Late Night Snacks: Statements made on Monday

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Another Big Monday has come and gone with the standard Big 12 and Big East games on tap. Some close match-ups and statements came with the territory. It’s Late Night Snacks.

Game of the night

No. 9 Syracuse 63, No. 25 Notre Dame 47 – The Orange were looking for a win after two-straight losses. They got a solid game from C.J. Fair (below) and shook off a bit of a sluggish offensive start to keep the Fighting Irish at bay in the second half. They never led by less than eight in the second half. Notre Dame has hit a bit of a rough stretch since the win over a ranked Cincinnati team on Jan. 7.

Games of note

Iowa State 83, Oklahoma 64 – This could’ve been a statement game for the Sooners on the road. Instead it was a game that showed the world that Will Clyburn can hoop. He had 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the victory.

No. 23 Pittsburgh 56, Seton Hall 46 – This was close one until Seton Hall’s Fuquan Edwin went down with a sprained ankle. He would return and had the best game of any player on the court (below), but injuries and bad luck keep hampering the Pirates. Pittsburgh got big games from Steven Adams (below) and Lamar Patterson in the victory.

Alcorn State 78, Grambling State 53 – Your weekly update on the only winless team in Division I men’s college basketball. They couldn’t get the first victory of the season, this one a road loss in Lorman, Miss. The loss makes the Tigers 0-20 overall.


Jerrelle Benimon, Towson – The Georgetown transfer who is averaging 16.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game for the Tigers had himself another game in a win over UNC-Wilmington. The junior finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

C.J. Fair, Syracuse – In a win the Orange needed to break a small losing streak, Fair showed the talent that he hasn’t been given credit for this year with 18 points and 10 boards in the win over Notre Dame.

Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall – Edwin has been the man who has steadied (or at least tried to steady) the rough season for the Pirates. He had 23 points on 43.8-percent shooting at five steals in the loss at Pittsburgh.

Steven Adams, Pittsburgh – In the same game as Edwin, Adams cleaned glass. The freshman from New Zealand finished with eight points and 15 rebounds in the win.


Romero Osby, Oklahoma – Osby has been having a great year for the Sooners, avearging 14.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. Monday night didn’t help that. He finished with six points and 6 rebounds on 2-of-10 shooting in loss to Iowa State.

Ben Averkamp, Loyola (Chicago) – Averkamp averages 15.6 points per game for the Ramblers. He clocked out Monday night with only eight points on 2-of-6 shooting a 62-59 loss to Wright State.

Stuffing the stat sheet

Lazabian Jackson, Arkansas-Pine Bluff – The Golden Lions’ senior went for 20 points, five rebounds and five steals (and six turnovers) in a 76-67 victory at Alabama A&M. UAPB is 8-2 in the SWAC, but aren’t eligible for the postseason this year due to low APR scores.

Another solid night to begin the week. Ready to the week ahead. It’s only going to get better.

 Follow David on Twitter at @David_Harten.

No. 14 Cal goes 0-2 in Las Vegas Invitational

Jaylen Brown
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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After midnight on the east coast on Thanksgiving, No. 14 Cal blew a 15 point second half lead against San Diego State, allowing the Aztecs to use a 30-6 run to put away the game and advance to the final of the Las Vegas Invitational. That’s the same San Diego State team had scored 43 points in a loss to Arkansas-Little Rock last week.

Not 24 hours later, the Golden Bears were shredded defensively by the Richmond Spiders, losing 94-90 in the consolation game of a four-team tournament they were considered to be the heavy favorite in.

It’s a disappointing two-game stretch for Cal, who entered the season as a Pac-12 favorite and had looked the part for the first four games of the season.

And the issue appears to be on the defensive end of the floor.

Richmond is a good Atlantic 10 team. Terry Allen and Marshall Wood are high-major big men, Shawn’Dre Jones is a jitterbug at the point and Chris Mooney runs a Princeton-esque system that is very difficult to prepare for without a day in-between games. So it’s not really surprising that the Spiders gave Cal a fight.

But 94 points?

On the heels of giving up 44 points in the second half against the offensively-challenged Aztecs?

That’s a problem, one that I’m sure that Cuonzo Martin is going to address this week in practice. Martin has managed to put together a roster that is build for small-ball, with four talented perimeter players surrounding a first round pick in the post. But that’s not the style that he’s known for. Martin played his college ball at Purdue in the Gene Keady days. He cut his teeth as a head coach at Missouri State in the Missouri Valley. His team’s at Tennessee were known for being tough and physical defensively.

That’s how Martin coaches, which is part of the reason Cal had such hype entering the year.

The talents of Tyrone Wallace, Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews on a team with a coach that gets teams to defend the way Martin does? It’s no surprise that pundits would be optimistic.

But as of now, they have some work to do defensively if they want to live up to that hype.

Tyler Ulis injured as No. 1 Kentucky beats South Florida

Tyler Ulis, Ky Howard
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MIAMI (AP) Jamal Murray had 21 points and No. 1 Kentucky scored the final 15 points of the first half on the way to beating South Florida 84-63 in the HoopHall Miami Invitational on Friday.

Skal Labissiere added 17 points for the Wildcats (6-0), who led by as many as 31. Charles Matthews scored 11 points and Isaiah Briscoe finished with seven assists for Kentucky, now a winner of 37 consecutive regular-season games and 39 in a row against unranked opponents.

Chris Perry scored 14 points for USF (1-5), which has lost 18 consecutive games against teams ranked in the Top 25. Jaleel Cousins added 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting, and Jahmal McMurray scored 11 points for the Bulls.

Kentucky played the second half without starting guard Tyler Ulis, who departed with a right elbow injury after getting hurt while fighting for a ball loose on the floor.

Kentucky announced after the game that the injury was a hyperextension of the elbow and that he will be day-to-day.

The Bulls were within 27-21 with 6 minutes left in the first half after McMurray banked in a 3-pointer only a few feet away from where John Calipari was standing, and the look of anguish on the Kentucky coach’s face was clear.

It didn’t last long.

The Wildcats scored on seven of their next nine possessions and the game was over by halftime, Kentucky going into the break with a 42-21 lead.

It was a reunion for plenty of people on both benches. Calipari squared off with his former assistant Orlando Antigua, now in his second year leading USF. Antigua’s staff includes another former Calipari assistant in Rod Strickland, plus former Kentucky basketball staff members Mike Malone and Dominic Lombardi.

So the staffs have plenty of familiarity. On the court, there was plenty of disparity. Kentucky finished with a commanding 23-6 edge in points off turnovers and finished with 16 assists to the Bulls’ six.