Syracuse v Marquette

Marquette forward Steve Taylor undergoes surgery on right knee

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Marquette announced on Friday afternoon that freshman forward Steve Taylor Jr. underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove a benign growth from his right knee.

According to the program Taylor is expected to miss 3-4 months as a result of the procedure, which addresses an issue that has bothered Taylor for quite some time.

Taylor played in 35 games as a freshman for the Golden Eagles, averaging of 3.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game. His most successful outing came in Marquette’s mid-December victory over Savannah State, a game in which he accounted for a career-high ten points to go along with six rebounds.

Taylor established a career-high with eight rebounds in a loss at Villanova on February 23, and on the season 36 of his 73 total rebounds were of the offensive variety.

Taylor played his high school basketball at Simeon HS in Chicago, and he’s expected to be released from the hospital Friday afternoon.

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

Gillon, Thompson lead Syracuse over Boston University

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26:  John Gillon #4 of the Syracuse Orange dribbles up court against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half during the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational at Barclays Center on November 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim wants his bench to perform better.

He got his wish Saturday.

John Gillon and Taurean Thompson came off the bench to score a Syracuse career-high 23 points and career-high 22 points, respectively, and the Orange broke open a tight game early in the second half to defeat Boston University 99-77.

Gillon hadn’t scored in Syracuse’s two previous games.

“We want guys to come off the bench to score and that’s what happened today,” Boeheim said. “Thompson is getting better on offense. … John saved the game in the first half.”

Andrew White added 19 and Tyler Lydon 10 for the Orange (6-3). Frank Howard had 11 assists and just two turnovers.

Syracuse had lost three of four entering the game.

Cedric Hankerson led the Terriers (4-6) with 34 points, including 10 of 20 from beyond the arc. Eric Fanning chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds.

Syracuse led 45-39 at the half but outscored the Terriers 19-5 in the first five minutes of the second half, led by seven from Thompson, to take a 64-44 lead. The Orange breezed the rest of the way, extending their lead to 88-55. Syracuse shot 55 percent in the second half, outscoring the Terriers 54-38 after intermission.

“They just got on a run and we couldn’t really bounce back from that,” said Hankerson. “They were hitting some daggers and we started turning the ball over too much.”

“They had some guys who shot better than they had been, and we helped them,” said BU coach Joe Jones. “We were really bad on offense and made some really bad decisions and you can’t do that.”

Gillon and Thompson scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, in the first half to spark what had been a lethargic Orange effort. Gillon’s first-half points included 4 of 4 from beyond the arc.

“I had a lot going on and wasn’t in the right mindset, not ready to play,” said Gillon. “That’s what happens, you get bad results. I’m getting myself together.”

Both teams exchanged baskets early on, but then the Terriers went on an 8-0 run, led by two 3-pointers by Hankerson, to take a 20-12 lead. Two 3s by Gillon and a jumper by Thompson tied the score at 23 with 8:31 to go in the half. The Orange then outscored BU 22-16 to take its halftime lead.

Hankerson, who averaged 9.3 points a game entering the game, scored 19 in the first half.

The undersized Terriers outrebounded Syracuse for the game.

Despite the win, Boeheim said there’s much work to do.

“It’s foolish for me or anybody to think this was going to happen right away. It’s a long way off,” Boeheim said. “We have glaring weaknesses and have to get better.”

BIG PICTURE

BOSTON UNIVERSITY: The Terriers hung tough for a half but the Orange’s talent took over in the second 20 minutes. BU was tough on the boards and had 18 second-chance points.

SYRACUSE: It was another decisive victory for the Orange over a decidedly inferior opponent, so you can’t really judge much from the win.

TIP-INS

Hankerson’s game was his best yet since returning from last year’s season-pending ACL. . This was the first game all year that the Terriers had been outscored in the paint.

White has scored in double figures in all nine Syracuse games. . Lydon is 3 of 17 from 3 in his last three games. .. Dajuan Coleman had just two points after two solid efforts.

UP NEXT

Boston University: Hosts New Hampshire a week from Sunday.

Syracuse: Continues its five-game homestand next Saturday against longtime rival Georgetown on what’s been designated “Pearl Washington Day” in honor of the Syracuse legend who died earlier this year.

Alkins leads No. 20 Arizona past Missouri, 79-60

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 25:  Rawle Alkins #1 of the Arizona Wildcats drives against Sean McDermott #22 of the Butler Bulldogs during the championship game of the 2016 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on November 25, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) It’s an old cliché winning on the road in college basketball is no easy task.

As a visiting opponent, having only seven players on scholarship doesn’t make it any easier.

It didn’t seem to faze No. 20 Arizona, which looked polished and poised as it defeated Missouri for the third consecutive season, cruising to a 79-60 victory Saturday in its first true road game of the season.

Rawle Alkins led the way for the Wildcats with 19 points and nine rebounds. Kobi Simmons had 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and Kadeem Allen added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

“We’re going through a lot right now,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “How we practice and every game, it’s just really crucial for us. I think that in short time, I’m hopeful we can get some guys back, but in the meantime, this was a meaningful game. … I’m proud of our guys’ effort and approach tonight.”

The Wildcats (8-2) jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first 3:12, eventually taking a 25-8 lead with 10:29 remaining in the first half. From that point, Missouri outscored Arizona 28-16 in the half, including a 7-0 run to end the opening 20 minutes.

The Tigers (5-4) continued to chip away at Arizona’s lead, eventually cutting the deficit to 45-41 early in the second half. However, the Wildcats responded with a 26-4 run that included a Missouri scoring drought of 6:59, halting any momentum the Tigers had mustered.

“I thought we did great job of coming back,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. “I was really proud of our guys and the way they competed. In the second half early, we had some chances, and then they went on a great run and for all practical purposes, put the game out of reach.”

Kevin Puryear had a team-best 11 points and seven rebounds. Leading scorer Frankie Hughes was held in check by the Wildcats’ backcourt, scoring 10 points on 2-of-13 shooting. Russell Woods had eight points and six rebounds, and Cullen VanLeer added eight points, all in the first half.

A reported crowd of over 10,000 was on hand for the only currently ranked opponent on Missouri’s home schedule.

VanLeer attributed the Tigers’ comeback efforts to the home crowd energy.

“The magnitude of the crowd was really nice to have. We appreciated everyone that came out. We were upset we couldn’t get the win today, but hopefully we can continue to get bigger crowds and it’ll help us get rhythm and flow in the game,” VanLeer said.

Arizona dominated the glass, outrebounding Missouri 46-28, its worst rebounding margin of the season.

The Wildcats led wire-to-wire despite nearly doubling Missouri’s turnovers, 15-8, and committing 22 fouls to the Tigers’ 11. Missouri shot 66.7 percent from the free throw line, including 9 of 17 in the second half.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona: The Wildcats entered the game shooting 36.6 percent from 3-point range, but caught fire early against the Tigers, shooting 54.2 percent. Missouri made just 1 of 8 3-point attempts in the second half while the Wildcats made 6 of 10. Missouri was coming off a season-high 3-point output against Miami (Ohio).

Missouri: A tenacious on-ball defender, Missouri point guard Terrence Phillips has struggled with foul trouble in recent games. In Monday’s 81-55 win over Miami (Ohio) Phillips played only 10 minutes in the second half, finishing with four fouls. He picked up his third foul 3:56 into the second half, limiting him to just 16 minutes against the Wildcats.

PIVOTAL MOMENT

Woods received a bounce pass in the lane on a fast break and gathered for a two-handed slam in front of the Missouri student section that would have cut the deficit to 45-43, but missed the dunk. On the ensuing Arizona possession, Woods was whistled for a foul, leading to two free throws by Arizona forward Dusan Ristic, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

LET DOWN

Freshman 7-footer Lauri Markkanen entered the game as Arizona’s leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 17.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. Against Missouri, the native of Finland had a season-low eight points to go with six rebounds, and fouled out with 2:53 remaining.

Puryear discussed his approach to defending Markkanen.

“Just being physical with him,” Puryear said. “Not letting him get comfortable with where he was on the floor with the ball. He likes to operate in the mid-post area, so I tried to eliminate that.”

UP NEXT

Arizona: hosts Grand Canyon on Wednesday.

Missouri: hosts Eastern Illinois next Saturday.

Short-handed Boilermakers crush Cleveland State, 77-53

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 13: Isaac Haas #44 of the Purdue Boilermakers shoots against Gavin Schilling #34 of the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 13, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) No. 18 Purdue currently has only eight healthy scholarship players. At this point in the season, it hasn’t been a problem.

Isaac Haas scored 14 points, Caleb Swanigan had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Dakota Mathias added 12 points on four 3-pointers, leading the Boilermakers to a 77-53 victory over Cleveland State on Saturday.

Fifth-year graduate student point guard Spike Alnrecht (back) and sophomore forward Jacquil Taylor (foot surgery) are out indefinitely. However, Purdue is getting balanced scoring and solid defense from its eight healthy scholarship players.

The Boilermakers (8-2) finished the first half on a 12-0 run to lead 41-20 and never were threatened thereafter, leading by as many as 27 points in the second half.

“That run to close the first half was huge, especially since they had started to make shots right before that and had a little momentum going,” Mathias said. “Coming out of that last media timeout, we had to close out the first half strong, so we did. We were aggressive and got into the passing lanes.”

It was a 5:15 stretch Cleveland State would like to forget.

“The run to close the first half was big for (Purdue) after we cut it to nine,” Cleveland State coach Gary Waters said. “We made some errors, they started hitting some shots and they picked up their defense. They are a great team, and that’s what great teams do.”

Bobby Word had 14 points to lead Cleveland State (3-6), which shot only 26.7 percent (8 of 30) during the pivotal first half. Vikings leading scorers Word, Rob Edwards and Demonte Flannigan scored only 24 combined points on 9-of-35 shooting from the field.

Vince Edwards added 11 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Boilermakers, who have won each of their past three games by at least 24 points. Mathias finished with six rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers to go with his 12 points in 26 minutes.

“Vince Edwards had a lot to do with that 12-0 run to close the first half, and right now, having the balance that we have is a really good thing,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “Our guys were ready to play today, including Dakota, who really did a nice defensive job on Edwards. We relaxed a little bit once we got a 20-point lead, but sometimes that happens.”

Edwards liked the way Purdue limited the Vikings to 31.3 percent shooting (20 of 64).

“Guys did a really good job on defense and with help defense,” Edwards said. “We were really helping each other out by scrambling on the floor. I think that made a big difference. We were active, and we also were getting on the glass.”

The Boilermakers outrebounded the Vikings, 44-34.

BIG PICTURE

Cleveland State: The Vikings, who came to Purdue having won two in a row, stayed close for a while by making seven 3-pointers in the first 24:04 but had no answer for Purdue’s 7-2 Haas and 6-8 Swanigan.

Purdue: The Boilermakers once again featured a solid blend of interior and perimeter scoring to win for the seventh time in the past eight games. Purdue entered this game shooting 44.8 percent from 3-point range – second best nationally – and shot 43.8 percent from beyond the arc in the first half Saturday.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Having won three in a row by 34, 33 and now 24 points, Purdue likely has positioned itself to move up from No. 18 in the next AP Top 25. Purdue has been a Top 25 team in 24 consecutive polls.

UP AND DOWN DAY

Swanigan added another double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds but was not happy after making eight of the Boilermakers’ 15 turnovers.

“It’s not on the team, it’s on me and Vince Edwards because the last game we had a lot of turnovers, but Vince cut his down to two, and I have to try to do that,” Swanigan said.

UP NEXT

Cleveland State: The Vikings play on Dec. 17, at Ohio University.

Purdue: The Boilermakers will play No. 23 Notre Dame on Dec. 17 in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Four things we learned in No. 1 Villanova’s win over No. 23 Notre Dame

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 10: Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats attempts a shot as he is defended by Bonzie Colson #35 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half of a college basketball game at Prudential Center on December 10, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Josh Hart scored 37 points and added 11 rebounds and four assists as No. 1 Villanova avoided losing to No. 23 Notre Dame, 74-66.

The game was closer than the final score would indicate, as Notre Dame was up by as much 11 points in the first half, but Villanova came storming back to win (and cover).

Here are four things we learned from the near-upset:

1. Mike Brey was right: The Notre Dame head coach made headlines before the game when he told reporters that he hoped Saturday’s matchup with Villanova would be a chance to put attention on “two teams who have won instead of a lottery pick freshman who is maybe hurt … or a lottery pick freshman who is getting his butt beat.” While some read this as a shot at Duke’s Harry Giles III and Washington’s Markelle Fultz, it was actually a shot at the media, who pay more attention to the guys that have a shot at being good in the NBA instead of the guys who are great at this level.

And those veterans are going to get the attention they deserve after this game, because …

2. … because you cannot question Josh Hart anymore: No, he’s not going to end up being an NBA All-Star one day, but the senior star for the Wildcats is, as of Saturday, the leader in the clubhouse for National Player of the Year. He quite literally put Villanova on his back, scoring as many points as the rest of his teammates combined in a come-from-behind win for Villanova. Given the situation and the opponent, I’d argue that Hart’s performance was the best we’ve seen this season. It’s the first time since 1998 that a player has had 35 points, 10 boards and shot better than 70 percent from the floor in a game against a ranked team.

Has he convinced NBA scouts that he’ll be able to make a living at the next level yet? For the doubters, take a look at Malcolm Brogdon, who was an all-american at Virginia the last two years. Brogdon is playing more than 20 minutes a night with the Milwaukee Bucks while averaging 7.8 points and 2.9 assists. Hart may not have the ceiling that some of the younger guys do, but he’ll be able to contribute on an NBA team immediately.

But back to the point …

3. … and because Notre Dame is the real deal: The Irish entered Saturday at 9-0 on the season, but they had yet to beat anyone of consequence this season. They still haven’t beaten anyone of consequence, but if Saturday taught us anything, it’s that the Irish are really good.

I don’t think they’re good enough to compete for the ACC regular season title, not when the league is also inhabited by Duke, UNC and Louisville. I do, however, think that they have the horses to make a run at fourth place, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Irish could end up making their third straight Elite 8 this season. Matt Farrell totally outplayed Jalen Brunson on Saturday, finishing with 18 points and six assists while making Brunson fall in the first half. Bonzie Colson, who had been Notre Dame’s best player this year, finished with just 11 points and eight boards, but Steve Vasturia chipped in with 18 points of his own and Notre Dame got next to nothing from their best NBA prospect, V.J. Beachem.

All four of those guys are upper-classmen that were overshadowed by the like of Jerian Grant, Zach Auguste and Demetrius Jackson the last two years. But they can play, and those that don’t appreciate how good that Notre Dame program is at developing talent should recognize.

4. Surprise! Villanova is good enough to repeat: The Wildcats just landed a come-from-behind victory over a top 25 team in a game where literally one player on their roster played well. They may not be favored against Duke – or Kentucky, or Kansas, etc. – but it’s not a fluke this team is ranked No. 1 in the country.

PHOTO: Incensed Tom Izzo takes a seat on Michigan State bench

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans talks to his team against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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We knew this was going to be a long year for Tom Izzo and Michigan State.

That’s what happens when he has a young team playing an insane schedule with point guard question marks and injuries all over the front line.

So it’s not surprising that he would be frustrated.

On Saturday, in a game against Tennessee Tech, Tom Izzo made his was to the end of the Michigan State bench because his team forgot how to make free throws:

At the time, the Spartans were just 10-for-22 from the line.

But Izzo really should cheer up. It’s not all bad. He won the Dean Smith Award today: