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Friday, November 09, 2007 | Men's Basketball
Valley Starts 2007-08 Season With Perfect 4-0 Slate
In Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball on Friday, four wins highlighted the first day of the 2007-08 season as Drake beat San Diego, 81-63; Indiana State outdistanced Oakland City, 78-45; UNI slammed Northern Illinois, 75-45; and Creighton rallied after a slow start to beat visiting DePaul, 74-62.
Drake 81, San Diego 63
ISU got out to a quick start, as back-to-back threes from freshman Aaron Carter put the Sycamores up 9-0 early in the first half. Oakland City’s Mervyn Clark quickly cut into lead, scoring two buckets to make the score 9-4. The lead would eventually grow to double digits when sophomore Marico Stinson connected from 3-point range to bring the score to 22-12 with 8:05 left on the clock. The lead would never drop below ten points for the rest of the half and Stinson’s jumper with 52 seconds left on the clock widened the lead to 38-20, which is where the score stayed as the teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime.
The start of the second half saw Indiana State jump out to a 23-point lead at 53-30 after freshman Lamar Lee connected from beyond the arch. Oakland City fought to get back in the game, as Darius Clark stole the ball from Marshall at half court and took it down the floor for the wide open layup to cut the lead to 53-33 with 11:16 left in the game. However, that would be as close as the Mighty Oaks would get as the Sycamores went on a 16-0 run, capped off by Stinson’s third three of the game to blow, the game open at 70-33 with 6:48 left on the clock. Oakland City outscored Indiana State 12-8 over the last six minutes, but the Sycamores were too tough throughout the night and secured the 78-45 victory.
Indiana State was strong on both ends of the floor, as the offense shot 46.2 percent from the field on the night, including 60 percent from beyond the arch in the second half. The Sycamores also forced 22 turnovers from the Mighty Oaks on the defensive end, which led to 35 of the team’s 78 points.
Stinson led the way for ISU in the victory with 15 points, nine of which came from 3-point range, and six assists. Cole Holmstrom and Jay Tunnel also scored in double figures for the Sycamores, with 12 and 10 points respectively. Cox was the only player in double figures for the Mighty Oaks with 11 points.
A 13-0 run by Creighton's big men helped trim DePaul's early lead to just four just four minutes later. Dane Watts hit two free throws to start the burst, Kenny Lawson Jr. had a three-point play, and Louisville transfer Chad Millard added eight points in a 34-second span as the Jays made a game of it. CU tied the game at 32-all with 1:44 left in the first half, only to see the visiting Blue Demons score the final six points of the first half to take a 38-32 lead into the locker room.
CU scored the first seven points of the second half, getting the first five from Millard before a driving lay-in by Stinnett gave the Bluejays their first lead at 39-38 and 18:09 to play. Creighton took the lead for good on a Stinnett three-ball with 12:03 to go. He drained another trey after the media timeout to give CU a 52-46 lead, and later banked in a three-pointer with 2:48 to go to give CU a 70-58 lead.
Stinnett's 23-points were the most by a Bluejay making their debut since at least 1986, when Matt Roggenburk poured in 19 during his first game. Millard had 15 points, four assists and five rebounds while Watts had 10 points and nine rebounds to open his senior season. Watts scored eight of CU¹s first 10 points as a young Bluejay team struggled to handle their emotions in front of the seventh-largest crowd in state history.
Creighton is now 76-14 all-time in season-openers, including 11 straight wins. The Bluejays are 13-1 under Dana Altman in season-openers. Creighton's 17-point rally was its second-largest deficit ever faced at Qwest Center Omaha. The Jays trailed Wichita State by 19 on Jan. 28, 2006 but won that game 57-55 on a buzzer-beater from Anthony Tolliver. Creighton¹s only newcomers in the last 20 years to lead the team in scoring during their first game at CU have been Johnny Mathies (2003) and P'Allen Stinnett.
Northern Iowa 75, Northern Illinois 45
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