Men: Defense helps Illini hold off Wolverines

Associated Press
Published February 9, 2005

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Dee Brown turned three consecutive steals into baskets and scored 16 to keep No.1 Illinois undefeated with a 57-51 victory over Michigan on Tuesday.

The Illini (24-0, 10-0 Big Ten) overcame an almost 12-minute span without a field goal during the first half and an eight-point deficit early in the second half to become the nation's only undefeated team.

"Some guys are gamers," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "Dee definitely is a gamer. He does things in games he doesn't do in practice."

Illinois, which had won its previous games by an average of 18.2 points, seemed to be on pace for another lopsided victory early.

It led by 10 twice during the first half against the Wolverines, who have lost seven in a row and entered having lost their previous three by an average of 24 points. But Michigan closed the half with a 13-1 run for a 28-24 lead.

Brown took over when Michigan was clinging to a 39-35 lead midway through the second half.

His steals and layups, capped by a three-point play with 7:54 left, started a 14-3 run that put the Illini ahead 49-42 with just less than four minutes left. Brown's two free throws with 6.2 seconds left, the final two points of the game, sealed the victory.

"It's a good feeling," Brown said. "But there's a bigger target on us now."

NO. 18 PITT 55, ST. JOHN'S 44: The host Panthers avenged a 65-62 loss to the Red Storm on Jan.18. Up 32-30, Chris Taft, 6 feet 10, and Chevon Troutman, 6-7, scored twice during a 10-2 run that made it 42-32 with 6:30 left. They took advantage of a St. John's frontcourt that had only one starter, 6-9 Lamont Hamilton, taller than 6-6.

COLORADO 88, NO. 23 TEXAS 79: Richard Roby scored 22 for the host Buffs. The Longhorns, down to seven scholarship players (three freshmen) because of injuries and grades, missed 13 of 16 shots during a first-half span.

Down 58-36 six minutes into the second half, Texas made four 3-pointers during a 21-3 run to trail 61-57 with 7:30 left. Colorado missed 11 of 12 shots during that span. But Hall made a 3-pointer, Andy Osborn a baseline jumper and Hall two free throws to help make it 70-59 with 4:45 left.

ACC: Returning star lifts Jackets

CLEMSON, S.C. - B.J. Elder scored 11, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, in his first game in more than a month as Georgia Tech beat Clemson 70-62. Elder, the team's leading scorer, had missed all nine of the Yellow Jackets' ACC games with a strained left hamstring sustained during a loss to Kansas on Jan.1.

Down 52-50, Elder took a pass deep in the left corner and made his only 3-pointer of the game. Isma'il Muhammad followed with an inside basket. Then Elder hit a short leaner and a layup to put Georgia Tech up 59-54.

The Tigers' only field goal during a six-minute stretch late was Olu Babalola's 3-pointer with 1:17 left that cut it to 67-59.

MARYLAND 86, VA. TECH 71: John Gilchrist had 19 points and 10 assists and Nik Caner-Medley scored 21 for the host Terps. Maryland played without starting forward Ekene Ibekwe, who missed a second game with a cracked rib. Freshman James Gist got his first start and scored eight. Down 42-30 at halftime, the Hokies cut it to seven. But Caner-Medley and Mike Jones scored four during an 11-4 run that put the Terps up 72-58 with 7:05 left.

GEORGIA: Tony Cole, who sparked an investigation two years ago, was arrested again. The former point guard is charged with violating his probation on a felony bad-check charge. His career at Georgia ended in 2002 after he and two other athletes were charged with rape. In 2003, Cole said coach Jim Harrick and assistant Jim Harrick Jr. paid his expenses and gave him credit for academic work he didn't do. Both Harricks later lost their jobs.


RUTGERS 62, SETON HALL 61 (OT): Quincy Douby made a free throw with no time left for the host Scarlet Knights. Douby took an inbounds pass with 4.1 seconds left and missed a shot. But Donald Copeland was called for a foul, and officials used video replay to determine Douby shot before time expired. Douby then made the second free throw.

IOWA ST. 65, NEBRASKA 60: Curtis Stinson scored 11 of his 25 during the final eight minutes for the visiting Cyclones, who won their fourth consecutive Big 12 game and its second straight on the road after a 28-game conference road losing streak. Stinson's jumper with 7:50 left tied it at 48 and was part of an 11-2 run.

PENN 70, PRINCETON 62 (OT): Down 53-35 with 7:35 left, the host Quakers rallied to improve to 5-0 in the Ivy League. Penn used a fullcourt press to cause numerous turnovers during a 21-3 run and tied it on Eric Osmundson's two free throws with 31 seconds left. Up 63-62 in overtime, Tim Begley made a 3-pointer and Osmundson two free throws.


NO. 13 TEXAS TECH 89, NO. 14 IOWA ST. 62: Cisti Greenwalt and Erin Grant scored 19 for the host Red Raiders, who moved into a tie with the Cyclones and Kansas State for first in the Big 12 at 8-2. Up 39-36 at halftime, Tech opened the second half with a 9-3 run then cruised. Chesley Dabbs, scoreless during the first half, scored five, and Greenwalt converted a three-point play during the run.