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Connecticut downs Syracuse, claims share of Big East

Posted: Sunday, March 06, 2005

 

  Connecticut's Denham Brown, left, takes the ball to the net over Syracuse's Terrence Roberts, right, during the second half against Syracuse in Storrs, Conn., Saturday, March 5, 2005. Connecticut won 88-70. AP Photo/Steve Miller

Connecticut's Denham Brown, left, takes the ball to the net over Syracuse's Terrence Roberts, right, during the second half against Syracuse in Storrs, Conn., Saturday, March 5, 2005. Connecticut won 88-70.

AP Photo/Steve Miller

STORRS, Conn. — Denham Brown scored 21 points and No. 15 Connecticut beat No. 13 Syracuse 88-70 on Saturday to earn a share of the Big East regular season championship, the Huskies' record ninth conference title.

Connecticut (21-6, 13-3) ended up sharing the title with Boston College after the No. 5 Eagles beat Rutgers 78-66 on Saturday night. With the victory, Boston College secured the No. 1 seed in next week's Big East tournament.

The Huskies used some impressive second-half defense to beat the Orange (24-6, 11-5) and win for the ninth time in 10 games. The only loss in that stretch was a nonconference game against North Carolina.

Hakim Warrick had 25 points for Syracuse, the third seed in the Big East tournament, but he was 0-for-6 from the field in the second half, scoring all his points on a 10-for-16 effort from the free throw line.

Gerry McNamara added 12 points for the Orange, but he was 2-for-10 from 3-point range and Syracuse finished 2-for-22 from beyond the arc.

No. 5 Boston College 78, Rutgers 66

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Boston College clinched the Big East regular-season title and earned the No. 1 seed in next week's tournament behind a 21-point, 11-rebound performance by Jared Dudley.

Boston College (24-3, 13-3) finished tied with Connecticut for the best record, but it won the tiebreaker, having beaten the Huskies 75-70 in January.

Craig Smith had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles and Nate Doornekamp added a career-high 13 points.

Ricky Shields, who was playing his final home game, had 21 points to lead the Scarlet Knights.

Texas 74, No. 8 Oklahoma St. 73

STILLWATER, Okla. — Brad Buckman tied a career high with 27 points, and Texas put an impressive victory on its NCAA tournament resume.

The Cowboys' Terrence Crawford had a chance to tie it when Buckman fouled him on a desperation heave with 0.3 seconds left, but he missed the second of three foul shots.

The loss ended the Oklahoma State's homecourt winning streak — the longest in the nation — at 29 games. The Cowboys hadn't lost at home since Feb. 24, 2003, against Texas Tech.

Kenny Taylor added 11 for Texas (20-9, 9-7 Big 12).

Joey Graham scored 17 to lead Oklahoma State (20-6, 11-5), and JamesOn Curry added 16.

No. 9 Louisville 66, DePaul 62

ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Cardinals clinched the Conference USA title behind Larry O'Bannon's 24 points.

Louisville (26-4, 14-2), which had already clinched the top seed in the conference tournament, won for the 15th time in 16 games and finished 9-1 on the road.

O'Bannon had 18 of his points in the second half. He finished the game 6-for-7 from the field, while hitting all five of his 3-point attempts.

Sammy Mejia led DePaul (18-9, 10-6) with 21 points and Drake Diener pitched in 15 for the Blue Demons, who are hoping for a bid to the NCAA tournament despite four losses in their final six games.

Stanford 77, No. 10 Washington 67

STANFORD, Calif. — Matt Haryasz had a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds, and an inspired Stanford dashed the Huskies' hopes of a share of the Pac-10 title.

The loss, combined with Arizona's win over Arizona State, gave the Wildcats the conference title. The Huskies (24-5, 14-4 Pac-10) haven't won a league title since tying with Southern California in 1985.

Brandon Roy had 16 points and eight rebounds, but the cold-shooting Huskies never found any rhythm. Washington had won four straight and eight of nine, and the Huskies' frustration was evident when Roy hammered Fred Washington under the basket with 26.6 seconds left for an intentional foul.

Stanford (17-11, 11-7) increased its NCAA tournament chances with the victory. The Cardinal have reached the tournament's second round each of the past 10 seasons.

No. 11 Arizona 70, Arizona St. 68

TEMPE, Ariz. — Salim Stoudamire hit a double-pump 14-footer with six-tenths of a second to play to give Arizona the victory and the outright Pac-10 regular-season title.

Arizona coach Lute Olson earned his 305th conference victory to break the Pac-10 record of 304 held by John Wooden.

The Wildcats (25-5, 15-3) won their 11th conference title and ninth outright after No. 10 Washington lost at Stanford earlier in the day, but Arizona's 20th victory in its last 21 meetings with Arizona State was a thriller.

The Sun Devils (18-12, 7-11) rallied from 18 down in the first half to pull within one at the break, and from 15 in the second half to take the lead.

No. 14 Michigan St. 90, Penn State 64

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Alan Anderson scored 22 points and Chris Hill added 21 for the Spartans.

Kelvin Torbert and Maurice Ager each added 11 points for Michigan State (22-5, 13-3 Big Ten).

Ben Luber and Mike Walker each scored 12 for Penn State (7-22, 1-15). Danny Morrissey had 11 and Travis Parker added 10.

Michigan State will be the No. 2 seed and have a first-round bye in next week's Big Ten tournament. The Spartans have won eight of their last nine games to enter the postseason on a roll.

No. 16 Utah 72, San Diego St. 60

SALT LAKE CITY — Andrew Bogut recorded his 20th double-double of the season with 20 points and 15 rebounds in what was likely his final college home game. Although he's just a sophomore, Utah honored the 7-foot Australian before the season finale, a tradition usually reserved for seniors.

Bogut opened the game for the Utes (25-4, 13-1 Mountain West) with a two-handed dunk and all but ended it late in the second half with a 3-pointer to help Utah complete a perfect 16-0 season at home.

Ute fans chanted ''One more year!'' and gave Bogut a standing ovation when he left the game with 53 seconds remaining. Australian flags covered some of the red in the seats and an inflatable kangaroo was bounced around like a beach ball in honor of Bogut.

No. 17 Pacific 64, UC Riverside 48

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Guillaume Yango had 12 points and 14 rebounds to help Pacific complete a perfect season in the Big West Conference.

Mike Webb added 10 points for Pacific (25-2, 18-0), which tied a school record by winning its 21st straight game.

Pacific held the Highlanders to just 14 first-half points, and led by 18 at the break.

Steve Williams had 16 points for the Highlanders (9-19, 4-14).

South Florida 85, No. 18 Charlotte 73

TAMPA, Fla. — Terrence Leather scored 24 points and Brian Swift added 19 to lead South Florida to one of the biggest wins in school history.

The loss was the second straight for Charlotte (21-6, 12-3), which performed much of the night like a team that had little to play for after Louisville clinched the Conference USA regular-season title by beating DePaul earlier in the day.

No. 19 Villanova 70, St. John's 68

NEW YORK — Allan Ray scored 22 points and Villanova jumped out to a big lead early in the second half before holding off stubborn St. John's.

Will Sheridan added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (21-6, 11-5 Big East), who have won seven straight and appear headed for their first NCAA tournament berth since 1999. Villanova is assured a first-round bye in the Big East tournament.

Daryll Hill scored 31 points and Lamont Hamilton had 20 for St. John's (9-18, 3-13), which ended its season with its fourth straight loss.

The Red Storm won't play in the Big East tournament because of the school's self-imposed postseason ban after an investigation revealed that former player Abe Keita received cash from an athletic department employee.

No. 20 Oklahoma 74, Texas Tech 54

LUBBOCK, Texas — Kevin Bookout scored 15 points to lead Oklahoma, which handed Bob Knight his worse home loss at Texas Tech.

Oklahoma (23-6, 12-4 Big 12) came out hot in the second half, scoring on five of its first six possessions to put together a 12-0 run and go up 42-29.

The 20-point loss was the worst for the Red Raiders (18-9, 10-6) at home since Knight arrived in 2001.

No. 21 Alabama 68, Mississippi St. 63

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Kennedy Winston had 21 points as Alabama clinched the SEC West title.

Ronald Steele gave Alabama the lead for good when his 3-pointer with 2:20 left began a 9-0 run. It helped wrap up the Crimson Tide's first division crown since 2002 and an opening-round bye in next week's SEC tournament.

Steele and Jean Felix each had 13 points, and Earnest Shelton added 11 for Alabama (23-6, 12-4). Lawrence Roberts had 13 of his 15 points in the second half and finished with 11 rebounds for Mississippi State (21-9, 9-7).

No. 22 Cincinnati 62, Memphis 60

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — James White hit an 8-foot baseline jumper with 16.2 seconds remaining for Cincinnati.

Armein Kirkland scored 16 points to lead the Bearcats (24-6, 12-4 Conference USA), who extended their winning streak to six games. White finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Memphis called timeout with 5.2 seconds left, but Rodney Carney lost the ball on the inbounds play, sending the Tigers (16-14, 9-7) to their fourth straight loss.

Darius Washington had 19 points to lead Memphis, while Jeremy Hunt scored 13.

No. 23 Wisconsin 64, Purdue 52

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin spoiled the last regular-season stop on Gene Keady's frustrating farewell season, ensuring the first 20-loss season for Purdue in the Boilermakers' 107-year history.

Mike Wilkinson and Alando Tucker each scored 14 points — Tucker's all came in the first half — and Kammron Taylor added 11 for the Badgers (20-7, 11-5 Big Ten).

David Teague's 17 points led the Boilermakers (7-20, 3-13 Big Ten). They will play at least one more game for Keady, who's retiring after 25 seasons at Purdue, at the Big Ten tournament in Chicago.

No. 24 Pittsburgh 85, Notre Dame 77

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Chris Taft had a career-high 26 points and Pittsburgh scored 56 points in the paint.

Chevon Troutman had 20 points and Carl Krauser added 15 for the Panthers (20-7, 10-6), who posted their fourth straight 20-win season.

The Irish (17-9, 9-7) lost for the third time in four games. Torin Francis had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Irish.

No. 25 Nevada 73, San Jose St. 69

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Nick Fazekas had 28 points and eight rebounds, and Nevada rallied from a big early deficit for its 10th straight victory.

Mo Charlo scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half for the Wolf Pack (24-5, 16-2 Western Athletic Conference), who are headed to the WAC tournament on their longest winning streak since the 1965-66 season.

But Nevada trailed by 15 points in the first half before recovering for a narrow win over the conference's last-place team in the regular season finale. Ramon Sessions had 11 points and seven assists for Nevada.



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