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News Nuggets, 01.20.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Coaches pick ECU among league's baseball leaders


01.19.05: NCAA looking for answers to financial pressures ... C-USA, Carolinas players on Cousy Award list ... More...
01.18.05: Memphis basketball rocked by academic casualty ... Louisville leads three C-USA teams in AP hoops poll ... More...
01.17.05: Relief in Memphis: DeAngelo Williams will be back ... C-USA basketball scoreboard, standings & schedule ... More...
01.16.05: Louisville overcomes big deficit to deflate Bearcats ... Diener leads Marquette comeback win over USF ... More...
01.15.05: Bearcats hope to shake off ECU hangover against Cards ... No. 22 Marquette seeks cure versus South Florida ... More...
01.14.05: NCAA poised to wield big academic hammer ... Gruden, Turner to coach Senior Bowl squads ... More...
01.13.05: ECU schedules early peeks at its 'Field of Dreams' ... NCAA baseball considers warm- weather shift ... Coaching convention tackles secret poll ballots ... More...
01.12.05: Reconfigured C-USA TV arrangement a mixed bag ... Former ECU assistant lands top job at TSU ... Cards deal record-shattering rout to Southern Miss ... More...
01.11.05: 12th football game gets preliminary nod ... Pirate Radio plans T-shirt promotion for Cincy game ... Associated Press basketball poll ... More...
01.10.05: More TV exposure announced for 49ers ... Cincy declares Laurinburg freshman ineligible ... Memphis loosens grip on seating areas ... More...
01.09.05: Tigers' Means heads west to Shrine Bowl ... Baseball America anoints Tulane No. 1 ... More...
01.08.05: CEO's of BCS schools block consideration of playoff ... List of NCAA Division I-A coaching changes ... More...
01.07.05: Downtrodden member of historic Chaminade team slain ... Bowl Season Wrap-up: Results and Payouts ... More...

Tulane, Texas Christian and East Carolina will be Conference USA's top three baseball teams in 2005, say the league's coaches.

Coming off of its seventh consecutive NCAA appearance, Tulane was selected as the unanimous favorite to finish atop the conference in the annual preseason poll conducted by C-USA’s 12 head coaches.

Tulane posted a 21-9 record in C-USA in 2003, finishing with an overall mark of 41-21, its eighth season with 40 or more wins in the last 11 years.

Defending tournament champion TCU was chosen to finish second. After making their first NCAA appearance since 1994 and winning a school-record 39 games a year ago, the Horned Frogs welcome back 21 letterwinners this spring.

Defending regular season champion East Carolina, which set a school record with 51 victories in 2004, was picked to finish third during the upcoming campaign.

Green Wave junior pitcher/outfielder Brian Bogusevic, a consensus preseason All-American, is the Preseason C-USA Player of the Year, while Patrick Ezell of Southern Miss, named last season to conference's All-Freshman team, was named as the league’s preseason Pitcher of the Year.

C-USA coaches' preseason predictions:

 1. Tulane (received all 12 first-place votes)
 2. Texas Christian
 3. East Carolina
 4. Southern Miss
 5. Houston
 6. South Florida
 7. Louisville
 8. UAB
 9. Charlotte
10. Cincinnati
11. Memphis
12. Saint Louis

Brian Bogusevic, Tulane (Jr, Pitcher/Outfielder)

Patrick Ezell, Southern Miss (So, Righthander)

P J.R. Crowel Jr. Tulane
P Patrick Ezell So. Southern Miss
P Casey Hudspeth So. South Florida
RP Brian Halford Jr. Louisville
C Greg Dini Sr. Tulane
IF Shelby Ford So. Texas Christian
IF Marc Maddox Jr. Southern Miss
IF Tommy Manzella Sr. Tulane
IF Mark Minicozzi Jr. East Carolina
OF Matt Barket Sr. Tulane
OF Chad Huffman So. Texas Christian
OF Travis Tully Jr. Houston
DH/UT Brian Bogusevic So. Tulane

Compiled from a Conference USA report.

Bearcats heat up in second half to rip 49ers

CINCINNATI — For the first 20 minutes, Nick Williams was just like everyone else on the floor. He couldn't make an open shot.

All that changed with his first swish.

Williams scored 19 of his career-high 22 points in the second half Wednesday night, steadying No. 20 Cincinnati to an 80-58 victory over Charlotte.

Cincinnati (15-2, 4-1 Conference USA) rebounded from a three-point loss to Louisville on Saturday, when the Bearcats blew a 17-point lead because of poor rebounding and free-throw shooting.

This time, they had to overcome horrible shooting. Cincinnati made only 26 percent in the first half, when Williams missed four of his five shots from behind the arc.

``I was just trying to find my rhythm,'' said Williams, who set his previous career high with 18 points in the loss to Louisville. ``I knew I was going to make shots. I had confidence. I was just being a little too passive. I tried to shoot it with a little more confidence.''

The senior guard didn't hesitate when he got the ball in the second half, going 5-of-5 from beyond the arc while Cincinnati overcame a four-point deficit. Once he started hitting, Charlotte (12-3, 3-1) was forced to come out of its zone defense and try to match up against a more physical team.

``The defense in the first half worked for us,'' said Brendan Plavich, who led Charlotte with 22 points. ``In the second half, they made us come out and get out of the zone. They just basically took it to us in the second half.''

Charlotte had won nine in a row, its longest winning streak in 14 years, and was undefeated in six road games. The 49ers couldn't keep it going once Williams got rolling. Jason Maxiell had 23 points, and Eric Hicks had 13 rebounds for Cincinnati.

``If they make them from the perimeter like that, for us they become impossible to guard,'' Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. ``Nick Williams was a huge part of their win, as was Maxiell. Once they got going, we couldn't stop them.''

Charlotte shot only 29.5 percent from the field against one of the nation's toughest defenses, struggling with point guard Mitchell Baldwin on the bench because of a shoulder injury sustained last weekend.

``We couldn't get into our offense,'' Plavich said. ``They pressured us to the halfcourt line. We couldn't get anything going.''

Cincinnati came out flat and unfocused, prompting Huggins to call a timeout only 2:06 into the game. He spent the entire 30 seconds screaming at his players.

It didn't work. Both Huggins and Lutz repeatedly winced as their teams missed one shot after another.

With 7:45 left in the first half, the score was tied at 14 and both teams had awful shooting percentages — Cincinnati was 4-of-19 with seven turnovers, Charlotte 5-of-18 with six turnovers.

E.J. Drayton had a pair of free throws and a basket, and Plavich hit a 3 in a seven-point spurt that put Charlotte up 28-22 late in the half.

Fans booed the Bearcats off the court at halftime after they set up a play, then threw the ball away for their 10th turnover. Cincinnati got wide-open shots against Charlotte's zone and man-to-man, but went only 4-of-17 from behind the arc in the half.

Williams hit four 3s during a game-turning 13-2 spurt that put Cincinnati ahead to stay, 41-33. Williams fixed a hitch in his shot last week and made six 3-pointers against Louisville.

``It makes you want to keep finding ways to get him the ball, especially when everybody else is in a shooting slump,'' said James White, who had six assists.

Maxiell had a steal and dunk, then a pair of pull-up jumpers that made it 49-36 midway through the second half. Cincinnati was in control the rest of the way, pulling away in the closing minutes.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:20 PM


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