|Curry-Griffin matchup lives up to its billing|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 19 November 2008 01:06|
Blake Griffin of Oklahoma and Stephen Curry of Davidson proved worthy of their status as preseason All-Americas, and their teams certainly looked like members of the Top 25 on a Tuesday night in November that will still be talked about in March.
``I'm really proud of our guys for digging in and finding a way,'' Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said of his 12th-ranked Sooners' 82-78 victory over No. 21 Davidson. ``People got to witness two great performances, two special performances by two special players, what Blake and what Stephen did.''
Griffin, a sophomore forward, had 25 points and a career-high 21 rebounds.
Curry, a junior guard, had a career-high 44 points on 12-of-29 shooting, including 6-of-15 from 3-point range.
What may have been most impressive for the player that led Davidson on its run to within a win of the Final Four last season, was that he led the Wildcats back from a 21-point deficit in the second half.
like they do, that's what can happen. And when you have a player as special as Stephen Curry, that's what can happen,'' Capel said.
``Even when we were up by that large amount, I kept telling our guys, `It's not over. We have to finish this game.'''
In other games involving ranked teams on Tuesday, it was: No. 1 North Carolina 77, Kentucky 58; No. 7 Texas 76, Tulane 51; No. 9 Gonzaga 80, Idaho 46; No. 11 Purdue 78, Loyola of Chicago 46; No. 14 Tennessee 91, Tennessee-Martin 64; No. 15 Arizona State 59, San Diego State 52; No. 19 Southern California 73, New Mexico State 60; No. 24 Kansas 85, Florida Gulf Coast 45; and No. 25 Wisconsin 88, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 58.
At Norman, Okla., freshman Willie Warren added 20 points for Oklahoma (3-0), which advanced to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. The Sooners will face UAB, which beat Arizona 72-71.
Curry scored nine points during Davidson's 14-0 run that got it within 61-54. But Griffin came up with a crucial offensive rebound in the final minute to keep the Wildcats (2-1) from getting the ball back with a chance to tie. Cade Davis hit three free throws in the final 24 seconds to seal the win for the Sooners.
``Fortunately for us, we had some other guys step up for us and had a little bit more help,'' Capel said.
round by only committing five turnovers against the deeper and taller Sooners. Oklahoma had a 43-31 advantage on the boards but turned it over 17 times.
``It's a disappointing game,'' Curry said. ``We came out and played to win. We didn't get it tonight. ... We played hard all the way to the finish. We were down big and we made it a game, so I am proud of how we played.''
No. 1 North Carolina 77, Kentucky 58
At Chapel Hill, N.C., Deon Thompson scored a career-high 20 points for the Tar Heels (2-0), who won again without national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough, but who may have lost another frontcourt player.
Freshman 7-footer Tyler Zeller, who had started in Hansbrough's place the first two games, was fouled hard on a dunk attempt in transition and fell to the ground under the basket with 1:26 left. He got up holding his left wrist before heading to the locker room. Coach Roy Williams said Zeller was taken to a hospital for X-rays.
Wayne Ellington had 16 points for the Tar Heels, who led by double figures barely 4 minutes into the game and never looked back in a matchup of the winningest programs in men's college basketball.
Patrick Patterson had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wildcats (0-2), who finished with 28 turnovers.
No. 7 Texas 76, Tulane 51
ed 10 points and six rebounds in his second career start for the Longhorns (2-0), who had five players score in double figures. A.J. Abrams had 15 points, all on three 3-pointers.
Kevin Sims scored 11 points to lead Tulane (1-1), which committed 25 turnovers and shot 31 percent.
No. 9 Gonzaga 80, Idaho 46
At Spokane, Wash., Micah Downs scored 18 points and Austin Daye added 16 for the Bulldogs (2-0), who scored the first 17 points of the game on their way to their ninth consecutive win over the Vandals.
Mac Hopson had 19 points for Idaho (1-2), which shot 29.8 percent, committed 20 turnovers and was outrebounded 47-27.
No. 11 Purdue 78, Loyola of Chicago 46
At West Lafayette, Ind., E'Twaun Moore scored 14 points to lead the Boilermakers into the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals against Boston College.
Robbie Hummel scored 13 points and Marcus Green had 12 points and matched his career-high with 10 rebounds for Purdue (3-0).
Justin Cerasoli had 14 points for the Ramblers (1-2), who upset Georgia in the opening round.
No. 14 Tennessee 91, Tenn.-Martin 64
At Knoxville, Tenn., reserve forward Brian Williams scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Volunteers (2-0) in their 34th consecutive home victory, breaking the school record set from 1966-68.
opened the game on a 27-6 run.
Lester Hudson, the Ohio Valley Conference preseason player of the year, had 20 points, all but two in the second half, for the Skyhawks (0-2).
No. 15 Arizona St. 59, San Diego St. 52
At San Diego, James Harden scored 18 points and the Sun Devils (2-0) got the road win by outscoring San Diego State 18-8 over the last 6:27.
Kyle Spain scored 17 points for the Aztecs (1-1), who shot just 35.3 percent from the field.
No. 19 Southern California 73, New Mexico St. 60
At Los Angeles, Taj Gibson tied his career high with 22 points and had 10 rebounds as the Trojans got off to their first 2-0 start in eight years. Dwight Lewis added 16 points for the Trojans, who opened the 2000-01 season with an 8-0 record.
Jahmar Young had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Aggies (1-1).
No. 24 Kansas 85, Florida Gulf Coast 45
At Lawrence, Kan., Sherron Collins had a career-high 25 points as the Jayhawks (2-0) raised the 2008 national championship banner.
Kansas swarmed Gulf Coast from the opening tip, starting with a 13-2 run, building the lead to 32 by halftime.
Reed Baker had 11 points for Gulf Coast in its season opener.
No. 25 Wisconsin 88, SIU-Edwardsville 58
o 41-20 by halftime. The lead hit 30 with 14 minutes left in the second half.
Barry Wellington led Edwardsville (1-3) with 15 points.