Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Hot start pushes Illinois to Las Vegas title game
    By The Sports Xchange

    LAS VEGAS -- Illinois coach John Groce said getting games off to a strong start is a major emphasis for his squad.

    • A 30-8 lead after just 11 1/2 minutes meets that description nicely.

      The Fighting Illini connected on five of their first six 3-point attempts while building the early 22-point lead en route to a 88-62 victory over Indiana State on Thursday afternoon in the semifinals of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena.

      Senior guard Rayvonte Rice scored 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had five steals to lead Illinois (5-0), which will face Baylor or Memphis in Friday night's championship game. The Bears and Tigers played the second semifinal Thursday night.

      Sophomore guard Malcolm Hill (17 points), senior center Nnanna Egwu (10), junior guard Aaron Crosby (10) and sophomore guard Kendrick Nunn (10) also scored in double figures for the Illini. It was the fourth consecutive game in which at least five Illinois players finished with at least 10 points.

      "I thought tonight for us, the start was really what dictated," Groce said. "We got off to such a great start at both ends of the floor that I thought it sort of set the rules so to speak for the game."

      Indiana State coach Greg Lansing was a little more blunt.

      "They came out and punched us right in the face and we really didn't respond very well," Lansing said. "Our effort and how we competed to start the game was not good at all."

      Illinois, which posted big point totals in consecutive wins over Coppin State (114-56) and Austin Peay (107-66) earlier this season, looked as if it might break the century mark again with its torrid start.

      By the first media timeout, the Fighting Illini were already up 20-6, connecting on eight of their first nine shots from the floor, including four of four from 3-point range.

      Illinois extended its lead to 37-12 on a Rice free throw with 4:13 to go in the half. Indiana State sank just four of its first 20 shots while also turning the ball over 10 times.

      "I thought we had gotten off to good starts in two of our four games, and two of our four we didn't," Groce said. "Now we're three for five, which is 60 percent. And where I went to high school, that's a D-minus. I guess if it's baseball, that's a pretty good average. ... But we've got to be locked in from the jump. I thought today we were."

      The Sycamores (3-2) trailed 43-24 early in the second half before Illinois went on a 17-6 run capped by two free throws by Rice, boosting the lead to 60-30. The Sycamores, despite the hot perimeter shooting of sophomore guard Grant Prusator, who was 4-for-7 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 17 points, never got closer than 17 points the rest of the way.

      "We got taught a good lesson from what I believe is one of the top teams in the country," Lansing said. "That's a very talented team."

      Groce went out of his way afterward to praise the play of Hill, a 6-foot-6 forward who was 11-for-12 from the free-throw line and also grabbed eight rebounds and had two steals in 24 minutes of action.

      "I thought Hill really jump-started us at both ends of the floor in the second half," Groce said. "I thought it might have been the most complete game of his career."

      Illinois finished with a season-high 15 steals and outrebounded the Sycamores 46-33. The Illini shot just 42.4 percent from the floor but connected on nine of 20 3-point tries (45.0 percent).

      "All in all, I thought our effort was good, and it gives us a chance to move into tomorrow night's game here with a little bit of momentum," Groce said. "I look forward to playing either Baylor or Memphis."

      Indiana State shot 36 percent from the floor, 37 percent (10-for-27) from 3-point range.

      NOTES: Illinois came into the game ranked second in the nation in scoring offense (97.5). The Fighting Illini also were 12th in 3-point field goal percentage (47.3 percent). ... Illinois improved to 20-0 in November under coach John Groce, the only team in the nation with an undefeated November record over the past four years. ... Indiana State was allowing an average of 64.5 points per game and hadn't allowed more than 69 points in a game this season entering Thursday's contest. The Fighting Illini topped that mark with 7:17 remaining on a pair of free throws by G Malcolm Hill.

  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Stony Brook 73, LIU Brooklyn 54
    By The Sports Xchange

    Forward Jameel Warney made eight of nine shots from the floor en route to 18 points, leading Stony Brook to a 73-54 victory over LIU Brooklyn on Thursday in the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden in New York.

    • Guard Roland Nyama added 16 points for the Seawolves (4-2), and forward Rayshaun McGrew finished with 13 points. Guard Carson Puriefoy scored 10 points for Stony Brook, which shot 28 of 51 (54.9 percent) from the field.

      Guard Joel Hernandez led LIU Brooklyn (0-3) with 15 points. The Blackbirds finished two of 21 (9.5 percent) from 3-point range.

      Stony Brook won its third game in a row.

      The Seawolves jumped out to a 25-15 lead on a jumper by forward Tyrell Sturdivant with 5:38 left in the first half. A layup by Warney provided a 36-31 lead at the break.

      A pair of free throws led by Nyama capped an 16-5 run by Stony Brook to open the second half, and the Sea Wolves extended the lead to 51-36 with 10:17 left in the game. Another 3-pointer by Nyama with 1:28 remaining closed out the scoring.

      The Seawolves outrebounded LIU 41-21 in the game, with McGrew pulling down 10 boards and Warney nine. Seven Stony Brook players finished with at least two assists.

      Stony Brook returns home to face St. Thomas Aquinas on Saturday. LIU Brooklyn plays at Temple on Sunday.

  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    South Carolina-Upstate 68, Florida International 53
    By The Sports Xchange

    A pair of one-loss teams clashed Thanksgiving during the first round of the Spartanburg Marriott Upstate Classic, and South Carolina-Upstate emerged with a 68-53 victory over Florida International in Spartanburg, S.C.

    • It was the first meeting between the two programs, and the Spartans (4-1) pulled away after halftime. USC Upstate turned a close game into a blowout with a 9-2 run after intermission, and they never looked back.

      Guard Fred Miller led the Spartans with 15 points, and he added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Guard Ty Greene added 14 points, though he hit just four of 14 shots from the floor, and forward Josh Cuthbertson finished with 13 points.

      Guard Dennis Mavin led FIU (3-2) with 14 points. Panthers forward Adrian Diaz, who was coming of a career-high, 33-point game against Georgia Southern, contributed eight points and nine rebounds.

      USC Upstate jumped out to a 32-26 halftime lead behind eight points from Cuthbertson. The lead grew to as many as 19 points late in the second half as FIU went ice cold from the field, failing to score for almost five minutes.

      Mavin snapped the dry spell with a bucket with a little more than six minutes to play, but by then it was too late.

      The Panthers play Friday against Wright State -- another first-time meeting. FIU concludes the round-robin tournament Saturday against Cal State Fullerton.

      USC Upstate faces Cal State Fullerton on Friday and Wright State on Saturday.

  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Gonzaga's Perkins has broken jaw
    By The Sports Xchange

    Touted Gonzaga freshman Josh Perkins was kicked in the head inadvertently by Georgia's Kenny Gaines in the Zags' 88-76 win on Wednesday night and will have his jaw wired shut on or just after Thanksgiving Day.

    • Gonzaga coach Mark Few said Thursday that Perkins would be out indefinitely. It was not known if Perkins would return to Washington or stay with the team for Friday's championship game against St. John's.

      Gonzaga (5-0) forward Kyle Wiltjer turned in his best performance since transferring from Kentucky, scoring 32 points and leading his team to an 88-76 win over Georgia at Madison Square Garden. St. John's (4-0), rallied in the second half to beat Minnesota. Gaines left his feet on a pump-fake and caught Perkins directly in the jaw with is shin and foot. Perkins crumbled to the floor, and was tended to by the trainer before heading into the locker room.

      Perkins was averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 assists in 22.8 minutes while backing up all-conference starter Kevin Pangos.

  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Arizona hold off SDSU to win Maui crown
    By The Sports Xchange

    LAHAINA, Hawaii -- In a defensive battle between two undefeated college basketball powers, tournament-tested Arizona survived the challenge.

    • The third-ranked Wildcats claimed the EA Sports Maui Invitational championship with a gutsy 61-59 win over 15th-ranked San Diego State on Wednesday evening at the Lahaina Civic Center.

      Arizona (6-0) employed consistent defensive pressure and held the Aztecs to just four field goals and 14 points through the game's final 10 minutes -- including two late, desperation 3-pointers -- en route to claiming the program's second Maui title.

      San Diego State (5-1) could not overcome its opponent's defensive effort and lost for the first time in the past 17 occurrences when it had 24 hours or less to prepare for a foe.

      With the victory, Arizona claimed its third early-season "exempt" tournament in as many seasons. The Wildcats captured the 2012 Diamond Head Classic crown on Oahu and followed that triumph up by winning the 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off title.

      The Wildcats limited their opponent to 75 points or fewer for the 51st consecutive game.

      "Sometimes when you're a very good defensive team, and I believe we are, it becomes harder and harder to score against you, if you do what you do well," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "To win the championship here at the Maui Invitational, you need great players, and you need players who rise up to the challenge. ...

      "I feel my team took the next step, grew up, improved, and that's what happens when you play this type of competition."

      Arizona freshman forward Stanley Johnson scored six of his game-high 18 points on free throws down the stretch. He wound up making nine of 10 foul shots. The Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 prospect also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.

      Johnson was selected the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

      "He'll make a pretty good NBA player in about six months," San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said. "He's a terrific talent that competes like crazy and helps his team win. He's a very good player. They've got a lot of good players."

      The Wildcats moved ahead on the game's 13th and final lead change as T.J. McConnell (11 points) drained a 3-pointer with 7:39 remaining, snapping a two-minute scoreless streak. The fiery point guard let his emotions fly all game, gesturing both playfully and in mocking nature at spectators and barking at teammates who committed lapses in judgment.

      Sophomore sensation Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (14 points) made San Diego State pay for its 13th turnover of the game by taking the loose ball all the way for a high-flying dunk that put Arizona ahead 53-49 with 4:45 left.

      "They have elite athletes at multiple spots, and they make it hard for you to score," Fisher said. "So do we. I think a 61-59 game is indicative of that. ... They hit us in the chops, and we didn't respond like we needed to. We did respond, but that was a critical little stretch there."

      Aztecs guard Trey Kell answered with a jumper to end his team's nearly six-minute long field goal drought, pulling San Diego State within two points of Arizona. However, the Wildcats maintained the lead throughout the game's waning moments.

      Kell and forward Winston Shepard each scored 14 points to pace the Aztecs.

      "We just gotta continue to get better, continue to be aggressive," Shepard said. "Arizona's a good team, gotta give them a lot of credit."

      Forward Dwayne Polee II (11 points) helped San Diego State build an early lead by converting each of his first six shots -- three field goals and three free throws -- and racking up 10 quick points. The Aztecs also attacked the Arizona defense early and often, leading to seven team fouls and a bonus situation prior to the opening half's 10-minute mark.

      San Diego State took advantage of the free-throw opportunities, making nine of 15 attempts from the charity stripe in the opening frame. The squads combined to commit 19 personal fouls in the game's first 17 minutes, and the Wildcats also benefitted by sinking eight free throws in nine tries during that span.

      Arizona finished with 20 converted free throws in 24 attempts, while San Diego State went 13 of 24 at the line.

      Behind nine first-half points from Johnson, Arizona rallied to tie the score at 22. The Wildcats continued to inch ahead, compiling an 8-2 run over the half's final three minutes to establish a 32-31 advantage at the break.

      "Seriously, it's great to win tournaments like this," Hollis-Jefferson said. "Very prestigious ... it's big time. It's about the grind. It doesn't stop here. You have to enjoy it, reap the benefits, and then you gotta keep moving."

      NOTES: In addition to the MVP, Arizona F Stanley Johnson, the Maui all-tournament team included Arizona F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, San Diego State F Winston Shepard, San Diego State G Trey Kell, Pitt F Michael Young and BYU G Tyler Haws. ... Arizona earned its 33rd consecutive regular-season win over a non-conference opponent, the longest such streak in the nation. ... Arizona has been ranked in 43 straight AP polls, including 23 consecutive weeks in the top 10 and 21 straight weeks in the top five. ... San Diego State failed in its attempt to start the season at 6-0. The Aztecs began 6-0 twice under coach Steve Fisher and five times in the program's Division I history, which dates back 44 years. The last time the Aztecs opened a season 6-0, the 2010-11 squad finished 34-3 and ultimately earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.

  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Gonzaga takes care of Georgia in NIT Tip-Off
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Georgia coach Mark Fox gambled that if his Bulldogs took away Gonzaga's ability to hit 3-pointers, he might have a chance against the No. 10 team in the country in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Wednesday.

    • The risky decision worked as Gonzaga hit only four 3-pointers, well below its 9.2 average. However, by sealing off the perimeter, Georgia was forced to play man-to-man in the post and that's where it got burned.

      Gonzaga (5-0) forward Kyle Wiltjer turned in his best performance since transferring from Kentucky, scoring 32 points and leading his team to an 88-76 win over Georgia at Madison Square Garden.

      Gonzaga (5-0) will meet St. John's (4-0) in the championship game Friday. Georgia (3-2) faces Minnesota (3-2) in the consolation game.

      Georgia was led by junior guard Charles Mann, who tossed in 23 points. Guard J.J. Frazier scored 14 points, and forward Nemanja Djurisic scored 10. Georgia shot 43.9 percent from the field and was outrebounded 35-29.

      Wiltjer, a redshirt junior, sat out last season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. He played a pivotal role on Kentucky's 2012 national championship team while being selected the SEC Sixth Man of the Year.

      He scored six consecutive points to increase Gonzaga's lead to 52-35 less than four minutes into the second half.

      "We decided to take away their (Gonzaga) 3's," Fox said. "They were getting about 29 points a game from the 3-point line so we wanted to take that away, and then let their post players play one-one-one.

      "But (Wiltjer) is just too good to play one-on-one. But the gamble was to leave him (Wiltjer) in that situation and we sent some help in the second half one he got hot. But if you sent coverage to double-team him, you would leave their great 3-point shooting open.

      "That's why Gonzaga is such a tough matchup."

      Wiltjer finished 14-for-26 from the floor, taking exactly half of his team's shot attempts. Guard Kevin Pangos added 22 points for Gonzaga, which hit 50 percent of its shot from the floor.

      "Kev (Pangos) did a great job of feeding us down there," Wiltjer said. "Not a lot of my 3's went down, but Kev found me on the pocket passes and they (Georgia) were having a tough time guarding us. That's where we got easy points."

      Wiltjer converted seven of his 12 shots from the field as Gonzaga shot a sizzling 53 percent and led 46-33 at the half.

      "It's been a lot of fun so far," said Wiltjer of playing with his new teammates. "We really have an unselfish group of guys and we play hard. So when we play hard, I think that's when it's the funniest."

      Playing at Madison Square Garden for only the sixth time, Gonzaga opened up on a 21-8 run. Pangos led the barrage with eight points.

      NOTES: Gonzaga is the only team in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense. It is third in the country in scoring margin. ... Six players are averaging double figures for Gonzaga. ... Gonzaga freshman F Domantas Sabonis is the son of NBA Hall-of-Famer Arvydas Sabonis. ... The two schools split their four previous matchups.

  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Virginia Tech 78, Miami (Ohio) 63
    By The Sports Xchange

    Guards Adam Smith and Justin Bibbs combined for 48 points and 10 3-pointers, propelling Virginia Tech to a 78-63 victory over Miami (Ohio) in the consolation game of the Cancun Challenge in Cancun, Mexico.

    • Smith, who shot 5-for-7 from the 3-point arc, finished with 26 points. Bibbs, a true freshman, contributed 22 points and made five of six long-range attempts.

      Virginia Tech center Joey Van Zegeren added eight points and nine rebounds in only 21 minutes.

      The Hokies (3-2) were blown out by a veteran Northern Iowa team on Tuesday and badly needed a bounce-back effort before heading home to Blacksburg. Despite 20 turnovers, Virginia Tech's offense came alive, shooting 49 percent from the floor, 52.6 percent from 3-point range and converting 18 of 24 attempts from the foul line.

      The Redhawks (2-3) trailed by 22 at the break but cut the Hokies' lead to 15 on a 3-pointer from guard Zach McCormick with 16:27 remaining in the game.

      "I was pleased with our second half because I thought a couple of things occurred," Miami coach John Cooper said. "We didn't tuck our heads. We came out. We competed, and for one of the first times this year, we really got some life and some energy going on the offensive end of the court, and we picked up the press. It really seemed to get us moving."

      Virginia Tech responded with 22-9 run spurred by 16 points from Smith and Bibbs, at one point building a 27-point lead.

      Eleven Redhawks broke into the scoring column, but McCormick (12 points) was the only Miami player in double figures. Guards Eric Washington and Will Sullivan each chipped in nine points.

      With the score tied 7-7, it appeared points would come at premium as neither team could find a rhythm on the offensive end. The Redhawks' struggles persisted, but the Hokies began to heat up.

      Sparked by Smith, Virginia Tech outscored the Redhawks 32-10 the rest of the way, building a 39-17 halftime lead.

      Smith led all scorers at the intermission with 15 points off the bench, pouring in 11 points the final 5:48.

      Following Tuesday's loss, Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams noted his displeasure with his team's aggression after the Hokies shot just eight free throws to Northern Iowa's 21.

      On Wednesday, Tech attacked the rim early and often, finishing the first half 11-for-14 from the foul line.

      Washington, a transfer from Presbyterian averaging 10.3 points per game, did not start Wednesday after he was late to the pregame meal.

      "It's like I told the team, there are consequences for your actions," Cooper said. "(Benching Washington) certainly wasn't the reason why we lost the game, but I think if you saw the second half, you were able to see the kind of impact he can have on our team."

      NOTES: Hokies C Joey Van Zegeren and Redhawks G Eric Washington were selected to the Riviera Division's All-Tournament Team for the Cancun Challenge. ... Virginia Tech and Miami (Ohio) met for the first time since December 27, 1985. ... Miami visits Elon on Sunday afternoon. ... The Hokies head home to host Morgan State on Sunday afternoon.

  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Lehigh ends skid with win over DePaul
    By The Sports Xchange

    ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Lehigh finally found the missing piece as it snapped a season-opening four-game skid with an 86-74 victory over DePaul on Wednesday.

    • "It was our mental approach," said guard Corey Schaefer, who scored a team-high 17 points. "We came in ready to play and be the aggressor tonight. We knew that was the difference."

      Center Tim Kempton added 16 and 11 rebounds as the Mountain Hawks withstood a late DePaul surge for the non-conference victory at Allstate Arena.

      Lehigh (1-4) trailed only briefly, built a second-half lead of as many as 15 points and allowed the Blue Demons (2-1) to get no closer than seven in the late going.

      "We've been trying to build off the process in our losses but tonight it felt really good to come together and get the win," Schaefer said. "We were able to find some openings, play really unselfish and make some shots."

      Mountain Hawks guard Austin Price scored 14 points, and forward Justin Goldsborough added 10 for Lehigh. They shot a combined 9-for-9 from the field.

      "We just couldn't make plays and Billy (Garrett Jr.) clearly had a subpar day, couldn't get anything going and had some big turnovers," said Blue Demon coach Oliver Purnell.

      "He usually makes big plays. It didn't happen for him and it didn't happen for us."

      DePaul forward Myke Henry had a game-high 24 points plus 10 rebounds. Garrett scored 15 points, forward Jamee Crockett had 13, and center Tommy Hamilton IV added 12 for the Blue Demons.

      Lehigh used effective 3-point shooting to build an early lead and maintained it through the second half. The Mountain Hawks finished 9-for-18 from beyond the arc -- as Schaefer was 3-for-5 -- and 29-for-51 (56.9 percent) from the floor for the game.

      Purnell knew an 0-for-13 effort in 3-point shooting in Lehigh's last game wasn't an accurate reflection.

      "We had the shooters identified and we stared at four shooters in the first half and they shot right over us," Purnell said."(And) we're doing 11 at the half."

      DePaul shot 22-for-60 (36.7 percent) from the field and 8-for-24 from 3-point range.

      Lehigh was coming off a 10-point loss to Columbia that featured 0-for-13 shooting from 3-point range. But Purnell knew the Mountain Lions would be better.

      The Mountain Hawks had their best opening 20 minutes to date on the way to a 41-30 halftime lead. Lehigh shot 14-for-25 (56 percent) in the first half, getting 11 points from Schaefer and 10 from Kempton.

      Lehigh hit seven of 10 3-point shots before the break, while DePaul managed just two of 12.

      Henry scored 15 first-half points for the Blue Demons, who shot 10-of-33 (30.3 percent) from the field before halftime.

      The Mountain Hawks jumped to a quick 8-2 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers from guard Miles Simelton and forward Jesse Chuku. Lehigh led 23-9 near the midpoint of the half.

      NOTES: Wednesday's game marked a homecoming and first start for G Miles Simelton, a high school all-state player from suburban Oswego, Ill. ... Three of the Mountain Hawks' losses were against teams coming off 20-win seasons. ... Lehigh planned to stay overnight in Chicago and resume play Sunday at home against Penn State Mont Alto. ... DePaul entered Wednesday's first-ever meeting with Lehigh with a 6-4 all-time mark against Patriot League teams. ... DePaul opened a stretch of five games in 12 days that will include a Sunday date with Stanford at Allstate Arena.

  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Pitt shuts down K-State in Maui third-place game
    By The Sports Xchange

    LAHAINA, Hawaii -- After starting the EA Sports Maui Invitational on a sensational scoring run, Kansas State's heralded sophomore guard Marcus Foster hit a cold spell that his team could not overcome.

    • Foster began play as the tournament's leading scorer -- notching 47 points combined in the first two games of the event -- but he managed just seven points as the Wildcats fell to a scrappy Pittsburgh squad 70-47 in the tourney's third-place game Wednesday at the Lahaina Civic Center.

      Foster hit just three of nine field-goal attempts and took only one shot in the second half.

      "We obviously showed a lot of heart, a lot of character from a young group that's gone through (multiple) changes in a short period of time here over the last couple months, and responded in a big way," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "That was a very good Kansas State team we beat, and we did it the way we wanted to do it."

      The Panthers (4-2) outscored Kansas State 40-20 in the second half. Pitt hit on 55.3 percent of its field-goal attempts overall while limiting the Wildcats to 32.6 percent shooting from the field.

      Guard James Robinson led Pittsburgh with 14 points, dished out six assists and grabbed four steals en route to garnering Player of the Game honors. Forward Michael Young paced the Panthers down low with 13 points and seven rebounds.

      "I think we had a three-point lead going into half, and we were pretty excited in our first half performance, but we knew we had 20 more minutes and we knew Kansas State wasn't going to back down," Robinson said. "We turned it up a notch. ... For the most part, we were able to execute and finish strong."

      Forward Ryan Luther came off the bench and energized the Panthers with 13 points, sinking three 3-pointers. The forward made a crowd-pleasing layup toward the end of Pitt's 21-6 run to end the game.

      "We paid attention to detail and got the job done," Young said. "We ended on a great note ... beat a good team in Kansas State, and we're taking this experience into the next one. I think as a team we're going to take off."

      Pittsburgh used an 11-3 run to begin the second half and built a 41-30 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the game. The Panthers effectively kept Kansas State from scoring behind the 3-point arc -- the Wildcats converted just two of 13 from long distance -- and continued to score against a disheveled opponent that committed 15 turnovers in the contest.

      Kansas State (3-3) received an admirable performance from forward Thomas Gipson, who led the team with 13 points and added six rebounds while converting all seven of his free throws.

      "I felt like we put everything in the first two games ... but it's not an excuse," Gipson said. "We have to overcome that fatigue and play harder. It's a good experience. Hopefully we can go home ... and get ready for the Big 12. I felt like it was good for our experience in away games, in neutral games."

      The Wildcats sprinted out to a 10-3 run to begin the game, a stretch buoyed by an emphatic dunk and 3-point jumper from Foster.

      Pittsburgh climbed back to take a 17-14 lead thanks to a 14-4 run made possible in part by four consecutive missed field goals and three turnovers by Kansas State during an eight-minute span.

      The Wildcats got back in sync once Foster returned from a respite on the bench, and the sophomore sensation threw down a one-handed dunk to put his squad back up 18-17 with 6:18 to play in the first half.

      The lead was short-lived, though, as Pittsburgh received 3-pointers from guard Cameron Johnson and Luther as well as a successful three-point play by Robinson as part of a 13-9 streak to end the half. The Panthers held a 30-27 lead at intermission.

      "They had some guys jump up and make shots," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "I think they felt energized when they made shots to close the half. I'd like to take this game out of (what I learned), but obviously, you can't."

      NOTES: Kansas State fell to 3-5 all-time in Maui Invitational competition. The Wildcats own a 5-5 record throughout in-season tournaments under coach Bruce Weber. ... As a freshman last season, Kansas State G Marcus Foster started all 33 of his squad's games, tying former standout Michael Beasley for most starts by a true freshman in school history. ... Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon had two stints as an assistant coach with the University of Hawaii (1992-94 and 1998-99), where he served under former head coach Riley Wallace.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    St. John's tops Minnesota to advance
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- The St. John's Red Storm are off to their best start in six years after Wednesday's 70-61 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.

    • The Red Storm (4-0), who received 19 points from guard D'Angelo Harrison and 18 points from guard Rysheed Jordan, will face the winner of Gonzaga and Georgia in Friday's final.

      Minnesota (3-1) was led by freshman guard Nate Mason's 15 points.

      The Red Storm closed out the game on a 15-2 run after trailing by nine points at the half.

      Harrison's four-point play put the Red Storm ahead 65-59 with 2:23 to play. He was fouled by center Elliott Eliason while sinking a 3-pointer from the left baseline. Harrison kept the play alive by diving for loose ball that was headed out-of-bounds, then put himself in position for the 3-pointer.

      He played 40 minutes, contributing nine rebounds and six steals.

      "He (Harrison) is so lethal," said Minnesota coach Richard Pitino. "He can make shots from anywhere. He made a big shot when you think he would have been tired. He gritted it out."

      Eliason admitted the four-point play turned the game in favor of St. John's.

      "It was a huge mistake and frankly I'm embarrassed about it," he said. "It was a huge turn."

      Jordan's free throw tied it at 59 with 3:49 left, then on St. John's next possession, Harrison's two free throws gave St. John's a 61-59 lead with 3:33 to go.

      Harrison was just 2-for-10 from the floor, but received encouragement from his teammates. He ended up 5-of-17.

      "My teammates did a good job of staying with me," Harrison said. "They said, 'You're a shooter, shoot it."

      St. John's had a chance to take its first lead of the second half, but Harrison missed both free throws with 4:37 to play and the Golden Gophers clinging to a 59-58 edge.

      A 7-2 St. John's run brought the Red Storm to within two at 51-49 at the 12:35 mark of the second half.

      Minnesota sank six of its 11 3-point attempts in the first half and led 40-31 at the break. The Red Storm failed to connect on any of its nine first-half 3-point tries.

      Minnesota guard Carlos Morris gave the Golden Gophers a 20-18 lead on a 3-pointer, then proceeded to score five of his team's next 16 points as Minnesota grabbed a 36-27 lead with three minutes left in the half. The Red Storm scored only nine points in the sequence.

      NOTES: St. John's scored 24 points off of 20 Minnesota turnovers. ... Minnesota was without reserve G Daquein McNeil. The sophomore was arrested Monday on two counts of domestic assault. McNeil was suspended indefinitely by the school. He has a court appearance on Monday in Minnesota. McNeil allegedly hit his girlfriend with a belt. McNeil was a role player for the Golden Gophers, playing close to 19 minutes a game and averaging 3.2 points and 3.3 rebounds this season. "This is obviously bigger than basketball," said Minnesota coach Richard Pitino. "It's certainly a difficult situation, we understand that."... Minnesota won its first three games by an average margin of 30.7 points. ... The teams met for the third time. The Golden Gophers won in 1994 and 1996, but both results were later vacated by the NCAA. ... Minnesota made its seventh appearance at Madison Square Garden. ... Junior C Chris Obekpa is St. John's career leader in blocked shots.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Lehigh 86, DePaul 74
    By The Sports Xchange

    The team that lost by double figures at home to an Ivy League team in its previous game won by double figures on the road against a Big East opponent Wednesday night.

    • Shooting nearly 57 percent from the field and placing four players in double figures, Lehigh captured its first victory of the season, an 86-74 verdict over DePaul at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.

      Guard Corey Schaefer paced a balanced Mountain Hawks attack with 17 points, five rebounds and five assists. Forward Tim Kempton contributed a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double, while guard Austin Price added 14 points for Lehigh (1-4). Forward Justin Goldsborough chipped in with 10 points, making all five of his shots.

      Forward Myke Henry scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Blue Demons (2-1), who became only the second Big East team to lose in the season's first 13 days. Guard Billy Garrett tallied 15 points, forward Jamee Crockett hit for 13 and center Tommy Hamilton netted 12.

      Coming off a 54-44 loss to Columbia on Sunday in which they failed to hit a 3-pointer for the first time in 112 games, the Mountain Hawks connected on nine of 18 from long distance Wednesday. They finished 29-for-51 from the field.

      After Henry scored the game's first points, Lehigh hit DePaul with a 19-5 run, fueled by 3-pointers from guard Miles Simelton, forward Jesse Chuku and Schaefer.

      A jumper by guard Brandon Austin pushed the Mountain Hawks' lead to 25-11 with 9:12 remaining in the half. The Blue Demons drew within seven points on two occasions, but Schaefer canned a 3-pointer in the last 30 seconds of the half, enabling Lehigh to take a 41-30 lead to intermission.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    North Carolina State 84, Richmond 72
    By The Sports Xchange

    North Carolina State broke open a close game late in the second half to remain undefeated with a 84-72 victory over Richmond in Raleigh, N.C.

    • The Spiders (2-2) trailed 45-44 at halftime but came back to take the lead early in the second half. The teams battled back and forth most of the rest of the way, with the Spiders taking a 63-62 lead on a 3-pointer by forward T.J. Cline with 9:41 to play.

      However, the Wolfpack (5-0) scored the next eight points, and the Spiders never got closer than four the rest of the way.

      Cline and forward Terry Allen more than held their own against the North Carolina State frontcourt. Cline tied for the team lead with 17 points off the bench, and he also pulled down seven rebounds. Allen made six of his nine shots and finished with 14 points.

      Spiders guard Kendall Anthony contributed 17 points, but the Wolfpack backcourt controlled the game. North Carolina State guard Trevor Lacey led all scorers with 26 points, and he added six rebounds and five assists. Wolfpack guard Ralston Turner made all three of his 3-point attempts and finished with 23 points.

      Richmond was also hurt on the boards. The Spiders were limited to 24 rebounds, while the Wolfpack had 15 on the offensive glass alone and finished with 38.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Massachusetts 79, Northeastern 54
    By The Sports Xchange

    Junior guard Jabarie Hinds came off the bench to score 14 points, leading Massachusetts to a 79-54 victory over Northeastern on Wednesday in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at William D. Mullins Memorial Center in Amherst, Mass.

    • Hinds led four players who scored in double figures for UMass (5-1). Junior guard Derrick Gordon had 13 points, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists. Senior center Cady Lalanne added 12 points and six rebounds, and freshman guard Donte Clark scored 10 points.

      Junior guard David Walker scored 14 points for Northeastern (4-1), which suffered its first loss after opening the season with victories over Boston University, Florida State, Navy and Manhattan.

      Sophomore guard T.J. Williams had 12 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Scott Eatherton scored 11 points.

      Massachusetts shot 52.9 percent while holding Northeastern to 37.3 percent. The Minutemen made only 3 of 17 from 3-point range, but the Huskies were just 3 of 15.

      Northeastern’s starters made 20 of 43 field-goal attempts, but its bench combined to make just 2 of 16. Massachusetts' reserves combined for 36 points on 17-of-32 shooting.

      The Minutemen opened the game with a 9-2 run and never trailed. They led 36-24 at the break and continued to extend their lead in the second half.

      UMass took advantage of its superior size to dominate the boards, amassing a 43-27 rebounding advantage.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Navy 67, Penn State-Harrisburg 42
    By The Sports Xchange

    A dominant game-closing run propelled Navy to its second consecutive win, as the Midshipmen bested the Penn State-Harrisburg Lions by a 67-42 margin on Wednesday night at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md.

    • Freshman forward Jace Hogan scored 14 points off the bench to pace Navy (2-4), which had lost its first four games this season -- including three straight by double digits -- before bouncing back against Binghamton on Sunday and then topping the Lions.

      Navy's latest win did not come easily. The Midshipmen led 21-16 at the half despite making 15 turnovers and shooting 7-of-18 from the field. The Division III Lions continued to hang around, trailing just 47-40 with 8:24 remaining before Navy went on a 20-2 run to finish the contest.

      Hogan was pivotal during that stretch, which he sparked with back-to-back layups. Seven of his 14 points came in the final 8:24 of the game.

      Hogan led four Midshipmen in double figures. Guard Zach Fong added 12 points, forward Edward Alade added 11 and guard Tilman Dunbar scored 10.

      Navy shot an even 50 percent (15-for-30) in the second half, and won the rebounding battle by a 42-20 margin. Alade grabbed nine boards.

      Forward Winton Lyle scored a team-high 12 points in 36 minutes to lead the Lions (0-6).

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Yale 82, Lafayette 60
    By The Sports Xchange

    Lafayette's hopes of a fourth consecutive win were dashed Wednesday night when Yale rolled to a 82-60 victory in New Haven, Conn.

    • The Bulldogs climbed to a commanding 51-28 edge at halftime and never looked back en route to their fifth straight win. Yale (5-1) opened the season with a double-overtime loss to Quinnipiac but has yet to be tested since, including Wednesday's rout.

      The Bulldogs had four players score in double figures: forward Justin Sears (17 points, nine rebounds), guard Javier Duren (15 points), guard Armani Cotton (11 points, 13 rebounds) and guard Makai Mason (10 points off the bench).

      Lafayette (3-2) got a team-high 11 points each from guards Seth Hinrichs and Nick Lindner. Guard Bryce Scott added 10 points.

      With four minutes to play in the first half and Lafayette already down 14 points, Yale increased the margin to 23 points at the break. The advantage grew to as many as 27 points in the second half, although Lafayette rallied a bit and trimmed the deficit to 15 points.

      The battle on the glass proved decisive, as the Bulldogs outrebounded the Leopards by a lopsided 47-20 margin.

      Yale and Lafayette last played a year ago in Easton, Pa., where the Bulldogs won 79-76. Overall, Yale leads the series 10-7, but Thursday's game marked the first time the teams played in New Haven since 1997.

      Lafayette will try to rebound from Wednesday's loss on Saturday at Farleigh Dickinson, while Yale hits the road for a Friday game at Providence.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Towson 97, Goucher 43
    By The Sports Xchange

    John Davis got his second straight double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds and Towson extended its winning streak to five games with a 97-43 victory over visiting Goucher on Wednesday night.

    • The Tigers (5-1) matched their best start since becoming a Division I program in 1979.

      Byron Hawkins scored 19 points, while Timajh Parker-Rivera had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Towson. Mike Morsell scored 13 points and Four McGlynn finished with 10.

      Chris Outing had 12 points for Division III Goucher (0-5), which shot 17 of 63 (27 percent) from the field.

      A layup by Ibraham Kallon gave the Gophers a 10-9 lead with 15:08 left in the first half.

      From there, though, Towson took control. A 3-pointer by Josh Ivory capped an 18-3 run and the Tigers led 28-12 with 9:03 remaining.

      Jamel Flash's layup in the final minute helped Towson take a 45-25 lead at the break. Goucher missed all seven of its 3-point attempts.

      The Tigers continued to pull away and opened the second half on a 27-7 run that extended the margin to 72-32 with 10:53 left.

      A pair of 3-pointers by Alex Gavrilovic and Hawkins provided an 87-36 lead with 3:49 left.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    New Mexico PG Neal out 3-5 weeks
    By The Sports Xchange

    New Mexico's leading scorer, point guard Cullen Neal, is expected to miss three to five weeks with a severe ankle sprain, the school said Wednesday.

    • Neal suffered the injury to his right ankle in New Mexico's loss to Boston College in Puerto Rico last Thursday. Neal will not require surgery, the school said.

      Neal had scored 49 points in the Lobos' first two games but was held to two points in 23 minutes against the Eagles.

      Meanwhile, Arthur Edwards is expected to miss four to six weeks with a dislocated finger on his right hand suffered in a 64-51 loss to Texas A&M on Sunday.

      With Neal and Edwards out, senior Hugh Greenwood will act as the starting point guard.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Morgan State 51, Liberty 50
    By The Sports Xchange

    Donte Pretlow scored with three seconds remaining to give Morgan State a 51-50 victory over Liberty on Wednesday in the third-place game of the Mayan Division at the Cancun Challenge.

    • It was the Bears' first victory of the season; they're now 1-5.

      Morgan State lost its last game, also in this tournament, on Tuesday as Elon scored with six seconds left to win 74-73.

      Morgan State found better luck in this game. Cedric Blossom led the Bears with 20 points, and his layup gave them a 49-48 lead in the final 30 seconds.

      Andrew Smith (team-high 12 points) then scored to put Liberty (2-4) up by one, but Pretlow got the winning basket.

      Morgan State next goes to Virginia Tech on Sunday. Liberty takes on Furman at home on Monday night.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    American 64, Hampton 60
    By The Sports Xchange

    Guard Pee Wee Gardner made a driving three-point play with 20 seconds left for the go-ahead basket as American subdued Hampton 64-60 on Wednesday afternoon in Norfolk, Va.

    • Guard Jesse Reed had 21 points and seven rebounds and guard John Schoof got all 18 of his points on 3-pointers.

      Gardner finished with 18 points and six assists for American (4-2), and forward Kevin Panzer wrapped it up by making two free throws with one second left.

      Hampton (1-5) was led by guards Deron Powers and Dwight Meikle, who scored 14 points each.

      Meikle hit a go-ahead jumper with 1:34 left to make it 60-59, but Hampton didn't score again.

      Hampton opened the game by making its first five shots from the floor -- including back-to-back 3-pointers by Powers -- to grab a 14-5 lead.

      American answered with a 3-pointer by Gardner. Reed then hit two free throws and two 3-pointers as the Eagles drew even at 18.

      Three straight 3-pointers by Schoof transformed a 43-42 deficit into a 51-43 lead in the second half. But Hampton answered with an 11-2 run, with three of the buckets by Powers, to regain the lead with eight minutes left.

      From there, it remained tight until the end.

      Hampton shot 51 percent from the floor. American was at 50 percent, but the Eagles hit 11 3-pointers to five for the Pirates.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Villanova defeats Michigan to win Legends Classic
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Villanova forward JayVaughn Pinkston's return to Brooklyn was a memorable one.

    • Playing at the Barclays Center, just 15 minutes from Bishop Loughlin High School where he was named New York's Mr. Basketball as a senior, Pinkston played a pivotal role in Villanova's 60-55 win over Michigan in the finals of the Progressive Legends Classic on Tuesday.

      The senior forward had the go-ahead basket and game-saving block in the final minute to provide No. 12 Villanova (5-0) with the win in a wild, back-and-forth game that had the atmosphere of an NCAA Tournament game.

      Pinkston put the Wildcats ahead 56-55 with a spin move and a one-handed bucket with 13.4 seconds left. The 6-foot-7 Pinkston then blocked Michigan forward Zak Irvin's dunk attempt off an inbounds pass with five seconds left.

      The tournament was the first time he played at Barclays since high school. Pinkston finished with eight points and nine rebounds. He scored 15 points in the tournament semifinal against VCU on Monday.

      Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono sank four free throws for the final verdict.

      Dylan Ennis, a junior guard and the tournament MVP, led the Wildcats with 15 points.

      Junior guard Caris LeVert topped No. 19 Michigan (4-1) with 16 points.

      "It was a fun experience to win the tournament in front of my family and friends," said Pinkston. "Coach (Jay Wright) always tells me to focus on my defense and the scoring will come."

      Against Michigan, it was the opposite, even though Pinkston admitted he "screwed up on the block."

      "I kind of messed up on the play," he said. "I saw someone fall down and I blocked the shot."

      Wright went into greater detail.

      "His (Pinkston's) job on that play is to not let anybody get the ball," Wright explained. "He got a little over-excited and jumped out. To get from where he was to block that ball was incredible.

      Ennis' 3-pointer from the right baseline tied the game at 51-51 with 2:44 to play, and sophomore guard Josh Hart's free throw put the Wildcats ahead 52-51. The two teams traded baskets before LaVert's jumper put the Wolverines ahead 55-54 with 58 seconds to go.

      Pinkston then hit the pivotal shot.

      Villanova seemed secure with a 33-22 lead early in the second half, but Irvin ignited a 25-8 run by the Wolverines with a jumper. He scored eight in the run as the Wolverines went ahead 47-41 with just under eight minutes left in the game.

      "I told the kids in the locker room how proud we were of them," said Michigan coach John Beilein. "I know that's coach speak, but it was 33-20 at the end of the first half. I sensed at that time that we had doubts if we would win the game.

      "I'm really proud of how their spirit changed. We became a different team."

      The Wolverines' scoring drought that ended the first half continued into the second. At one point, they burned two quick timeouts because they couldn't get the ball inbounds due to a stifling Wildcats defense.

      In the first half, LeVert scored eight straight points that eventually led to a 20-18 lead for the Wolverines. That lead was quickly erased thanks to a 9-0 run from the Wildcats that ended the half. Ennis contributed two layups and forward Kris Jenkins nailed a 3-pointer in the sequence.

      Michigan went the final 7:17 of the half without scoring, failing to convert any of its 10 shots.

      There was very little separation by either team early in the first half that featured eight lead changes.

      NOTES: VCU defeated Oregon, 77-63, in the tournament's consolation game. ... The last time Michigan and Villanova met was in the second round of the 1985 NCAA Tournament, eventually won by the Wildcats. ... Villanova was a unanimous pick to win the Big East Conference in the coaches preseason poll. ... Michigan played its fifth game in 10 days. ... Michigan coach John Beilein claimed five of the seven meetings with Villanova coach Jay Wright from 2003-07 when Beilein was coaching West Virginia.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Aztecs top Pitt, advance to Maui Invitational final
    By The Sports Xchange

    LAHAINA, Hawaii -- The Pittsburgh Panthers' early-season trip to paradise was anything but fun in the sun, and facing a versatile San Diego State Aztecs squad did not make matters any more enjoyable.

    • Four days after losing to the University of Hawaii as a double-digit favorite in what was supposed to be a tune-up for the EA Sports Maui Invitational, the Panthers were stifled by the well-rounded Aztecs 74-57 in the second semifinal Tuesday evening at the Lahaina Civic Center.

      "Well, obviously we don't feel real good about our performance tonight," said Pitt coach Jamie Dixon. "I told the players they have about an hour to feel sorry about themselves. We played against a very good team tonight that was older, quicker, stronger to the ball than us. We're going to come back and play better tomorrow. That was the message to our guys--they're big, they're strong, they have depth. I give them a lot of credit."

      Fifteenth-ranked San Diego State advances to Wednesday night's championship game, where it will face third-ranked Arizona.

      Less than 24 hours after squeaking past BYU in a 92-87 double-overtime thriller, San Diego State proved that short rest was not an issue by making short work of the Panthers. The squad from Southern California improved to 16-0 in its past 16 regular-season games when faced with 24 hours or less to prepare for an opponent.

      "I like how we played," said Aztecs coach Steve Fisher. "We played together, we guarded hard and made it difficult for them to get easy shots and we fought like crazy on the glass. They're a very good offensive rebounding team, and they showed it again tonight.

      "But I thought the way we played, shared the ball and moved the ball is indicative of maturity (and a team) that cares more about winning than their own personal stats. When we do that, we've got a chance, because we've got good players, you all know that. Tomorrow we play a team that's as good as any team in the country."

      The Aztecs (5-0) fell behind 2-0 to begin the game, but they would not trail again. San Diego State established a 14-point halftime lead that would swell to 20 early in the second half.

      The double-digit win added to San Diego State's impressive streak of 125 consecutive victories after holding a lead with five minutes to play.

      Guard Trey Kell led the Aztecs with 15 points and dished out three assists before getting an early trip to the bench to rest once the game was well in hand. Forward Winston Shepard gathered seven boards and added 13 points to aid San Diego State, which outshot Pitt from the field, 58.7 percent to 37.7 percent.

      "Over these past games ... I feel comfortable with my teammates and coaches," said Kell, a freshman. "I'm helping the team, and we're coming out with victories."

      Shepard, a junior playing in his second Hawaii tournament in three years, is growing fond of Island life -- especially with winning serving as the norm for the Aztecs.

      "I love it (Maui). Hopefully when I get to be Coach Fish's age, I'll have a house out here," Shepard said.

      Guard James Robinson led the Panthers with a game-high 17 points. He converted all six of his attempts from the foul line.

      Despite being overmatched, Pittsburgh (3-2) did not fold and used a 7-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from forward Ryan Luther to trim the Aztecs' lead to 13 with 15:22 remaining in the game. San Diego State countered by clamping down on defense, and after clogging the paint and employing aggressive full-court pressure, pushed its advantage back up to a comfortable 21-point margin midway through the second half.

      San Diego State junior forward Skylar Spencer continued his block party, posting five blocked shots a night after collecting five blocks against BYU. The Aztecs entered the game tied for 12th nationally with 28 blocked field goals and added 10 more to that total Tuesday night.

      The Panthers could not overcome 17 turnovers and did not take advantage of a surprising 35-22 edge in rebounding over the larger, more active Aztecs.

      NOTES: San Diego State improved to 5-0 to start the season for the fourth time under coach Steve Fisher and for the seventh time in the program's Division I history, which dates back 44 years. The last time the Aztecs opened a season 5-0, the squad finished at 34-3 and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. ... San Diego State made it to the semifinals by getting past BYU 92-87 in double overtime Monday evening. The Cougars responded earlier Tuesday by torching host school Chaminade 121-85 in consolation play, converting a school-record 17 of 29 3-point attempts in the blowout victory. ... Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon had two stints as an assistant coach with the University of Hawaii (1992-94 and 1998-99), where he served under former head coach Riley Wallace.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Maryland shuts down No. 13 Iowa State
    By The Sports Xchange

    KANSAS CITY, Mo.. -- Maryland's Mark Turgeon knows how to beat Iowa State.

    • Turgeon improved to 6-0 all-time against the Cyclones as a head coach, guiding the Terrapins to a 72-63 victory over 13th-ranked Iowa State in the championship game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Tuesday at Sprint Center.

      The Terrapins are off to a 5-0 start for the first time in eight seasons.

      "We were meeting as a staff last night, and we couldn't figure out what to do," Turgeon said following the game. "They were saying, 'We can't do this,' and 'We can't do that.'

      "I said, 'Should we just forfeit?' Finally I said, 'Everybody get out of my room and let me watch some film. We'll figure it out.'"

      Apparently they did.

      Forward Jake Layman and guard Jared Nickens each scored 15 points for the Terps. Guard Dez Wells had 14 points, and guard Melo Trimble added 11.

      "I thought Jared Nickens changed the game when he came in and whapped that (3-pointer)," Turgeon said. "He really got them spaced out."

      Nickens, a freshman, was not bashful. He finished 6-for-10 from the field, including 3-for-7 from 3-point range.

      "My teammates have confidence in me," he said. "Dez always tells me when I come in to do what I do, and that's to shoot. I just wanted to come in and have an impact in the game."

      The Terrapins led throughout the second half and sent home an unhappy partisan crowd three hours from the Iowa State campus.

      "It's fun to come home and win here," Turgeon said. "Kansas City has been such a great city for me my whole life, whether it's following the Chiefs and the Royals, watching games in Kansas City or playing in big games in Kansas City. It was just another great day in my life in Kansas City."

      Guard Bryce Dejean-Jones led Iowa State (3-1) with 17 points. Forward Georges Niang added 10 points.

      "First of all, give credit to Maryland," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. "They had a great game plan. It wasn't us. Look at the box. We had eight assists and seven turnovers. I don't remember the last time we had under double-digit assists in a game.

      "Adversity hit us, and we just kind of folded."

      The Terrapins pulled away in turtle-like fashion in the second half, out-trudging Iowa State 6-0 in the first 5:30 of the half. The Terps eventually built a 46-36 lead.

      Iowa State clawed back to within 51-46, but Nickens hit consecutive 3-pointers, sandwiched around a trey by Niang. When Wells hit a baseline jumper, the lead was back to 10 points.

      "They were doubling the post, so the perimeter shots were wide open," Nickens said. "That was part of our game plan heading into the game."

      Iowa State went cold again from the outside, and Maryland survived a Cyclones run down the stretch. The Terps led by as many as 15 points late in the game.

      Maryland hung tough early. The teams traded the lead before the Terrapins pulled out to a 23-16 advantage on back-to-back 3-pointers by Layman and Trimble.

      The Terps maintained the lead throughout the rest of the half behind nine points by Wells and eight points by Trimble. Maryland took a 37-34 edge into the locker room.

      Iowa State got 13 first-half points from Dejean-Jones.

      NOTES: Maryland faced Iowa State for the first time in basketball, but Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon has had his share of matchups with the Cyclones, posting a 10-5 record before Tuesday night. As a player at Kansas (1984-87), he was 5-5. His first collegiate game was against Iowa State. As a coach at Texas A&M, Turgeon went 5-0 against the Cyclones. ... Turgeon grew up about an hour west of Kansas City in Topeka, Kan. He expected about 50 family and friends to be in attendance. ... Iowa State was unable to earn a fifth consecutive win at Sprint Center after claiming the Big 12 Championship in the arena last March and an opening-round win over Alabama in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Monday. ... All five Iowa State starters came into the game averaging at least 13.5 points per game.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    No. 3 Arizona holds on to defeat Kansas State
    By The Sports Xchange

    LAHAINA, Maui -- In a battle of two scrappy Wildcat squads, the team boasting three Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 prospects and a veteran big man in the middle emerged victorious.

    • No. 3 Arizona overcame a sluggish start and held on for a 72-68 victory over Kansas State to claim a berth in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational Tuesday afternoon at the Lahaina Civic Center.

      Arizona (5-0) leaned on its 7-foot junior center Kaleb Tarczewski, who racked up a career-high 18 points and pulled down three key offensive rebounds. Fellow junior and Wooden Award prospect Brandon Ashley chipped in 10 points and five boards against an undersized K-State defensive unit.

      Trailing by a point at halftime, Kansas State (3-2) started the second half on a 4-0 run bolstered by two consecutive offensive fouls called against Arizona.

      Arizona roared back with a 5-0 run sparked by a 3-pointer by guard Gabe York (15 points) that put the 'Cats in front 36-34 three minutes into the period. That was the eighth lead change of the game.

      Arizona sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, another member of the Wooden watch list, asserted himself with two rim-rocking dunks that extended the team's scoring run to 9-2 and put his squad ahead 40-36 with 15 minutes remaining in the contest. The reserve led the way with eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

      After K-State went back in front 43-42 on a 7-2 streak capped by Thomas Gipson's hook shot, Arizona countered with a 10-0 run buoyed by back-to-back 3-pointers from guards T.J. McConnell and York as the game clock ticked under 10 minutes. The resulting nine-point lead would prove insurmountable as Kansas State would move no closer than within two points the rest of the way.

      "We left with a hard-fought victory," said Arizona coach Sean Miller. "We knew we were in a high-level game. We had a number of players go through things individually…that's why you come to Maui, to challenge yourself on a neutral court like we just did."

      Marcus Foster kept Kansas State in the game as the sophomore guard poured in 12 of his game-high 23 points in the final seven minutes. A traveling violation and resulting turnover by Foster with 1:08 to play negated what could have been a game-tying drive toward the rim.

      "Respect isn't a good enough word (for) how we categorize him as a player," Miller said when asked about Foster's stellar play. "There aren't too many guards who are better basketball players who mean more to their team. The thing I really admire is he does it through the flow of his team."

      Stanley Johnson, Arizona's third Wooden Award contender who was limited by early foul trouble, had 14 points in addition to seven rebounds. He also had a steal with 22 seconds remaining to help cement the victory.

      "College is very different than high school; way different, way more stakes on the line," said Johnson. "I think Kansas State's a really good team. For me as a freshman, this was really my first game where it was really intense ... you could feel it from the start in the game."

      There was no shortage of scoring early on as Kansas State built a 13-6 lead on the heels of forward Nino Williams' three-point play followed by a 3-pointer from Foster nearly five minutes into the contest.

      Kansas State employed a loose press on defense to slow Arizona's potent scorers, and K-State forced three early turnovers on the way to extending their advantage to 17-10 with 12 minutes to play in the opening half.

      Arizona did not panic, though, and relied on its superior size to build a 13-6 streak -- including a 6-0 run -- that tied the score at 19. During a scoring drought that lasted nearly eight minutes, Kansas State missed nine consecutive field-goal attempts.

      Kansas State ended the half with a last-second tip in from forward Stephen Hurt, cutting Arizona's lead to 31-30 at intermission. Kansas State managed to stay within striking distance by converting eight free throws and four treys that accounted for two-thirds of its scoring in the opening half.

      "They're very good ... sound system, they guard you," said Kansas State coach Bruce Weber after watching Arizona win the rebounding battle 30-23. "Rebounding hurt us a little bit; just some plays here or there that we could have found a way to win it. A little more discipline, a little more execution ... these guys (next to me) were very, very good. They gave us a chance to win.

      "Our young guys, it was a good experience for them. The new guys kind of struggled. We're going to have another tough competition (Wednesday) and we'll see what we can do."

      NOTES: Arizona is looking to win its third early-season "exempt" tournament in as many seasons. The Wildcats claimed the 2012 Diamond Head Classic held on Oahu and claimed the 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off crown. ... With the win, Arizona has now won 32 consecutive regular-season games against non-conference opponents, the longest such streak in the nation. ... Arizona has been ranked in 43 straight AP polls, including 23 consecutive weeks in the top 10 and 21 straight weeks in the top five. ... Kansas State had won four consecutive games on Hawaiian soil before Tuesday's loss ended that streak.

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Northern Iowa cruises past Hokies in Cancun Challenge
    By The Sports Xchange

    Northern Iowa Panthers coach Ben Jacobson may have a serious Missouri Valley Conference contender on his hands.

    • After upsetting Stephen F. Austin on the road a week ago, the Panthers team cruised past the Virginia Tech Hokies 73-54 on Tuesday Night in the Riviera Division of the Cancun Challenge.

      Northern Iowa finished with four players in double-figures, led in scoring by guard Matt Bohannon, who had 13 points. Forward Marvin Singleton finished the night with 10 points and nine rebounds, and forward Seth Tuttle added 11 points for the Panthers.

      The win guaranteed Northern Iowa (5-0) a spot in Wednesday night's championship round of the Cancun Challenge, and they will face the winner of Northwestern and Miami of Ohio. The Panthers are 5-0 for the first time in Jacobson¹s nine seasons as the head coach.

      Northern Iowa's veteran roster, which returns five starters and a couple of transfers, launched a balanced attack that confused and frustrated the Hokies. Tech struggled to defend the perimeter in the first half, which led to dribble-drive opportunities and open lanes for the Panthers in the second half.

      "Offensively we knew we were going to have to handle their pressure," Jacobson said. "I thought our guards and Tuttle did a very good job of forcing some help and finding the right guy."

      In that second half, the Panthers put together a 17-2 run that ultimately put the Hokies away for good. Jacobson credited his team with preventing the Hokies from getting into transition.

      "I thought our players did a good job of getting our defense set," said Jacobson. "VT does such a great job with their transition offense that setting out half-court defense was important."

      Virginia Tech (2-2) was unable to score consistently throughout the game. Nine Hokies broke into the scoring column, but only center Joey Van Zegeren finished in double-figures.

      Van Zegeren totaled 15 points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Ahmed Hill chipped in nine points.

      Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams acknowledged his team¹s inconsistency after the game.

      "I thought towards the end of the first half we played pretty good," Williams said. "Some way we've got to figure out, and it's my fault ­ how to put together consecutive possessions that makes it look like that looks like they know what they're doing."

      Jacobson's team wasted no time attacking the young Hokies.

      Northern Iowa jumped out to an early 22-12 lead behind stingy defense and hot shooting from the perimeter, as the Panthers connected on four of six 3-pointers to open the game.

      Northern Iowa led Tech at the intermission, 40-31.

      Seven Panthers scored in the first half, led by Bohannon and Nate Buss, who led all scorers with 10 points each.

      Northern Iowa shot 60 percent from the field and a blistering 54.5 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

      The Panthers' nine-point lead at the break can be attributed to the stark contrast between the two teams in free-throw attempts. Northern Iowa made 10-of-11 shots from the charity stripe.

      Virginia Tech attempted and made only one free throw in the first half.

      Tech shot 48 percent from the floor and 44 percent from the free throw line. Hill and guard Adam Smith combined for 15 of the Hokies' 40 first-half points. Van Zegeren contributed six points.

      The Hokies, who had been outrebounded in the opening half of recent games and figure to struggle on the glass this season, tied the Panthers with 11 rebounds at halftime.

      NOTES: Tuesday night marked the first-ever game between the Hokies and the Panthers. ... Northern Iowa F Seth Tuttle entered Wednesday as the team's leading scorer (17.0) and rebounder (7.3). ... Up next, Virginia Tech will play the loser of Northwestern -- Miami (OH) in the consolation game Wednesday night. Northern Iowa faces the winner of the same game in the championship game Wednesday night.

  • Tuesday, November 25, 2014
    Vanderbilt 63, Norfolk State 53
    By The Sports Xchange

    Norfolk State's second road game of the 2014-15 season ended up similar to its first. It wasn't quite the 28-point humbling received from Virginia nine days ago, but the Spartans were defeated 63-53 by Vanderbilt on Tuesday at Memorial Gym in Nashville.

    • After Norfolk State (2-3) jumped out to an early 9-5 lead, Vanderbilt (4-0) began taking command by going on a 15-2 run to go ahead 20-11. The Spartans got back to within three points before the Commodores finished the first half on a 15-3 run and led 38-23 at halftime. Vanderbilt only shot 32 percent from the floor during the second half, but its lead remained in double figures throughout the final 20 minutes of play.

      A key part to the Commodores' success Tuesday was their 3-point shooting, as they shot 41 percent from behind the arc. The freshmen trio of Riley LaChance, Matthew Fisher-Davis and Wade Baldwin IV accounted for eight of the nine 3-pointers Vanderbilt made on the evening. Baldwin IV scored a team-high 13 points, while LaChance had 12 points and Fisher-Davis finished with 11 points.

      Norfolk State's bright spot on the night was junior guard D'Shon Taylor, who shot 9-of-11 from the foul line and finished with game highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Senior forward Malik Thomas had 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting for the Spartans while dealing with foul trouble for most of the second half.

      Now having fulfilled its road game requirements for the Barclays Center Classic, Norfolk State will travel to Jersey City, N.J., for a pair of contests this holiday weekend. The first game takes place Friday against St. Francis (N.Y.).