Elijah Johnson

Late Night Snacks: Johnson drops 39 for Kansas, Seton Hall shocks ‘Nova

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Everyone say it with me: ELIJAH JOHNSON! The Kansas guard highlighted the night by going off in a tough road environment at Iowa State and did so in the game of the night between the Cyclones and Jayhawks. A few good games in the Big 12 and Big East made for an interesting evening on the hardwood. It’s Late Night Snacks.

Game of the Night

No. 6 Kansas 108, Iowa State 96 (OT) – Game of the night by a wide margin. Iowa State hung in with the Jayhawks thanks to great three-point shooting (hit 17-of-35 through regulation), hitting 29-of-34 free throws and limiting turnovers (committed just seven). Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop Elijah Johnson (see below) and a crucial late-game foul went against them on Georges Niang. As a result, Kansas earns the regular-season sweep of the Cyclones. In the process, Bill Self picked up his 500th win. That’s how big the game was, Self’s 500th was a sidebar.

Games of Note

Seton Hall 66, Villanova 65 – Fuquan Edwin hit a three with 10 seconds left and Ryan Arcidiacono missed a three at the buzzer to allow the Pirates to earn one of the most surprising wins in a few days. Aaron Cosby scored 21 points for Seton Hall. The loss is a major hit to the Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament hopes, even with wins over Marquette, Syracuse and Louisville.

No. 13 Kansas State 75, Texas Tech 55 – K-State got to 23 wins on the season with a win over the Red Raiders. Thomas Gipson scored 20 in the win for the Wildcats, who are having a more-than impressive season in their first year under Bruce Weber.

Central Connecticut State 67, Quinnipiac 65 – The best mid-major game of the night, with Kyle Vinales hitting a three with six seconds left to give the Blue Devils the win and get them back to .500 in Northeast Conference play and drop the Bobcats to 10-6 in the NEC.


Elijah Johnson, Kansas – This section was made for performances like Johnson’s. The senior point guard, who has be much maligned all season by coach Bill Self, had arguably his best game as a Jayhawk at Iowa State. He averages 9.1 points per game, but dropped 39 points on 13-of-22 shooting, hit 6-of-10 three-pointers, all seven of his free throws and a bonkers three in overtime from 26 feet with the shot clock running out to seal the win. Bravo.

Davante Gardner, Marquette – Poured in a season-high 26 points and hit 12-of-13 free throws in the Golden Eagles’ win over Syracuse at home. For more on why Gardner is so essential to Marquette’s success, click here.

Kyle Vinales, Central Connecticut State – He scored 17 points, but Vinales hit a three with six seconds left to push the Blue Devils past Quinnipiac.

Dyami Starks, Bryant/Shane Gibson, Sacred Heart – The duo squared off against each other in Bryant’s 84-68 win, but they combined for 55 points. Gibson, who averages 20.8 points on the year, scored 30 on 12-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-10 from three. Starks, who has helped lead possibly the greatest mid-major turnaround besides Towson’s rise this season, had 25 on 10-of-14 shooting, hitting 4-of-6 threes himself.


Brandon Triche, Syracuse – Scored eight points on 4-of-10 shooting and committed three turnovers in the loss to Marquette. He’s averaging 14.7 points on the season.

Stuffing the Stat Sheet

Angel Rodriguez, Kansas State – The sophomore guard helped the Wildcats out away Texas Tech late and had a complete game in doing so, finishing with a line of 16 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman¬†that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.