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Top 25: No. 4 Michigan St. cramps up in opener
By wire services
Published November 20, 2005
HONOLULU - Hawaii turned a short side trip into a long day for No. 4 Michigan State.
Matt Lojeski and Julian Sensley each scored 20 for the Rainbow Warriors in an 84-62 victory that ended the Spartans' streak of season-opening wins at 28.
"I'm at a loss for words," Sensley said. "In the world of basketball, anybody can be beaten on any night."
Michigan State, the first of the preseason Top 10 to lose this season, was hampered by poor shooting and leg cramps. The Spartans stopped off on Oahu on the way to Maui Invitational that starts Monday. It was the biggest home win for the Warriors since they beat No. 2 Kansas in the finals of the 1997 Rainbow Classic. And the crowd of 8,802 got louder as the lead got larger.
Lojeski, a junior college transfer playing in his first Division I game, was 6-for-8 from 3-point range, and his last one capped a 14-2 run that gave Hawaii a 70-52 lead with 6:03 left.
"It was special having this as an opening game, and I just did my role," Lojeski said. "We knew we had to come out and make a statement, and we made a big statement."
Maurice Ager had 16 points for the Spartans, coming off their fourth Final Four appearance in seven years. But he was one of four Spartans affected by leg cramps.
Paul Davis, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds, left the game for a second and final time with cramps with 13:27 to play. Ager, Shannon Brown and Drew Neitzel all had to sit out at some point because of cramps. Brown had to be removed on a stretcher with 6:36 left because of the intense pain.
"He was cramping from his neck to his feet," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. He was upset with fans behind the bench who were booing and yelling for Brown to be dragged off the court so the game could continue.
"That's the maddest I've ever been as a coach in college," Izzo said. "Let's just leave it at that. If we won I'd have plenty to say, but I don't want to come across as a sore loser."
For a good portion of the final 10 minutes there were four freshmen Spartans on the floor at the same time.
"We're not a Top 10 team with some of the lineups we used today," Izzo said. "It's your biggest nightmare to have the freshmen out there and they're not ready to play at this caliber on the road."
UC IRVINE 79, NO. 13 STANFORD 63: The host Cardinal got outhustled, outmuscled, outrebounded and outshot, and coach Trent Johnson could hardly believe his eyes.
"Ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly," the second-year Stanford coach said.
Ross Schraeder scored 19 and the Anteaters used an impressive shooting performance and plain hard work to drop Stanford in its opener and earn coach Pat Douglass his 500th victory.
Shamar Armstrong scored six straight in the final 3:19, and the Anteaters took advantage of a significant height advantage to pound the ball inside at every opportunity against a Stanford squad missing starting forward Matt Haryasz, who sprained his ankle in practice Friday.
NO. 1 DUKE 84, DAVIDSON 55: J.J. Redick started a rally late in the first half and finished with 29 points for the host Blue Devils. Redick shot 10-for-18, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range as the Blue Devils took a break from the NIT Season Tip-Off and beat Davidson in its season opener. It was the 19th straight win for Duke in the series and the 28th in 29 outings in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Shelden Williams missed a triple double by one blocked shot.
NO. 6 OKLAHOMA 68, SAMFORD 41: Kevin Bookout scored 13 and grabbed 10 rebounds and Michael Neal added 15 points on five 3-pointers for the Sooners. Host Oklahoma opened the second half with a 22-5 run and led 49-22 after Nate Carter's reverse layup with 9:59 to play. Taj Gray, whose only basket of the first half was a dunk that gave the Sooners a 27-17 halftime lead, scored Oklahoma's first six points of the second half and Carter - who left the game briefly in the first half with an injury - also scored six in the run.
NO. 7 LOUISVILLE 78, TENN.-MARTIN 61: Juan Palacios had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead the host Cardinals in the season opener for both teams. The win was the 450th at the college level for coach Rick Pitino, who has also coached at Boston University, Providence and Kentucky.
NO. 18 UCLA 56, DELAWARE ST. 37: Cedric Bozeman scored 15 and Arron Afflalo added 12 to help the host Bruins. Freshman reserve Michael Roll added nine points for the injury-ravaged Bruins, who with two freshmen and a sophomore in their starting five opened the game on a 13-0 run and never trailed.