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News Nuggets, 03.23.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

NIT win over UNLV extends Stokes' ties to USC


03.22.05: Break over for East Carolina football team ... Frogs in NIT quarterfinals after overtime win ... CBS reaping ratings bonanza from tourney ... Baseball America & Collegiate Baseball Polls ... More...
03.21.05: Spurrier straps on visor, gets down to business ... NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 pairings & schedule ... Tournament's TV ratings up over 2004 ... More...
03.20.05: Kentucky proves it still has Bearcats' number ... Memphis zaps Hokies, starts thinking NIT title ... Davidson tames Bears, turns focus to Terps ... Preview: (4) Louisville vs. (5) Georgia Tech ... More...
03.19.05: Hodge leads Wolfpack to comeback win over 49ers ... Louisville escapes upset bid by Ragin' Cajuns ... Preview: (7) Cincinnati vs. (2) Kentucky ... Preview: (11) UAB vs. (3) Arizona ... More...
03.18.05: UAB smothers 6th- seeded LSU in Round 1 shocker ... Bearcats dump Iowa, set sights on Kentucky ... Preview: (7) Charlotte vs. (10) N.C. State ... Preview: (4) Louisville vs. (13) UL-Lafayette ... More...
03.17.05: Timeline on ECU hoops coach Ricky Stokes ... Nothing heals like an NIT win for Tigers' Washington ... Horned Frogs halt RedHawks' home streak ... Davidson rips VCU for first-ever NIT victory ... More...
03.16.05: It's not the Big Dance, but it's a win for DePaul ... NCAA preview: UAB vs. LSU ... NCAA preview: Cincinnati vs. Iowa ... CORRECTED Final AP college basketball poll ... More...
03.15.05: Handicapped Marquette makes quit exit from NIT ... New arena a factor in Virginia's firing of Gillen ... Heart attack hospitalizes Tech football coach ... Final 2004-05 college basketball poll ... More...
03.14.05: 12 current, future C- USA teams earn NCAA or NIT bids ... Finney dismissed by Tulane ... More...
03.13.05: Missed free throws cost Memphis league title ... Marquette to host Western Michigan in NIT ... Pac-10 jumps on instant replay bandwagon ... More...
03.12.05: Cards stand between Memphis and NCAA bid ... Pirates' head trainer wins statewide award ... N.C. college baseball coach reaches milestone ... More...
03.11.05: Upsets spawn unexpected C-USA semifinal pairings ... Updated Conference USA Tournament brackets ... Fla. Intl. baseball coach gets win No. 1000 ... More...
03.10.05: ECU boosters anoint new leaders ... Tournament shocker: USF ambushes Houston ... Basden, Pitino cop league's highest honors ... Marshall football coach hangs up whistle ... More...

Newly-appointed East Carolina basketball coach Ricky Stokes, still involved as an assistant coach in South Carolina's National Invitation Tournament run, is helping both teams produce positive results.

After naming highly-regarded Tennessee assistant Chris Ferguson as a member of his ECU coaching staff earlier in the day, Stokes was alongside USC head coach Dave Odom in Columbia Tuesday night as the Gamecocks extended their postseason by at least one more game.

Playing some of its best basketball of the season, South Carolina defeated Nevada-Las Vegas 77-66 to come within one victory of reaching the NIT semifinals for the second time in four years.

Carlos Powell scored 15 points and Brandon Wallace matched his career-best with 13 points to lead the South Carolina effort against the Rebels in an NIT second round matchup.

The Gamecocks (17-13) reached Madison Square Garden and the NIT finals in 2002, but lost to Memphis.

``The NIT is more of a fun tournament than it is a pressure tournament,'' said Odom, who served as head coach at East Carolina from 1979 to 1982. ``Let's face it, it's a little more relaxed right now.''

South Carolina went on a 12-2 run in the middle of the first half to pull away, and the Rebels never recovered.

UNLV (17-14) cut the lead to eight points with 3:03 remaining, but Wallace hit a free throw and Powell drew an offensive foul on the Rebels' next possession.

Tre Kelley's dish to Rocky Trice under the basket put the Gamecocks ahead 75-63.

This is the second time in three years that UNLV and South Carolina have met in the second round of the NIT. In 2002, the Rebels also advanced after a first-round win over Arizona State, but then fell to the Gamecocks in Columbia 75-65.

South Carolina holds a 5-1 record over the Rebels and is unbeaten at home at 4-0.

UNLV had won eight of its last 10 games, losing only to Utah and New Mexico, which both made the NCAA tournament.

Rebels coach Lon Kruger said he was proud of the way his team finished the year.

``The guys hung in there,'' Kruger said.

South Carolina will host Georgetown in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Davidson-Maryland NIT matchup set for TV

Davidson (23-8) will challenge Maryland (17-12) on its home turf Wednesday night in a nationally-televised National Invitation Tournament battle. The game is set for tip-off at 8 p.m. (ESPN2) at the Comcast Center.

The Wildcats have already played two games in the 2005 NIT, both on the road, defeating Virginia Commonwealth (77-62) and Southwest Missouri State (82-71). The wins were Davidson's first-ever in NIT competition.

The Terrapins advanced to face the Wildcats with an 85-72 victory over Mid-Continent conference champion Oral Roberts last Wednesday.

According to a Davidson news release earlier this week, tickets for the game are $25 and can be purchased by calling the Davidson ticket office at 1-800-768-CATS.

The game can be heard on the radio in the Davidson area on WAGI 105.3 FM and WFNZ 610 AM.

This will be the tenth meeting between Davidson and Maryland, the first since 1968. Davidson is 3-6 all-time against the Terrapins, but won the last meeting 83-69 on Dec. 27, 1968, under legendary former coach Lefty Driesell.

Driesell, who took the Wildcats to the NCAA's Elite Eight on two occasions, went on to coach at Maryland the following season after nine years at Davidson.

The NIT, which began in 1938, is the oldest tournament in college basketball and was the first national postseason tournament, preceding the establishment of the NCAA Tournament by one year.

The NIT semifinals and the championship game are held at Madison Square Garden in New York, March 29-31.

Activist group files suit over 'Chief Illiniwek'

CHICAGO — Opponents of University of Illinois mascot Chief Illiniwek sued the school's trustees last week, claiming the buckskin-clad figure perpetuates a racial stereotype.

In its lawsuit, the Illinois Native American Bar Association and two individuals seek to force the school to stop using the Chief as its sports mascot.

``The use of this mascot is outrageous. It's been going on way too long and it should come to an end,'' said Kim Edward Cook, association president.

The Chief is a 78-year-old tradition in which a student dresses in buckskins and headdress and dances at sports events. The suit alleges the mascot violates Indians' rights under state law and violates the board's own policies against discrimination.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the university said it is not violating any discrimination laws or its own anti-discrimination policies.

``University counsel will thoroughly review the plaintiffs' suit and respond appropriately,'' the statement said. ``Meantime, the Board of Trustees continues to move forward with its process aimed at reaching a consensus conclusion to the Chief Illiniwek issue.''

The Chief has been a divisive issue at the school for years. Supporters say the mascot is a symbol of reverence for the contribution of American Indians to Illinois history while opponents say it is racially offensive and demeaning.

Stephen Naranjo, a University of Illinois at Chicago student, is among the plaintiffs.

``(Naranjo) feels embarrassed about his heritage being reduced to a halftime sporting event entertainment,'' the lawsuit said.

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 12:22 PM


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