Nothing personal in Luckey's job against UMBC



January 15, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Darshan Luckey didn't call home to gloat Monday night after he lit up UMBC for 25 points in a 73-68 victory for St. Francis (Pa.) in Loretto, Pa.

"[UMBC] didn't recruit me," said Luckey, a Southern of Baltimore grad who also had had five rebounds, two assists and one steal in the game. "They were just another team to me."

Luckey, a 6-foot-4 freshman shooting guard, could afford to be a little smug in the wake of the Northeast Conference victory that raised St. Francis to 7-5 overall and 3-0 in the league.

The Red Flash has won four straight for the first time in five years. Luckey has a glittering 19.3 scoring average to lead the team, has a team-best 4.6 rebounding average and tops the squad in free-throw shooting with an 80 percent mark.

He is second on the squad in steals (20), third in assists (24), third in three-pointers (19) and has scored 20 points or more in eight games.

There is only one stat that Luckey and everyone else around the St. Francis program would rather not look at - 56 turnovers in 12 games.

"I've been too nonchalant with the ball," he said. "And all the teams know I'm going to have the ball in tough situations."

It hasn't been an easy road to first-year stardom for Luckey, who had to spend an entire year in Loretto not playing basketball because he was a non-qualifier academically.

"That was tough," he said. "But my parents convinced me it was the best thing to do."

Lipton's helping hand

Virginia Tech senior point guard Emily Lipton (St. Mary's) has started every game this season, though averaging only 3.4 points a game.

The reason for her low scoring output can be found in her splendid 59-to-29 assist-to-turnover ratio, a vast improvement over the 106-106 ratio in her first three seasons at the Big East school.

The 5-7 Lipton leads the Hokies (10-4) with 59 assists, has 14 steals, is averaging 1.9 rebounds and is shooting 35.4 percent from the field.

Lipton and Virginia Tech ran into defending national champion Connecticut (14-0) Sunday before 10,167 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, and UConn recorded its 53rd straight victory (69-57), one short of Louisiana Tech's NCAA women's record of 54.

Lipton played 15 minutes in that game, hit her only field-goal attempt, had one assist, one steal, one rebound and two turnovers.

Jennings' big game

Mark Jennings (North County) went on a career-high 30-point scoring spree last Saturday for Shepherd (W.Va.), adding to his position as the runaway scoring leader (18.7 points) for the Division II Rams (5-6).

The offensive display against Wheeling Jesuit by the 6-6 junior small forward helped give Shepherd an 84-72 victory.

Jennings, a transfer from Hagerstown Community College, also has averaged 5.4 rebounds, seven blocks and nine steals. He is shooting 47.3 percent from the field, 73.3 from the free-throw line and 35.4 percent on three-pointers.

Courter cruising

Senior co-captain Ashlee Courter (Mercy) is heading into the homestretch of her career at Marymount (Va.), playing outstanding all-around basketball in an attempt to help the Saints return to the NCAA Division III women's final four.

Courter has played a key role in three straight wins for Marymount (8-4), raising her team-leading assist average to 4.0, her scoring average to 11.7 and rebound average to 5.5.

The 5-10 small forward also has averaged 13 steals, five blocks and 34.1 minutes a game.

Anger coming on

Freshman center Jessica Anger (Seton Keough) has started all three Big South Conference games for Winthrop (S.C.) after starting just three of the first eight for the Lady Eagles.

Since gaining a starting role, the 6-foot-3 Anger has averaged 7.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 22.3 minutes a game.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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