- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
If any visiting team figured to be unruffled playing before the huge crowds at Kentucky's Rupp Arena, it was Brigham Young. After all, the Cougars' own 22,700-seat Marriott Center is the third-largest university arena in the country, after Syracuse's Carrier Dome and Rupp. But when Kentucky mounted a second-half blitz to beat BYU 93-59 and win its 23rd Kentucky Invitational tournament title in 31 years, Wildcat Guard Dicky Beal said, "Sure, BYU plays with 23,000 fans, but not against them. It sure hurt them."
Led by tournament MVP Devin Durrant, who scored 22 of his game-high 33 points in the first half, the Cougars held a 36-34 lead at intermission. But in the second half, the crowd of 24,098 "really picked us up and put them down," according to Center Sam Bowie. Way down. Eight and a half minutes into the second half the Wildcats had a 58-48 lead. Then Beal, Melvin Turpin and freshman Winston Bennett combined for 19 points in a 23-0 surge, making it 81-48 with 6:20 remaining. Turpin led a balanced Wildcat attack with 16 points, while Bowie and Bennett combined for 30 points and 24 rebounds.
In the opening round of the tournament, Brigham Young handed Virginia Commonwealth its first defeat, coming from 11 points back with 16:38 to play to upset the Rams 81-77. Freshman Mike Smith had 12 second-half points, including four key free throws in the final 29 seconds. Kentucky reached the finals by pounding Wyoming 66-40.
Michigan State continued to stumble to victory against mediocre competition. The Spartans got by Cleveland State 71-62 after trailing 16-6 in the early going. Junior Guard Sam Vincent helped prevent an embarrassing loss by scoring a game-high 20 points and added 22 more in an 85-72 defeat of Brooklyn College in East Lansing. Purdue, off to its best start in 46 years, beat Youngstown State 65-54 for its seventh straight victory.
Louisville carded an 83-79 win over North Carolina State in Raleigh. Center Charles Jones, a 33% foul shooter who had made just one of 10 free throws in the game's first 38:58, sank three of four from the line in the last 1:02 after twice being fouled intentionally. "I guess I just concentrated more in the clutch," said Jones, whose last minute heroics overshadowed a 29-point, 14-rebound performance by the Wolfpack's Lorenzo Charles.
Georgetown rolled to a 97-67 victory over South Carolina State despite playing the second half without Center Patrick Ewing, who exited after suffering a mild concussion. After scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the first 15 minutes, Ewing banged his head on the Capital Centre floor while taking a charge. But Ewing was his old self on Sunday, getting 20 points and 15 rebounds in a 80-62 defeat of American.
Boston College struggled to an 83-74 victory at Rhode Island, then outdueled archrival Holy Cross 87-85 in Chestnut Hill. Forward Jay Murphy scored a game-high 31 points to lead the Eagles past Holy Cross, and Michael Adams added 24, including a pair of free throws with five seconds left that ensured the victory. Ben Coleman, with 18 points, led Maryland to a 104-69 triumph over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
After Duke thumped Massachusetts 88-56 to make its record 7-0, sophomore Guard Johnny Dawkins said, "I'm enjoying basketball so much right now, it's hard to take a break." So far Dawkins hasn't given the opposition a break: He's averaging 23.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and five assists a game, and Duke is off to its best start since 1979-80.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]