January 5, 2003
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 1 ranking might soon be history, but Alabama still pronounced itself ready to defend its Southeastern Conference title.
Defending is what the Crimson Tide does best. Erwin Dudley and Antoine Pettway each made two free throws in the final 22 seconds as Alabama (10-1) withstood a late charge to beat No. 19 Xavier 65-58 on Saturday for its 26th consecutive home win.
"This was a big win for us, however you look at it," said Mo Williams, who had 17 points. "This season's over with. The second season starts Wednesday."
That's when the Tide opens league play against Arkansas.
Alabama didn't improve its shooting much from Monday night's 51-49 loss at Utah, but scored 26 off 19 turnovers.
"They believe in their defense," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said of his team. "They feel like they can get shutouts when they need to. It's probably been the most consistent thing for us this year."
Dudley had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Pettway had five steals and five assists.
Alabama didn't allow preseason All-America forward David West to score in the second half.
NO. 2 PITT 85, ROBERT MORRIS 49: Chevy Troutman repeatedly powered through undersized Robert Morris for easy baskets to score 24 and the host Panthers bounced back from their first loss.
Pitt, barely getting a workout before Monday night's Big East opener against No. 6 Notre Dame, is 22-0 against Robert Morris and 55-0 against Northeast Conference schools.
The Panthers (10-1), coming off a 79-67 loss to Georgia that is bound to drop them in next week's Top 25, overwhelmed its city rival with its size and strength in opening up first-half leads of as many as 27 points.
NO. 6 ND 55, VALPARAISO 53: Greg Tonagel missed a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left, and the Irish came up with the ball to seal it at the United Center.
"We were very fortunate to get out of here with a win," Irish coach Mike Brey said.
At 12-1, the Irish are off to their best start in 24 years, matching the mark of the 1978-79 squad. Matt Carroll led Notre Dame with 14.
NO. 9 OREGON 94, ARIZ. ST. 73: Luke Ridnour scored 24 and Luke Jackson added 18 and 10 rebounds for the host Ducks, who bounced back from having their 23-game home winning streak snapped.
Oregon (10-2) saw its school-record home streak come to an end with an 81-72 loss to Arizona on Thursday.
The Ducks trailed by as many as nine points in the first half and faced a 39-33 halftime deficit.
NO. 10 OKLA. 60, NO. 14 MICH. ST. 58: Ebi Ere scored 21 and the host Sooners came up with big defensive plays in the closing minutes to hold off a comeback in the All-College Classic.
Quannas White made 1 of 2 free throws with 14.1 seconds left to give the Sooners (8-2) the two-point lead. Michigan State (8-4) got the ball to leading scorer Chris Hill, but White knocked it away as the final seconds ran off the clock.
Hollis Price scored 19 for Oklahoma, which built a 58-50 lead with 4:24 left and then hung on. Hill and Maurice Ager scored 12 each for Michigan State.
NO. 11 ILLINOIS 88, OAKLAND, MICH. 53: Brian Cook had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Sean Harrington added 20 points for the host Illini.
Illinois (10-1) opened the second half with a 14-2 run, including six points from Cook, to extend its lead from 12 to 24 with less than 15 minutes to play. Freshman guard Dee Brown took over from there, scoring nine in a three-minute span.
Cook, the Big Ten's leading scorer, had eight of the Illini's final 14 points but had his consecutive free-throw streak stopped at 32 when he missed with five minutes remaining. It is the second longest streak in Illinois history.
DAYTON 92, NO. 13 MARQUETTE 85 (OT): Ramon Marshall and Keith Waleskowski made sure the Golden Eagles stayed winless on the road this season.
Marshall scored 23 and Waleskowski hit a clutch 3-pointer in overtime to lead the Flyers. Marquette (8-3) has lost all three road games this season, including one Tuesday night at East Carolina.
"They were struggling on the road, and we were not going to let them get well here," said Waleskowski, who had 15 points and eight rebounds.
With Dayton (8-3) leading 83-80 and one minute left in overtime, the 6-foot-9 Waleskowski, who had tied it at the end of regulation, hit the 3 that gave the Flyers a six-point lead.
NO. 16 MISSOURI 88, IOWA 82: Ricky Clemons banked in a rally-stopping 3-pointer with 1:18 left and finished with a season-high 27 points for the visiting Tigers.
Missouri (8-1) was clinging to an 80-78 lead and four seconds remained on the shot clock when Clemons shot from the left wing, two steps behind the 3-point arc. The ball banked in, drawing an exasperated sigh from the crowd of 14,582.
"You just play the game," Clemons said. "If the shot goes in, it goes in. If it doesn't, it doesn't."
NO. 17 INDIANA 70, CHARLOTTE 60: Bracey Wright scored 17 and Tom Coverdale added 13 for the host Hoosiers in coach Mike Davis' return from a one-game suspension.
Davis missed this week's victory over Ball State for his on-court outburst at a referee during a loss to Kentucky.
Davis was subdued for most of the game and didn't do much talking with the officials.
A.J. Moye provided a spark off the bench, scoring 11 with eight rebounds for Indiana (10-2).
NO. 18 KANSAS 100, MISS.-K.C. 46: Kirk Hinrich scored a career-high 29 to lead the Jayhawks in what could be a costly win at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo.
Wayne Simien, Kansas' 6-9 sophomore forward, dislocated his shoulder in the first half and left in pain. The shoulder was popped back into place in the locker room but it was not immediately known how long Simien might be out.
NO. 20 KENTUCKY 83, OHIO 75: Keith Bogans scored 21 and Erik Daniels repeatedly made clutch baskets down the stretch, though the visiting Wildcats wasted most of a 19-point lead.
Daniels had two dunks, a layup and a putback that helped Kentucky (9-3) hold off a late charge. Ohio (3-6) cut a 19-point deficit to 78-75 on Brian Hunter's inside basket with 55 seconds left.
Daniels then missed a shot, got a rebound and put it in, ending the Bobcats comeback. Bogans' three-point play with nine seconds left finished it off.
"I think we just let up a little bit," said Daniels, who had 14 points. "Sometimes with a big lead, we get too comfortable."
NO. 22 MARYLAND 79, WAGNER 57: Ryan Randle tied a school record by making all 10 of his field-goal attempts, and Steve Blake had 12 assists to move into 20th place on the NCAA career list for the host Terrapins.
Randle's 21 points matched his career high, and his perfect shooting tied the Maryland record set on Dec. 23, 1998, by Lonny Baxter against North Texas.
Maryland (7-3) was never threatened after the Seahawks missed 12 of their first 14 shots to fall behind 20-4.
"We got off great, and it looked like it would be pretty easy," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "But we reacted to that the wrong way. We really didn't execute as well as we could."
NO. 23 WAKE 68, RICHMOND 62: Josh Howard scored 21 and the visiting Demon Deacons rallied after a sloppy first half.
Wake Forest (9-0), which came in as one of four unbeaten teams in Division I, opened the second half on a 20-5 run to pull away from a tie at 26 and beat the Spiders (6-5) for the 11th straight time.
"The first 15 minutes of the second half we played as we have most of the year," Deacons coach Skip Prosser said. "Fortunately that was enough to allow us to get out of here and back down the interstate with a win."
NO. 24 LOUISVILLE 72, OHIO ST. 64 (OT): Bryant Northern and Reece Gaines had all 32 of their points in the second half and overtime and the visiting Cardinals rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit.
Northern's jumper with 3:15 left gave Louisville (8-1) the lead for good at 60-58. Gaines made two free throws late and Northern was 5-of-6 from the line over the final 42 seconds to seal it.
Brent Darby made two free throws for the Buckeyes (7-4) with 6.5 seconds left, sending the game to overtime tied at 57.