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Gause Hits Bottom and Top in the Same Game

January 08, 2006|From the Associated Press

Most sports fans were watching the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, so there wasn't a lot of attention paid to the night Seton Hall freshman Paul Gause had.

Few players have experienced the low and high Gause went through in 10 minutes in the Pirates' Big East opener against St. John's.

Midway through the second half, he stole an inbounds pass and put the ball in the wrong basket -- giving St. John's a 20-point lead.

"I don't know where to begin with that one," Gause said. "I'm just as perplexed as everyone in the building. I honestly don't know what happened. Crazy things happen."

Yes, they do.

Right after Gause's gaffe, though, the Pirates started cutting into the deficit. Seton Hall got within two points, with the ball and a chance to go for the win or at least get to overtime.

Donald Copeland drove the baseline and found an open Gause for a 12-foot jumper that beat the buzzer and tied the game at 55. Seton Hall went on to win, 69-61.

"I definitely experienced the highs and lows tonight," said Gause, who was three for five from the field (no, that one wasn't a shot) and had seven points. "It was the worst feeling of my life and the best feeling all in one. I just tried to get that last shot up. When it left my hand, I didn't hear the buzzer, so I knew I got it off. But I didn't know it was good until it dropped through the net."

Copeland and his teammates started getting on Gause right away.

"When he put the ball in the wrong basket, we told him that he better make the last shot," Copeland said. "Now we can't say anything to him."

*

Baylor finally opens its season next Wednesday at Texas Tech. Not its Big 12 season, its season.

The ban on nonconference games was part of the school's NCAA penalties for numerous violations under former coach Dave Bliss. After plenty of practices but no games, the Bears finally get to play for keeps.

Here are some interesting notes provided by the Big 12 office:

* It will have been 89 days since the start of practice on Oct. 15.

* It will have been 307 days since Baylor's last game -- a 77-57 loss to Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on March 10.

* Baylor will play a minimum of 17 games (16-game conference schedule and at least one in the tournament). The last time Baylor played less than 21 games was 1944-45, when the Bears went 0-17.

* Baylor has six freshmen on its roster, the most for the Bears since seven in 1978-79, and the most in the Big 12 this season.

*

Just check the stat sheet for one of the answers to Temple's 6-5 start.

In the Owls' six wins, Dustin Salisbery leads the team in scoring (15.8), field-goal percentage (31 of 60, .517) and three-point percentage (16 of 27, .597).

The numbers are astoundingly different in Temple's five losses. The 6-foot-5 junior guard is averaging 4.4 points on 19.4 percent shooting (nine of 46), including 8.6 percent from three-point range (two of 23).

*

No more sneaking around unnoticed for Bucknell. The attention reached a new high when ESPN cameras recently followed the Bison's every move for more than a week.

After the Bison's shocking victory over Kansas in the NCAA tournament last March -- the first for a team from the Patriot League -- and a win at Pittsburgh last season and at Syracuse on Nov. 22, the gig was up.

Coach Pat Flannery and his players know every team will be out for the Bison now, and Flannery told his team that what it accomplished last season gives Bucknell no guarantee of doing it again.

The Bison missed a chance at their best start in 79 years when they lost, 77-68, at Santa Clara last Thursday night to drop to 9-2. Bucknell has 12 players back from last season's team that went 23-10 and won its conference, and the Bison should have a good chance to win another Patriot League title.

"There's no doubt that we've tried to embrace that," Flannery said of the expectations. "We're very proud of that and proud of everything we've done."

Last Monday night, the Bison took the big stage at top-ranked and unbeaten Duke in a nationally televised game.

The Bison, facing a No. 1 team for the first time in their 111-year history, lost, 84-50.

"We're not going to win every game," said senior swingman Charles Lee, a two-time all-conference selection. "We still have a lot of confidence here that we take these losses in stride. We were talking about the way we get up to play Pittsburgh. Everybody is doing that for us now. We've just got to be used to that."

*

Almost every team gets to use the injury excuse at some point during a season that lasts four months. UCLA coach Ben Howland hasn't had much reason to complain in the Bruins' 12-2 start, but he would be more than justified if he held a news conference in an emergency room.

The game notes distributed by the school's sports information office have a section on injuries that doesn't fit on one page.

Eleven players are listed in the update, providing details on the injury, time missed and progress. The most serious of the injuries is the torn cartilage in the left shoulder of senior forward Cedric Bozeman that will keep him out at least another month.

Two other seniors -- centers Ryan Hollins (strained groin) and Michael Fey (groin, shoulder, ankle) -- missed last weekend's homestand against Stanford and California and Thursday's win at No. 21 Arizona.

How bad has it been? Redshirt freshman walk-on Joey Ellis had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the preseason and has yet to return.

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