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College basketball

Gophers do not fall into second-half hole

©Associated Press
November 25, 2002

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota's practice habits carried over into its season opener Sunday. And that's not necessarily a compliment.

Rick Rickert scored 26 and Maurice Hargrow added a career-high 21 as the 24th-ranked Golden Gophers built a big first-half lead and held on for an 87-81 victory over UNC-Asheville.

Gophers coach Dan Monson and his players admitted that they tend to start strong in practices and finish poorly. And that's exactly what happened Sunday.

The Gophers led by 23 in the first half, only to have Asheville outscore them 54-37 in the second.

NO. 10 OREGON 97, GRAMBLING ST. 52: James Davis had 21 points on seven 3-pointers as the host Ducks opened their season in the John Thompson Foundation Challenge. It was the 17th overall win for the defending Pac-10 champions at McArthur Court.

ACC

NO. 12 MARYLAND 64, MIAMI (OHIO) 49: The Terrapins began the defense of their title with a crowd-pleasing blowout. Drew Nicholas scored 16 as Maryland cruised to its 85th consecutive nonconference home victory.

UNC 67, OLD DOMINION 59: Jawad Williams scored 18 to lead the visiting Tar Heels. Rasheed Wright scored 17 and hit three of his six 3-point attempts for the Monarchs, who outscored UNC in the second.

CLEMSON 79, WOFFORD 72: Chris Hobbs scored 14 of his 19 in the second for the Tigers in Anderson, S.C. With the Terriers trailing by five with two minutes left, Hobbs hit his last two shots to keep the Tigers from falling.

SEC

USC 71, E. TENN. ST. 66: The Gamecocks held the Buccaneers to a 3-pointer during the last 3:48 as South Carolina won its Carolina Center debut.

VANDERBILT 68, ALA. A&M 40: Matt Freije and Corey Smith scored 13 each as the host Commodores held the Bulldogs to 19 percent shooting.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: The NCAA wants more information from center Mario Austin before making a decision on his eligibility, Austin's attorney, Donald Jackson, said. After taking a second look at Austin's high school academic records, the NCAA determined last week that it erroneously declared him eligible as a freshman. Attorneys for Austin and the school are contesting the decision.

Conference USA

NO. 25 TULSA 80, TEXAS-PAN AM 50: Kevin Johnson scored 21 to help the Golden Hurricane win in the final game of the South Padre Island Roundball Invitational Tournament.

SMU 87, TCU 84 (OT): Quinton Ross scored 28 and freshman Bryan Hopkins hit the go-ahead basket with 1:20 left in overtime for the host Mustangs. Ross hit a free throw with 41 seconds left, tying it at 75 for the last point in regulation.

UAB 92, CHATTANOOGA 81: Morris Finley scored 23 to lead the host Blazers. UAB's defense forced 24 turnovers.

E. CAROLINA 65, MISSISSIPPI 58: The host Pirates used balanced scoring to rally from a halftime deficit. Erroyl Bing, Gabriel Mikulas and Derrick Wiley each scored

State

NO. 11 XAVIER 93, FAMU 64: Five players reached double figures as the Musketeers took control early by pushing the pace, and didn't let up in Cincinnati. Dominique Jackson led the Rattlers with 20 points. Florida A&M lost point guard Moses White in the opening minute, when he twisted his left ankle.

CS NORTHRIDGE 67, JACKSONVILLE 55: Reserve Justice Graham scored 11 to lead the Matadors into the championship game at the John Thompson Foundation Challenge in Eugene, Ore. James Daniels scored 14 to lead the Dolphins.

IOWA 79, FAU 52: Chauncey Leslie scored 20 to lead the host Hawkeyes. Florida Atlantic suffered early from poor shooting and mistakes, hitting 22 percent in the first half, turning the ball over 13 times and going nearly 10 minutes without a point.

COLORADO 107, STETSON 74: David Harrison had 31 points, 17 rebounds and a school-record 10 blocks to lead the host Buffaloes. Three Hatter freshmen combined for 40 points in their debuts. E.J. Gordon led Stetson with 18 points and Evan Patterson and Anthony Register each had 11.

FIU 65, IONA 55: Junior Matias scored 23 as the host Golden Panthers shot 56 percent to win the FIU Tip-Off Classic. Matias was named tournament MVP.

ECKERD 94, PUERTO RICO-CAYEY 50: Steve Berg scored 17 to lead the host Tritons.

Two Fresno State players reportedly accepted benefits

FRESNO, Calif. -- Two former players said they accepted cash and other benefits from sports agents in violation of NCAA rules, the Fresno Bee reported. Tito Maddox said that he accepted an estimated $30,000 from relatives of a Las Vegas sports agent during the 2000-01 season, the newspaper reported. And Terrance Roberson said he accepted at least several hundred dollars from middleman Nate Cebrun during the 1999-2000 season. Both cases violate NCAA rules.

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