Ed Cota and Jeff Lebo have reached some of the same milestones in North Carolina blue. Lebo is glad to still have his name in the record book.
"I thought Cota was terrific today. I don't know how many assists [he had]. I hope not 18," Lebo said yesterday after the Tar Heels' 85-59 victory over Tennessee Tech in Chapel Hill, N.C. Last Saturday against UNLV, Cota tied Lebo's North Carolina record of 17 assists, which he set against Chattanooga in 1988.
Lebo, the second-year coach at Tennessee Tech, brought his Golden Eagles (3-4) to No. 7 North Carolina (7-2) for the first time.
Cota, who scored 15 points, finished with seven assists to give him 826 for his career, 58 more than the second-best mark. He also reached the 1,000-point plateau with a one-handed layup with 14 minutes 55 seconds to go.
Only Cota, Lebo, North Carolina assistant coach Phil Ford and Kenny Smith have at least 1,000 points and 500 assists in their UNC careers.
"It's a nice accomplishment, but not a big deal to me," Cota said. "Most guys get 1,000 points in two or three years. It took me four. It will look good in the record books."
North Carolina won its first home game of the season after losing to then-No. 7 Michigan State, 86-66, in the home opener Dec. 1.
Jason Capel led North Carolina with 21 points. Brendan Haywood had 16 and Joseph Forte added 11.
Tennessee Tech's Josh Heard scored 18 points and Corey Hemphill added 11.
CONNECTICUT 94, FORDHAM 75: Five days after an impressive victory over No. 2 Arizona, the sixth-ranked Huskies looked very solid at home in their seventh straight win.
The defending national champions didn't need much from their starters as they pulled away from a 46-26 halftime lead to improve their record to 7-1 after a season-opening loss to Iowa.
Connecticut dominated the game inside from the start and that also gave the Huskies a chance to show off their speed as the fast breaks came frequently.
To make an improbable upset virtually impossible, Fordham (4-4) played without second-leading scorer and rebounder Bevon Robin. The junior guard was suspended for the game by Coach Bob Hill for violating team rules.
The Rams outscored Connecticut 15-4 over the final four minutes of the game to make the final margin closer than the game actually was. A 6-0 run gave the Huskies a 58-37 lead with 15:37 left and they led by as many as 31 points until Fordham's final run.
Kevin Freeman and Jake Voskuhl each had 16 points for the Huskies, who beat Arizona, 78-69, on Tuesday in the Great Eight. Albert Mouring added 12 and Khalid El-Amin 10.
Jason Harris led the Rams with 15 points.
OKLAHOMA ST. 97, SAN DIEGO ST. 63: Desmond Mason scored 20 points and Joe Adkins added 16 as the No. 17 Cowboys romped in Oklahoma City.
The Cowboys (7-0) broke out to a 47-19 halftime lead. Doug Gottlieb added nine points and 14 assists for Oklahoma State.
Marcelo Correa led the Aztecs (1-3) with 22 points.