at the Pyramid.
Midwest – In the Atlantic 10, #6 St. Joseph's ran their record to 15-0 with an impressive 81-73 road win at Xavier. The Hawks terrific pair of guards, Jameer Nelson and Delonte West, combined for 61 points! West didn't miss a shot all game, going 12-12 from the field and 6-6 from the line! In the Big East # 17 Syracuse scored a big road win, tripping Notre Dame 81-70. Junior PF Hakim Warrick led the Orangemen with 19 points and added 10 rebounds. Guards Billy Edelin and Gerry McNamara each chipped in with 17 points. Syracuse was surprisingly dominant inside, outscoring the Irish in the paint 46-26. The win was the 13th straight for Syracuse... In the Big 12, Oklahoma State won on the road, edging Kansas State 57-56. #10 Cincinnati turned in another top defensive effort in dispatching TCU 85-57. The Bearcats forced 23 turnovers to keep them unbeaten at 13-0. Cincinnati had four players in double figures, led by senior guard Tony Bobbit's 16 points... Also in CUSA, St. Louis topped South Florida at home 70-52... In Big Ten play Illinois topped Iowa 88-82; Indiana handled Northwestern 73-62; Michigan State drubbed Michigan 71-54, and Ohio St. toppled Minnesota 73-62.
Southwest – In the Big 12, #14 Kansas won at Texas A&M 71-65. Freshman guard J.R. Giddens sparked the Jayhawk victory by scoring 9 straight points in the 2nd half. #11. Oklahoma continued to falter. They lost at home in overtime to Missouri 79-75. Senior guard Ricky Paulding led the way for the Tigers with 23 points including 9 in the overtime session. Senior center Arthur Johnson added 16 points and 11 rebounds. The victory was the first in Norman for Missouri since 1997. #18 Texas needed a basket by senior guard Royal Ivey with just 2.4 seconds left to edge Nebraska at home, 63-61. Ivey and Kenny Taylor each scored 13 points to lead the Longhorns. Cornhuskers' senior forward Andrew Drevo topped all scorers with 23. #22 Texas Tech won on the road in Waco, topping Baylor 75-66... In the SEC, Arkansas held off Mississippi 86-78... In CUSA action, Houston barely escaped with a 55-53 victory over East Carolina.
West - #3 Stanford upped their mark to a perfect 14-0 with a 68-61 home win over California. #7 Arizona got back on track with a dominating 97-72 road win over UCLA. The Wildcats were red-hot from long range, hitting 14 three pointers. In other PAC 10 games Arizona State topped USC 100-85, Oregon handled Washington State 60-45 and Washington outlasted Oregon State 103-99 in overtime... In the West Coast Conference, #16 Gonzaga won at home against St. Mary's 75-61... In the Big 12, Colorado defeated Iowa State in Boulder 88-70.
In the Big East, Villanova held off a late rally and defeated St. John's at home 85-74. Freshman PG Mike Nardi had 23 points and 8 assists and sophomore SG Allen Ray added 21 points to key the victory. Sophomore PG Daryll Hill was the Red Storm's leading scorer with 20 points... In the Atlantic 10, Duquesne whalloped Massachusetts 88-62 at the Palumbo Center.
South – Junior SF Devin Smith tallied 21 points to lead Virginia to a 76-67 overtime win over Florida State in Charlottesville. All of Smith's points came in the 2nd half and overtime. Senior guard Todd Billet was the leading scorer for the Cavs with 26 points. Florida St. has now lost 18 straight conference road games.
In the Big East, Connecticut handed Pittsburgh their first loss of the year with a thrilling 68-65 win in Hartford. Sophomore Denham Brown tallied 20 points to key the Huskies' victory. He hit both ends on a crucial "one and one" with 25 seconds remaining to put UConn up by three points. Connecticut had gained the lead at 64-63 on a basket by senior guard Taliek Brown with 1:44 remaining and extended the lead to three on a tip-in by freshman PF Josh Boone. Sophomore PG Karl Krauser, the game's leading scorer with a career-high 24 points, hit two free throws to close the Panthers to within one at 66-65 with 34 seconds remaining. After Denham Brown's two free throws, junior center Emeka Okafor blocked a Krauser layup with 13 seconds left. A missed Huskies free throw gave the Panthers a final opportunity, but freshman guard Antonio Graves' last second 3 point try rimmed out. In an OOC contest, Providence thumped Loyola of Chicago, 89-59.
Southwest - #22 Texas Tech handed #11 Oklahoma their 4th straight loss, whipping the reeling Sooners 67-47 in Lubbock.
Basketball News & Notes
Memphis gave coach John Calipari a three year contract extension through 2010.
The new Associated Press Men's Top 25 poll was released today. The records below are through Sunday, January 18th. The Top Ten are:
1. Duke (14-1)
2. Stanford (14-0)
3. St. Joseph's (15-0)
4. Connecticut (14-2)
5. Louisville (13-1)
6. Cincinnati (13-0)
7. North Carolina (11-3)
8. Pittsburgh (18-0)
9. Kentucky (11-2)
10. Wake Forest (11-2)
Football News & Notes
Rutgers Tight Ends Coach Mario Christobal left for the same position at Miami, his alma mater.
Former Nebraska Offensive Coordinator Barney Cotton was hired as the Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach at Iowa St. The Cyclones also named Dan McCarney the new Quarterbacks Coach.
New Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan filled several openings on his staff. Kevin Cosgrove was named the Defensive Coordinator/Linebacker Coach, Phil Elmassian is the new Secondary Coach, and Turner Gill was rehired as Wide Receivers Coach. Gill had served as Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach under Frank Solich.
Bo Pelini didn't stay unemployed long. After being passed over for the top job at Nebraska, the former Husker defensive Coordinator was hired as the Co-Defensive Coordinator (along with Brent Venables) by Bob Stoops of rival Oklahoma. That should make for an interesting game when the Sooners play Nebraska this fall!
LSU Head Coach Nick Saban received another honor as he was named the winner of the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award.
Georgia Defensive Coordinator Brian Van Gorder won the Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach. He's the 8th winner of the award. Three of the previous seven winners have gone on to become head college coaches in Division 1; David Cutcliffe, Ralph Friedgen, and Mark Mangino.
Texas Tech's punt returner Wes Welker won the Mosi Tatupu Award as the nation's top special teams performer.
Five Hawaii players were suspended for one game next season as the result of a serious brawl at the end of the Hawaii Bowl game.
It was revealed that Tennessee Head Coach Phil Fulmer provided damaging information about rival Alabama to the NCAA. The NCAA is being sued by two former Alabama assistant coaches who were implicated in the allegations.
In All Star games, Iowa's Fred Russell ran for two TDs in leading Aina to a 26-7 win over Kai in the Hula Bowl on Saturday. Also on Saturday, Oregon QB Jason Fife threw 2 TD passes to spark the West to a 14-7 win over the East in the Las Vegas All-American Classic. Playing for the East, Minnesota QB Asad Abdul-Khaliq suffered a concussion in the 4th Quarter. His replacement, Robert Kent of Jackson St., threw a 12 yard TD to Minnesota WR Aaron Hosack for the East's only score.
The following players announced they have applied for the NFL Draft. They are the last of the 41 players who met the January 15th deadline to apply for inclusion in the draft, thus giving up their remaining college eligibility:
The following players will remain in school:
Heisman Trophy runner-up WR Larry Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh has formally petitioned the NFL for a waiver to be eligible for the draft. Fitzgerald has only been in college for two years, but attended a prep school for a year after high school. The NFL's decision is expected soon, which will no doubt set a precedent for similar situations.