Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • Saturday, January 31, 2015
    Arizona 57, Oregon State 34
    By The Sports Xchange

    TUCSON, Ariz. - Oregon State utilized the same formula it used earlier in the season in its upset of Arizona, but with less success this time, as the sixth-ranked Wildcats beat the Beavers 57-34 on Friday, stretching Arizona's winning streak to six games.

    • The Beavers' zone defense gave the Wildcats trouble in spots, as Arizona shot just 41 percent and turned the ball over 16 times. But Oregon State's offensive strategy of taking 30 or more seconds off the shot clock to limit possessions did not work, as the Beavers (14-7, 5-4 Pac-12) made just 29 percent of their shots and had 17 turnovers of their own.

      The Beavers outrebounded Arizona in the first meeting, but this time out it was the taller Wildcats (20-2, 8-1) who won the battle on the glass 37-27.

      Forward Brandon Ashley led the Wildcats with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 11 points.

      No Oregon State player scored in double figures. Forward Olaf Schaftenaar led the Beavers with eight points, thanks to a pair of second-half 3-pointers.

      Arizona was held scoreless for the first 4:54 of the second half, but Oregon State could do little to take advantage, getting just four points in the stretch thanks to a pair of foul shots by Schaftenaar and a dunk by forward Daniel Gomis.

      Reserve guard Elliott Pitts finally got Arizona back on the scoreboard with back-to-back buckets. Point guard T.J. McConnell found the sophomore in transition, and Pitts converted a tough lay-up and drew the foul for a three-point play. On the next possession he was left wide open for a three from the wing and pushed the Wildcat lead back up to 30-17.

      Oregon State used back-to-back buckets to trim the lead to single digits, but Ashley got hot, scoring seven points as part of a 13-4 run that left little chance for the Beavers to come back.

      Ashley started the run with a jumper and then after a pair of Kaleb Tarczewski foul shots, Ashley scored twice off of misses. First he grabbed his own miss and buried a soft hook, then corralled a rebound, made the bucket and drew the foul. His foul shot made it 39-24 with 10:34 left.

      Oregon State went scoreless over the final 7:45 of the first half and Arizona took advantage, going on an 11-0 run to close out the half and take a 24-13 lead into the locker room.

      The Beavers missed their final six shots of the half, committing four turnovers. Conversely, Arizona found a bit of a rhythm over the final 5:39. Guard Gabe York broke the tie with a 3-point shot and the Wildcats kept attacking, getting to the line on three-straight scoring plays, including a pair of and-one opportunities.

      Forward Stanley Johnson capped the first half scoring by grabbing a long defensive rebound and racing coast-to-coast for the score.

      Both teams started slowly, combining for more turnovers, seven, than points, six. Down 4-2 Arizona scored seven of the next eight to grab a 9-6 lead. Hollis-Jefferson scored on a three-point play, getting a lay-up and foul, then T.J. McConnell nailed a 3-pointer.

      Despite going nearly three minutes without a score, the Wildcats did not relinquish the lead. When Ashley snapped the 2:58 scoreless streak with a dunk Arizona went up five three. On the next possession Johnson converted a drive to the lane and the Wildcats led 13-8, but it was short-lived as the Beavers scored the next five, getting a Malcolm Duvivier three and a tip-in from Gary Payton II, and tied the game at 13.

      NOTES: Arizona was without the services of freshman G Parker Jackson-Cartwright. He was in street clothes after suffering a concussion against Oregon State on Wednesday. ... Not only did Arizona play a rare Friday night Pac-12 game, but it was an even more rare second game of the two-game home stand. Traditionally Pac-12 teams play the second game on Saturdays and Sundays. ... Arizona had their fans take part in a red and white out, with alternating sections of fans wearing all red or all white.

  • Friday, January 30, 2015
    UCLA downs No. 11 Utah
    By The Sports Xchange

    LOS ANGELES -- Guard Norman Powell scored a game-high 23 points and guard Isaac Hamilton scored eight straight points during a key stretch of the second half as the UCLA Bruins defeated the No. 11 Utah Utes 69-59 in a Pac-12 game Thursday at Pauley Pavilion.

    • The Bruins (12-9, 4-4 Pac-12) used what could be described as a deliberate attack throughout the game, walking the ball up on offense, working it around the perimeter to take time off the clock and then looking for open lanes to attack the basketball.

      Powell made nine of 16 shot attempts, the great majority of those coming on drives to the basket out of the UCLA halfcourt offense. Fueling a lot of that energy was the sting of a humiliating 32-point loss to the Utes in Salt Lake City on Jan. 4.

      "This was a really big win for us," Powell said. "We had some really bad losses to ranked teams. Today, as soon as we walked into the locker room, you could see that coach had written the score from the previous Utah game on the board. You saw that and it was just embarrassing. In that game we didn't fight back, I was glad to see how this team competed tonight."

      The deliberate pace the Bruins conducted their offense helped them keep their turnovers down to just six while forcing the Utes into 14, eight of those coming by way of UCLA steals.

      "We really competed, I loved our fight tonight," said UCLA coach Steve Alford. "(Utah) was first in the league at turning teams over and we only had six for the game. That was especially important to start the second half; we had a terrific start to the second half, it was real important to build on our lead immediately, and we did."

      The Bruins, who led 33-30, at the half, built it to 41-30, on yet another Powell layup with 15:02 to go in the game.

      For a team that not only came in highly ranked, but averaging 75 points a game while limiting opponents to 56, the Utes (16-4, 6-2) played a curiously tepid game. Utah rarely attacked the UCLA interior defense and never seemed to work up much of a sweat throughout the game.

      "That was a tough game for us," said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. "There were a lot of things we talked about doing the last couple of days that we just didn't accomplish tonight. UCLA outplayed us and out-scrapped us."

      Hamilton's 3-pointer with 7:57 remaining gave the Bruins a 56-41 lead and capped a personal run of eight straight points in less than 90 seconds.

      Even after allowing Hamilton to dominate in that brief stretch, Utah still played at a speed usually reserved for a team leading.

      One of the factors that may have kept the Utes off-balance was Alford's constant switching of attacking defenses ranging from an extended 1-2-2 zone that attacked Utah ball-handlers, to an aggressive man-to-man to a full-court press. The Utes didn't actually play poorly in terms of stats, they shot 48 percent from the field, but they never seemed to match UCLA's energy or focus.

      "We didn't play with energy," said Utah guard Delon Wright. "We waited for things to happen but they never came. One of the problems was when things weren't going our way tonight, we couldn't find out how to fix it."

      The Utes were led in scoring by guards Delon Wright, who had 15, and Brandon Taylor, who had 14.

      The Bruins outscored the Utes 27-14 over the final 12 1/2 minutes for a 33-30 halftime lead.

      After Utah took a 13-6 lead with 12:29 left, it seemed to be bothered by a UCLA zone that double-teamed its ball-handling guards and had a hard time getting into any kind of rhythm.

      Meanwhile, UCLA was finding ways to exploit Utah's interior defense, scoring inside often, especially Powell, who led all scorers with 12 first half points. Bruins guard Bryce Alford, who had gone scoreless on 0-for-10 shooting, had eight of UCLA's first 20 points and his 3-point shot gave the Bruins a 20-17 lead with 7:12 left in the first half.

      NOTES: Utah and the University of Virginia are the only teams ranked in the top 15 in both offensive defensive efficiency. ... The 39 points UCLA scored in in their Jan. 4 rout (71-39) of the Bruins, the lowest point total by a UCLA team since a 34-25 win at Oregon in 1967. ... The Bruins hold an 8-6 advantage in the last 14 meetings between the two schools. ... Utah has not beaten UCLA in Los Angeles since an 88-79 victory in 1961.

  • Friday, January 30, 2015
    Top 25 roundup: Kentucky pulls away from Mizzou
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Oft the bearers of the guillotine this season, top-ranked Kentucky instead relied on a slow bleed to beat Missouri 69-53 Thursday.

    • The Wildcats (20-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) extended their perfect start, while the Tigers (7-13, 1-6) absorbed their sixth SEC defeat.

      Sophomore guard Andrew Harrison led Kentucky with 15 points. He attempted four field goals -- making all of them -- and converted on nine of his 11 free-throw attempts. After leading 34-25 at halftime, Kentucky made seven of 19 field-goal attempts in the second half but pushed the lead to as many as 20 points thanks to a 20-of-27 performance at the free-throw line.

      Guard Wes Clark led Missouri with 19 points. He added four assists, four rebounds and three steals in 35 minutes.

      Gonzaga 64, Portland 46

      Forward Donatas Sabonis and center Przemek Karnowski posted double-doubles, and the third-ranked Bulldogs pulled away for a West Coast Conference win over the Pilots in Spokane, Wash.

      Sabonis led Gonzaga (21-1, 10-0 WCC) with 13 points, while Karnowski scored 10 points. They each pulled down 11 boards. Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos added 10 points.

      Guards Bryce Pressley and Bobby Sharp topped Portland (12-10, 3-7) with nine points apiece. The Pilots trailed just 31-25 at halftime before the Bulldogs opened the margin.

      UCLA 69, Utah 59

      LOS ANGELES -- Guard Norman Powell scored a game-high 23 points, and guard Isaac Hamilton added eight consecutive points during a key stretch of the second half as the Bruins defeated the 11th-ranked Utes.

      Powell made nine of 16 shot attempts, the great majority of those coming on drives to the basket out of the half-court offense. Guard Bryce Alford added 14 points and seven assists for UCLA (12-9, 4-4 Pac-12), and Hamilton finished with 11 points.

      Utah (16-4, 6-2) rarely attacked the UCLA interior defense and never seemed to work up much of a sweat throughout the game. Utes guard Delon Wright scored 15 points, and guard Brandon Taylor added 14 points and five assists.

      Ohio State 80, Maryland 56

      COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Freshman guard D'Angelo Russell compiled 18 points, 14 rebounds and six assists to help the Buckeyes defeat the 16th-ranked Terrapins.

      Ohio State (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) was led by sophomore guard Marc Loving's 19 points off the bench. Loving hit all five of his attempts from 3-point range. Freshman forward Jae'Sean Tate added 16 points.

      Guard Dez Wells had 12 points and guard Jake Layman 10 for Maryland (18-4, 6-3).

  • Friday, January 30, 2015
    No. 1 Kentucky outlasts Missouri
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Often the bearers of the guillotine this season, the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats instead relied on a slow bleed to send the Missouri Tigers to their sixth straight conference loss with a 69-53 defeat.

    • Kentucky (20-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) led Missouri (7-13, 1-6) by nine at halftime and the final 20 minutes of the game began with a deluge of fouls. Kentucky was in the bonus not five minutes into the second half. In the first 3:24 following halftime, the teams combined for 10 fouls and two total points.

      With 10:01 left in the game, both teams were in the double bonus. After a quick and painless 86-37 win over Missouri on Jan. 13, Thursday's game was anything but.

      "We knew they were going to come out and be physical," Kentucky center Dakari Johnson said. "That's how teams are going to play us, just try to be physical with us, and we have to play physical back."

      John Calipari echoed his player's statement, believing that this game plan -- physical play, high-fouls -- will become more common place against his young team.

      "I guess that's the M.O.," Calipari said. "Be really physical, body-to-body, you know. We're going to have to figure it out and play through it."

      Sophomore guard Andrew Harrison led Kentucky in scoring with 15 points. He attempted four field goals -- making all of them -- and converted on nine of his 11 free-throw attempts.

      In the second half, Kentucky made seven of 19 field-goal attempts, and extended its lead to as many as 20 points. It did that on the back of a 20-of-27 performance at the free-throw line in the final 20 minutes.

      "We just couldn't handle their size," Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. "They did a great job of getting the ball inside, and we fouled. We fouled way too much.

      "They're the No. 1-team in the country. I can certainly see why."

      Missouri was led by Wes Clark, who scored 19 points. He added four assists, four rebounds and three steals in 35 minutes. Remarkably, he was the only Missouri player to not get whistled for a foul, as three of his teammates fouled out. Clark rebounded after two missed free throws against Arkansas sent Missouri to a one-point loss on Saturday.

      "The coaching staff, the players ... stood behind me with the tough loss," Clark said. "It gave me confidence to come and play a lot better."

      "I knew he would (bounce back)," Anderson said. "I wasn't near as worried about Wes as everyone else was because -- I mean I was concerned and I was there for him, and I told him, as I told you guys, hey, you didn't lose the game. The game was lost, there were several possessions where that game was lost.

      "I thought he'd respond."

      After getting run out of Rupp Arena in Lexington two weeks ago, Missouri engaged in a surprising back-and-forth first half against the top-ranked Wildcats.

      Kentucky began with a 6-0 start, but five lead changes saw Missouri take an eventual 17-16 lead with 7:25 remaining on a jumper by freshman guard Namon Wright.

      The Wildcats' size took over, however. Missouri settled for 11 3-point attempts -- making three of them -- while Kentucky got the ball into the post at will. Led by six points from 6-foot-11 forward Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky ended the half on an 18-8 run to lead by nine.

      Missouri, however, got an unexpected six points off the bench from forward Ryan Rosburg, who supplied all the scoring for Missouri over a nearly five-minute stretch late in the first half.

      Fouls turned the first half into a sloppy, mistake-filled start for both teams. Both teams were in the bonus by the 7:12 mark, and Kentucky and Missouri each had seven turnovers.

      Kentucky proved to be the more balanced of the two teams, as expected. Nine of the 10 Wildcat players to see the floor in the first half scored. Forward Willy Cauley-Stein was the only Kentucky player to not score.

      "We had 10 guys score baskets," Calipari said. "I love that."

      NOTES: Thursday's game was the first for Kentucky G Devin Booker in Columbia, Mo., as a college player. Booker, a freshman, is the son of former Missouri star Melvin Booker. The younger Booker chose Kentucky over Missouri out of high school. Booker struggled, however, finishing with nine points on 3-of-7 shooting with four turnovers ... Missouri F Ryan Rosburg scored his first points since the Tigers' loss to Auburn on Jan. 10. It was his first game with multiple field goals since Missouri's win over SE Missouri State on Dec. 2. ... Missouri G Keith Shamburger did not start on Thursday, the first time this season the Hawaii transfer did not begin the game as a starter.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Russell, Ohio State knock off No. 16 Maryland
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State went to a smaller lineup the past three games but is playing bigger.

    • Facing a taller Maryland team, the Buckeyes outrebounded the 16th-ranked Terrapins by wide margin and rode another all-around sterling performance from freshman guard D'Angelo Russell to an 80-56 win Thursday.

      Russell finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. In the past three games, all wins, he is averaging 24.3 points, nine rebounds and 7.3 assists.

      "Russell is a pretty special player, especially when he's making shots over hands," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.

      Coupled with an 82-70 win over No. 22 Indiana on Sunday, the Buckeyes (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) have consecutive victories over ranked teams. It is the first time an unranked Ohio State squad pulled off that feat since beating Purdue and Wisconsin in 2010.

      "That was probably the most consistent we've played over 40 minutes," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.

      While Russell had a big game, the Buckeyes were led by reserve sophomore guard Marc Loving's 19 points. Loving shot 5-for-5 from 3-point range. Freshman forward Jae'Sean Tate added 16 points and eight rebounds, including five on the offensive end.

      Ohio State posted a 51-32 rebounding advantage.

      "We weren't very tough tonight," Turgeon said. "They were tougher than we were. I don't know if I've ever had a team that got outrebounded like that."

      Senior guard Dez Wells had 12 points and junior guard Jake Layman 10 for Maryland, who trailed 34-26 at halftime.

      The Terrapins (18-4, 6-3) shot 18-for-59, 30.5 percent, from the floor for the game.

      "We just didn't have it tonight," Turgeon said. "I hope it's an aberration."

      Russell, who is 6-foot-5, said he felt he wasn't contributing his share to the rebounding chores until recently.

      "It's something that I did take upon myself to rebound better," he said.

      So did the rest of the team. Ohio State was averaging 30.6 rebounds per Big Ten game compared to 33.6 for is opponents before playing Maryland.

      "Early in the season, we really struggled rebounding," Tate said. "That's been a key point of practice."

      Tate helped the Buckeyes increase an eight-point halftime lead to 48-32 within the first four minutes of the second half. He scored seven of Ohio State's first eight points to spark the run.

      Maryland was down 60-47 when Russell, with the shot clock down to five seconds, banked a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 63-47 margin with just over seven minutes left.

      The game was supposed to duel between Russell and freshman guard Melo Trimble, the Terrapins' leading scorer at 16.3 points per game. Trimble missed all eight of his shots from the floor and wound up with three points.

      Russell did it all in the first half. He had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Loving was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc as part of his 11 points in 16 minutes.

      Loving was replaced in the starting lineup by Tate the past three games but doesn't mind the switch because he was on the floor for 31 minutes against Maryland.

      "My motivation didn't change because my role on the team didn't change," Loving said. "It was a good night. I was able to knock down some shots."

      Wells had nine points at the break for the Terrapins, who made nine of 27 shots from the field (33.3 percent) in the first half and were behind by as any as 13 before closing the deficit at the break.

      Maryland was frigid from the floor but stayed in the game because Ohio State was not much better at the onset of a sloppy first half.

      The Terrapins missed their first seven shots from the floor, but the Buckeyes were only 3-for-13 and led 7-3 after seven minutes. A dunk by freshman forward Michal Cekovsky off a pass from freshman guard Dion Wiley gave Maryland its first bucket with 12:29 to go.

      After Wells made a 3-pointer to pull Maryland within 16-15, the Buckeyes went on a 12-0 run beginning with a Loving jumper with 6:36 left. Ohio State senior forward Anthony Lee soon followed with a free throw to make it 19-15.

      Then Russell took over. He picked up a loose ball after a Lee block and hit a trey while being fouled. He made the foul shot for a four-point play and then sank another 3-pointer before two free throws from Tate upped the score to 28-15.

      NOTES: Ohio State G De'Angelo Russell did not commit a turnover for the second time in three games and for the third time in nine conference games... Maryland was averaging 18.6 free throws made per game but went to the line only 16 times and made 11 vs. the Buckeyes... Ohio State is 5-2 all-time vs. the Terrapins, including 3-0 in Columbus.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Duke dismisses top reserve Sulaimon
    By The Sports Xchange

    With a big game at No. 2 Virginia looming this weekend, fourth-ranked Duke released top reserve Rasheed Sulaimon on Thursday.

    • "Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program," coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. "After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program."

      Sulaimon, a junior guard, had averaged 7.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 19.3 minutes this season. He scored three points in 12 minutes during Duke's 77-73 loss at Notre Dame on Wednesday.

      The Blue Devils (17-3, 4-3 ACC) play at Virginia (19-0, 7-0) on Saturday in a game that could eliminate Duke from contention for the ACC season title.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Arizona pulls away from Oregon
    By The Sports Xchange

    TUCSON, Ariz. -- Thanks to a series of second half runs and a size advantage, sixth-ranked Arizona wore down Oregon for a 90-56 win Wednesday, the Wildcats' fifth consecutive victory.

    • Arizona (19-2, 7-1 Pac-12) swept the regular-season series, as they prevailed 80-62 when the teams met in Eugene, Ore., on Jan. 8.

      The Ducks (14-7, 4-4) saw their two-game winning streak end.

      After Oregon used an 8-0 run to trim Arizona's lead to 56-46 with 13:06 to play, the Wildcats went on a 17-1 surge to quash the comeback.

      Wildcats junior guard Gabe York scored the first nine points of outburst. York knocked down two 3-pointers and added a transition three-point play to push the lead back to 19. He added a jumper late in the sequence.

      Thirteen of York's team-high 16 points came in the second half.

      "Gabe was instrumental in that run, and that was good to see," Arizona coach Sean Miller said.

      York is rounding into form after sustaining an ankle injury that caused him to miss the Colorado game on Jan. 15 and limited him to six minutes against Utah on Jan. 17.

      Oregon took advantage of its four-guard lineup and opened the second half by scoring eight of the first 10 points thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from guard Jalil Abdul-Bassit.

      "In three or four consecutive possessions, they can make threes and do things because they have four guards out there," said Miller, who said the guard-heavy lineup spreads a defense out.

      Arizona countered the smaller Oregon group by attacking the paint, going on a 13-3 run with all 13 coming in the lane. Center Kaleb Tarczewski started things off with a hook shot that led to a three-point play, and forwards Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson got to the rim for the Wildcats' next three field goals.

      "We got it down to a 10-point game in the second half, but a couple turnovers really hurt us," Oregon coach Dana Altman said.

      The Ducks shot just 38.1 percent in the second half, when they were outscored 48-29. Altman lamented his team's inability to make shots.

      "We had a couple of chances to get some good shots and to finish plays, but were didn't make them," Altman said. "Elgin (Cook) helped us in the first half, but we just continually broke down."

      Wildcats forward Brandon Ashley scored 13 points, and Johnson contributed 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. Tarczewski and Hollis-Jefferson had 11 points apiece.

      Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell hit all five of his field-goal attempts en route to 10 points -- all in the first half. McConnell added five assists and did not commit a turnover.

      "When we take care of the ball and move the ball, good things follow," Miller said.

      Cook paced Oregon with 16 points, but the forward scored just three points in the second half. Guard Joseph Young had 12 points, and forward Dillon Brooks finished with 11.

      The Wildcats outrebounded the Ducks 34-20 and outshot them from the floor, 59.3 percent to 40.4 percent. Arizona committed 10 turnovers, but just one in the second half. Oregon gave the ball away 16 times.

      Arizona's bench outscored Oregon's 33-13. In addition to York's 16, center Dusan Ristic had nine on 3-of-3 shooting. Senior Matt Korcheck capped the night with a breakaway dunk that ignited the crowd one last time.

      The Ducks jumped out to an 8-6 lead, but Hollis-Jefferson tied the score with a jumper. McConnell followed with a layup that gave Arizona the lead for good at 10-8.

      Arizona surged at the end of the half, scoring the final six points to take a 42-27 lead to the break. Hollis-Jefferson's dunk in the final second pushed the margin to 15, the Wildcats' largest advantage to that point.

      NOTES: The Ducks wore bright green throwback jerseys with yellow "Oregon" placed under the numbers. ... In an unusual scheduling quirk, the Wildcats and Ducks met for the second time in less than three weeks. ... NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton provided color commentary for the Pac-12 Network, marking the third consecutive game at the McKale Center that Walton handled the chores. He also called one of the Wildcats' two games in the Bay Area. ... The Ducks complete their Super Bowl week in the desert when they play at Arizona State on Friday night. The Wildcats play host to Oregon State on Friday night. ... Oregon fell to 0-3 on their opponents' home court this season. The Ducks are 13-2 at home and 1-2 at neutral sites, beating Illinois 77-70 in Chicago on Dec. 13.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Top 25 roundup: No. 8 Notre Dame tops No. 4 Duke
    By The Sports Xchange

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Sophomore Steve Vasturia nailed a key 3-pointer from the corner with 22 seconds left to help eighth-ranked Notre Dame beat fourth-ranked Duke 77-73 on Wednesday night in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.

    • It was Notre Dame's sixth comeback win from a double-digit deficit this season.

      Duke, which beat St. John's 77-68 on Sunday to make coach Mike Krzyzewski the only Division I men's basketball coach with 1,000 victories, fell to 17-3 overall and 4-3 in the ACC. Notre Dame improved to 20-2 overall and 8-1 in the ACC.

      Senior guard Jerian Grant led Notre Dame with 23 points, 12 assists and six rebounds. Vasturia, a guard, finished with seven points, but the 3-point dagger was his only field goal of the game in five attempts.

      Freshman center Jahlil Okafor led the Blue Devils with 22 points and 17 rebounds.

      No. 6 Arizona 90, Oregon 56

      TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Wildcats broke the game open with a 17-1 second-half run, and they routed the Ducks for their fifth consecutive victory.

      The Wildcats (19-2, 7-1 Pac-12) swept the regular-season series, as they prevailed 80-62 when the teams met in Eugene, Ore., on Jan. 8. The Ducks (14-7, 4-4) saw their two-game winning streak end.

      After Oregon used an 8-0 run to trim Arizona's lead to 56-46 with 13:06 to play, Wildcats junior guard Gabe York scored the first nine points of the 17-1 surge to quash the comeback. York knocked down two 3-pointers and added a transition three-point play to push the lead back to 19. He added a jumper late in the run. Thirteen of York's team-high 16 points came in the second half.

      No. 9 Kansas 64, TCU 61

      FORT WORTH, Texas -- Kansas guard Frank Mason went to the hoop for the big baskets the Jayhawks needed and TCU's last-second prayer went unanswered.

      Mason scored 16 points and guard Brannen Greene made five key free throws and blocked a shot in the final minute as Kansas (17-3, 6-1 Big 12) held on at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. TCU reserve guard Charles Hill’s 30-footer at the buzzer hit the back iron and bounced away.

      Point guard Kyan Anderson led TCU with 17 points. However, the Horned Frogs (14-6, 1-6 Big 12), who have had free-throw struggles during much of conference play so far, made just 15 of 29 from the line.

      No. 10 Louisville 79, Boston College 72

      BOSTON -- Louisville ended a tough day of travel with a tough ACC victory over Boston College.

      Guards Chris Jones and Terry Rozier combined for 51 points, 34 in the second half, as the Cardinals (17-3, 5-2 ACC), in their first year in the conference, never trailed. They arrived in Boston about six hours before game time because of Tuesday's blizzard.

      Rozier, who also got BC guard and main offensive weapon Olivier Hanlan in foul trouble in the second half, scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and wound up with a career-high 28 points.

      Boston College (9-10, 1-6) lost despite a career-high 28 points by guard Aaron Brown.

      No. 12 Wichita State 58, Loyola (Chicago) 47

      WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita State survived an ugly grinder against Loyola (Chicago) at Koch Arena.

      It took almost 10 minutes in the second half for the Shockers (19-2, 9-0 Missouri Valley Conference) to build a comfortable lead. A 9-0 run, capped by junior guard Ron Baker's 3-pointer, gave the home team a 44-30 lead. Wichita State held Loyola (13-8, 3-6) scoreless for almost six minutes.

      Wichita State is 9-0 in the MVC for the second straight season. It extended its modern-day MVC record to 27 regular-season wins and its home win streak, also a record, to 28 games.

      Junior guard Fred VanVleet led Wichita State with a career-high 27 points, 16 in the first half. Baker added 16, 14 in the second half. Junior guard Devon Turk led Loyola with nine points.

      No. 18 Northern Iowa 59, Southern Illinois 52

      CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Northern Iowa went from upset alert to cruise control in a six-minute span of the second half on Wednesday night. Scoring on nine straight possessions, the Panthers turned a tight Missouri Valley Conference game into their eighth straight win.

      Guard Paul Jesperson came off the bench to score 13 points for Northern Iowa (19-2, 8-1), making 5 of 6 shots from the floor. Forward Seth Tuttle added 13 points and nine rebounds, and reserve forward Nate Buss contributed 11 points for the Panthers.

      Reserve center Ibby Djimde scored 10 points for Southern Illinois (9-13, 2-7), which lost for the ninth time in 11 games. Guard Anthony Beane, the team's leading scorer at 16.5 points per game, sank only 2 of 9 shots from the field and had just five points.

      Purdue 83, No. 22 Indiana 67

      WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue used 63 percent shooting from the field in the first half and tenacious defense throughout to cruise to a Big Ten win over Indiana in Mackey Arena.

      Junior guard Rapheal Davis led the Boilermakers with 19 points. Junior guard Yogi Ferrell paced the Hoosiers with 21.

      After having lost 13 straight games to ranked opponents, Purdue has wins over back-to-back ranked foes, defeating then No. 25 Iowa 67-63 on Saturday. It also is the second consecutive season that Purdue has beaten Indiana in Mackey Arena.

      Purdue (13-8, 5-3 Big Ten) began the second half on an 8-0 blitz, which increased a 38-27 lead to 46-27, essentially knocking Indiana (15-6, 5-3) out of a chance to rally.

      Georgia Tech 70, No. 23 Miami 50

      CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Last-place Georgia Tech won its first ACC game of the season, upsetting Miami at the BankUnited Center.

      Georgia Tech (10-10, 1-7 ACC), which snapped a seven-game losing streak, was led by shooting guard Marcus Georges-Hunt's 24 points.

      Miami was betrayed by its offense. The Hurricanes' top two scorers, junior guards Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan, were both shut down. McClellan had six points and Rodriguez was held scoreless, missing all eight of his shots from the field. Center Tonye Jekiri led Miami (14-6, 4-3) with 13 points and nine rebounds. But Miami shot just 34.5 percent from the floor and Georgia Tech shot 56.8 percent.

      Georgia Tech entered the night as the only winless team in conference play. It was the first victory this calendar year for Georgia Tech, which had not prevailed since beating Charlotte on Dec. 30.

      No. 24 Oklahoma 81, Texas Tech 36

      NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma held Texas Tech without a field goal for two long stretches, took control early and never let up in the Big 12 game.

      Junior forward Ryan Spangler scored a season-high 20 to lead the Sooners (13-7, 4-4 Big 12). Junior guard Buddy Hield added 15 and junior guard Isaiah Cousins 13.

      Texas Tech (11-10, 1-7) was coming off an upset of No. 9 Iowa State on Saturday for its first Big 12 win of the year. But there was little chance of the Red Raiders turning it into a winning streak as Oklahoma continually stretched the lead throughout.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Davis carries Purdue past No. 22 Indiana
    By The Sports Xchange

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The nonconference losses to North Florida and Gardner Webb seem so long ago now for a Purdue basketball team that suddenly has regained its swagger.

    • Junior guard Rapheal Davis and sophomore guard Bryson Scott provided tenacious defense and timely offense Wednesday night in the Boilermakers' emphatic 83-67 victory against No. 22 Indiana in Mackey Arena.

      Davis scored a team-best 19 points and helped non-starting guard Scott defensively, as Purdue limited Indiana 3-point shooting specialists Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon, Jr. to a combined two 3-pointers on 11 attempts. Overall, Indiana was 4 of 19 from beyond the arc and shot only 37.9 percent.

      Purdue shot 58.7 percent overall, making 23 of 32 two-point attempts.

      "We were able to get into those guys very well," Davis said of the defense on Ferrell and Blackmon. "We made things tough. We limited their open looks, and they didn't shoot the ball very well early. Then Bryson Scott came in and gave us that push defensively. He played good defense on Yogi. He was the hero of this game.

      "In watching Indiana's games, some guys let them get comfortable and get their rhythm. When Yogi and James get their rhythm, they are really, really good. Coach talked to us about not letting them have those rhythm jumpers. We followed the scouting report."

      Ferrell and Blackmon needed 33 shots to combine for 34 points.

      "That was the key to the victory," Scott said. "We wanted to stop them from getting into rhythm. They are capable of making shots, and we took that away from them. If we do a better job rebounding, things will take care of themselves.

      "I was inspired by the way (non starter) Basil Smotherman played Saturday against Iowa. I haven't been in the best position with the coaches, but I waited for my opportunity. They gave it to me tonight, and I took advantage of it. I am capable of doing things like this. Whenever they need me, I am ready."

      The Boilermakers used 63 percent first-half field-goal shooting and tenacious defense throughout the night to cruise to this signature victory against their arch rival.

      After having lost 13 consecutive games to ranked opponents, Purdue has victories against back-to-back ranked foes, defeating then-No. 25 Iowa 67-63 on Saturday.

      It also is the second consecutive season Purdue has beaten Indiana at Mackey Arena -- 82-64 last year when the Boilermakers finished 5-13 in Big Ten action.

      For Indiana coach Tom Crean, it was a matter of not doing the simple things they practiced.

      "We were not good enough in the paint," Crean said. "Tonight, our best post defender was 6-3. It wasn't just the center position. We just didn't guard the paint well enough. Our aggressiveness on offense did not turn into what it should have been. It was simple basketball. It wasn't so much the turnovers, it was the drives.

      "Some of the drives we made defy description. It's funny that Yogi never gets his shot blocked because he understands how to keep driving. We have to keep teaching these guys how to simplify the game. Against a team like Purdue that plays with an edge and with passion, we have to simplify things"

      Purdue center A.J. Hammons blocked eight Indiana shots.

      Purdue (13-8, 5-3 in the Big Ten) began the second half on an 8-0 blitz, which increased a 38-27 lead to 46-27, essentially knocking the Hoosiers (15-6, 5-3) out of an opportunity to rally.

      Another 8-0 Boilermakers run from the 11:37 mark until 8:54 remained for a 62-44 advantage.

      The Hoosiers, who lost Sunday at Ohio State, entered as the nation's 12th-highest scoring team at 81.4 but struggled to get anyone other than Ferrell involved in the offense.

      A Davis 3-pointer with 3:58 remaining gave the Boilermakers a 73-53 advantage.

      Hammons added 11 points for Purdue, and Scott also had 11.

      Hammons scored nine points in the first half, with sophomore non-starters Smotherman and Scott each adding six as Purdue opened a 38-27 halftime lead.

      Scott's driving layup at the final buzzer extended the Boilermakers' lead to 11.

      Ferrell paced the Hoosiers with six points at halftime.

      Purdue led 15-6 with 12:26 left in the first half after an 8-0 run that prompted Indiana coach Tom Crean to call a timeout. A layup by Davis with 8:26 left increased the Boilermakers' advantage to 22-12.

      Indiana was limited to four field goals during the first 13:59 of the half.

      "Our guys did a good job of keeping the ball in front of them," Purdue coach Matt Painter said of his team's defense. "We bottled them up. They had a couple of open looks that just didn't go down. Our attention to detail was really good. We never let Blackmon or Ferrell really get going.

      "Tonight, those guys took almost as many shots as they had points. We couldn't let them get 25 points on 12 shots. Any time you take a lot of 3s, you have to get the rebound and convert. We got a lot of layups. Bryson did some really good things, especially defensively, and when he drove the ball, he got it done."

      A driving layup by Scott gave Purdue a 30-15 lead with 6:16 to go in the half, resulting in Crean calling a second timeout.

      The Hoosiers countered with a quick 7-0 burst to pull within 30-22 on a layup by guard Stanford Robinson with 4:08 left in the half, but another Scott drive to the basket pushed the Boilermakers ahead 32-22 with 3:51 to go before intermission.

      NOTES: Purdue and Kentucky are the only teams with a better than .500 winning percentage (minimum 10 games) against Indiana. ... In Big Ten games, Purdue is the only team in the conference's top five in field goal percentage (fourth) and in field goal percentage defense (second). ... Boilermakers C A.J. Hammons is one of five active players in America with at least 900 career points, 500 rebounds and 200 blocks. ... Indiana ranks eighth in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (41.0), 11th in 3-pointers made per game (9.1) and 12th in scoring (81.4). ... After Wednesday night's game, Indiana will play six of its final 10 regular-season games at home.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Jones, Rozier lead Louisville by BC
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- Louisville's big-time guards came up big at the right time for the 10th-ranked Cardinals on Wednesday night.

    • Chris Jones and Terry Rozier combined for 51 points, including 34 in the second half, as the Cardinals held off a late charge by Boston College and scored an 81-72 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over the Eagles.

      "They've had good years all season but I think since conference play, they've been spectacular, in a class by themselves," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "Every bucket you need, where they come back in the game, they come back and make a layup, make a three. Tremendous tandem."

      Jones scored a career-high 28 points, Rozier, who came in averaging 20.7 points per game over the last 12, had 23.

      "It's funny, at the beginning of the year, it was our defense and not much from our offense," said Rozier. "Lately it's been our offense. If we can pack it all in and get the offense and defense going we'd be a scary team."

      Jones and Rozier combined to play 75 of the 80 minutes in the game. They were 19 of 28 from the floor, 5 of 7 from 3-point range and totaled one turnover between them. Most importantly, they made shots when their team needed them the most.

      "I've never seen two guards play the amount of minutes they play, with the intensity with which they play for an entire game," Boston College coach Jim Christian said. "It's a special thing to watch."

      Louisville (17-3, 5-2 ACC) was 6 of 12 from 3-point range for the second straight game, both wins after the team went 4 of 25 from downtown in a loss to Duke.

      The Cardinals, who had to fly in on the day of the game because of Tuesday's blizzard on the East Coast and arrived some six hours before tip-off, never trailed. But that doesn't mean this wasn't a game.

      BC (9-10, 1-6), was down by 10 with less than eight minutes left. The Eagles then got it to two, and guard Olivier Hanlan had a chance to tie it with two free throws.

      He missed one and the lead was one with 5:13 left. Jones then hit back-to-back 3-pointers and BC was all but done.

      "That's about confidence at that point," said Jones. "Terry made a couple of great plays to find me and I just knocked them down."

      The win came in the latest return to the Boston area by Pitino, who coached and was president of the Boston Celtics and coached at Boston University in town and Providence right down the road.

      This marked the first time for him coaching in Boston since he left the Celtics in 2001. The return was made sweeter by his guards.

      Pitino recruited Christian, who is in his first year at BC, for Boston University and lauded his opponent after the game. He talked about the difficulties in preparing for the BC offense, which got a career-high 28 points from senior guard Aaron Brown but got a poor shooting night from guard Olivier Hanlan.

      Hanlan, coming off a 25-point game in Sunday's win at Georgia Tech, suffered through a 4 of 13 (2 of 8 from behind the arc) shooting game and also fouled out, mostly courtesy of Rozier. Hanlan did match his career high with nine assists.

      BC big man Dennis Clifford, who missed Sunday's game with an illness, was back but played only nine minutes still getting over his sickness.

      Guard Patrick Heckmann scored 11 of his 14 points late and was a main factor in the Eagles' comeback.

      Forward Montezl Harrell added 12 points and five rebounds for the Cards.

      NOTES: Louisville coach Rick Pitino made it clear that he "loves Pete Carroll" but is rooting for the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl. He said he stays in touch with Patriots coach Bill Belichick via texts. ... Louisville G Terry Rozier came in averaging 24.2 points per game in six road/neutral games this season and scored 23. ... The schools met for the first time since 1996. Louisville leveled the series at 3-3. ... The Cardinals host No. 13 North Carolina on Saturday, while Boston College plays at Clemson the same day.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Georgia Tech ends slump with big win over Miami
    By The Sports Xchange

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- After seven straight losses -- all in the ACC -- the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets players decided it was time for a change.

    • "Before the game, I talked to my teammates and said: 'Here is another chance. Today is the day we can crack the slump,'" Georgia Tech shooting guard Marcus Georges-Hunt said.

      Georges-Hunt was right.

      The Yellow Jackets cracked the slump in impressive fashion, routing the No. 23 Miami Hurricanes 70-50 on Wednesday

      night at the BankUnited Center.

      Georgia Tech (10-10, 1-7) entered the night as the only winless team in conference play. It was the first victory this calendar year for Georgia Tech, which had not prevailed since beating Charlotte on Dec. 30.

      In fact, it was less than one week ago when Georgia Tech was embarrassed by Virginia in a 57-28 blowout.

      Georges-Hunt, though, was not about to let that happen again, especially against Miami.

      Two years ago, when Miami was ranked sixth in the nation, Georges-Hunt beat the Hurricanes in this same building with a tip-in at the buzzer.

      On Wednesday, Georges-Hunt had a game-high 24 points, making 10 of 12 shots from the floor.

      "Maybe we should come here more often," Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said.

      But Georges-Hunt said the entire team was clicking on Wednesday as evidenced by its 57.1 shooting percentage.

      "It seemed like we had so much fun moving the ball, sharing the ball," he said. "It was all smiles."

      There were no smiles for Miami, however.

      The Hurricanes (14-6, 4-3) were betrayed by their offense. The Hurricanes' top two scorers, junior guards Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan, were both shut down. McClellan had six points and Rodriguez was held scoreless, missing all eight of his shots from the field.

      Rodriguez, who took five 3-pointers, played just 15 minutes. He was benched for almost the entire second half, playing just four minutes after the break.

      Center Tonye Jekiri led Miami with 13 points and nine rebounds. But Miami shot just 34.5 percent from the floor.

      The Hurricanes have been wildly inconsistent all season. On the positive side, they have won at Duke, at Florida and at Syracuse, taken Virginia to double overtime and defeated Illinois.

      On the negative side, the Hurricanes lost to Wisconsin Green Bay, Eastern Kentucky and Georgia Tech -- all at home.

      Jekiri said the team is more "focused" on the road.

      "On the road, we feel like we are the underdogs, and that gets everybody on their feet," he said.

      "When we come home, I feel like we are relaxed, and we let other teams come in and show that we're not that good. It's a lack of focus."

      Miami coach Jim Larranaga agreed.

      "We are very inconsistent with giving effort, especially on the defensive end," Larranaga said. "It's very disappointing, but the personality on this team is to be inconsistent.

      "Kids are confusing. This team probably has the widest range of performances I've ever seen."

      Georgia Tech, which never trailed, got off to a great start, making nine of its first 11 shots from the floor and taking a 20-6 lead with 9:50 left in the first half.

      Miami went on a 7-0 run and the teams played fairly evenly after that, with Georgia Tech going into halftime up 34-26.

      Miami never got closer than seven points in the second half, and that was in the opening minutes.

      Jekiri said the team's problems start with poor practices. Larranaga said the veterans are not working hard enough, and the younger players are following that poor example.

      Larranaga also said Miami's poor attendance -- the crowd on Wednesday was announced at 5,031 -- doesn't help, but he added that his team cannot rely on fans to provide motivation.

      He was then asked how much his team's lack of effort can be blamed on him and his assistant coaches.

      "I don't think anyone has ever questioned my staff's ability to motivate people," he said. "But to motivate people, they have to want to be motivated. ... If the guy you are talking to is not paying attention and doesn't really care, you won't get the result you are looking for."

      NOTES: Georgia Tech F Robert Sampson aggravated a hip pointer midway through the second half and did not return. ... Miami G Deandre Burnett was used in the first half Wednesday after not playing in the previous two games due to the coach's decision. He scored three points in eight minutes. ... Miami is the fourth Top-25 team Georgia Tech has faced this month. ... Miami C Tonye Jekiri entered the game leading the ACC in rebounds. ... Up next, Miami plays at Florida State on Sunday. ... Georgia Tech plays host to North Carolina State on Saturday.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    No. 9 Kansas survives scare from TCU
    By The Sports Xchange

    FORT WORTH, Texas -- Kansas Jayhawks coach Bill Self likened the final two minutes vs. the TCU Horned Frogs on Wednesday night to a rough trip to the dentist.

    • But Self and the ninth-ranked Jayhawks at least left with a smile after holding on to a 64-61 victory over the Horned Frogs at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.

      Jayhawks guard Frank Mason, who finished with a team-best 16 points, hit a jumper from the top of the key with 3:35 left to put Kansas ahead, 59-48. That would be the last points the Jayhawks scored for the next three minutes as their lead shrunk to two points.

      "I've been to the dentist and got a root canal and I may have enjoyed that slightly more than watching the last two minutes because it seemed like we gave them every opportunity," Self said.

      In the final minute, Kansas guard Brannen Greene came up with a crucial block and made five of six free throws that were essential for the Jayhawks (17-3, 6-1).

      Mason missed two free throws with four seconds left, which gave TCU one last chance to tie it.

      But Horned Frogs reserve guard Charles Hill's 30-footer at the buzzer hit off the back iron and bounced away.

      "In a situation like that, we work on in practice, you've got to go look to get a 3," TCU coach Trent Johnson said. "He did exactly what he's been told and been taught to do. I thought he had a good look at it."

      Guard Kyan Anderson led TCU with 17 points. Horned Frogs guard Trey Zeigler, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, scored five points during the 9-0 run that cut Kansas lead to 59-57 with 33 seconds left.

      But the Horned Frogs (14-6, 1-6 Big 12), who have had free-throw struggles through much of conference play, made just 15 of 29 from the line Wednesday.

      "It's points," Anderson said. "I feel like, if we knock half of the ones that we miss down, it's a different outcome in probably the last couple of games. I don't want it to be something that's in the backs of everyone's heads."

      Kansas shot 46 percent from the field to earn its second straight win in the state of Texas after defeating the Texas Longhorns on Saturday in Austin.

      However, Self didn't think his team had the energy it needed vs. TCU.

      "The whole game was frustrating," Self said. "I thought they played harder and obviously they were quicker to the ball. They got every 50-50 ball. We were fortunate that they shot a low percentage and missed some free throws."

      TCU led by three midway through the second half before Kansas scored 12 straight points.

      Mason started the run with a driving layup and scored four points during the surge. Kansas guard Devonte' Graham finished it with a fastbreak layup that put the Jayhawks ahead, 52-43 with 8:51 left.

      TCU scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 37-36 lead. Anderson hit a 3-pointer and later got his own rebound on a missed trey and hit a jumper to put TCU in front.

      The Horned Frogs gained a rebounding edge in the first six minutes of the second half as they came away with eight offensive rebounds during that stretch that led directly to nine points.

      Kansas heated up in the first half, making seven of nine shots during an 18-2 run to take a 23-10 lead. Jayhawks forward Cliff Alexander helped grab momentum as he flushed an ally-oop dunk on an assist from guard Wayne Selden early in the run.

      Selden later capped the surge with a 3-pointer as Kansas appeared ready to take command early.

      But TCU bounced back with an 8-0 run and trailed 23-18 when forward Chris Washburn made a layup with 6:55 left before halftime.

      Kansas forward Perry Ellis scored the Jayhawks' first five points before he picked up his second foul 1:16 into the game and sat for the rest of the half.

      The Jayhawks got 20 points from their bench in the first 20 minutes and led 36-30 at the break.

      NOTES: One of TCU's two regular-season Big 12 wins in the last three seasons came when the Horned Frogs defeated then-fifth-ranked Kansas on Feb. 6, 2013, in Fort Worth. ... Kansas has a 7-1 lead in its all-time series with TCU, including two Jayhawks victories by more than 20 points last season. ... Kansas was playing its second straight game in the state of Texas after having defeated the then-17th-ranked Longhorns, 75-62, on Saturday. The Jayhawks are 4-0 against teams from Texas this season and have a nine-game winning streak against Texas teams, going back to an 81-69 loss at Texas last season.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Air Force 66, San Jose State 52
    By The Sports Xchange

    Guard Matt Mooney scored a game-high 20 points, and the Air Force Falcons snapped a five-game losing streak with a 66-52 victory over the San Jose State Spartans on Wednesday at the Event Center in San Jose, Calif.

    • The Falcons (9-11, 2-7 Mountain West) won for the first time since a 78-56 home win over the Spartans on Jan. 7.

      San Jose State (2-18, 0-8) absorbed its 10th loss in a row. Only once in that span, in a home defeat against Wyoming, did the Spartans finish within 10 points of their opponent. Neither of the Spartans' wins this season came against a Division I team.

      Air Force forward Hayden Graham scored 16 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Falcons guard Trevor Lyons added 11 points.

      Spartans forward Jaleel Williams scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. San Jose State guard Darryl Gaynor contributed 15 points, and guard Rashad Muhammad had 11 points.

      Air Force shot 42.2 percent from the floor, while San Jose State shot 38.6 percent.

      Behind 10 points apiece from Graham and Mooney, the Falcons led 29-23 at halftime. Muhammad topped the Spartans with 11 first-half points, while Williams had seven points before the break.

      Air Force plays at UNLV on Saturday, the same day San Jose State plays at New Mexico.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    No. 8 Notre Dame comes back to upend No. 4 Duke
    By The Sports Xchange

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Sophomore Steve Vasturia misfired on his first four shots for Notre Dame in Wednesday night's Atlantic Coast Conference college basketball showdown against fourth-ranked Duke.

    • But the only field-goal attempt he hit was the most critical basket for the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish in a 77-73 victory against the Blue Devils.

      Senior guard Jerian Grant led Notre Dame with 23 points, 12 assists and six rebounds.

      Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor led the Blue Devils with 22 points and 17 rebounds.

      Duke, which beat St. John's 77-68 on Sunday to make coach Mike Krzyzewski the only Division I men's basketball coach with 1,000 victories, falls to 17-3 overall and 4-3 in the ACC.

      Notre Dame improved to 20-2 overall and 8-1 in the ACC. It was Notre Dame's sixth comeback win from a double-digit deficit this season.

      "That one absolutely lived up to the hype," Brey said. "Two really good teams going at it. I told my team after the game, 'Down 10, you've got them right where you want them, don't you fellas? Thanks a lot. Thanks for doing that to me again.' We make a habit of it, but you can't say enough about our two seniors (Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton) tonight for making us believe and helping us win."

      Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey is the only former Krzyzewski assistant to beat his former boss, and he's done it twice now. Notre Dame upset Duke last season 79-77 in the Fighting Irish's inaugural ACC contest.

      Vasturia, a 6-foot-5 guard, swished a 3-pointer from the corner with one second on the shot clock, giving Notre Dame a 76-72 lead with 22 seconds left. He finished with seven points, hitting 4-of-4 free throws in addition to the 3-point dagger.

      "It was an awesome feeling seeing the ball go through the basket and then being able to go down and defend to win the game," Vasturia said. "As long as the team gets the win, that's what makes me happy."

      After Vasturia's trey gave the Irish a four-point lead, Notre Dame had a chance to increase its edge.

      After Grant soared to swat away a shot by Duke senior Quinn Cook, Irish wing V.J. Beachem was fouled on the fastbreak lay-up attempt. But he missed two free throws with 13 seconds left.

      Duke junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon hit one of two free throws with nine seconds left to trim the Irish lead to 76-73.

      Notre Dame freshman forward Bonzie Colson made one of two free throws with seven seconds remaining, and Duke's final attempts went awry.

      Duke hurt itself with 10-of-20 free-throw shooting, including 3-of-7 in the last 3:48.

      Notre Dame's defense locked down the Blue Devils after Duke used a 9-0 second-half run on the way to a 10-point lead. After taking a 65-55 lead with 10:58 left in the second half, Duke only hit two of its final 12 shots. The Blue Devils missed seven shots in a row as Notre Dame put together a 12-0 run for a 67-65 lead with 6:23 left.

      "For us, we'll look at this as some missed opportunities," Krzyzewski said. "We had 13 offensive rebounds and nine points off of them. There were somewhere around 6-to-8 finishes right by the bucket where that ball wouldn't go in, especially in the first half, we had at least five, maybe six of them that were right there."

      Vasturia gave Notre Dame a 71-70 lead on a pair of free throws with 2:15 left in the second half. After an Okafor miss that was rebounded by Connaughton, Grant wounded the Blue Devils with an off-balance jumper in the lane as the shot-clock expired, putting the Irish up 73-70 with 1:07 left.

      A pair of free throws by senior guard Quinn Cook let Duke close to 73-72 with 58 seconds left, setting the stage for Vasturia's clutch 3 to turn the game Notre Dame's way. Grant handled the ball as the shot-clock wound down, and made a quick move that drew two Duke defenders. He then kicked the ball over to Vasturia in the corner, who launched the cold-blooded shot.

      "We should not have left Vasturia," Krzyzewski said. "There's two seconds (on the shot-clock). You have to make Grant take a two-point shot, which we were, and then we left (Vasturia) and the kid hit a huge shot)."

      Brey said that Vasturia has a history of clutch shots.

      "I think (Vasturia's) percentage when they're crunch time shots, big shots, it's well over 50 percent," Brey said. "He didn't get any clean looks. They kind of smothered him. One of the things that bothered us was their ball pressure."

      Duke led 39-36 at halftime. Cook led the Blue Devils with 13 first-half points, and Okafor scored 11.

      Grant paced Notre Dame with 13 in the first half.

      Grant nailed a 3 from the top of the key with 9:01 left in the first half to cap a 14-2 run that gave Notre Dame a 25-18 lead. Grant scored eight of the Irish points during the surge as the Irish fought back from a 16-11 deficit.

      Duke fought back, going on a 16-6 run to pull ahead, 32-30, on a steal, drive and dunk by Sulaimon with 2:06 left in the first half.

      Duke controlled the lane in the first half against the smaller Irish, outscoring Notre Dame 24-14 in the paint.

      NOTES: Notre Dame's 20-2 record is the best start for the Irish since the 1973-74 team went 24-2 after its first 26 games. ... Wednesday's game was the first Top 10 showdown at Purcell Pavilion since No. 10 Notre Dame beat No. 4 Pittsburgh, 66-64, on Feb. 9, 2003. ... It was only the third Top 10 meeting that the Irish have hosted. ... The first Top 10 showdown at Purcell Pavilion was when No. 9 Notre Dame beat No. 7 Indiana, 68-64, on Dec. 9, 1980. ... Duke has road wins against two Top 10 teams this season, at Wisconsin and at Louisville. ... The Blue Devils have never beaten three Top 10 teams on the road in one season. ... Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor leads the nation in field-goal percentage, at .671.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    No. 18 Northern Iowa rallies then cruises past Southern Illinois
    By The Sports Xchange

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Let the hype begin, Missouri Valley Conference-style.

    • Holding up its end of the bargain Wednesday night at SIU Arena, No. 18 Northern Iowa scored on nine straight possessions during a game-breaking 20-3 run to subdue Southern Illinois 59-52.

      With their eighth straight win, the Panthers (19-2, 8-1) set up Saturday's Valley showdown with No. 12 Wichita State in Cedar Falls. It will be the first matchup of ranked MVC teams since 1982.

      The Shockers are 9-0 in the conference after a 58-47 victory over Loyola (Ill.) in Wichita.

      "It's going to be a great opportunity for us," Northern Iowa forward Seth Tuttle said of playing Wichita State. "The place has been sold out for a month. It's hard not to get excited about it. It's been hard not to think about it."

      Whether it was because they were looking ahead to the Shockers or because the Salukis (9-13, 2-7) were just better in the first half, the Panthers trailed 26-23 at intermission.

      With backup center Ibby Djimde, who entered averaging 1.9 points per game, suddenly lighting it up for 10 points just over two minutes into the second half, Southern Illinois owned a 30-28 lead at the first media timeout.

      But Northern Iowa went from upset alert to cruise control in about six minutes. It scored 13 straight points on 3-pointers or free throws, carving up the Salukis defense with good ball movement and creating a spate of clean looks.

      "Shots went in for everybody," said reserve forward Nate Buss, who canned a pair of 3s in the big run. "We got the ball inside and moved it around very well."

      By the time Tuttle converted a reverse layup with 9:12 remaining, the Panthers possessed a 50-35 lead. That was basically the ball game against a Southern Illinois team that managed just two field goals in a stretch that lasted more than 10 minutes of the second half.

      Northern Iowa led by as many as 18 points before the Salukis ended the game on a 14-3 spurt that only served to make the final score more respectable.

      "I thought for the most part, our guys did what we asked them to do defensively," Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson said. "We just couldn't score. When you play Northern Iowa, you've got to hit jump shots and hit point-blank layups. We missed four point-blank layups in the second half."

      Guard Anthony Beane, who leads the Salukis in scoring at 16.5 points per game, managed just five on 2-for-9 shooting from the field. Southern Illinois' starting frontcourt combined for only 12 points.

      By contrast, Tuttle had 13, adding 10 rebounds for the 20th double-double of his career. Backup guard Paul Jesperson added 13 points, sinking three of the Panthers' nine 3-pointers, and Buss finished with 11.

      "Honestly, Jesperson and Buss beat us," Hinson said. "They made four straight 3s in the second half and that really hurt us. We were going to make Tuttle beat us. He had a double-double but he only had four field goals."

      With this game in the books, Northern Iowa can now prepare for the game its fans have been wanting to play since the schedule was announced last summer.

      "No matter who we were playing, it would have been easy to overlook this game," Panthers coach Ben Jacobson said when asked about taking this one for granted. "I'm proud of the guys for what they did in this game. We'll prepare the same way for (Wichita State) that we do for all of them."

      NOTES: Northern Iowa F Seth Tuttle was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Monday. He averaged 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in wins over Indiana State and Illinois State. ... The Panthers (349th) and Southern Illinois (327th) rank in the bottom 25 of time used per offensive possession as each chews up more than 20 seconds per trip. But Northern Iowa is 53rd in efficiency and the Salukis are 265th. ... Southern Illinois F Jordan Caroline is the son of former NFL LB Simeon Rice. Caroline ranks third among MVC freshmen in scoring (9.2) and second in rebounding (6.1).

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015
    VanVleet scores 27 in Wichita State win
    By The Sports Xchange

    WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall isn't sure whether his players overlooked Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday.

    • The Shockers' shooting provided some evidence that their minds had wandered ahead to a showdown with 18th-ranked Northern Iowa on Saturday.

      Marshall was sure junior guard Fred VanVleet wasn't looking ahead, as VanVleet scored a career-high 27 points to help 12th-ranked Wichita State beat Loyola 58-47 on Wednesday at Koch Arena.

      "He looked like the one guy, for sure, from the tip who was ready to play," Marshall said. "Thank goodness. If he's on the other team, we lose."

      Wichita State had reason to look ahead. It has a chance to knock second-place Northern Iowa two games back when the teams meet Saturday. It will be the first meeting of ranked MVC teams since 1982.

      "That is one thing I did tell them: If you play like this on Saturday, you're going to lose," Marshall said.

      It took almost 10 minutes into the second half for the Shockers (19-2, 9-0 Missouri Valley Conference) to build a comfortable lead. A 9-0 run gave them a 44-30 lead, capped by junior guard Ron Baker's 3-pointer.

      Wichita State held Loyola (13-8, 3-6) scoreless for almost six minutes to build that lead.

      Wichita State is 9-0 in the MVC for the second straight season. It extended its modern-day MVC record to 27 straight conference wins and its home win streak, also a record, to 28 games.

      VanVleet made 10 of 16 shots and scored 16 of his points in the first half to prop up a struggling offense. Baker added 16, 14 in the second half.

      VanVleet is usually happy to hand out assists and score when necessary. It became obvious early that Wichita State needed him to score this time.

      "I always test the waters early in the game, see what's there," VanVleet said. "I can be that aggressive every game if I chose to do so. Tonight, it worked out."

      Wichita State held its seventh straight opponent under 60 points, and three of the past four haven't broken 50. Loyola made 17 baskets while missing 23, and committed 16 turnovers. Junior guard Devon Turk led Loyola with nine points.

      "Their guards, they just clamp on you," Ramblers coach Porter Moser said. "They take you out of it.

      The Ramblers kept the pace slow, unafraid to run down the shot clock. The Shockers made the most of opportunities to break in the second half to pull away. Guard Tekele Cotton dunked on a break for a 38-30 lead. After good defense by Shockers forward Shaq Morris forced forward Montel James to miss a shot in the lane, Cotton rebounded and pushed the ball to find VanVleet for a layup and a 40-30 lead.

      Baker pushed Wichita State's lead to 44-30 with a 3-pointer. VanVleet then hit one from long range, and Baker made another 3-pointer for a 52-39 lead with 1:54 to play.

      "Timely shots by Baker and VanVleet," Moser said. "It's the same script. That's what great players do. They keep doing it."

      NOTES: Wichita State sophomore walk-on Zach Bush is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right foot to repair a stress fracture. Bush played in three games ... Loyola-Chicago played its third game without starting guard Milton Doyle, out with a sprained right ankle ... Wichita State senior forward Darius Carter started, but played only six minutes. Marshall said he chose to rest Carter, who is bothered by back pain. He did not play in the second half of Sunday's win over Drake ... Wichita State improved to 4-0 against Loyola since the Ramblers joined the MVC.

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    Oklahoma sets Big 12 defensive record in win
    By The Sports Xchange

    NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma had been waiting for another complete performance after struggling recently in Big 12 play.

    • Wednesday night against Texas Tech, the 24th-ranked Sooners got it with a record-setting 81-36 win in front of an estimated 5,000 spectators at Lloyd Noble Center.

      Oklahoma set a Big 12 record for fewest points allowed in a conference game and nearly set a record for field-goal percentage defense in the blowout.

      The previous record was 37 by the Sooners against Texas A&M in 2008 and by Texas against Oklahoma in 2004.

      "Of course you don't ever expect that, to that degree," Sooners coach Lon Kruger said of the blowout. "But I liked the last couple days of practice -- their focus. We've just got to be stronger, got to be more physical. We've got to be tougher. We've got to communicate better.

      "This league is unforgiving."

      The win was just Oklahoma's second in its last six games.

      There never was much doubt about the outcome, with the Sooners (13-7, 4-4 Big 12) quickly stretching the lead to 12 as Texas Tech missed 16 of its first 18 shots.

      The Red Raiders went nearly eight minutes without a field goal midway through the first half and then went cold again late in the half and stretching into the second. Texas Tech missed 10 consecutive field-goal tries during a drought that lasted more than 10 minutes, with Oklahoma outscoring the Red Raiders 33-2 during that span.

      The Sooners held Texas Tech to just 21.2 percent shooting from the floor (11 of 52), Oklahoma's best performance in 11 seasons. The Red Raiders were just 5 of 28 (17.9 percent) in the second half.

      "I really didn't see this coming," Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. "I thought we were prepared. We missed some shots early on and the rest of it was downhill. We lost our confidence. Oklahoma is the type of team that if you do that, you're gonna get beat bad."

      Texas Tech (11-10, 1-7) was coming off an upset of No. 9 Iowa State on Saturday.

      Oklahoma hadn't turned in a strong all-around performance from all of its starters since a blowout win at Texas on Jan. 5.

      Everything seemed to be working on all cylinders against Tech, though.

      Junior forward Ryan Spangler scored a season-high 20 points, making eight of his nine field-goals attempts. Junior guard Isaiah Cousins showed no effects from a wrist injury he suffered Saturday, going 5 of 8 from the floor with 13 points, five assists and no turnovers. Junior guard Buddy Hield, who was held without a 3-pointer for the first time in nearly two seasons in Saturday's loss at Baylor, added 15 points.

      While the offensive production was nice, the defense is what the Sooners wanted to talk about afterward.

      "It was nice to play good, fully as a team on both ends of the court," Spangler said. "We finally played 40 minutes of good defense. We got out and run. That's when we're the best."

      Oklahoma outscored the Red Raiders 18-4 on the fast break and scored 32 points on 17 Texas Tech turnovers. The Red Raiders had just two assists.

      "One of the things we try to avoid is live-ball turnovers because they turn into layups and dunks," Smith said. "They're probably the most demoralizing turnovers you can have."

      Oklahoma was also able to dig deep into its bench.

      A little more than two weeks earlier, the Sooners used just seven players in an overtime loss to Kansas State.

      Wednesday, Oklahoma used 14 players with no one playing more than sophomore point guard Jordan Woodard's 28 minutes.

      That wasn't just a product of the blowout.

      "We made a commitment earlier in practice this week that we were gonna play more people," Kruger said. "We have to play more people. Those people have to step in and play their minutes better."

      For the first time since Big 12 play began, Oklahoma's bench outscored its opponent's reserves.

      NOTES: Oklahoma junior guard Isaiah Cousins stayed in the starting lineup after suffering a right wrist injury in Saturday's loss at Baylor. The Sooners have used the same starting lineup in every game this season. ... The Sooners blocked seven Texas Tech shots in the first half, with three each from junior forward Ryan Spangler and freshman forward Khadeem Lattin. Lattin finished with a career-high five. ... Oklahoma plays at Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Sooners beat the Cowboys 82-65 on Jan. 17. Texas Tech plays at West Virginia on Saturday. The Mountaineers beat the Red Raiders 78-67 on Jan. 5.

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    UNLV evens score with win over Nevada
    By The Sports Xchange

    RENO, Nev. -- Coach Dave Rice's young UNLV basketball team is growing up.

    • Coming off a miraculous late-game rally in an overtime win over Utah State on Saturday, the Runnin' Rebels got an even bigger win (and a rare one on the road) over in-state rival Nevada on Tuesday night.

      UNLV, which led for most of the game but fell behind late, used a 16-5 run in the final minutes to snare its first true road win this year, a 67-62 decision over Nevada before 7,578 fans at Lawlor Events Center.

      "We had four of these games in nonconference that all went our way," Rice said. "We were 4-0 in close games, and then we start (Mountain West) conference play and have five games that go right down to the wire and we lost all five.

      "It's important to have them get a reward. Utah State, we were down five with 1:05 left and we won, and this is a reward for always staying together and bouncing back and getting a victory."

      Tuesday's game was a mirror of the first time the teams met three weeks ago in Las Vegas.

      In that game, Nevada made the big plays late, namely a last-second jumper shot by guard Marqueze Coleman to give the Wolf Pack a 64-62 win, its third straight in the rivalry series. On Tuesday, Nevada went cold late, shooting 2-for-17 from the field to close the game. UNLV rose to the occasion, making winning plays.

      "The first thing we talk about when we talk about David Carter's Wolf Pack team is toughness," Rice said. "They are a tough group. They're physical. They're really tough. I told our group that the first game, the toughest team won, and that was the Wolf Pack, and whoever is toughest in this game will win. We were just slightly tougher than they were and made some plays down the stretch."

      Said Carter: "They made the plays this time and we didn't."

      UNLV (12-9, 3-5 Mountain West) led for most of the game -- Nevada didn't hold its first lead until 5 minutes, 50 seconds remained -- but the Rebels trailed 54-51 with 4:36 left. That was when Nevada went cold and UNLV surged to take control of the game.

      With UNLV leading 57-56 and 1:40 left, Christian Wood hit a huge 3-pointer late in the shot clock to give the Rebels a two-possession lead.

      "It was as big a play as there was the entire game," Rice said.

      Wood, a lanky forward, finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Center Goodluck Okonoboh added 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, and guards Rashad Vaughn (10 points), Jelan Kendrick (nine) and Patrick McCaw (eight) all chipped in for UNLV, which shot 49 percent from the field.

      Okonoboh, a true freshman who is battling a foot injury, had a few big blocks down the stretch.

      "Goodluck played great today," Wood said.

      Nevada (6-13, 2-5) lost its fifth straight and 13th in its last 17 games. A change to the starting lineup made the team more competitive of late, but the Wolf Pack still fell short of snapping its skid.

      Despite battling foul trouble, Nevada center AJ West had 15 points and 15 rebounds (10 on offense), and the new starters, guards Eric Cooper Jr. (16 points) and Tyron Criswell (15), were effective. However, Nevada shot 35.7 percent from the field, turned the ball over 13 times and hit only 17 of 27 free throws.

      "I would say we're real close to being an unbeatable team," said Criswell, who made his second career start for Nevada. "In the clutch, we just need to be more efficient, take care of the ball more and resist fouling. We're sending the opponent to the line a lot late in the game. Those are the three big things. If we clean those things up, we should be fine in a long run."

      Said Carter: "Both teams competed. It came down to the last few possessions, and we had bad possessions down the stretch that led to some easy baskets for them."

      Nevada was attempting to won four straight over UNLV for just the second time in the 79-game history of this series. The Rebels, who historically dominate this series, didn't let that happen.

      "We've been in so many close games that even though a lot of the games we've been losing, we've been learning a lot about how to close out games," Okonoboh said. "I'm going to be honest, I knew we were going to win that game.

      NOTES: Nevada played without starting F Robyn Missa (leg injury) and reserve wing D.J. Fenner (illness). ... The Wolf Pack fell to 5-5 at home, including a 1-3 mark in Mountain West games. ... UNLV improved to 1-5 in true road games. ... After starting his first 51 games at Nevada, G Michael Perez came off the bench for Tuesday's game and shot 2-for-2 from 3-point range. He was 1-for-17 in MWC play previously. ... Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, a graduate of Nevada, was in attendance and sitting in the first row.

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    Cowboys get contributions throughout rotation in win over Baylor
    By The Sports Xchange

    STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State has been searching for more balanced scoring throughout much of this season.

    • The Cowboys found it at an optimum time Tuesday night, getting contributions throughout their rotation in a 64-53 win over 20th-ranked Baylor.

      Usually heavily reliant on guard Phil Forte and forward Le'Bryan Nash, the Big 12's No. 2 and 3 scorers, Oklahoma State had those two going, but also got 11 points from reserve guard Tavarius Shine, eight points and 10 assists from point guard Anthony Hickey, and six points, 11 rebounds and a career-high-tying five blocked shots from forward Michael Cobbins.

      "We had contributions from a lot of different guys," Cowboys coach Travis Ford. "From the three spot (Shine and Newberry), we come up with 21 points. If we don't get that, we probably don't win."

      Forte led the Cowboys (14-6, 4-4 Big 12) with 16 points, and Nash added 13 points before 7,364 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

      After using a first-half surge to grab a nine-point lead at intermission, Oklahoma State built its lead to as much as 13 in the second half.

      "They went up by nine points in the first half," Bears forward Rico Gathers. Our job is to come out in the first five minutes (of the second half) and put ourselves back in the game.

      "Give them credit. (They were) up-tempo. (It was a) road game (and they had) momentum. Momentum was going their way. You just have to be poised down the stretch."

      Baylor, which was led by guard Lester Medford's 13 points, never pulled closer than six in the second half. Gathers posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and forward Taurean Prince scored 12 points.

      The Bears (15-5, 3-4) shot just 34.5 percent from the floor and barely won the rebounding battle against the smaller Cowboys, 35-34, when they typically dominate on the boards.

      "We were locked in all night long," Cobbins said.

      Point guard Kenny Chery, who averaged a team-best 11.4 points coming into the game, finished with just six points on 3-of-13 shooting from the floor.

      Hickey was assigned to him, with a strong defensive effort to add to his impressive statistical night.

      "We've said it a lot, Hickey's an important part of our basketball team," Ford said. "When he plays well, it really helps our team. You look at his stat line, he did a great job on a young man who I feel is one of the great point guards in this league, a player we have a lot of respect for in Kenny Chery."

      Baylor's 53 points were a season low. The Bears previous low came in a 62-54 loss to Illinois.

      Averaging 16.1 offensive rebounds a game, Baylor managed 13 against the Cowboys, yet couldn't convert many of the extra opportunities, finishing with eight second-chance points.

      "I thought Oklahoma State really played a very good game," Bears coach Scott Drew said. "(They) didn't give us anything easy in transiton or the halfcourt, then they did an excellent job executing on the offensive end, usually, where we end up thriving is on second-chance points. We didn't do that tonight."

      Oklahoma State took a 30-21 lead into halftime thanks to a 16-4 run from the 6:39 mark on, getting three 3-pointers to fuel the surge.

      Forte started the spurt with a 3-point shot, before Hickey and Shine both added 3-points Shine's shot with 30 seconds left to make it a nine-point Oklahoma State lead at the break.

      Nash led all scorers through the first 20 minutes with seven points.

      Baylor started fast, leading 13-6 and 17-14, before the Cowboys started their run. Gathers had seven first-half points to lead the Bears.

      NOTES: Tuesday was the 14th anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of 10 members of the Oklahoma State basketball family, including players Nate Fleming and Daniel Lawson Jr. The school honored the 10 men with its annual "Remember The Ten" night and a moment of silence prior to tipoff. The plane went down in a Colorado field on a snowy night after the Cowboys game against the Colorado Buffaloes on Jan. 27, 2001. ... Baylor held 15 of its 20 opponents to 30 points or fewer at the half, and 10 to 25 or fewer. The Cowboys hit the 30 mark with 30 seconds left in the half on a 3-pointer by reserve G Tavarius Shine. ... Baylor ranks third nationally in rebounding margin. ... The Cowboys conclude a two-game homestand with a Saturday game against Oklahoma. ... Baylor returns home to face Texas on Saturday.

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    Top 25 roundup: Xavier tops No. 21 Georgetown
    By The Sports Xchange

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Guard Myles Davis had 13 of his game-high 19 points in the first half and added five assists as Xavier held on to upset No. 21 Georgetown 66-53 on Tuesday in a Big East Conference contest.

    • The Musketeers (14-7, 5-4 Big East) led by 18 points midway through the second half, and won their first conference road game of the season after four losses. They are now 2-5 on the road this season.

      Georgetown (14-6, 6-3) entered the night in first place in the conference but made just 25 percent of its shots from the field in the first half and 39.5 (17-of-43) for the game while committing 17 turnovers and getting outrebounded 36-28. The Hoyas were paced in scoring by guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (13 points), reserve guard L.J. Peak (12 points) and center Josh Smith (10 points).

      Xavier center Matt Stainbrook (12 points) scored off an inbounds pass under his basket with just seconds left on the shot clock to give the visitors a 58-47 lead with just 1:24 left to seal the win.

      Oklahoma State 64, Baylor 53

      STILLWATER, Okla. -- Usually heavily reliant on guard Phil Forte and forward Le'Bryan Nash, the Cowboys had those two going, but also got contributions from others while knocking off the 20th-ranked Bears.

      Forte led the Cowboys (14-6, 4-4 Big 12) with 16 points, and Nash added 13 points before 7,364 at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Oklahoma State also received 11 points from reserve guard Tavarius Shine, eight points and 10 assists from point guard Anthony Hickey, and six points, 11 rebounds and a career-high-tying five blocked shots from forward Michael Cobbins.

      Baylor, which was led by guard Lester Medford's 13 points, never pulled closer than six in the second half. Bears forward Rico Gathers posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and forward Taurean Prince scored 12 points. The Bears (15-5, 3-4) shot just 34.5 percent from the floor.

      Virginia Commonwealth 72, George Washington 48

      RICHMOND, Va. -- Freshman forward Terry Larrier scored a team-high 15 points to help the 14th-ranked Rams remain undefeated in Atlantic 10 Conference play.

      The game was close until VCU (17-3, 7-0 Atlantic 10) used a 16-2 run in the second half to break away. A two-handed slam dunk from forward Mo Alie-Cox gave the Rams a 45-29 lead over the Colonials (16-5, 6-2).

      Guard Kethan Savage led George Washington with 18 points.

      West Virginia 65, Kansas State 59

      MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The 17th-ranked Mountaineers used a bruising style of play and a strong bench to down the Wildcats.

      West Virginia (17-3, 5-2 Big 12) shot only 36.4 percent for the game, and were saddled with 28 fouls, but they did enough to stop Kansas State's four-game home winning streak. West Virginia was bailed out by a strong effort from the bench and its reserves scored 35 of the team's 65 points.

      Reserve guard Tarik Phillip led West Virginia with 12 points, and guard Juwan Staten added 11. Kansas State (12-9, 5-3) was led by guard Marcus Foster with 15 points, and forward Wesley Iwundu added 12 for the Wildcats.

      With the score tied at 40-40, West Virginia used a 9-1 run midway through the second half to go up by eight points.

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    West Virginia does enough in win over Kansas State
    By The Sports Xchange

    MANHATTAN, Kan. - West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is never going to turn down a win.

    • So even though the 17th-ranked Mountaineers shot 36.4 percent and were called for 28 fouls, Huggins enjoyed their 65-59 victory over Kansas State Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum.

      "I thought it was beautiful," Huggins said. "I've never had an ugly win. Ever."

      The Mountaineers (17-3, 5-2 Big 12) were able to win by getting a big effort from their reserves, who scored 35 points. Guard Tarik Phillip led West Virginia with 12 points and guard Juwan Staten added 11.

      "It's been that way all year," Huggins said. "We play the guy with the hot hand. Tarik played well today so we gave him more minutes."

      Kansas State was led by guard Marcus Foster with 15 points, and forward Wesley Iwundu added 12 for the Wildcats. Forward Nino Williams, the Wildcats second-leading scorer played eight first-half minutes and coach Bruce Weber said he tweaked his knee

      "He's been our leading scorer and best player (lately)," Weber said. "Obviously that made a lot of difference."

      While Huggins felt his team had a beautiful win, Weber had a differing view, especially after his team committed 25 turnovers.

      "I think it's awful," he said. "It's just bad basketball. But he's winning. They're 17-3. I'd be happy too (with that record).

      "We told the guys (before the game) that it would be a bar-room brawl, and that's exactly what happened. They play aggressive. They foul every possession. You've got to play strong and you've got to deal with it. They make you play basketball. I thought we hung in there. We knew we were going to turn it over, but not 25 times.

      Kansas State (12-9, 5-3) was hindered by poor foul shooting in the second half. After sinking 10 of 13 in the first half, the Wildcats shot only 45 percent (10 of 22) from the line in the second half.

      Huggins wouldn't say it was his strategy, but he'll take the result.

      "(Heck) no, it wasn't (my strategy)," he said. "Why would you want to let them shoot unguarded? We have to get a little smarter. We made some dumb fouls today."

      Weber had his own troubles, including his team's missed opportunities.

      "You've got to make the free throws when they foul you," he said. "We out-rebounded them and they're one of the better rebounding teams in the league. We had 13 offensive rebounds, but they had 14 second-chance points and we got seven. We had opportunities, but we didn't finish."

      With the score tied at 40-40, West Virginia used a 9-1 run midway through the second half to go up by eight points. The Wildcats could get no closer than three points the rest of the half.

      West Virginia's full-court press gave Kansas State problems, forcing most of the turnovers.

      "It was kind of like a fight," Foster said. "There are punches being thrown and punches being thrown back. That's what they do. They're going to force turnovers. You just have to keep playing."

      That's exactly what Huggins hopes for.

      "It wears on you," he said. "That's the idea. We play a lot of people. We played 12 players in the first half."

      The first half ended with West Virginia holding a 26-24 lead, and it was physical from the start. The teams combined for 24 fouls and 25 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. They also shot a combined 26.4 percent from the field (West Virginia shot 29.2 percent, and Kansas State shot 24.1 percent).

      West Virginia forward Jonathan Holton picked up a technical foul within the first minute of the game. Both teams reached the double bonus at the 4:45 mark of the first half.

      Kansas State's defense was tough as well. West Virginia's first field goal of the game came nearly five minutes into the game.

      NOTES: With its victory in its last home game over Oklahoma State on Jan. 24, Kansas State extended the nation's longest streak of consecutive winning seasons at home to 69. The Wildcats went 2-6 in Manhattan in 1945-46...West Virginia coach Bob Huggins coached for one season (2006-07) at Kansas State before returning to his alma mater...Huggins is now two wins behind Ed Diddle for 12th place all-time in career coaching victories.

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015
    Xavier beats No. 21 Georgetown on the road
    By The Sports Xchange

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The road has not been kind this season for Xavier. But the visiting Musketeers got their first Big East victory away from home Tuesday thanks to guard Myles Davis.

    • Making just his third start of the season, Davis had 13 of his game-high 19 points in the first half and added five assists as Xavier held on to upset No. 21 Georgetown 66-53 in a Big East Conference contest.

      The Musketeers (14-7, 5-4 Big East) led by 18 points midway through the second half, and won their first conference road game of the season after four losses. They are now 2-5 on the road this season.

      "It feels great. We knew we could do this," Davis said of the road win. "It took us too long to do this. We knew we had the opportunity in front of us. We kept the foot on the pedal and kept it going. It was just fun to finally get a win on the road. We got our defense going and our offense flowed."

      It was the second time this season that Xavier knocked off a Georgetown team that was ranked. Forward Remy Abell had 11 points and a career-high eight rebounds, forward Trevon Bluiett came off the bench to score 11 and guard Dee Davis had six assists and three rebounds.

      "It was huge," said Xavier center Matt Stainbrook (12 points) said of the road win. "We sort of set the tone early. A huge credit to the guards. It helps a lot when you have guards come on down and help you rebound."

      It was a memorable day for the Musketeers, who got to meet Xavier graduate and Speaker of the House John Boehner earlier at the U.S. Capitol.

      "It was definitely a good learning experience," Davis said.

      Stainbrook said he visited the nation's capital when he was in eighth grade. He said late Tuesday, with a smile, that some teammates he would not name learned earlier Tuesday what D.C. stood for in Washington, D.C.

      Then the Musketeers taught Georgetown a lesson, holding the Hoyas to 39.5 percent shooting from the field while forcing 17 turnovers. Georgetown had just four offensive rebounds and lost the battle of the boards 36-28.

      "Georgetown was playing as well as anybody who is in our league," Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. "I can't say enough about how our guards rebounded and blocked out. They were not allowing second shots. We did a good job of taking care of the ball for the most part."

      Georgetown (14-6, 6-3) entered the night in first place in the conference but made just 25 percent of its shots from the field in the first half. The Hoyas were paced in scoring by guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (13 points), reserve guard L.J. Peak (12 points) and center Josh Smith (10 points).

      "They did an outstanding job," Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said of Xavier. "A lot of them turnovers you shouldn't make. We dug ourselves a hole. The hole was too deep to dig out of."

      Said Smith-Rivera: "They really defend well. They scouted us well. Give them credit."

      The Hoyas cut the lead to 54-45 on a basket and free throw by Smith with 4:26 left in the game. Then Smith-Rivera scored on a twisting layup to cut the margin to 54-47. Stainbrook scored off an inbounds pass under his basket with just seconds left on the shot clock to give the visitors a 58-47 lead with just 1:24 left to seal the win.

      "I don't think we were lethargic out there. We just made too many mistakes. We kept looking for the quick fix (on offense)," Thompson said.

      The Hoyas had trimmed the lead to 40-30 with 12:50 left on a basket by Smith, who entered the game averaging 12.6 points per game but missed his only shot from the field in the first half.

      But Xavier went on a run of 8-0 to grab a 48-30 lead on a three-pointer by Bluiett.

      Xavier has now won three of its last four games against top 25-ranked teams.

      NOTES: Georgetown plays at Creighton on Saturday while Xavier is at Seton Hall the same day. ... Xavier lost five of its first six road games this season but it is 11-0 at home. ... Xavier G Dee Davis was one of two players to start all of the first 20 games and he has a team-high 119 assists ... Xavier assistant coach Mike Pegues played at nearby DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., under Hall of Fame coach Morgan Wootten ... The Hoyas had used the same starting lineup in the first 19 games prior to Tuesday.

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015
    Larrier, VCU cruise past George Washington
    By The Sports Xchange

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Leading up to the game against Virginia Commonwealth, George Washington coach Mike Lonergan discussed Rams guard Briante Weber giving him nightmares because of his penchant for changing games with his defensive ability.

    • However, on Tuesday night, it was VCU freshman forward Terry Larrier who completely changed the game and rescued the Rams from early shooting struggles.

      Larrier scored a team-high 15 points to help 14th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth defeat George Washington 72-48 and remain undefeated in Atlantic 10 Conference play.

      It was a tightly played contest between the top two teams in the conference's preseason polls before a dominating 16-2 run made all the difference.

      Forward Treveon Graham connected on two free throws for VCU (17-3, 7-0 Atlantic 10) at the 17:56 mark of the second half, and that was followed by guard Justin Tillman's baseline jumper. Then, Weber nailed an elbow jumper, swinging his arms in celebration before the crowd joined in following a monstrous two-handed slam dunk from forward Mo Alie-Cox that gave the Rams a 45-29 lead over the Colonials (16-5, 6-2).

      "One thing we really focused on this week was rotations," Alie-Cox said after a 10-point performance on a perfect 4-for-4 from the field. "They always want to get it back to the middle. ... I just anticipated it and dunked it."

      The dominating second half in which the Rams connected on 48.6 percent of their shots was in stark contrast to their poor shooting effort in the first half.

      Overall, VCU used its quickness to get to the line, forced 16 turnovers, and scored 40 points in the paint to pull away from George Washington. The adjustment by VCU begged for the Colonials to close the paint and employ their vaunted 1-3-1 zone defense, but they never did.

      "They do a good job against it," Lonergan said of VCU's offense against the zone. "They screened the top and got a wide-open three on the first time ... and in man-to-man, they were just driving right by us. Nothing really was working today for us, that's for sure."

      Meanwhile, the Colonials could muster nothing of note on the offensive side over the game's final 20 minutes. Aside from guard Kethan Savage's 18 points, 12 in the second half, the Colonials shot just 5-for-26 (19.2 percent) from the field after halftime.

      VCU guards JeQuan Lewis and Weber combined for five steals and halted any penetration into the lanes by the Colonials, leaving George Washington's high-scoring offense struggling for points on a frigid night from the perimeter.

      "I think it's the best one we've had in awhile," VCU coach Shaka Smart said after his team's 12th consecutive win. "It was a completely different energy than we had in our last game against Saint Louis. Our guys did a good job of bringing enthusiasm to the defensive end."

      The Rams would not have been in position to take control if it weren't for their freshman big man. In the first half, with his team struggling to score, Larrier who answered every run George Washington put together.

      The Colonials took control early, as guard Patricio Garino scored six of their first nine points en route to a 9-5 lead, but Rams scored the next seven points, including a wing 3-pointer from Larrier that gave them a 12-9 advantage.

      Larrier, a Bronx native, scored six of the Rams' final 10 points of the half, helping his teammates take a 29-21 lead into the locker room. VCU held George Washington to one field goal over its last seven attempts before the break.

      "Larrier killed us," Lonergan said. "Their depth really hurts us."

      The Rams shot just 33.3 percent from the field in the first half, but as they had in 28 of their previous 29 home games, they found a way to pull ahead. VCU forced eight first half turnovers from George Washington and limited the Colonials to 34.6 percent shooting from the floor, livening the Siegel Center crowd and taking much of the momentum.

      For the game, the Colonials shot 26.9 percent, while the Rams shot 41.9 percent.

      VCU earned its 29th win in its past 30 home games, with another home date coming up Saturday against cross-town rival Richmond.

      George Washington travels to Rhode Island for a Saturday afternoon game.

      NOTES: VCU entered the game trailing for just 53:18 of the 450 minutes played during their winning streak. ... George Washington and VCU were picked to finish second and first, respectively, in the A-10 preseason polls. ... Entering play Tuesday, George Washington was one of just 14 Division I teams that had not allowed more than 75 points in a game this season.

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015
    Sun Devils lose point guard Justice for season
    By The Sports Xchange

    A broken foot has prematurely ended Arizona State point guard Kodi Justice's freshman season.

    • Justice, who had started seven games this season for the Sun Devils, was hurt during Saturday night's loss to Stanford.

      In 18 games, Justice averaged 4.6 points and 1.6 assists while shooting 45.9 percent from 3-point range.

      Tra Holder, another freshman, is expected to see more playing time in Justice's absence.

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015
    No. 15 Iowa State hangs on to defeat No. 19 Texas
    By The Sports Xchange

    For 37 minutes, the 15th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones rolled the way they like to on their home court.

    • Then for the final three minutes, Iowa State made just enough plays to hold on with white knuckles to an 89-86 victory over 19th-ranked Texas at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

      "Down the stretch, that was crazy," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. "That was an absolutely crazy game. When we tried to take away the penetration, they kicked it out for a 3. When we stayed out on the shooter, they got to the rim."

      Iowa State led by 11 coming out of halftime, and Cyclones forward Georges Niang hit a 3-pointer to open second-half scoring. Forward Dustin Hogue made a pair of free throws for a 41-25 edge, and Iowa State eventually led by as many as 21 points.

      Then Texas (14-6, 3-4) charged late, going on an 11-3 run sparked by 3-pointers from guard Javan Felix and forward Connor Lammert as the Longhorns cut Iowa State's lead to six points with 2:06 left. Texas began putting Iowa State on the free-throw line with more than three minutes left and the Cyclones made 12 of 18 while watching their lead shrink to three.

      Longhorns guard Jonathan Holmes hit a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left to make it a one-possession game at 87-84.

      "I think we did find out some things about ourselves tonight," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We're not going to quit. i just like the way our guys fought to get back in it."

      Niang hit a key free throw with 20 seconds left and Iowa State forward Jameel McKay grabbed a vital rebound with 10.2 seconds remaining to help preserve the win.

      Hoiberg said he was pleased with how well the Cyclones weathered the storm as Texas scored 47 points in the final 11:16.

      "Take your hat off to them," Hoiberg said. "They kept competing all the way through the game. We were very fortunate to hold on."

      After a rough weekend on the road, Iowa State played like their old selves back on their home court for most of the night.

      Iowa State (15-4, 5-2 Big 12) lost at Texas Tech on Saturday as the Red Raiders erupted to a 19-point lead in the first half before holding on for their first conference win this season.

      The Cyclones rebounded Monday by shooting 54.7 percent from the field overall and establishing a comfortable lead early in the second half.

      Niang led Iowa State with 19 points. Cyclones guard Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 18, McKay had 14 and guard Monte Morris added 13.

      Felix scored a game-high 20 points. Holmes added 17 points and 10 rebounds, guard Isaiah Taylor had 17 points and eight assists, and forward Myles Turner contributed 16 points for the Longhorns.

      During the late run, Taylor, who missed 10 games this season with a fractured wrist, was as active as he's been since coming back from the injury.

      "I thought Isaiah in the second half was terrific," Barnes said. "He got in an attack mentality."

      Texas lost its second straight conference game against a ranked foe after falling to then-11th-ranked Kansas 75-62 Saturday. The Longhorns will try to bounce back with another matchup versus a ranked Big 12 opponent at 20th-ranked Baylor on Saturday.

      Iowa State used a 12-2 run late in the first half to open up a 13-point lead.

      Cyclones guard Naz Long hit a 3-pointer to start the surge, and Niang followed with another trey. After Morris went through the lane for a jumper, Niang threw alley-oop passes to McKay for two consecutive baskets.

      The second Niang-to-McKay connection put the Cyclones ahead 36-23 with 53 seconds left in the half, and Iowa State took a 36-25 edge to the break.

      Texas fell behind 10-2 due to cold early shooting, but the Longhorns dug their way out of the initial hole. Turner, who had 10 first-half points, tied the score at 14 with a layup.

      However, the Longhorns shot just 32 percent in the first half and committed seven turnovers, mitigating Texas' 22-15 rebounding edge in the opening 20 minutes. Overall, Texas shot 47.1 percent from the floor and outrebounded Iowa State 39-29.

      NOTES: Entering Monday's game, Iowa State had not lost at home against Texas since Fred Hoiberg became the Cyclones' head coach before the 2010-11 season. However, Iowa State has not defeated the Longhorns away from Hilton Coliseum in that time. ... This was the third time Texas and Iowa State met when both were ranked in the Top 25. Iowa State won both of the previous matchups of ranked foes. ... Texas came into the game ranked second nationally at 7.8 blocks per game, just 0.3 blocks per outing less than national leader Kentucky in that category. The Longhorns blocked eight shots against Iowa State.