Isaiah Armwood, Roberto Colonette,  Emmy Andujar

Late Night Snacks: When the game is tied in the final seconds, do not foul

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Games of the Day

1. Washington 74, Cal State Fullerton 72
The Huskies escaped at home after trailing by as many as 14 points. Washington made five free throws in the final 30 seconds, but here’s the thing: four of those free throws came as a result of Fullerton committing a foul after tying the game. First there was Alex Harris, who in his exuberance over tying the game at 69 fouled Andrew Andrews. And after D.J. Seeley hit a corner three to tie the game at 72, he fouled C.J. Wilcox who made both free throws to provide the final score. Oh what could have been for the Titans, who were coming off of a loss at Eastern Washington on Friday night.

2. Wichita State 72, Air Force 69
Gregg Marshall’s team hung on in Colorado Springs, beating the Falcons by three as a Michael Lyons missed a three-pointer in the final seconds. Carl Hall led the way for the Shockers, who are now 8-0 on the season, with 21 points and ten rebounds while Mike Fitzgerald (18 points) and Taylor Broekhuis (17 points) paced the Falcons.

3. Georgia State 67, Liberty 66
A Rashaad Richardson three-pointer in the final seconds gave the Panthers the win on the road. Manny Atkins and Devonta White led Georgia State with 17 points apiece, and Librty’s Davon Marshall hit six three-pointers and scored 25 points to lead the now 0-8 Flames.

Important Outcomes 

1. Maryland 69, George Mason 62
The Terrapins made things a little more difficult on themselves than necessary but Mark Turgeon’s team held on for the win at the BB&T Classic. Dez Wells put up 25 points and six rebounds, which covered up Maryland’s 19 turnovers and 23-of-39 performance from the foul line. Can this group contend in the ACC? Maybe they can.

2. Wisconsin 81, California 56 
On the heels of their 60-54 loss to Virginia the Badgers needed to bounce back, and it’s safe to say that they did in throttling the Golden Bears. Justin Cobbs was limited to 3-of-10 shooting (11 points) and Ben Brust led four Badgers in double figures with 22 points.

3. Akron 82, Middle Tennessee 77 (OT)
Two quality teams met at the JAR and the Zips came out on top, with point guard Alex Abreu leading five players in double figures with 19 points (in addition to seven assists, four rebounds and four steals). Ray Cintron, who hit three free throws to force overtime, led the Blue Raiders with a game-high 22 points. But Middle Tennessee had just two players in double figures (Marcos Knight scored 21), and the lack of balance hurt them in the end.

Starred

1. F Isaiah Armwood (George Washington)
Armwood led the Colonials to 67-55 win over Manhattan in the first game of the BB&T Classic with 23 points (8-of-12 FG), nine rebounds and six blocked shots.

2. F Carl Hall (Wichita State) 
21 points (9-of-10 FG) and ten rebounds in the Shockers’ 72-69 win at Air Force.

3. F Desmond Simmons (Washington) 
14 points, 18 rebounds (seven offensive) and three steals in the Huskies’ 74-72 win over Cal State Fullerton.

Struggled

1. Florida State guards
Guards Michael Snaer, Montay Brandon, Terry Whisnant II and Ian Miller combined to shoot 5-of-19 from the field in the Seminoles’ 61-56 loss to Mercer, Florida State’s third home loss of the season.

2. G Justin Cobbs (California) 
3-of-10 from the field (11 points) and seven turnovers in Cal’s 81-56 loss to Wisconsin.

3. South Carolina starters
If not for reserves Bruce Ellington and Brenton Williams things could have been even worse for the Gamecocks in their 64-55 loss to rival Clemson. Frank Martin’s starters combined to shoot 5-of-22 from the field and score 14 points.

Three Facts 

1. Washington’s win over Cal State Fullerton is their 924th at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, the most by a college team in its home arena in the history of the sport.

2. Over the last two seasons Wichita State has been the most successful road team in the country, posting a 21-3 record.

3. Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder snapped out of his two-game shooting slump on Sunday, scoring 22 points (8-of-16 FG) and grabbing seven rebounds in the Wildcats’ 72-53 win over USC Upstate. McGruder has shot 50% or better in three of Kansas State’s seven games.

Other Notable Scores

1. Mercer 61, Florida State 56

2. Saint Louis 62, Valparaiso 49

3. Stanford 71, Denver 58

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

No. 5 Xavier finds shooting touch in 74-57 blowout at Butler

Xavier head coach Chris Mack talks with James Farr (2) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Butler, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Indianapolis. Xavier won 74-57. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) No. 5 Xavier learned its lesson.

To keep winning, it must continue do the dirty work.

Four days after stumbling at Creighton, the Musketeers got back to basics and used a balanced offense and a smothering defense to run away from Butler 74-57 on Saturday.

“We played much better today and after about the first four or five minutes, we defended,” coach Chris Mack said. “Our shots were, in my opinion, really good ones because we got in the lane, we made the extra pass and I thought that was the difference.”

Whatever the explanation, the Musketeers (22-3, 10-3 Big East) certainly looked worthy of the highest ranking in school history.

After making a season-low 30 percent from the field and just 1 of 21 3-point attempts in Tuesday’s loss, Xavier rebounded by shooting 56.9 percent and going 9 of 18 beyond the arc. J.P. Macura led the way with 13 points while Edmond Sumner and Remy Abell each had 12.

But the biggest improvements showed up in other areas – defense, rebounding and effort. They allowed 36 points over the final 31 1/2 minutes.

“Everybody was boxing out and rebounding, and on the offensive end we have so much talent we could get whatever we wanted,” said Abell, who started his college career playing for the Indiana Hoosiers.

The difference was obvious.

Butler (17-8, 6-7) was held almost 25 points below its season average.

Kelan Martin, with 15 points, and Andrew Chrabascz, with 12, were the only players to score more than 10. And the top three scorers – Martin, Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones – were a combined 11 of 39 from the field as the Bulldogs’ three-game winning streak came to an end.

Xavier crushed the Bulldogs so thoroughly that chants of “Let’s Go X” resounded throughout sold out Hinkle Fieldhouse over the final minutes.

“We didn’t have near the effort, the juice, the purpose defensively and we didn’t move the ball offensively and that was actually the case from the opening minute,” Butler coach Chris Holtmann said. “We mentioned that in the four-minute media and said that had to improve and when it doesn’t these things happen.”

Butler used a 9-0 first-half run to take a 21-13 lead midway through the first half.

Xavier answered with a 27-6 run that included four 3s and a three-point play in a 27-6 run to make it 40-27. The Bulldogs got as close as 47-39 early in the second half, which later became a seven-point deficit after a replay review gave Dunham a 3.

But the Bulldogs couldn’t get closer.

“You can go 1 for 21 one game, and then the next game it’s – I’m sure it was better,” Macura said. “That’s basketball.”

POINTERS

Xavier’s dominance showed up in two key stats on the box score. The Musketeers outscored Butler 36-14 in points off the bench and 36-18 in the paint despite having only two offensive rebounds. Xavier has won six of its last seven.

ON THE ROAD

Even the road has been kind to the Musketeers this season. They have won seven times in true road games, their highest season total since 2010-11. They have also won five Big East games on the road – more than they won in either of their first two seasons in the league and they have won 10 of the last 13 at Hinkle.

MOVING UP

Dunham continues his ascent on the Bulldogs’ career scoring list. After moving from 14th to sixth on the list in the first 23 games this season, Dunham moved passed Lynn Mitchem (1,798) for fifth and within one point of A.J. Graves (1,807) for fourth. Matt Howard is third (1,939) and the only 2,000-point scorers in school history are Chad Tucker (2,321) and Darrin Fitzgerald (2,019).

TIP-INS

Xavier: Former Indiana prep star Trevon Bluiett had 11 points and four rebounds and James Farr had 12 rebounds. … Each of Xavier’s 22 wins has come by at least seven points. … The Musketeers were the highest-ranked team to play at Hinkle Fieldhouse since No. 3 DePaul visited Feb. 23, 1981.

Butler: Shot 33.3 percent overall and was 8 of 22 on 3s. …. The Bulldogs only have three wins at home against Top 10 teams – No. 8 Gonzaga in January 2013, No. 3 Michigan in 1965-66 and No. 5 Tennessee in 1958-59. … Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence attended the game.

UP NEXT

Xavier hosts No. 20 Providence on Wednesday.

Butler hosts Creighton on Tuesday.

YOU MAKE THE CALL: Did Duke’s Grayson Allen travel on his game-winner vs. Virginia? (VIDEO)

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Duke star Grayson Allen hit a game-winner on Saturday afternoon, a tough, driving layup that gave the Blue Devils a 63-62 win over No. 7 Virginia in Cameron Indoor Stadium:

The location of said game matters, because it appears that Allen traveled on the play.

Well, more than “appears”.

Allen did travel.

Twice actually. As you can see in this screen grab, Allen’s foot came down before he got the shot off:

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 6.44.34 PM

And if that wasn’t bad enough for UVA fans, Allen also quite clearly took three steps before releasing the shot:

There’s not really much to argue about here. Allen traveled. But before you get all riled up about the no-call, a few things to keep in mind:

  1. A player taking three steps on a drive is the call that referees miss more than anything, including block-charge decisions. It’s a very difficult call to see in real time, and if you’re going to make it in that situation — final seconds, in Cameron, on a Duke player — you better be damn sure that you’re right.
  2. The same can be said about Allen’s foot hitting the ground before he got the shot off. To figure out that the refs got it wrong, I had to take a screen grab from a slow-motion replay on an angle that none of the three referees had. It’s a split-second thing, and that’s something that’s rarely going to get called unless it’s obvious. Especially then.
  3. So yes, the referees blew the call. But I’m not sure there is a ref in the world that gets that one right.

And for what it’s worth, I’m not buying the whole Allen got fouled angle. That was great defense from Marial Shayok and an even better finish by Allen. It’s tough luck for the Cavs, but not really all that much different than winning a game like this.

Whatever the case may be, the result isn’t changing.

Duke got 25 points from Brandon Ingram, picked up their second win of the week over a ranked opponent and now head to their most difficult week of the season — at North Carolina and at Louisville — playing some of their best basketball.

In the last two games, the Blue Devils have given up 1.016 points-per-possession, a marked improvement over 1.081 PPP they were giving up entering the day.

Have the Blue Devils solved their issues defensively?