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Winning Getting Tougher for Kansas--Even at Home

From Staff and Wire Reports

Kansas is top-ranked and the nation’s only unbeaten Division I team but Coach Roy Williams doesn’t want the Jayhawks to get the wrong impression of themselves.

“We meandered around out there and at the end we looked up and were fortunate to be five points ahead,” said Williams after Kansas had been extended to overtime Saturday by Nebraska in a Big 12 Conference game at Lawrence, Kan., before winning, 82-77. “I’ve got to find the right buttons to push. I don’t want us to be lulled into a sense that we’re marvelous or sensational or that kind of stuff, because if we do we’re going to get beat.”

The Jayhawks, 22-0 and 8-0 in the Big 12, were certainly in a vulnerable position, coming offan 86-77 victory over No. 22 Texas Tech at Lubbock, Texas on Wednesday in which they came back from a 14-point halftime deficit.

And, Nebraska (11-9, 3-5) found itself in position to win in regulation mainly due to Kansas’ recurring problem with poor free-throw shooting (26 of 43) and the inability to routinely block out 6-foot-11 Mikki Moore and 6-9 Verdon Hamilton, who gave the Cornhuskers a 46-33 rebounding advantage.

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After Hamilton’s putback tied the game at 60-60 with 1:05 left and Kansas’ B.J. Williams lost the ball, the Cornhuskers were able to play for the final shot. However, Tyronne Lue--a six-foot point guard--was forced to take a long three-point shot over Paul Pierce, a 6-7 forward, and missed at the buzzer.

Hamilton and Moore fouled out early in the overtime and 6-11 Raef LaFrentz took advantage, getting 11 of his 20 points to help secure the Jayhawks’ 40th consecutive home-court victory.

“It was tough to get going,” LaFrentz said. “There was no spark for the entire game. Maybe the reason for that was they’re good players. I didn’t do much until overtime, so I thought I better get to work.” he said.

Lue led all scorers with 26 points but had 10 of Nebraska’s 28 turnovers and missed 13 of 21 shots--including the one that let Kansas off the hook.

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“We had a chance to win down the stretch,” Lue said. “I wasn’t happy it went to overtime. I wanted to win in regulation. We just need to execute better.”

No. 2 Wake Forest 74, No. 5 Maryland 69--Center Tim Duncan scored 25 of his season-high 29 points in the second half as the Demon Deacons (18-1, 8-1) overcame a 12-point halftime deficit andavenged their only loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference game at College Park, Md.

Maryland (17-4, 6-3) had defeated Wake Forest, 54-51, at Winston-Salem, N.C. on Jan. 19 on Laron Profit’s three-point basket at the buzzer.

Duncan took control in the final seconds of this game, blocking forward Keith Boone’s shot, getting fouled as he gained control of the ball and making two free throws for the game’s decisive points.

Maryland center Obinna Ekezie, one of three Maryland players to foul out, said referees give preferential treatment to Duncan, who shot 15 free throws, making 11.

“It’s a helpless feeling, once you know you’ve not been given a fair chance to play defense,” Ekezie said. ‘You just want to stand there and hope he’ll miss the shot. Once he sees that you have to play that way, he takes it to the basket. And he knows if there’s any body contact, he’s going to get the call.”

Booth, who sat 6 1/2 minutes of the second half with four fouls, led Maryland had 22 points, but missed 15 of 23 shots.

No. 3 Kentucky 82, Georgia 57--The Wildcats (20-2, 8-1) converted 24 turnovers into 21 points and held the Bulldogs (15-5, 4-4) to 33% shooting a Southeastern Conference game at Lexington, Ky.

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Georgia made its first seven shots to take a 10-point lead in the first 5 1/2 minutes but was only 11-of-47 the rest of the game. Kentucky forced six turnovers during a 12-0 run produced a 30-20 lead with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half and the Bulldogs never got closer after that.

No. 13 New Mexico 87, No. 4 Utah 71--Guard Charles Smith had 28 points and became the No. 2 career scorer for the Lobos (16-3, 5-2) in the Western Athletic Conference game at Albuquerque, N.M. Smith needs 16 points to pass Chicago Bull center Luc Longley (1,769) as New Mexico’s leading scorer.

Smith made seven of his first nine shots as New Mexico took a 43-28 halftime lead. The Lobos then made 14 of 16 free throws after Utah (15-3, 7-1) closed within six points with five minutes left. The Lobos’ point total was 29 above the Utes’ season average.

Forward Keith Van Horn and center Michael Doleac scored all but 21 of Utah’s points. Van Hornhad 28 points and Doleac had 22 as the two combined to make 22 of 31 shots.

No. 6 Minnesota 75, Northwestern 56--The Big Ten Conference-leading Golden Gophers (19-2, 8-1) went on 11-0 run to start the second half after shooting 29% and trailing by two points at halftime at Evanston, Ill.

It was the 16th consecutive time that Minnesota, which shot 63% in the second half, has defeated Northwestern (6-14, 1-8). Wildcat center Evan Eschmeyer, playing with a broken nose suffered in his previous game, had 18 points.

North Carolina State 58, No. 7 Clemson 54--Senior forward Jeremy Hyatt scored a career-high 18 points at Raleigh, N.C. as the Wolfpack (9-9, 1-8) ended its Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season losing streak at 15 games. North Carolina State also became the 23rd Division I school to win 1,300 games.

Clemson (17-4, 6-3) was behind 56-54 with 10 seconds left when guard Terrell McIntyre lost the ball out of bounds as he drove to the basket, though television replays showed the ball hit off North Carolina State’s Justin Gainey, Hyatt, who had scored eight points in the Wolfpack’s previous two games, sealed with victory with two free throws with 7.1 seconds.

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North Carolina State, playing without leading scorer Clint Harrison, had a season-low three turnovers.

Clemson’s leading scorer Greg Buckner had eight points, ending streak of double-digitgames at 16.

No. 8 Cincinnati 90, DePaul 53--Leading scorers Danny Fortson and Ruben Patterson sat at the end of the bench in their warm-up suits throughout the Conference USA game in Cincinnati in which the Bearcats (15-4, 4-1) defeated the Blue Demons (3-16, 1-7) for the 12th consecutive time.

Cincinnati Coach Bob Huggins benched Fortson, the team’s leading scorer at 22.2 points a game, for lackadaisical play in an 81-70 defeat to No. 9 Louisville Thursday. Patterson, the team’s second-leading scorer at 15.4, reportedly missed a class.

Huggins went to three-guard offense and the player he inserted into the starting lineup at forward, 6-4 senior Rodrick Monroe, had a career-high 17 points.

No. 11 Iowa State 71, Texas A&M; 57--Six-foot-11 center Kelvin Cato had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked five shots for the Cyclones (15-3, 6-2) in a Big 12 Conference at College Station, Texas.

Cato has 74 blocked shots, surpassing the school record of 71 he set last season. Center Dario Quesada had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Texas A&M; (8-10, 2-6).

No. 14 Villanova 70, Syracuse 60--The tall front line of Chuck Kornegay, Tim Thomas, and Jason Lawson combined for 48 points and 26 rebounds to help the Wildcats (15-4, 7-4) overcome poor outside shooting in the Big East Conference game at Syracuse, N.Y.

Villanova missed 17 of 20 three-point shots but got 16 more rebounds than Syracuse (13-8, 4-6) and scored all but one of its final 10 baskets from in close. The Wildcats had missed 19 of 25 three-point shots in a 62-60 loss to the Orangeman in Philadelphia on Jan. 20.

No. 16 Michigan 85, Michigan State 65--Guard Louis Bullock made his first five three-point shots in helping the Wolverines (16-5, 6-3) take a 23-point halftime lead and finished with 22 points in the Big Ten Conference game at Ann Arbor, Mich.

Travis Conlan, replacing Michigan’s suspended starting point guard Brandun Hughes, had 12 points and nine assists. Hughes was suspended one game for breaking an unspecified team rule.

It was Michigan’s second victory over Michigan State (11-7, 4-5) in a week. The Wolverines won by 13 points at East Lansing on Jan. 25 but that game didn’t count in the Big Ten standings.

No. 19 North Carolina 99, Middle Tennessee 49--Coach Dean Smith cleared his bench midway through the second half of a nonconference game at Chapel Hill, N.C. against one of his former assistants, Randy Weil.

Guard Shammond Williams had a game-high 19 points for North Carolina (13-6) but most of the applause came late in the game for walk-on Charlie McNairy, who twice saved the ball from going out of bounds and got one of his two baskets on a tip-in.

Middle Tennessee State (13-9) was playing its sixth game in 12 days. Seven players had the Blue Raiders’ top point total of five.

No. 20 Xavier of Ohio 87, Massachusetts 84--Reserve forward James Posey’s tip-in with 6.4 seconds tied the game in regulation, and his three-point basket and two free throws put the Musketeers (15-3, 6-2) ahead for good in the Atlantic 10 Conference game at Amherst, Mass.

Massachusetts guard Carmelo Travieso had 29 points, making eight of 12 three-point shots. The Minutemen (11-10, 5-3) had won their previous five games after Coach James Flint switched to a three-guard offense of Travieso, Edgar Padilla and Charlton Clarke--who combined for 48 points in this game.

Posey had 17 points and was one of four double-figure scorers for Xavier, which has a two-game lead in the Atlantic 10’s weaker West Division.

No. 21 Tulsa 96, Texas Christian 79--Michael Ruffin, a 6-8 forward, had 21 rebounds and didn’t miss a shot for the Golden Hurricane (17-5, 7-1) in a Western Athletic Conference game at Tulsa, Okla.

Ruffin made all five of his shots from the field and all six free throws in being one of Tulsa’s six double-figure scorers at 16 points.

Texas Christian is 13-8 and 2-6,

Oklahoma 83, No. 23 Texas 69--The Longhorns (11-7, 5-3) shot a season-low 32% while the Sooners ((12-7, 4-4) made 20 of their last 22 free throws in the Big 12 Conference game at Norman, Okla.

The Big 12’s two leading scorers, Texas guard Reggie Freeman (23.4 points a game) and Oklahoma guard Nate Erdmann (23.3) had contrasting games. Freeman missed 16 of 22 shots, including all nine of three-point attempts, and had 16 points, while Erdmann had 25 points, making all 10 of his free throws.

Tulane 54, No. 24 Marquette 53--The Green Wave (16-5, 7-0) extended its winning streak to 11 in the Conference USA game at Milwaukee.

Marquette (14-4, 4-2) had just two baskets in the final 15:25, including forward Chris Crawford’s tip-in with two-tenths of a second left. Crawford’s basket came after two consecutive misses on three-point shots by guard Aaron Hutchins, who was four-of-18 from the field and had nine turnovers.

Forward Jerald Honeycutt had 17 points and made two free throws with 24 seconds left that gave Tulane the lead.

No. 25 South Carolina 80, Louisiana State 65--The Gamecocks (15-5, 9-0) won their 10th in a row in a Southeastern Conference game at Baton Rouge, La. The streak is South Carolina’s longest since the 1970-71 team won 12 in a row en route to the school’s first-ever NCAA tournament berth.

Guard Larry Davis had 22 points and was one of five double-figure scorers for South Carolina.

Guard Maurice Carter, who had averaged 26.6 points in the last three games for Louisiana State, had only one three-point basket.

PACIFIC 10

Washington State 74, Arizona State 55--The Cougars (11-9, 3-6) made 60% of their second-half shots at Pullman, Wash. Guard Issac Fontaine led Washington State with 21 points, making five of eight three-point shots. Guard Gee Gervin had 14 points for Arizona State (10-11, 2-7).

OTHER GAMES

Forward Austin Croshere had 25 points in leading Providence (16-5, 7-3) to its fifth straight victory, an 83-71 home-court Big East Conference decision over Boston College (13-6, 7-4). Forward Danya Abrams had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Boston College. . . . Center Gordon Malone had 16 points and 16 rebounds to lead West Virginia (13-5, 7-4) to a 74-59 Big East Conference victory over Pittsburgh (11-10, 5-5) at Morgantown, Pa. . . . Guard Charles Jones, the nation’s leading scorer at 29.1 points a game, had 37 and controversial teammate Richie Parker had a career-high 36 as Long Island (12-7, 9-1) was a 104-86 Northeast Conference winner over St. Francis (7-11, 4-6) at Loretto, Pa. . . . Center Adonal Foyle became the fourth Division I player to reach 1,600 points, 1,000 rebounds and 400 blocked shots but Colgate (9-11) was an 82-78 loser to Bucknell (11-8) at Lewisburg, Pa. Foyle had 26 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Ohio State (9-9, 4-5) held Wisconsin (11-7, 4-5) to 11 first-half points in a 60-43 Big Ten Conference victory at Columbus, Ohio. It was the Buckeyes’ second consecutive victory since second-leading scorer Jermaine Tate was sidelined with a heart problem. . . . Guard Curtis Staples scored all 20 of his points in the second half as Virginia (15-6, 5-4) was a 73-60 Atlantic Coast Conference winner over Florida State (12-6, 3-6) at Charlottesville, Va. . . . Forward Ansu Sesay has a career-high 24 points--his 15th consecutive game in double figures--as Mississippi (14-6, 6-4) was a 57-46 winner over Auburn (12-10, 3-6) in a Southeastern Conference game at Oxford, Miss. . . . Guard Chris Herron had 28 points as Fresno State (14-8, 6-2) moved into a three-way tie for first place in the Western Athletic Conference’s Pacific Division with an 80-74 home-court victory over Hawaii (14-4, 6-2).


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