Daily Dribble: 1/24
17 games last night.. seems like a good day to write capsules for all 17..
BC 85 - FSU 82 - You figure FSU just needs to stay at .500 to make the Tournament.. but they're now 2-4. Against teams not named Stetson or Georgia State, the Noles are 0-5 away from home. Lets assume they beat Wake (a lock) and Maryland (not a lock, but 80% chance) at home next week, this would get them back to .500. But then brutal road games loom against Clemson and Duke back to back, which presumably drops them back to 4-6. Will be an uphill battle from there.
Illinois 51 - Indiana 43 - This was a huge win for the Illini, who hadn't beat a decent team (let alone a ranked one) all year. This game was pretty ugly though.. good defense, scrappy play, but some pretty horrendous offense. The difference was two back to back Rich McBride threes deep in the 2nd half.. otherwise neither team was really able to hit perimeter shots. (9 of 36 threes combined).
Holy Cross 58 - Colgate 55, Bucknell 62 - Lehigh 44. The Patriot League's three contenders were in action last night (Colgate's not a contender). Holy Cross is the leader now at 6-0 in league play (15-6 overall), but you can't count out Bucknell at 5-1. The crusaders have the one game advantage by beating Bucknell in Worcester, but the return trip could even out the standings. Lehigh's in third place, but they really don't have a shot at the title at this point, and don't seem to be any better than 4th place Army. After Army, this league is crap..
Siena 87 - NJIT 63, Fairfield 70 - Iona 67 (OT) - Iona still can't buy a freaking win.. and are now 0-19 on the season. They keep coming closer and closer (2 OT losses out of 3, and the 3rd game was a 1 point loss), but I question if teams are just teasing them at this point. My solution for the Gaels is to quickly schedule independent NJIT at home so they can get a win.
Tennessee Tech 63 - Murray St 52 - These teams are going in opposite directions. Tech has won 5 straight to improve to a respectable 7-4 in OVC play. Murray's lost 3 of 4, to drop to 6-5. As usual, Tech was led by their backcourt combo of Belton Rivers and Anthony Fisher. Both average 18 per game.
Davidson 101 - Georgia Southern 92 - Coming off a loss to App State, the Wildcats had a bad first half before bouncing back to beat a weak Georgia Southern squad. The win was the 7th in a row away from home for Davidson who, despite leading the Southern at 8-1, is learning winning the league wont be a cakewalk.
Marist 67 - St Peter's 58 - Marist bounced back from their 2nd conference loss by beating a bad St Peter's squad. The Peacocks (1-8 in the MAAC) are learning that life without Keydren Clark isn't easy.
St. John's 71 - Notre Dame 68, Villanova 82 - Providence 73 - Both of these games just muddled the messy Big East even more. 8 of the conference teams are either .500 or within a game of .500, including all 4 of these teams. The win was huge for St. John's, who after losing 4 straight bounced back with wins over the Cuse and #22 Notre Dame. This team has no NCAA Tournament hopes, but they would very much like to make the Big East Tournament. Freshman Larry Wright, who only averages 4 ppg, hit the game-winning three for the Johnnies.
Robert Morris 94 - St Francis (PA) 75 - RMU improves to 13-5 behind 28 points from AJ Jackson. The senior forward is one of the best players in the NEC, and he's now scored 20+ in their last 4 games. The Colonials are only 5-4 in league play, but they have to be considered a contender in the conference tournament.
Air Force 72 - TCU 39, UNLV 68 - SDSU - The MWC's two best teams won last night.. Air Force in a laugher, UNLV in a bit of a struggle. TCU, after a surprising 10-4 start, has come back to Earth losing 4 straight.. and probably will lose another at Wyoming in a few days.
Auburn 81 - Alabama 57 - After getting lucky to win a home game over Georgia, the Tide (#12 in the country somehow) were awful at Auburn. The Tigers shot 57%, and Bama turned it over a bunch. Ronald Steele had 5 turnovers but just 2 assists. Over his last 5 games, Steele has 16 turnovers and just 17 assists. 1 to 1 wont get it done. Bama's 15-4 record looks good, but its a mirage packed with weak home wins..
Virginia Tech 92 - Miami 85 - Zabian Dowdell scored 30 to lead VT to their 6th win in 7 games. The Hokies are now 5-1 in the ACC, a half game behind BC. Dowdell's played a big roll in the streak. He didn't score 20 in their first 11 games, but in their last 9 games he's broken that mark 6 times and hasn't been below 17 once.
Southern Illinois 56 - Northern Iowa 54 - SIU's home win pushes them to 7-3 in the MVC, good for the conference lead. No surprise, this game was all about defense. UNI's 50% shooting looks good.. but then you realize they turned over the ball 23 times. Amazingly, SIU shot 30 times more than UNI and only won by 2 points! That's a pretty crazy stat..
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