Late Night Snacks: Pyrrhic victory for UNLV as Mike Moser goes down

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Games of the Day

1. No. 21 UNLV 76, California 75
A Quintrell Thomas put back with 1.2 seconds remaining gave UNLV the win in Berkeley, but it came at a cost as junior forward Mike Moser went down with a dislocated right elbow. How long the All-America candidate is out remains to be seen, but this is a major blow for Dave Rice’s team.

The good news for UNLV: Anthony Bennett was a grown man inside (25 points, 14 rebounds) and Bryce Dejean-Jones snapped out of his shooting slump with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Allen Crabbe led Cal with 18 points, but the Golden Bears’ 15-of-28 night from the foul line cost them a victory that would have looked nice on their resume.

2. Lafayette 72, Sacred Heart 70
Bryce Scott’s three-pointer with three seconds remaining was the difference as the Leopards beat Sacred Heart in Easton. Lafayette survived 25 second half points from the prolific Shane Gibson, who was held scoreless in the first half. Sacred Heart came back from an 18-2 deficit to begin the game, but they fell short in the end after being seconds away from picking up a much-needed road victory.

3. FIU 82, Stetson 79
Malik Smith went off down the stretch for the Panthers, scoring eight of his 29 points in the final 37 seconds to lead FIU to victory. Four other FIU players finished in double figures, and Chris Perez led five Stetson starters in double figures with 22 points.

Important Outcomes

1. Florida State 91, Maine 59
This one’s important for two reasons. One, Florida State avoided losing to a team they should beat at home without the services of forward Terrance Shannon (back spasms). Two, the Seminoles turned the ball over just seven times. That’s the lowest number of turnovers in a game during Leonard Hamilton’s tenure in Tallahassee.

2. No. 16 Creighton 77, Akron 61 
Doug McDermott had it rolling in Omaha, shooting 10-of-15 from the field and scoring a game-high 30 points. Gregory Echenique defended Zeke Marshall while also tallying ten points and seven rebounds, and Grant Gibbs put together another solid floor game with eight assists, seven points and six rebounds with no turnovers. Creighton shot 48.4% from the field and 45.5% from three on the day.

3. Washington State 59, Fresno State 50
The Cougars’ win over Fresno State means that the Pac-12 avoided an 0-3 weekend against the Mountain West (UNLV beat Cal, and Nevada beat Washington on Saturday). Brock Motum led the way with 23 points and eight rebounds and Mike Ladd added 19 and six, and Fresno State did themselves no favors by shooting 2-of-20 from three.

Starred

1. F Doug McDermott (Creighton) 
30 points (10-of-15 FG, 6-of-8 3PT) and six rebounds in the Bluejays’ 77-61 win over Akron.

2. F Anthony Bennett (UNLV)
25 points and 13 rebounds in the Rebels’ 76-75 win at California.

3. G Yolonzo Moore II (Hartford) 
27 points (6-of-9 FG, 13-of-14 FT), eight rebounds and three steals in the Hawks’ 69-59 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. Moore played all 40 minutes.

Struggled

1. Rider 
This is the season for giving but the Broncs were far too charitable in their 65-52 loss to Rider, turning the ball over an astonishing 31 times. The Stags weren’t much better with the basketball, as they finished with 22 turnovers.

2. American inside the arc 
The Eagles struggled mightily inside of the three point line, shooting 9-of-33 (27.3%) in their 54-42 home loss to Columbia.

3. Siena players not named O.D. Anosike or Rakeem Brookins
In the Saints’ 75-55 loss to Manhattan those two combined to shoot 14-of-28 from the field. The other Saints who saw action: 4-of-23.

Three Facts 

1. Over his last four games Creighton’s Doug McDermott has made 17 of 23 shots from beyond the arc.

2. Canisius sits atop the MAAC standings after their 94-82 win at Marist. Canisius, now 6-1 on the season, won five games (one in MAAC play) all of last season.

3. In their 84-50 win over Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon, DePaul extended its streak of games with a made three-pointer to 588.

Other Notable Scores

1. Canisius 94, Marist 82

2. Xavier 62, Kent State 55

3. North Dakota State 72, North Dakota 52

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

Grand Canyon lands Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson

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Grand Canyon landed an important piece for its NCAA tournament push on Saturday night as Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson pledged to the Antelopes.

The 6-foot-3 Benson will be eligible right away as spent the past three seasons with the Ducks as a key reserve guard, helping Oregon to multiple deep NCAA tournament runs. Benson picked Grand Canyon over Wisconsin for his final season of college basketball as Benson’s brother, T.J., is an assistant coach with the Antelopes.

Benson shot 40 percent from three-point range last season while also being a steady ball handler over the course of his career at Oregon as he has only 81 career turnovers in over 2,600 career minutes with the Ducks. While Benson wasn’t asked to score a lot for a loaded Oregon team that featured multiple bucket-getters, he could be asked to do more at Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon is eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time next season as the addition of Benson gives them an experienced guard who should be more of a factor in the WAC. The Antelopes are coming off of a 22-9 season in which they finished 11-3 in conference play.

With great facilities and a quickly-growing fan base, head coach Dan Majerle has the potential makings of a perennial mid-major conference contender if he continues to recruit well to Grand Canyon.

Colorado adds commitment from Class of 2017 point guard McKinley Wright

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Colorado landed one of the best available point guards for next season on Friday as Class of 2017 floor general McKinley Wright committed during an official visit.

A former Dayton commit who opted out of his recruitment after former head coach Archie Miller took the Indiana job, Wright was one of the best available point guards left as he played last weekend on the adidas Gauntlet in front of college coaches with D1 Minnesota.

The 6-foot-0 Wright gives the Buffaloes another ball handler and distributor as he was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball during this past season. As a senior, Wright averaged 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

It’s always hard to say if spring recruits who elevate a level in recruiting after decommitting are making the correct decision, but Wright looked the part of a high-major lead guard last weekend, and Colorado wasn’t the only high-major program that was pushing hard to add Wright at this late stage.

Oral Roberts to hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills

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Oral Roberts has found its new head coach as they will hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills, as first reported by NBCSports.com’s Rob Dauster.

Mills had been on staff with the Bears since 2003 as he’s been a big factor in why head coach Scott Drew has been able to turn around that program. A graduate of Texas A&M, Mills has been a full-time assistant at Baylor since the 2009 season.

“I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission,” Mills said in a release. “Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead. Go Golden Eagles.”

Mills will replace former head coach Scott Sutton, who was relieved of his duties this offseason after 18 years at the helm.

 

Iowa commit Connor McCaffery to redshirt in basketball to pursue baseball

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Iowa commit Connor McCaffery is in a unique spot when he starts his freshman year in Iowa City next year.

Not only is the 6-foot-4 guard the son of basketball head coach Fran McCaffery, while being a four-star national basketball prospect, but Connor also has a bright future in baseball.

There was a lot of speculation as to what Connor might do for his future in athletics and he gave more clarification on what he might be looking to do on Friday.

McCaffery has decided to redshirt in basketball next season to focus on the beginnings of his baseball career at Iowa. A walk-on for both sports, the move enables Connor McCaffery to potentially play three years of basketball with his younger brother, Patrick, who is also a heralded basketball recruit for Iowa. This move also gives Connor the best chance to pursue both sports while he’ll also help out a young Iowa basketball team with its tough scholarship scenario.

Butler, Chris Holtmann agree to a contract extension

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Butler has agreed to a contract extension with head coach Chris Holtmann, the school announced on Friday, that will keep him under contract through 2025.

“Butler truly is a special place, and my family and I are thankful to be part of a great academic institution and an athletics department that is a source of pride for those who embrace Butler and The Butler Way,” said Holtmann. “Our student-athletes, our staff, and so many throughout our campus are remarkable at what they do, and I’m excited to continue to work alongside them.”

Holtmann was named Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to a 25-9 record and a spot in the Sweet 16. In three years with the program, Holtmann has a record of 70-31.

“Chris is a tremendous ambassador for Butler and the Butler Way, and his leadership has resulted in success both on and off the court for the talented young men in our program,” said Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “This commitment – both by our university and by Chris – allows the momentum within our program to continue.”

Holtmann was in the mix for a couple of jobs this spring, including N.C. State and Missouri.