California v UCLA

Late Night Snacks: Pac-12 action highlights a slow night

1 Comment

Game of the Day

No. 3 Arizona 92, Colorado 83 OT: The shame in the refs blowing a call (calls?) on Sabatino Chen’s would-have-been game-winning three is that it ruined the talking point for what was a terrific finish. Arizona erased a 10 point deficit in the final four minutes to tie the game in the final ten seconds.

USC 71, Stanford 69: The Cardinal blew a nine-point halftime lead, suffering a painful loss that will sting even more when Stanford is trying to figure out whether or not they will make the bubble cut. Making matters worse? Stanford’s two best players had looks at the end of regulation that could have forced overtime.

Important Outcomes

UCLA 79, Cal 65: Kyle Anderson had 19 points and 12 boards, Shabazz Muhammad went for 16 and Larry Drew had nine more assists without committing a turnover as UCLA rolled over the Bears. I’ve changed my opinion on the Bruins since Josh Smith and Tyler Lamb left. They run, they score and they’ve embraced their roster limitations. More importantly, they’re fun to watch and look like they’re having fun playing basketball. That hasn’t always been true for the Bruins under Ben Howland.

North Texas 76, Troy 59: I know that it’s Troy and I know that Troy is now 5-10 on the season and 0-4 in the Sun Belt, but Tony Mitchell finally looked like the Tony Mitchell we thought he would be this season. He finished with 29 points, 15 boards and four blocks.

Arkansas-Little Rock 75, Western Kentucky 67: The Hilltoppers dropped their first league game of the year, meaning that …

South Alabama 77, Louisiana-Monroe 72: … South Alabama is now tied with WKU for the best record in the Sun Belt. Augustine Rubit had 32 points and 13 boards in the win.

Starred

Trey Burke, Michigan: Burke had 23 points, five assists, four steals and at least three ankle-breaking crossovers as the No. 2 Wolverines beat Northwestern 94-66.

Jonathon Lee, Northeastern: Lee had 20 points and four assists as the Huskies went into Fairfax, VA, and knocked off George Mason.

Louis Montes, Sacred Heart: Montes had 35 points and eight boards as Sacred Heart knocked off LIU-Brooklyn to pick up just their third win of the season.

Damen Bell-Holter, Oral Roberts: 35 points and 14 boards is impressive, even if it does come against SE Louisiana.

Stunk

The refs working Colorado-Arizona: It wasn’t just the last call. They were really, really bad down the stretch.

Southern Miss: They beat some team named Dillard 135-41. It begs the question: why is Southern Miss playing a team they can beat by 94 points in January?

Other notable scores

  • No. 10 Gonzaga 78, Pepperdine 62
  • Wisconsin 60, Penn State 51
  • UNLV 74, Chicago State 52
  • BYU 92, LMU 51
  • Bryant 84, Robert Morris 77

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Some conference matchups play out before football

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, left, reacts after scoring a basket against Utah during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Oregon defeated Utah 77-59. (AP Photo/George Frey)
(AP Photo/George Frey)
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Utah at No. 16 Oregon, 4:00 p.m.

From Rob Dauster’s Weekend Preview:

Utah suffered one of the worst losses I’ve seen in a while on Thursday night, when Brandon Taylor, for some unknown reason, decided to foul an Oregon State player firing up a half court prayer at the buzzer. The Utes, who are arguably the second-best team in the Pac-12, will look to bounce-back on Sunday against the best team in the Pac-12, No. 16 Oregon at 4:00 p.m.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. No. 12 SMU will attempt to stay atop the American standings as they travel to South Florida. While the Mustangs won the first matchup between these two teams at home by 14, they’ve dropped their last two games on the road.

2. A few more American contests are going down as East Carolina travels to UConn and Houston heads to Tulsa. The game between the Cougars and Golden Hurricane is especially interesting because both teams are sitting two games back of SMU and trying to make a move on the postseason.

3. No. 5 Iowa continues the soft part of the schedule as they face Illinois on the road. The Hawkeyes posted recent easy victories over Northwestern and Penn State and will be heavily favored again on Sunday.

4. Could be an intriguing game as No. 17 Miami travels to Georgia Tech. Although the Yellow Jackets aren’t a major contender in the ACC, they’ve been tough this season, especially at home. The Hurricanes fell victim to Georgia Tech last season while they were ranked by Marcus Georges-Hunt has to get back on track after a recent slump for that to happen.

5. There is an Atlantic 10 game that will be featured on NBCSN on Sunday: Saint Louis at St. Bonaventure (2:00 p.m.).

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Sunday afternoon.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Leave a comment

Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.