BEST of the WEEK | Dec. 29, 2003
Awards based on games from Monday through Sunday
COACH OF THE WEEK: Rick Pitino, Louisville
Cardinal fans had to be ecstatic as Louisville rallied from a 24-10 deficit to hand Kentucky its first regular-season loss in almost a calendar year, 65-56. Ironically, Kentucky's last loss in the regular season was at Louisville (81-63) on Dec. 28, 2002.
Louisville has won seven straight after a season-opening loss to Iowa. This had to be an emotional win for Pitino, beating his former employer at Rupp Arena.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Andre Owens, Houston
Junior guard Andre Owens had an outstanding performance against Texas A&M, scoring 41 of Houston's 70 points in an overtime win over the Aggies. Owens hit seven trifectas and also pulled down seven rebounds, becoming the first Cougar to score 41 points in 17 years (Cadillac Anderson was the last to do it in 1986). Owens also scored 22 points in a victory over Chicago State earlier in the week.
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Cincinnati
Coach Bob Huggins' squad hasn't truly been tested this season, winning all eight games by at least 19 points. The Bearcats were supposed to be challenged by a talented and ranked Dayton squad, but that turned out to be an M&M'er, a flat-out mismatch, as Cincinnati won by 29 points. The Bearcats capped off the week with a 20-point victory over Miami-Ohio.
TRI-SHOCKS OF THE WEEK:
Georgia State over Auburn; Western Carolina over Arkansas; Cal-Poly over USC
Three stunners in one night, baby! Auburn, coming off a loss to UNLV, struggled big-time from the foul line in losing at home to Georgia State, 77-72. The Tigers missed eight of their 11 free throws in the second half.
Western Carolina guard Kevin Martin scored 33 points to lead coach Steve Shurina's Catamounts to a win at Arkansas.
Cal-Poly beat the Trojans 93-78. Cal-Poly beat another Pac-10 team, California, earlier this season. Guard Kameron Gray scored 32 for coach Kevin Bromley's Mustangs. Three-pointers were a key as USC hit 3-of-22 compared to Cal-Poly's 8-of-18.
DIAPER DANDY OF THE WEEK: Chris Taft, Pittsburgh
Freshman forward Chris Taft, the former New York City prep star, has quietly done a solid job for coach Jamie Dixon. He had 14 points and 12 rebounds in just 20 minutes off the bench vs. New Hampshire. Earlier in the week he provided a spark, hitting all four of his field goal attempts in a seven-point win over Florida State.
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