AROUND THE CITY

Villanova keeps winning

The Wildcats (9-1) beat Columbia, 72-56,

The Wildcats (9-1) beat Columbia, 72-56,

at the Ski Lodge. Shane Clark (15) and

Scottie Reynolds (14) led the 'Cats over Joe Jones' team. Columbia (4-7) could be a factor in the Ivy, but was no factor against 'Nova.

Hard to tell about the young Wildcats yet. They have not played a sure NCAA team. We will all know more soon enough, but clearly, Jay Wright, again, has some very good players who give major effort all the time.

Another late shot

Temple might start liking these mandatory (because of football) games with MAC

Temple might start liking these mandatory (because of football) games with MAC

opponents. Chris Clark beat Ohio with a buzzer-beater. Now, Mark Tyndale beat

Eastern Michigan with a shot just before

the buzzer as the Owls won, 58-55, at the

Liacouras Center.

Dionte Christmas had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Owls. Temple (6-5) went 3-1 against the MAC and has cleared .500 for the first time. Eastern Michigan is 4-5.

Dragons end streak

Drexel had lost four straight, mostly because it could not score. For the Dragons, 65 is a good number. It was a very good number in their 65-53 win over Bucknell at the DAC.

Drexel had lost four straight, mostly because it could not score. For the Dragons, 65 is a good number. It was a very good number in their 65-53 win over Bucknell at the DAC.

Frank Elegar (4-for-4 from the field, 8-for-8 from the line) did not miss on the

day he got his 1,000th point. Drexel (6-5)

led 34-15 at the half when Bucknell (4-6)

shot just 6-for-29 (20.7 percent).

Close again in Puerto Rico

La Salle lost some close games earlier against lesser opponents. Losing close to

La Salle lost some close games earlier against lesser opponents. Losing close to

unbeaten Mississippi and then De Paul is still losing, but somehow better. The Explorers (4-6) trailed De Paul by 16 in the San Juan Shootout and actually took a lead in the second half before losing, 93-88.

Now, DePaul (3-7) is not going to be a

factor in the Big East, but this is all relative for La Salle. Darnell Harris (21 points) shot 5-for-7 from the arc. Somebody apparently counted the crowd individually. It was

announced as 276.

ACROSS THE COUNTRY

At least they got paid

Coppin State annually travels the country getting guaranteed money to take early-season beatings. Fang Mitchell's team went above and beyond this weekend, after a scheduling snafu.

Coppin State annually travels the country getting guaranteed money to take early-season beatings. Fang Mitchell's team went above and beyond this weekend, after a scheduling snafu.

Coppin was not supposed to play No. 13 Marquette in Milwaukee on Friday night, get on a bus around 11 p.m., go 6 hours to Bloomington, Ind., arrive just before dawn and play No. 14 Indiana at noon. But that is what

happened.

It's true. Coppin played and lost, 89-42, traveled, got a few hours sleep, played and lost again, 73-46. That would be two losses several hundred miles apart in 15 hours. You'd think Kelvin Sampson would have sent his plane to Milwaukee. Kelvin does have a plane, doesn't he?

Somehow, Coppin trailed IU just 28-26

at the half. Kelvin should have let them go home then.

Conventionally wrong wisdom

Anybody know when coaches started pulling players with two fouls in the first half? I remember John Chaney doing it before anybody. I never understood why. I still don't.

Anybody know when coaches started pulling players with two fouls in the first half? I remember John Chaney doing it before anybody. I never understood why. I still don't.

Hey, if there is a minute or so left, get a player out of there. No reason to take a chance. But with 5 or 10 minutes left and the game potentially in the balance, why do it,

especially because there is no way to predict if the player will ever get another foul.

Texas and Michigan State were tied with

5 minutes left in the first half. Longhorns point guard D.J. Augustin, by far his team's most indispensable player, got his second foul. Texas coach Rick Barnes pulled him

for the rest of the half.

By halftime, Michigan State had taken

control of the game, leading by eight. The Spartans never gave up the lead. Augustin got one more foul until the final seconds when he gave another.

Coaches are creatures of habit. They do things, often without thinking.

All situations, however, are not created equal. And, if a coach does not understand that, he will lose games that could have been won without negative, conventional thinking.

Great coaching

You will never hear his name from Dick

You will never hear his name from Dick

Vitale (when we hear Dick again in February), but Charlie Coles at Miami (Ohio) is one of the best. Yes, Kansas ended that 70s streak (it had been more than a year since a team scored more than 69 points against Ohio), but consider that Charlie's team had won at Illinois in overtime on Thursday

before heading much farther out I-70 for a Saturday afternoon game.

Numbers to consider

UCLA scored 28 points in the first 26 minutes against Michigan and outscored the Wolverines, 41-18, in the final 14 minutes,

UCLA scored 28 points in the first 26 minutes against Michigan and outscored the Wolverines, 41-18, in the final 14 minutes,

converting on an insane 19 of its final 22

possessions . . .

James Madison shot 54.7 percent, scored 110 points, had a 19-point lead with 17 minutes left and lost to Seton Hall, 112-110 in overtime in Newark, N.J. JMU had 33 turnovers . . .

Forget the "rematch" talk. Six first-round draft choices were gone from the Ohio State-Florida championship game. Same schools. Different teams. Ugly game. Ohio State 62, Florida 49 . . .

Xavier had a nice home win against

Tennessee and then it didn't, turning it over and over down the stretch and losing, 82-75, as UT scored 13 of the final 15 points. Turnovers: UT 9, X 21.

Didn't you used to be Maryland?

It has been 6 seasons since Maryland won that elusive national championship. Seems longer.

It has been 6 seasons since Maryland won that elusive national championship. Seems longer.

The Terps' last two home games were against Ohio and American. They lost both. Maryland (6-6) lost to AU, 67-59. AU had

already lost to Fairfield, Loyola, Morgan State and UMBC. Maryland's next two games are at home against Delaware and

Savannah State. Lose them and Gary

Williams might implode.

Hugs gets 600

Bob Huggins is proving you can go home. Returning to his alma mater, Huggins is

Bob Huggins is proving you can go home. Returning to his alma mater, Huggins is

winning big again.

Former West Virginia coach John Beilein scheduled a game in Buffalo against his former school, Canisius. WVU kept the date and won, 77-54.

Afterward, Huggins spoke about his past when an older man drove him around to play games as a kid. Huggins never forgot what he heard: "He told me one time, 'Take a look, there isn't any rearview mirror in this truck, we're looking out the windshield going straight ahead.' " *

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