December 2010 | Page 6 of 18 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / May 26.
  • After dropping back-to-back games to Atlantic 10 bottom feeders St. Bonaventure and Fordham, St. John’s and coach Steve Lavin finally have reason to smile.

    The Johnnies won their second in-season tournament with an 85-69 victory over previously-unbeaten Northwestern in the championship game of the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden.

    Dwight Hardy scored 24 points and Justin Brownlee added a career-high 21 and was named Most Outstanding Player as St. John’s shot 80 percent from the field in the second half to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season.

    “It is rare to shoot 80 percent in a half so I think our players executed well in two gears, in transition when the opportunity was there and then probing for good looks,” Lavin said. “It was all an indication of sharing the ball. I thought we were crisp, in sync, playing with a high confidence level and our defense picked up in the second half. You put it together and we had a breakthrough. If you keep working there’ll be a breakthrough.”

    Basketball fans hoping to see a Michael Gilchrist-Austin Rivers showdown Wednesday night on ESPNU won’t get their wish.

    Gilchrist, the 6-foot-7 Kentucky signee, held up his end of the bargain by dropping a career-high 34 points and 13 rebounds as Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick downed Mater Dei, 71-61, in the semifinals of the City of Palms Classic in Fort Meyers, Fla.

    But Duke-bound Rivers and Winter Park came up short, 63-62, to Milton (Ga.) in the other semi.

    St. Patrick, ranked No. 11 by USA Today, will face No. 15 Milton at 9:30 on ESPNU.

    Renardo Sidney, a sophomore forward at Mississippi State, was suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team.

    “At this time, Sid is suspended for conduct detrimental to the team,” head coach Rick Stansbury said. “That’s all I’m saying. That’s all that needs to be said.”

    The Bulldogs play Washington State Wednesday at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Team spokesman Gregg Ellis told Sidney won’t be sent home from Hawaii but could miss the Bulldogs’ Dec. 29 game against Saint Mary’s in Las Vegas.

    The 6-foot-10, 270-pound Sidney sat out all of last season and was ordered to repay $11,800 in improper benefits related to his family’s move from Jackson, Miss., to Los Angeles.

    He debuted Saturday in a loss to Virginia Tech at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas, scoring 12 points and grabbing three rebounds before fouling out.


    Iona junior forward Mike Glover of The Bronx was named MAAC Player of the Week for the third straight week.

    If you’re a tennis fan, you should set your DVR to ESPN2 at 2:30 EST today — or better yet, watch live.

    Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – who have won 25 of the last 30 Grand Slam titles – will play a pair of exhibitions today (Dec. 21) and tomorrow (Dec. 22) on ESPN2.

    The two indoor hard-court best-of-three set matches will take place in each player’s home country, benefiting his charitable foundation.

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