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College basketball

SEC foe again tops Sooners

©Associated Press

December 29, 2002

NEW ORLEANS -- Mario Austin did not have his usual game, but he had just enough.

Austin, held below his 26-point average, scored 18 as No. 16 Mississippi State upset No. 5 Oklahoma 54-45 Saturday in the Sugar Bowl Classic. Both Sooners' losses have been to SEC opponents; Alabama beat them Nov. 14.

Mississippi State shot 36 percent from the field (18-of-50), but made 15-of-19 from the free-throw line. Oklahoma had won its six by an average 23.7 points, but shot 31 percent (17-of-54).

"They're probably one of the best defensive teams we've played against," OU's Hollis Price said.

Price sank a 3 for Oklahoma, then made two free throws to get within 48-45 with 1:23 remaining. Austin was fouled on a layup and converted the free throw to make it 51-45. The Bulldogs scored the final three on a dunk by Derrick Zimmerman and a free throw by Austin.

Struggling Owls upset IU

PHILADELPHIA -- Awaiting an expected lengthy suspension, Mike Davis figures his team already is paying for his tirade.

"I'll take the blame for this loss," Davis said after No. 10 Indiana's 71-64 loss to Temple. "I took a pretty good basketball team and screwed them up the last two weeks."

The coach is expected to be suspended Monday by the Big Ten for confronting an official in the loss on Dec. 21 to Kentucky.

Alex Wesby and Maurice Collins each hit two free throws in the final 21 seconds to win it for the Owls (2-6), who were off to the worst start in program history. Wesby scored 26 and Collins 16.

LOUISVILLE 81, NO. 14 UK 63: Rick Pitino's new team made his old one look bad at Freedom Hall. Kentucky transfer Marvin Stone scored 16 as Louisville avenged last season's 20-point loss. Pitino coached the Wildcats from 1989-97, leading them to the 1996 NCAA championship. Ellis Myles had 11 points and 14 rebounds for Louisville, which snapped a three-game losing streak to Kentucky.

NO. 2 PITT 65, GEORGE MASON 41: Brandin Knight led a 15-4 run before halftime as the host Panthers cruised. Knight did not have a field goal or rebound until less than five minutes left, but finished with 10 assists and five steals. The smaller, slower Patriots never got closer than 11 in the second half.

NO. 4 ARIZONA 95, DAVIDSON 69: Salim Stoudamire scored a season-high 23 for the host Wildcats in the first round of the Fiesta Bowl Classic. They face Boston in Monday's final. Freshman Ian Johnson had 21 points and nine rebounds for Davidson. Arizona's Luke Walton played after missing two games with a sprained ankle, finishing with six points in 23 minutes.

NO. 6 UCONN 93, CEN. CONN. 65: Ben Gordon scored 24 and Emeka Okafor added 17 for the Huskies at the Hartford Civic Center. It was the first matchup between UConn coach Jim Calhoun and former longtime assistant Howie Dickenman, who took over at Central before 1996-97. The Huskies lead the series 11-0.

MEMPHIS 77, NO. 7 ILLINOIS 74: Chris Massie had 13 points and 10 rebounds in his first game of the season for the host Tigers. Massie, academically ineligible the first seven games, had 10 of 12 rebounds in the final 20 minutes. Illinois had a chance to tie, but Dee Brown's 3-pointer fell short with two seconds left.

NO. 11 OREGON 108, UC RIVERSIDE 67: Luke Ridnour scored 24 and Luke Jackson added 20 as the Ducks won their 23rd straight at home. Oregon led by as many as 43 in the second half. When Jackson and Ridnour both score in double figures, the Ducks are 23-0.

NO. 13 MARQUETTE 105, GRAMBLING ST. 74: Robert Jackson scored a season-high 26 and Dwyane Wade added 23 as the Golden Eagles won their 23rd straight at home. Paul Haynes scored 21 to lead the Tigers, who have dropped four straight.

NO. 15 MICHIGAN ST. 76, JACKSONVILLE ST. 52: Chris Hill led four in double figures with 14 points as the Spartans improved to 6-0 at home. Omar Bartlett scored 15 for the Gamecocks.

NO. 19 KANSAS 80, CAL 67: Wayne Simien had 17 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the Jayhawks in the first game of the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, Calif. Shooting 63 percent, Kansas took a 20-point lead in the first half.

IOWA 67, NO. 20 TULSA 63: Chauncey Leslie's reverse layup with 52 seconds left gave the visiting Hawkeyes their first lead as Iowa overcame an 11-point second-half deficit. Jared Reiner made three free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal it. The Golden Hurricane was missing starting guard Dante Swanson (broken foot).

NO. 21 XAVIER 84, E. KY. 60: Romain Sato scored 15 of his 23 in the first half for the host Musketeers. Xavier went the last three minutes of the first half without David West, who was poked in the eye. He started the second half but scored a season-low 13 points.

NO. 22 UNC 63, ST. JOHN'S 59: Rashad McCants scored 21, including the clinching free throws with 5.6 seconds left, as the Tar Heels won the consolation game of the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden in New York. UNC played its first full game without freshman center Sean May, who is out 8-10 weeks with a broken foot.

NO. 24 LSU 74, TULANE 62: Ronald Dupree scored 22 for the Tigers at the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans. Tulane scored 197 points in its past two, but shot 40 percent from the field and went 5-of-18 from 3-point range.

NO. 25 WAKE 104, N.C. A&T 64: Vytas Danelius scored 18 to lead the host Demon Deacons. Steven Koger scored 14 for the winless Aggies.

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