Northeastern loses Jonathan Lee and Kwesi Abakah due to injury

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Bill Coen’s Northeastern Huskies are a team expected by many to make a jump in the CAA standings this season, but that got a little tougher due to injuries suffered by senior Jonathan Lee and freshman Kwesi Abakah.

The school announced on Friday that Lee, a preseason All-CAA selection, would be out up to six weeks with a foot injury while a torn ACL will sideline Abakah for the entire 2012-13 season.

“I am extremely disappointed for Jon and Kwesi. They both have worked hard and were very focused on the upcoming season,” said Coen in the statement. “With the help of our talented medical staff, we anticipate that Kwesi will recover fully for next season.

“For Jon, as a senior co-captain, this is a setback, but his perseverance and work ethic are unparalleled. He will continue to provide us with valuable leadership during his rehabilitation and we look forward to his return to the court.”

Lee, a 6-2 guard from Flint, Michigan, averaged 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a junior and sat in the top 15 in the CAA of nine different statistical categories.

The Huskies return their top four scorers from last season’s 14-17 (9-9 CAA) team, but to lose a player of Lee’s caliber is a tough blow.

Abakah averaged 14.3 minutes per game during the Huskies’ summer trip to Canada, and the 6-8 native of Suwanee, GA was expected to provide additional front court depth this season.

“This adversity will provide others on our team with opportunities, which I believe will make us a stronger team as the season progresses,” said Coen. “I am confident in this team and in our chemistry and resolve.”

With Lee out more responsibility likely falls on the shoulders of senior guard Joel Smith and sophomore wing Quincy Ford, both of whom were key contributors in 2011-12.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Brooks’ big game leads No. 15 Oregon over Fresno State 78-73

Dillon Brooks, Torren Jones
AP Photo/Chris Pietsch
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Dillon Brooks had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 15 Oregon staved off a late rally by Fresno State for a 78-73 victory Monday night.

Chris Boucher and Elgin Cook added 14 points each for the Ducks (6-0), who led 70-52 with 6:35 to play before Marvelle Harris scored 13 points in a 16-2 run by the Bulldogs (5-1) that cut the deficit to four.

A driving layup by Brooks put Oregon up 74-68 with 1:20 left, and the Ducks held on by making four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds.

Harris, who didn’t score until the 12:04 mark of the second half, led Fresno State with 18 points, while Paul Watson added 11 and Torren Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 41-32 behind Jones and Karachi Edo, who had nine rebounds and 10 points.

Freshman Tyler Dorsey, Oregon’s leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, finished with 12.

The Ducks scored the game’s first 11 points, went up by as many as 14 and took a 37-25 halftime lead. The Ducks did most of the damage from inside the 3-point arc (9 of 10) and at the free throw line, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-5.

Fresno State, meanwhile, missed its first six shots from the field, shot 29.0 percent (9 of 31) and saw its top two scorers, Harris and Cezar Guerrero, held scoreless for the first 20 minutes.

The senior guards came in averaging 20.2 and 13.2 points per game, respectively.


Fresno State: Harris, the preseason choice for Mountain West Conference player of the year, needed one point to crack the Bulldog’s all-time top 10 in scoring. After going scoreless in the first half, he finished with 18 to rank 10th with 1,425, one behind Tod Bernard in ninth place, in 107 career games. . The Bulldogs fell to 2-10 all-time against Oregon. They last time they beat the Ducks, who have won the last five meetings, was in 1995. . Fresno State hasn’t beaten a Top 25 team on the road since 2000.

Oregon: The double-double was the second of the season Brooks and fourth of his career. . The Ducks are 40-2 against nonconference opponents since moving into Matthew Knight Arena five years ago. . The 6-0 start is Oregon’s second in the last nine years. The Ducks started 13-0 two seasons ago.

No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.