Western Kentucky v Mississippi Valley State

Morehead State releases 2013-14 schedule

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Morehead State released their schedule for the upcoming season, and it is a challenging one.

Second year head coach Sean Woods did not fill the non-conference with cupcakes to pile up wins heading into the Ohio Valley portion of the schedule. In his first year at the helm, Woods led Morehead State to a 15-18 record; their first sub .500 season since 2006-07.

“We’re excited about the upcoming season,” Head Coach Sean Woods said.  “Our schedule is filled with quality opponents, but our team will get better by playing high-level competition.  Our young men will be tested early and often, but I know they’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Next year’s schedule has ten teams that advanced to the postseason on it, but just one NCAA Tournament team — UCLA.

The schedule is highlighted by Morehead State’s participation in the Las Vegas Invitational, where they will open up with UCLA.

Other marquee games on the slate include at Xavier (November 15), vs. Marshall (November 17), at Southern Mississippi (December 4), and at Tennessee (December 23).

Woods takes the “anywhere, anytime, anyplace” approach when it comes to scheduling — an approach that some coaches in low and mid-major conferences use to gain exposure, test their team in November and December, and add some additional funds into the program through guarantee games:

“I expect Xavier, UCLA, Southern Miss and Tennessee to all be big-time road environments, but we have several high-major transfers who have played in that type of atmosphere. That experience should certainly help us. I like to talk about playing anyone, at any time, using any location — and that’s what we’re doing again this year. Our strong non-conference schedule will help our RPI and prepare us for a very challenging league schedule.”

The game at Southern Mississippi will pit the Beakers against their former coach, Donnie Tyndall. Recall that Tyndall led Morehead State to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a win over Louisville in 2011 as a #13 seed.

Said Woods: “We have a solid mix of quality returning players and accomplished newcomers. I’m confident we will play a fast-paced and entertaining brand of basketball.  We’re looking forward to seeing lots of Eagle fans throughout the season.”

Brooks’ big game leads No. 15 Oregon over Fresno State 78-73

Dillon Brooks, Torren Jones
AP Photo/Chris Pietsch
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Dillon Brooks had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 15 Oregon staved off a late rally by Fresno State for a 78-73 victory Monday night.

Chris Boucher and Elgin Cook added 14 points each for the Ducks (6-0), who led 70-52 with 6:35 to play before Marvelle Harris scored 13 points in a 16-2 run by the Bulldogs (5-1) that cut the deficit to four.

A driving layup by Brooks put Oregon up 74-68 with 1:20 left, and the Ducks held on by making four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds.

Harris, who didn’t score until the 12:04 mark of the second half, led Fresno State with 18 points, while Paul Watson added 11 and Torren Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 41-32 behind Jones and Karachi Edo, who had nine rebounds and 10 points.

Freshman Tyler Dorsey, Oregon’s leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, finished with 12.

The Ducks scored the game’s first 11 points, went up by as many as 14 and took a 37-25 halftime lead. The Ducks did most of the damage from inside the 3-point arc (9 of 10) and at the free throw line, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-5.

Fresno State, meanwhile, missed its first six shots from the field, shot 29.0 percent (9 of 31) and saw its top two scorers, Harris and Cezar Guerrero, held scoreless for the first 20 minutes.

The senior guards came in averaging 20.2 and 13.2 points per game, respectively.


Fresno State: Harris, the preseason choice for Mountain West Conference player of the year, needed one point to crack the Bulldog’s all-time top 10 in scoring. After going scoreless in the first half, he finished with 18 to rank 10th with 1,425, one behind Tod Bernard in ninth place, in 107 career games. . The Bulldogs fell to 2-10 all-time against Oregon. They last time they beat the Ducks, who have won the last five meetings, was in 1995. . Fresno State hasn’t beaten a Top 25 team on the road since 2000.

Oregon: The double-double was the second of the season Brooks and fourth of his career. . The Ducks are 40-2 against nonconference opponents since moving into Matthew Knight Arena five years ago. . The 6-0 start is Oregon’s second in the last nine years. The Ducks started 13-0 two seasons ago.

No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.