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Thornton sits, Primus-Devonish shines

While Gonzaga All-Met point guard Tyler Thornton sat out Tuesday night because of a sprained left ankle, another point guard took the opportunity to shine.

St. John's senior Denzel Primus-Devonish is somewhat less heralded -- he's signed to play for Division II Pace University. (Thornton signed with Duke.) And Primus-Devonish had never before scored more than 14 points in a game and entered Tuesday averaging 6.3 points per game.

Then Primus-Devonish tallied a career-high 28 points, including making 14 of 17 free throws, to lead the seventh-ranked Cadets to a 77-71 victory over the third-ranked Eagles.

As for Thornton, Eagles Coach Steve Turner expects his star to be back in the lineup Friday against fifth-ranked Good Counsel.

Turner said that Thornton was injured this past Saturday in the first quarter of a 67-55 win over Rice (N.Y.). Thornton had not practiced since, but he wanted to play Tuesday before being overruled.

“He thought he could go,” Turner said. “But we thought it was better to be safe than sorry. It doesn’t matter until the playoffs, we know that.

“He can get shots up [Wednesday]. He should be good to go by Friday.”

With Thornton out, Richmond recruit Cedrick Lindsay poured in 27 points, but Turner lamented a 29-of-40 performance from the foul line and ineffective defense against the 5-foot-10 (on a good day) Primus-Devonish.

“He didn’t miss many free throws and he got like 100 layups,” Turner said. “Quick little guy, he did a good job.”

By Josh Barr  |  January 6, 2010; 6:03 AM ET
Categories:  Boys' basketball , Gonzaga , St. John's  
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