ND vs. North Dakota State

Late Night Snacks: Three top four teams win, Notre Dame loses

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: North Dakota State 73, Notre Dame 69

Marshal Bjorklund went for 26 points to lead North Dakota State to an upset win over Notre Dame on the Joyce Center on Wednesday night. It’s the second time that the Irish have lost at home this season, and that fact has Raphielle Johnson a bit worried. Me? Not as much. The Bison are good this year. They are also, you know, calm, or at least that’s what their head coach, Saul Phillips, believes.

Said Phillips, on ESPNU’s post game show, “His resting pulse down the stretch wasn’t any different than the middle of the day when he’s out slopping pigs.”

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 1 Arizona looked the part of the No. 1 team in the country, as they knocked off New Mexico State at the McKale Center. Oh, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson did this.

2) Brett Olson went for 24 points as Denver went into the vaunted Moby Arena and knocked off Colorado State, 80-70.

3) Ben Brust led four players in double figures as No. 4 Wisconsin beat up on Milwaukee, 78-52. The Badgers have been phenomenal this season. Are they the best team in the Big Ten? Well, shoot 51% from the floor, hit 10-of-26 from three and force 19 turnovers while committing just eight and you’ll look like it.

STARRED

1) T.J. Bray finished with 23 points to lead four players in double-figures as Princeton knocked off Rutgers at the RAC.

2) Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage combined for 42 points, 17 boards, six assists and four steals as George Washington picked up a come-from-behind win over Boston U.

STRUGGLED

1) Weber State dropped to 1-4 after losing to Utah Valley, 62-59. Kyle Tresnak finished 1-for-10 from the floor.

2) Bryant is a good team. They gave Notre Dame a fight on Monday. And they lost to No. 3 Ohio State by 38, shooting 27.6% from the floor and turning the ball over 19 times.

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.

No. 23 USC falls at Arizona State

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley applauds the efforts of his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
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No. 23 USC missed a golden opportunity to make up a game in the Pac-12 standings on Friday night.

No. 11 Oregon lost to Colorado on Thursday night, dropping back into a tie for first place in the league with the Trojans, a game ahead of No. 17 Arizona. But USC fell at Arizona State, 74-67, keeping them a game off of the pace that the Ducks have set.

The loss is even more painful when you consider that, on Sunday, the Trojans will be making the trip to Tucson to take on Arizona. The Wildcats are not what we have become accustomed to seeing under Sean Miller, but they are still a top 25 team and the McKale Center is still one of the toughest places in the country to get a win.

Thanks to Friday’s loss, instead of entering McKale with an outside chance of taking over sole possession of first place in the league, USC will have top hope they don’t fall two games off the pace.

As far as the game itself was concerned, USC committed 17 turnovers, shot 2-for-11 from three and gave up 16 offensive rebounds to Arizona State. That’s how you lose a game where you shoot better than 51 percent from the floor. USC was just never able to consistently get out into transition, and that caused them to struggle¬†executing in the half court.

Nikola Jovanovic led the way with 25 points and 15 boards for USC.

Tra Holder’s 20 points made the difference for Arizona State, who kept themselves within striking distance of an at-large bid with the win.