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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Top-ranked Florida rips Samford

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— Top-ranked Florida opened this season much like it finished the last one: running the floor, creating easy baskets and dominating another opponent.

Once again, Joakim Noah was at the center of it all.

Noah scored 11 points, tied a career high with 15 rebounds and added six assists and four blocks as the defending national champions began their bid to repeat with a 79-54 victory over Samford on Friday night.

The Gators won their 16th consecutive opener and improved to 11-0 on opening night under coach Billy Donovan.

The latest one could have been another national championship celebration - especially since Florida was playing on the same floor it beat UCLA, 73-57, on to win it all in April.

No. 7 Ohio St. 107, VMI 69

Columbus, Ohio - Daequan Cook scored 22 points, and Ohio State's Thad Five recruiting class opened with a victory over VMI. Cook, who came off the bench, also had nine rebounds to lead the freshmen, with classmates David Lighty adding 11 points and Mike Conley Jr. totaling 10 assists.

No. 11 Alabama 96, Jackson State 65

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - Alonzo Gee scored on a crushing dunk on a fast break in the opening minute and went on to score 16 points to lead the Crimson Tide.

No. 15 Boston College 86, New Hampshire 47

Boston - Freshman Shamari Spears scored 23 points in his first college game, and Jared Dudley added 19 points.

No. 16 Marquette 76, Hillsdale 66

Milwaukee - Jerel McNeal had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead Marquette. Dominic James added 13 points and four assists, and Jamil Lott had 11 points for Marquette.

No. 18 Connecticut 53, Quinnipiac 46

Storrs, Conn. - A.J. Price scored the first basket, Jerome Dyson hit the first three-pointer and Hasheem Thabeet got the first block. Dyson, one of eight Connecticut freshmen, led the Huskies with 16 points.

No. 20 Syracuse 83, St. Francis, N.Y. 51

Syracuse, N.Y. - Demetris Nichols scored 15 points, and Darryl Watkins had 11 and five blocks to lead Syracuse.

No. 23 Georgia Tech 83, Elon 49

Atlanta - Freshmen Javaris Crittenton and Thaddeus Young combined for 32 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

No. 24 Nevada 85, Alaska-Anchorage 62

Reno, Nev. - Nick Fazekas had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and Nevada had a 17-0 run early in the second half.

No. 25 Tennessee 83, Middle Tennessee 52

Knoxville, Tenn. - JaJuan Smith scored 16 points.

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