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Saint Joseph's pushed but perfect

Associated Press
Published February 3, 2004

VILLANOVA, Pa. - Saint Joseph's got the challenge most expected from Villanova on Monday night. The third-ranked Hawks still are undefeated.

The perimeter trio of Jameer Nelson, Delonte West and Pat Carroll combined for 60 points, and Saint Joseph's beat the Wildcats 74-67 to extend its school-record winning streak to 19.

The Hawks (19-0) and No. 2 Stanford (18-0) remain the only unbeaten teams in Division I. Saint Joseph's has eight regular-season games left, all against Atlantic 10 opponents and three against teams with winning records.

At first the Hawks looked as if they would make this meeting with Villanova (12-8) just like last season's, when they took a 40-9 lead on the way to a 92-75 victory.

Monday, the Hawks used impressive defense to go on a 23-3 run and take a 27-8 lead with 8:22 left in the first half. The Wildcats, who opened the game 2-of-15 from the field, closed the half with a 7-0 run to get within 34-23.

Villanova's defense improved in the second half and the Wildcats made several runs at the Hawks, closing within five twice before Andreas Bloch's 3-pointer with 6:46 left got them within 54-50.

NO. 5 UCONN 84, NO. 18 SYRACUSE 56: Emeka Okafor had 25 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks as the host Huskies cruised.

Okafor had his 14th double double of the season and 43rd of his career. Ben Gordon had 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Connecticut (18-3, 6-1 Big East), which has won eight of the past 12 meetings with the Orangemen.

Hakim Warrick led Syracuse (14-4, 4-3) with 26 points and 11 rebounds. He had 16 points in the first half but went without a field goal for the first 11 minutes of the second.

NO. 20 KANSAS 65, MISSOURI 56: Wayne Simien had 18 points, including two free throws with 42 seconds left, and the host Jayhawks held on.

Kansas (15-4, 6-1 Big 12) led by one at halftime and never was able to pull away until the final minutes of the latest battle in the 97-year-old rivalry.

Arthur Johnson, who led the Tigers (9-9, 4-4) with 15 points, hit a hook shot in the lane to make it 61-56 with 2:46 to go. But Aaron Miles hit two free throws after Travon Bryant missed a 3-pointer for Missouri, which shot 3-of-18 from beyond the arc.

NO. 19 TEXAS TECH: Coach Bob Knight got into a verbal spat with the university chancellor at a grocery store, prompting a review by school officials. School spokeswoman Sally Logue Post said she did not know details of the encounter between the coach and Dr. David Smith. No one was injured, she said. Smith declined to elaborate.


TROY ST. 73, FAU 68: Greg Davis scored 13 of his 15 in the second half and added seven assists to help the visiting Trojans (15-5, 11-2 Atlantic Sun) rally from a six-point halftime deficit and win their fourth straight. Earnest Crumbley had 20 points for the Owls (8-11, 5-7), who have lost six of seven.

B-CC 71, MD.-EASTERN SHORE 70 (2OT): Diondre Larmond's 3-pointer with 2:40 left lifted the visiting Wildcats (4-14, 3-6 MEAC). The Hawks (3-15, 2-8) tied it at 50 at the end of regulation on Tee Trotter's free throws.


AP POLL: Utah State earned its first spot in the Associated Press Top 25 since 1971, one of many changes in the national rankings.

For the third straight week, the top spots remained Duke, Stanford and Saint Joseph's. But with 12 ranked teams losing 14 games, the Aggies, who have won 14 straight, broke into the rankings at No. 24.

Texas jumped five spots to No. 11 and Texas Tech fell from 13th to 19th. Purdue lost twice and fell out of the rankings from 21st.

In the women's poll, Florida entered at No. 24, its first appearance since ending the 2001-02 season tied for 24th.

NAVY: Coach Don DeVoe plans to retire after this season, ending a career in which he won more than 500 games at five schools. DeVoe's 510 wins rank 57th in history and 18th among active coaches.


USF 89, NO. 18 TCU 84 (2OT): Jessica Dickson hit a 35-foot desperation shot to end the first overtime, then added nine points in the second and finished with 36 to lead the host Bulls.

Dickson, a freshman forward, scored 20 in regulation as South Florida (9-12, 2-6 C-USA) rallied from an early 11-point deficit.

Dickson made two free throws with 22 seconds left in regulation to give South Florida a 66-64 lead, but the Horned Frogs' Ebony Shaw answered with a layup eight seconds later to force overtime.

Tracy Wynn's free throws gave TCU (16-4, 5-2) a 74-71 lead with 8.8 seconds left in the first overtime, but Dickson connected at the buzzer to force another.

NO. 2 DUKE 78, CLEMSON 60: Alana Beard scored 26 and the visiting Blue Devils (17-2, 8-0) won their 51st straight ACC game. Lakeia Stokes led the Tigers (15-5, 5-4) with 18 points.

NO. 15 DePAUL 90, ECU 74: Khara Smith had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the visiting Blue Demons (19-2, 7-1 C-USA). Courtney Willis scored 23 for the Pirates (14-6, 5-2).

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