THOUGHTS FROM THURSDAY NIGHT
My viewing habits: I wanted to focus on the Saint Mary's-San Diego game on ESPN2, which had a 9 p.m. tipoff, but the Purdue-Minnesota game ran long and by the time the switch was made the game was all but over -- Saint Mary's was rolling. Saint Mary's Australian point guard, Patrick Mills, was using his ultra-quickness to destroy San Diego's defense. He also a few loooongg 3-pointers, one on a fast break. Defensively, the Gaels smothered San Diego and dominated on the boards. They looked very impressive, especially since the game was played in San Diego. While waiting for the Gaels and Toreros, I did catch a lot of Providence-Seton Hall, which went into overtime. It was a good road win for the Friars who are now 5-2 in the Big East. Also checked out a little bit of UCLA-Washington State. UCLA won, 61-59, holding off a gritty rally by Washington State. The Cougars had a chance to tie it at the end but just didn't execute. Their best shooter, Taylor Rochestie, was inbounding the ball with just over 4 seconds left. Doesn't give him much of chance to take the final shot.
Bouncing back: Purdue seemed to be floundering a few weeks ago. But after winning at Minnesota, 70-62, the Boilers seems to be back on track. It's always tough to win on the elevated floor at Williams Arena, but this year, the Gophers are an especially tough unit. When viewed on TV with that elevated floor, Williams Arena seems out of date, but after visiting it this summer, I now know it's a great place to watch a game and a cauldron of noise for the visitors to contend with.
Bad streak: Oregon lost to Stanford 77-55. The Ducks, who are 0-7 in the Pac-10, have lost 23 in a row at Stanford.
Triple time: BU plays at Maine Sunday coming off a four-overtime victory over Stony Brook and a two-overtime victory over UMBC Thursday night. What are the chances for three overtimes in Orono?
The Big East isn't all good: St. John's and Cincinnati had a rough one last night. Cincy won, 71-60, but it wasn't pretty, including two ejections. St. John's, which blew an 11-point halftime lead, shot 14 of 31 from the free-throw line and committed 21 turnovers but outrebounded Cincinnati, 43-33. Cincinnati was able to overcome shooting 25 of 58 from the field. In one second-half sequence, there were four fouls and five missed free throws without any time running off the clock. Three of the fouls were over-the-back calls after missed free throws.
True parity: How about these scores in the Northeast Conference last night? Monmouth 74, LIU 73; Mount St. Mary's 64, Central Connecticut 62; St. Francis of New York 65, Wagner 62; Sacred Heart 70, Quinnipiac 66. There was one rout: rapidly improving Fairleigh Dickinson 69, St. Francis of Pennsylvania 56. Saturday in Brooklyn the best St. Francis team will be decided.
Lester Hudson report: The Tennessee-Martin star scored 24 points, snatched 11 rebounds, and had 6 assists as the Skyhawks beat Southeast Missouri for their 11th win in their last 12 games.
Woebegone: Poor George Washington has now lost eight straight after falling to Dayton, 63-61. The losing streak could have ended -- the Colonials were trying to defend a 61-60 lead when they were assessed a technical four for having six players on the court. Dayton made both techs, inbounded, got fouled and made one of two. GW did get two shots off in the final seconds but couldn't convert.
SURPRISING SCORES, AMAZING MARGINS
Temple 65, St. Louis 40: Rick Majerus still has some work to do in St Loo.
West Virginia 75, Georgetown 58: The Hoyas lose in Washington and now have a two-game losing streak heading to Newark to play Seton Hall Sunday.
Oregon State 69, California 65: Craig Robinson borrowed some magic from his brother-in-law.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell