For fans who enjoy rooting for the underdog, there haven’t been many weeks better than last week. It was, simply put, the week to snap a streak.
The king of all college basketball losing streaks ended when Rutgers-Camden beat Bloomfield College 77-72 for its first victory since Jan. 18, 1992, a span of 117 games.
To put it in perspective, the Division III school’s losing streak is 70 games longer than the second-longest losing streak on any level of college basketball.
Rutgers-Camden freshman Dawan Boxley was truly optimistic after the Pioneers improved their season mark to 1-9.
“We’re on a one-game winning streak,” he said.
Also starting one-game winning streaks last week were:
Wisconsin, which beat Indiana 71-58 to snap a 31-game losing streak to the Hoosiers that dated to Jan. 5, 1980.
Chicago State, which defeated Central Connecticut State 101-86 to end a 23-game losing streak, the longest current one in Division I, to improve to 1-11 for the season with its first win since last Jan. 20.
Akron, which edged Toledo 80-75 to snap a 19-game Mid-American Conference losing streak that included an 0-18 mark last season.
Colorado, which beat Missouri 87-78 to end a 25-game losing streak at Missouri. The Buffaloes’ last victory in Columbia was on Jan. 15, 1973, when Norm Stewart was in his sixth season at Missouri and the Hearnes Center was a new building.
With Chicago State’s victory, the longest current Division I losing streak belongs to Lehigh at 16 games, 13 this season.
Louisville coach Denny Crum collected his 600th career win Saturday with the Cardinals victory over Georgia Tech.
Crum joins 18 other coaches in the 600 club, seven of whom are active.
Only to Fresno State’s Jerry Tarkanian reached the 600-win mark faster, getting there in the first game of his 24th season. Crum is in his 26th season, and the Cardinals have a 12-1 record. Next on the list is Dean Smith of North Carolina, who got win No. 600 in the 23rd game of his 26th season.
In addition to Tarkanian and Smith, the other coaches with 600 victories are: Jim Phelan of Mount St. Mary’s, Bob Knight of Indiana, Don Haskins of Texas-El Paso, Norm Stewart of Missouri and Lefty Driesell of James Madison.
Tooth and nail
In what may the strangest injury of the season, Pitt center Mark Blount will be out about two weeks after accidentally being bitten near the right wrist by a teammate during practice.
The 7-foot Blount found his arm in the mouth of teammate Andre Howard while both were going for a rebound. The laceration became infected, and Blount spent three days in a hospital for treatment, finally undergoing surgery.
Pitt coach Ralph Willard said doctors told him they could see teeth marks on the bone.
Blount has averaged 8.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game.
Unless you missed every sports highlight package shown last weekend, you have seen a replay of Kwan Johnson’s 70-foot buzzer-beater that gave New Orleans an 82-79 overtime victory over Arkansas-Little Rock.
It was the second straight time the Privateers had beaten Arkansas-Little Rock at the buzzer.
Tyrone Garris made a layup at the buzzer to give New Orleans a 57-56 victory last March in the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship game with an NCAA tournament berth at stake.
New Orleans coach Tic Price is 6-0 in overtime games in his three seasons with the Privateers.
If a sign of an improving team is the play of its bench, then Washington State is ready to make a big move in the Pac-10.
In 29 games last season, the Cougars reserves contributed a total of 288 points. In the first 13 games of this season, Washington State has gotten 332 points from the bench.
California’s 83-71 victory over Southern California on Thursday night was the first of three games the Golden Bears will play in San Francisco’s Cow Palace this season.
The last time California played anybody but San Francisco in that building was in 1960, when the Bears lost to Ohio State 75-55 in the NCAA tournament championship game.
Iona’s Mindaugas Timinskas has quite a streak going.
The senior forward from Lithuania was honored as Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the week this week for the fourth straight time.
The 6-foot-7 forward is averaging 20.8 points and 6.7 rebounds as the Gaels are off to a 10-3 start. He drew rave notices this summer when he was named MVP of the European Under 22 World Championships as Lithuania won the title.
It may not have the impact of this year’s Army-Navy football game, but the Cadets and Midshipmen met for the first time this basketball season last Wednesday, and it was another rare meeting between the service academies when both teams were doing well.
This year’s football game, won by Army 28-24, marked the first time since 1963 that both teams came into the game over .500.
This season’s first basketball meeting, won by Navy 70-56, saw Navy improve to 8-6 while the Cadets fell to 5-5. Their 5-4 mark was only the second time in the last 10 years they were above .500 after nine games.
Through their first 11 games of the season, the Princeton Tigers had an 8-3 record, 93 3-point field goals and one dunk. The dunk was by center Steve Goodrich in an overtime loss to Bucknell.
Last season the Tigers finished with 211 3-pointers, 11 dunks and one of the most memorable wins in NCAA tournament history when they beat defending champion UCLA in the opening round.
A list of the Tigers’ losses this season seems more like one of those “which does not belong” questions.
In order, the losses were: by 10 points to Indiana, by nine points to North Carolina and by 12 points to … Bucknell.
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