Junior Cadougan

Late Night Snacks: Marquette outlasts UConn in a thriller

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Game of the Day: Marquette 82, UConn 76 OT

While the lasting memory of this game will be the substantial gaffe from the referees at the start of the overtime, it’s worth noting that the sequence that earned the fans in attendance five minutes of free basketball was one of the most entertaining finishes of the young season. With the Huskies up 67-66 and a five second difference on the shot clock and the game clock, Ryan Boatright his a tough fadeaway jumper at the shot clock buzzer to give the Huskies a five point lead. But UConn decided not to foul and no one called a timeout, which allowed Junior Cadougan to get a wide-open look at a three at the other end. He hit it as time expired. It was the first three the Golden Eagles hit on the night.

In the overtime, UConn had a bucket incorrectly waived off, and after Marquette scored and Omar Calhoun answered with a three to give UConn a one point lead, Vander Blue hit Marquette’s second three of the game, banking in a triple from the wing on a shot that Shabazz Napier nearly blocked. The Golden Eagles would go up 74-72 and never look back.

Starred: Greg Gantt, Florida Atlantic

For the sixth consecutive game, Gantt reached the 20 point plateau as he went for 24  in a 61-57 win over Hofstra. The last time Gantt scored less than 20 came against Warner South, when he finished with 19 points. The last time he didn’t break 20 points against a Division I opponent? November 18th. 10 games ago. He’s averaging 22.3 points on the season, good for fifth in the country.

Struggled: Manhattan

The Jaspers have had a rough season as their star, George Beamon, has struggled to get healthy after injuring his ankle. They lost 50-44 to Stony Brook on Tuesday night, shooting 34.1% from the floor and committing 17 turnovers.

It’s worth noting that Stony Brook now leads the nation in true road wins. They have six of them.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:

VIDEO: Buddy Hield is ‘all money’ on game-winning three vs. No. 24 Texas

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) takes a shot over Oklahoma State forward Chris Oliver during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.

At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes

“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:

“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”

“It’s all money.”

Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.

Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .

Want to talk about coaching luxuries?

Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.