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Texas goes inside to wear out Seton Hall

©Associated Press
December 1, 2002

HOUSTON -- Texas needed some inside scoring to crack Seton Hall's zone defense, and Deginald Erskin provided it.

Erskin scored 22 of his career-high 24 in the second half, and T.J. Ford added 19 to lead the No. 3 Longhorns to a 78-61 win over Seton Hall on Saturday.

"We just got the upper hand when they got into that zone, our players were getting the ball inside the paint," Erskin said. "We needed a spark. T.J. and the other guards were getting the ball inside and everything was falling."

"Our game plan was to get inside and, after a while, they couldn't stay with us down low," Ford said. "(Erskin) was working hard, and when somebody's got the hot hand you keep feeding it to him."

The Longhorns jumped out to a 16-3 lead, but the Pirates closed to 33-30 at the half and took their first lead with 17:03 to play. Damion Fray's dunk gave Seton Hall a 37-36 advantage.

Sydmill Harris hit a 3-pointer moments later to give the lead back to Texas, and the Longhorns never trailed again.

"We played a hard game and gave ourselves a chance, but they wore us down at the end," Seton Hall coach Louis Orr said. "They keep coming at you on the transition. For 25-30 minutes, I thought we were right there, but I don't think we played our best game."

J.R. Morris led Seton Hall with 12 points.

"(Erskin's) the heart and soul of this team," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "He has a great feel for the game. I tell the team, to be special you've got to earn it, and he's earned it."

The Longhorns threatened to run away with the game in the opening minutes.

Seton Hall was scoreless in the first 4:22 and trailed 9-0 until a free throw by Andre Sweet and a layup by Kelly Whitney.

The Longhorns scored the next seven on a 3-pointer by Ford and baskets by Brian Boddicker and Brandon Mouton to make it 16-3.

From that point, however, the Pirates fought back and tied it at 29 on a 3-pointer by Barrett with 52 seconds left in the half. Four free throws by Ford put Texas ahead 33-30 at halftime.

* * *

NO. 5 PITT 89, ARK.-PINE BLUFF 49: Toree Morris scored seven straight points in an 18-point Panthers run that broke open an unexpectedly tight game.

Pitt withstood another poor shooting night by Brandin Knight and outscored the Lions 47-11 over the final 15 minutes.

The Lions, picked to finish last in the SWAC, lost their first three games to Georgia Tech, Memphis and Illinois by a combined 115 points, yet led much of the first half by shooting 8-of-13 from 3-point range.

Pittsburgh didn't take the lead for good until Julius Page scored on a driving layup and a dunk on successive possessions to make it 28-24.

Knight, a third-team All-American, was 4-of-12 during an 11-point night. He hit a 3-pointer to make it 37-30 at halftime.

The Panthers led 42-38 with just more than 15 minutes remaining before holding the Lions scoreless for seven minutes during a 25-2 run that included 18 consecutive points.

NO. 24 MINNESOTA 72, NO. 17 GEORGIA 69: After letting a late lead slip away in five of its losses last season, the Golden Golphers were thrilled to win a close one.

Michael Bauer's 3-pointer rolled in at the buzzer for the Gophers. Bauer, who missed two practices this week with a shoulder sprain and couldn't shoot without pain until Friday, scored 10.

He launched his final shot from the top of the key with 2 seconds left and watched it bounce around the rim before dropping in.

"Fans were trying to pat me on the shoulder," Bauer said, "and it hurt a little bit. But it was worth it."

Jarvis Hayes, who scored 17 of his 21 in the second half, helped the Bulldogs rally from a six-point deficit with 1:40 left. He made a tough layup in traffic, drawing a blocking call that fouled out Minnesota's Jerry Holman and converted the three-point play to cut the lead to 68-66 with 50.5 seconds left.

Rick Rickert, who had 12 points, was fouled and went 1-of-2 from the line with 34.3 seconds left. But Hayes made a 3-pointer to tie it at 69 with 14.7 seconds to go.

"This just showed we're a different team than we were last year," said Minnesota's Moe Hargrow, who had 15 points. "Last year our body language would've been negative, and we would've been like, 'He hit that shot. How are we going to win this game?' "

NO. 8 OKLAHOMA 75, PRAIRIE VIEW 63: Hollis Price scored 13 of the visiting Sooners' final 18.

Price, who finished with 16 points, sat through much of the second half and watched the Panthers give Oklahoma all it wanted.

The Sooners led 38-31 at halftime, but Prairie View scored the first nine of the second half to take the lead.

Ebi Ere, who scored 16, had two baskets and an assist in a 9-0 run that gave the Sooners a 55-48 lead with 8:42 left. But Prairie View rallied with a free throw and basket by Malachi Thurston and a jumper by Gregory Burks to make it 55-53.

It was a 57-54 Sooners lead when Price returned with about seven minutes left. He scored on a baseline drive and hit a 3-pointer in transition for a 62-54 advantage.

NO. 11 MARYLAND 89, DUQUESNE 39: Drew Nicholas scored 19 and Ryan Randle added a career-high 16 as the Terrapins extended their nonconference home winning streak to 87.

The defending NCAA champions never trailed against the Dukes, who had more turnovers (20) than points (19) in the first half.

Nicholas scored all 19 of his points before halftime, helping Maryland build a 31-point lead. Several of his baskets came off passes from Steve Blake, who had 10 of his 13 assists in the first half.

Maryland's nonconference winning streak at home, which began in 1989 and includes two victories over Duquesne, is the longest such run in the nation.

NO. 18 MISSOURI 81, AUSTIN PEAY 46: Rickey Paulding had 14 points and nine rebounds and guard Jimmy McKinney returned from an injury for the host Tigers.

Arthur Johnson had 16 points and three steals, and Rickey Clemons had nine points and eight assists for the Tigers.

McKinney, the team's top recruit, returned wearing a protective mask after missing nearly a month with a broken bone above his right eye. He had eight points in 14 minutes.

"I don't have my rhythm back yet, but other than that it feels good to be out there," McKinney said. "That's all that matters."

The Tigers took their biggest lead at 60-29. Missouri shot 48 percent, including 9-for-21 from 3-point range, with six players connecting. But it was the defense that stood out.

"It was all about their defense, which was great," Austin Peay coach Dave Loos said. "I was very impressed with them."

NO. 22 TULSA 61, ARKANSAS 60: The visiting Golden Hurricane's best defense with a one-point lead was its offense.

Tulsa dribbled away its final possession, showing little intention of making a move toward the basket.

When Jason Parker missed a 15-footer with 5 seconds left, Arkansas had no time to set up a shot. Tulsa escaped when Eric Ferguson's desperation heave from just inside half-court bounced off the backboard and rim.

"The only way we could lose the game was if we take a quick shot at that point," Tulsa coach John Phillips said. "Once I realized that the difference was 5 seconds we called time and set up to shoot at the last second."

Kevin Johnson made a free throw to give Tulsa a six-point lead with 21/2 minutes left, and it went scoreless the rest of the way. The Golden Hurricane led by nine with 11:09 remaining, but Arkansas outscored Tulsa 17-9, led by six from senior forward Dionisio Gomez.

"We seemed to get too relaxed and let them get back in the game and almost come away with a win," said Tulsa guard Dante Swanson, who scored 16 points.

Antonio Reed paced the Golden Hurricane with 17 points. Johnson had 13 points and eight rebounds.

NO. 23 MISS. ST. 100, JACKSONVILLE 65: Timmy Bowers had 21 points, including four 3-pointers, and the host Bulldogs shot 58 percent.

"I thought I saw a lot of improvement in a lot of areas," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. "It is always good to win when you see some guys improve in some areas. And that is what I saw tonight."

Bowers led five scorers in double figures, and the Bulldogs won their second straight game without center Mario Austin. The school is waiting for a ruling on Austin's eligibility after the NCAA determined he was mistakenly certified to play as a freshman.

The Bulldogs led 53-41 with 15:15 remaining when they went on a 13-2 run. Bowers and Ontario Harper made two of Mississippi State's 10 3-pointers in the spurt.

Kevin Sheppard led the Dolphins with 30 points.

NO. 25 WISCONSIN 69, UW-GREEN BAY 52: Freddie Owens scored 19 and Kirk Penney added 18 for the visiting Badgers, who are 4-0 for the first time since they opened the 1996-97 season with six straight.

They held the Phoenix to 37.5 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers. Brandon Hansen led the Phoenix with 14 points.

The near-capacity crowd of 9,705 was the largest to watch a college basketball game in Green Bay.

Wisconsin, which turned the ball over seven times, used a 9-0 run early in the second half to build a 48-34 lead.

The Badgers led 32-26 at halftime. UWGB answered Wisconsin's surge with eight unanswered points, keyed by two 3-pointers by Hansen, to close to 48-42 with 71/2 minutes left in the second half. Wisconsin, though, quickly rebuilt the advantage to double digits.

Nation

ST. JOHN'S: Forward Grady Reynolds was charged with pushing a female student against a wall in a dormitory bathroom and throwing her to the ground. He was arrested Nov. 17, according to to police reports.

Reynolds, who played in a game nine days after his arrest, is due in court Friday. St. John's said he will remain on the team while the school investigates.

Rachel Seager, a collegiate swimmer, told police Reynolds grabbed her by her clothing, pushed her against a wall and threw her down in a residence hall bathroom, according to a criminal complaint.

The complaint said the 20-year-old woman was bruised and dislocated a knee.

Reynolds was arraigned Nov. 17 on charges of third-degree assault and second-degree harassment and released on $500 bail.

NEW MEXICO: Former coach Bob King was in fair condition after being taken to the hospital when he felt ill as a spectator at a game. King was watching New Mexico's women's team play Friday night on Bob King Court -- named in his honor -- in Albuquerque when he was taken away on a stretcher. Officials did not reveal his ailment.

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