Friday, January 3, 2003

Blue Devils can smell top ranking


College basketball roundup

The Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. - Duke's offensive efficiency might not be there yet, but its defense is coming along fine.

Dahntay Jones scored 22 points and J.J. Redick chipped in 20 as the third-ranked Blue Devils used their defense to overcome poor shooting and beat Fairfield 86-58 Thursday.

Freshman Shelden Williams added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Duke, which improved to 8-0 for the 11th time in 23 seasons under coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils also won their 18th straight home game and ran their nonconference record at Cameron Indoor Stadium under Krzyzewski to 163-8.

Duke could rise atop the Associated Press rankings after losses by No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Pittsburgh this week. The Blue Devils open Atlantic Coast Conference play Sunday at Clemson (9-0).

"I like it: We always want to be No. 1," said Redick, who shot 7-of-13 from the field. "We're Duke and we have the No. 1 program in the country, and we want to stay No. 1."

Duke held a double-digit lead for most of the game but shot just 39 percent and was slow to put away the Stags. Still, the Blue Devils held Fairfield to 37 percent shooting, blocked 11 shots and forced 23 turnovers.

Duke took advantage of its opportunities, getting 20 points off turnovers and hitting 25 of 34 free throws.

Consider it another learning experience for a young team that has only two seniors among its top nine players.

"I think we're becoming a better defensive team and we're starting to realize that defense is going to win ballgames for us," said Blue Devils junior Chris Duhon, who shot 1-for-11 but had 10 assists.

FAIRFIELD (5-5) - Maxwell 0-5 0-1 0, Delfico 3-9 2-3 8, Thomson 0-2 1-2 1, Goode 0-2 0-0 0, Sogadzi 4-7 0-0 8, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Bell 0-4 0-0 0, Todd 3-10 2-2 8, Deng 0-2 0-0 0, Bentley 0-0 0-0 0, Garcia 6-9 7-10 19, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Gai 5-8 1-2 12, Feleccia 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-59 13-20 58.

DUKE (8-0) - Redick 7-13 3-4 20, Randolph 3-6 3-4 10, Sanders 0-2 1-4 1, Ewing 1-4 0-0 2, Duhon 1-11 1-2 3, Buckner 0-0 0-0 0, Horvath 0-1 0-0 0, Melchionni 1-2 0-0 3, Dockery 1-8 2-4 4, Williams 5-8 6-6 16, Jones 6-12 8-8 22, Thompson 2-2 1-2 5, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-69 25-34 86.

Halftime-Duke 43-31. 3-Point goals-Fairfield 1-9 (Gai 1-2, Goode 0-1, Delfico 0-2, Sogadzi 0-2, Deng 0-2). Duke 7-21 (Redick 3-6, Jones 2-3, Melchionni 1-2, Randolph 1-3, Ewing 0-1, Horvath 0-1, Duhon 0-5). Rebounds-Fairfield 39 (Garcia 6), Duke 45 (Williams 10). Assists-Fairfield 13 (Goode 5), Duke 17 (Duhon 10). Total fouls-Fairfield 24, Duke 22. A-9,314.

No. 5 UConn 95, St. Bonaventure 78

HARTFORD, Conn. - Ben Gordon scored 25 points and Emeka Okafor added 18 for the Huskies.

Connecticut is one of four unbeaten Division I teams remaining this season. The others - Duke, Wake Forest (8-0) and Clemson - are all from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Marques Green led St. Bonaventure with 18 points and 12 assists.

ST. BONAVENTURE (5-7)-Cheeks 1-4 0-0 2, Prato 5-15 2-2 13, Terrell 4-6 1-2 9, Smith 2-7 0-0 4, Green 6-20 4-4 18, Gansey 4-11 2-2 13, Shepherd 2-3 2-2 7, Skinner 0-0 0-0 0, Sutton 3-8 0-0 8, C.Brown 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 28-76 13-14 78.

CONNECTICUT (9-0)-Hayes 1-1 0-2 2, D.Brown 4-7 1-2 12, Okafor 7-14 4-4 18, Gordon 8-15 5-5 25, T.Brown 3-7 2-2 8, Swaller 0-0 0-0 0, Wise 0-0 0-0 0, Armstrong 4-5 1-3 9, J.Brown 0-1 0-0 0, White 0-1 0-0 0, Tooles 0-1 0-0 0, Anderson 5-9 0-0 13, Robertson 3-8 0-0 8, Woodward 0-0 0-0 0, Evanovich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-69 13-18 95.

Halftime-Connecticut 52-42. 3-Point goals-St. Bonaventure 9-30 (Gansey 3-9, Green 2-8, Sutton 2-5, Prato 1-7, Shepherd 1-1), Connecticut 12-20 (Gordon 4-7, D.Brown 3-4, Anderson 3-5, Robertson 2-4). Rebounds-St. Bonaventure 40 (Terrell 7), Connecticut 46 (D.Brown 14). Assists-St. Bonaventure 15 (Green 12), Connecticut 26 (Gordon 9). Total fouls-St. Bonaventure 17, Connecticut 17. A-15,889.

No. 8 Mississippi St. 68, UAB 52

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Mario Austin scored 13 points and Michal Ignerski added 12 for the Bulldogs, who held the Blazers' leading scorer, Morris Finley, to 15 points.

UAB's trapping defense forced 23 Mississippi State turnovers, but the taller Bulldogs had a 43-28 rebounding edge and held the Blazers to 36 percent shooting.

MISSISSIPPI ST. (10-1)-Harper 2-6 0-0 4, Ignerski 6-11 0-1 12, Austin 6-11 1-1 13, Bowers 3-6 0-0 6, Zimmerman 4-6 1-2 9, Campbell 2-3 0-0 4, Cowherd 1-1 0-0 2, Frazier 4-9 1-2 10, Vincent 3-3 2-2 8. Totals 31-56 5-8 68.

UAB (8-3)-Eddins 3-10 1-2 7, Ball 3-5 2-2 9, Davis 3-7 0-0 6, Bush 1-6 0-0 2, Finley 6-17 2-2 15, Kennedy 1-4 1-5 3, Collins 3-5 0-1 6, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 2-5 0-0 4, Tobias 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-60 6-12 52.

Halftime-Mississippi St. 38-21. 3-Point goals-Mississippi St. 1-11 (Frazier 1-5, Ignerski 0-1, Harper 0-2, Bowers 0-3), UAB 2-17 (Ball 1-3, Finley 1-9, Eddins 0-1, Bush 0-1, Jones 0-3). Rebounds-Mississippi St. 43 (Harper, Austin 7), UAB 28 (Ball, Davis, Kennedy 5). Assists-Mississippi St. 14 (Harper, Zimmerman 5), UAB 7 (Finley 4). Total fouls-Mississippi St. 15, UAB 13. A-8,014.

No. 18 Kansas 102, UNC-Asheville 50

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Nick Collison scored 20 points, and Wayne Simien had 19 points and nine rebounds, leading the Jayhawks past the road-weary Bulldogs.

Kansas, which started 1-3 but has won five straight, was much quicker and taller than the preseason Big South favorites and forced 26 turnovers. The Jayhawks also scored 58 points in the paint compared to four for North Carolina-Asheville.

Alex Kragel scored 31 points for the Bulldogs, 14 over his previous career high. The senior shot 7-of-10 on 3-pointers after getting just 17 treys in the first nine games.

UNC-ASHEVILLE (3-7)-McCullough 3-8 0-0 6, Barber 0-7 2-2 2, McGonagil 2-4 0-0 4, Smith 0-9 0-0 0, Kragel 12-20 0-0 31, Collington 1-6 0-0 3, Mohn 0-2 0-0 0, Holmes 1-3 0-1 2, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Bivins 1-4 0-0 2, Creasman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-64 2-3 50.

KANSAS (8-3)-Collison 9-10 1-1 20, Simien 9-12 1-2 19, Langford 8-11 0-0 18, Hinrich 3-8 0-0 7, Miles 3-9 1-3 7, Hawkins 2-4 0-0 6, Olson 1-2 0-0 2, Vinson 2-3 0-0 5, Lee 4-4 2-4 11, Nash 0-1 0-0 0, Moody 0-0 2-2 2, Graves 1-4 1-2 3, Niang 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 43-69 8-14 102.

Halftime-Kansas 46-22. 3-Point goals-UNC-Asheville 8-20 (Kragel 7-10, Collington 1-2, Barber 0-1, Mohn 0-1, Bivins 0-1, Smith 0-2, McCullough 0-3), Kansas 8-18 (Langford 2-2, Hawkins 2-4, Collison 1-1, Vinson 1-1, Lee 1-1, Hinrich 1-5, Olson 0-1, Nash 0-1, Miles 0-2). Rebounds-UNC-Asheville 36 (Barber 9), Kansas 36 (Simien 9). Assists-UNC-Asheville 11 (Smith 3), Kansas 32 (Hinrich, Miles 9). Total fouls-UNC-Asheville 16, Kansas 11. A-16,300.

Massachusetts 68, No. 24 N.C. State 56

AMHERST, Mass. - Massachusetts scored the first 10 points of the second half as the Minutemen beat North Carolina State 68-56 on Thursday night.

It was the third straight win for UMass (5-6).

Leading 32-27 at the half, UMass went on a 10-0 run, with Jeff Viggiano scoring six points and Anthony Anderson four more to lift the margin to 42-27.

N.C. State forward Julius Hodge then scored nine points, on a three-point hoop and a pair of three-point plays, to narrow the lead to 44-39 for the Wolfpack (7-2).

But Anderson, who led all scorers with a career-high 25 points, then nailed a three pointer to reclaim the momentum for UMass. He scored 17 of his points in the second half, going 5-for-10 from the field, including four three-pointers, and 11-for-13 from the line.

Hodge ended with 18 points and Marcus Melvin 12 for N.C. State.

Massachusetts scored nine of the last 11 points of the first half. Rogers had six of them in a 9-0 run and ended with 12 of his points before intermission.

There were seven lead changes in the first half. The Wolfpack dominated early, leading by as many as nine points, at 14-5.

Brand's hoop from underneath put UMass on top 19-18, but Scooter Sherrill followed with a three-pointer to put N.C. State back on top briefly.

UMass shot 53 percent from the field in the first half and held N.C. State to 30 percent in the second half.

No. 4 Arizona 81, No. 9 Oregon 72

EUGENE, Ore. - Jason Gardner scored 21 points as No. 4 Arizona rallied to beat No. 9 Oregon 81-72 Thursday night, snapping the Ducks' 23-game home winning streak.

With the score tied at 70, Gardner and Rick Anderson hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Wildcats (8-1) a 76-70 lead with 1:20 to go and Arizona led the rest of the way in the Pac-10 opener for both.

Anderson, who Arizona leaned on to replace injured forward Luke Walton, added 15 points.

"I thought this was the game of the year for us to win," Anderson said. "It gives us an advantage in the Pac-10 because we've won in the hardest place there is to play."

The last team to beat the Ducks (9-2) at historic McArthur Court was Southern California on Feb. 24, 2001. The 23-game winning streak matched the school record set from Feb. 13, 1937 to Jan. 6, 1939.

Luke Jackson led the Ducks with 20 points, while Luke Ridnour added 16.

"It's tough when you're missing gimmees and they're going down and making the tough shots," Ridnour said. "We knew this one was going to be tough."

Oregon led by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Arizona chipped away before tying it at 57 on Andre Iguodala's steal and slam with 12:20 to go.

Arizona tied it again at 59-all, but couldn't manage to take the lead and Oregon went up 65-61 on Jackson's 3-pointer with 8:44 left.

With both teams clearly fatigued, Arizona took a 68-67 lead on Dennis Latimore's lay-in with 3:52 left, the extended it on Hassan Adam's slam.

James Davis tied it at 70-all with a 3-pointer before Arizona pulled ahead for good.

Arizona led by as many as five until midway through the first half, when Andre Joseph's second of two consecutive 3-pointers put the Ducks in front 22-20. Davis added another 3-pointer to make it 25-20 with 8:36 left.

Oregon stretched the lead 34-26 on Ridnour's 3-pointer with 5:35 to go, but Arizona kept it close and squeezed the margin to 41-37 on Isiah Fox's rebound basket as time ran out in the half.

Oregon went up 57-46 at 14:34 of the second half on Ridnour's 3-pointer, but Gardner answered with his own 3-pointer for the Wildcats.

Walton sprained his right ankle Monday night in the Wildcats' 85-71 victory over Boston University in the Fiesta Bowl Classic. He suited up against the Ducks and participated in pre-game warmups, but did not play.

Arizona, which spent the first six weeks of the season as the nation's No. 1-ranked team, is 3-0 against ranked teams. The Wildcats' loss was at Louisiana State on Dec. 21.

The victory snapped Arizona's three-game losing streak at Mac Court.

Oregon had won three straight after its only other loss of the season, to Cincinnati on Dec. 17.

Fox and Adams each added 12 points for Arizona, while Joseph and Robert Johnson each had 11 for Oregon.




OSU - FIESTA BOWL
Fiesta takes OSU fans back to days of Hayes
Daugherty: Fiesta Bowl matchup
Kickoff's here, and Buckeyes unafraid
Few have accomplished more with less
Show time for Canes, Buckeyes
These Hurricanes won't produce many gale-force headlines
Clarett's emotional state: Fiesta X-factor
Miami's secondary is better than before
Bickering Buckeyes need focus
Remember those near misses?
Ohio State's bowl history
How Fiesta teams match up
Fiesta Bowl by the numbers
Miami-Ohio State stats
Orange Bowl: Southern Cal 38, Iowa 17
Gators disappointed, Grossman may leave

UC BEARCATS
UC runs smooth behind Moore

XAVIER
Youngsters plug holes for Xavier

KENTUCKY HOOPS
First-round dreams fuel last college season
UK fans pumped up for local game
Wildcats' theme: Defense, defense

OTHER COLLEGE HOOPS
No. 6 NKU men fall at Indianapolis
Blue Devils can smell top ranking

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals waste little time in coach search
Four players signed to offseason roster
Obit: Allan Heim was ex-Bengals PR director
Cover-2 key to improved Colts' defense
Super Bowl odds
This weekend's NFL Best Bets
Playoff summaries
Maddox named Comeback Player of the Year

PREP SPORTS
Dynamic duo lead Firebirds to victory
Ohio boys: Moeller loses in OT
Girls: 3s help McAuley top No. 10 Bacon
Ky. Boys: Bishop Brossart runs winning streak to six
Prep sports schedules for Friday

BASEBALL
Hall of Fame changes announced

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT
Good guys, bad guys and changing perceptions
Sports on TV