Villanova

Late Night Snacks: Villanova, Illinois, Seton Hall win overtime games on New Year’s Eve

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 11 Villanova 76, Butler 73 OT

Where to begin with this one?

Kellen Dunham forced overtime when he connected on a shot with 25 seconds to go in regulation. The Wildcats took a five-point overtime led with 35 second remaining, but free throw woes allowed Butler to make a run. And in Hinkle Fieldhouse, anything can happen, right Gonzaga?

The Bulldogs comeback came up short however. Dunham, who had 22 points scored four points, including a layup with 15 seconds to go to cut the lead to 74-73. Villanova turned the ball over in the back court on the ensuing possession. Butler missed on an attempt, but had another shot to come away with the win, but Villanova forced a turnover on an inbounds pass.

OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: Illinois 83, Indiana 80 OT

The Fighting Illini ended 2013 with a win to begin Big Ten play at home against Indiana. Yogi Ferrell went for a career-high 30 points while the Hoosiers grabbed 12 more rebounds than the Illini and connected on 10-of-22 shots from three. But it was the Illinois defense and the IU turnovers that gave John Groce’s team an 83-80 overtime win. Indiana committed 23 turnovers on the evening. Despite its hot shooting from deep, Indiana went more than 11 minutes without a field goal. The drought began with 6:44 left in regulation and didn’t end until 3.1 seconds left in overtime.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

No. 3 Ohio State 78, Purdue 69

Purdue big man A.J. Hammons controlled the inside, something that will give the undersized Buckeyes some trouble as the season progresses, but LaQuinton Ross was too much offensively. The junior wing scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as No. 3 Ohio State remained unbeaten.

No. 14 Louisville 90, UCF 65

The Cardinals got back on track with its first win in the American Athletic Conference. Russ Smith had 24 points off 6-of-10 3-point shooting and nine assists. Luke Hancock had his best shooting performance of the season, 4-of-9 from deep for 16 points off the bench. As a team, Louisville went 14-of-27 from three.

Houston 75, No. 17 UConn 71

The Huskies let the Cougars get out to a 21-point first half lead. UConn would battle back and erase that deficit in the second half, only to see the comeback win slip away.

Xavier 70, St. John’s 60

The Musketeers won their first game in the Big East over the Johnnies. Semaj Christon went for 10 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Since losing three straight games in three straight games, in as many days, at the Battle 4 Atlantis, Xavier has won six in a row.

STARRED

Rayvonte Rice, Illinois: The transfer guard scored 29 points, recorded eight rebounds and came away with three steals in Illinois’ win over Indiana.

Yogi Ferrell went for 30 points, five assists and four rebounds in a loss

DeAndre Kane, Iowa State: The Cyclones lead guard was two rebounds shy of a triple-double with 16 points, 12 assists and eight boards.

LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State: Ross is averaging 18.0 points per game over his last nine games, including the 25 points he dropped on the Boilermakers.

A.J. Hammons regcorded 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks

TaShawn Thomas: Shorthanded Houston got a huge effort from its big man. He scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, connecting on two free throws to give the Cougars the lead and blocked Shabazz Napier’s potential game-tying layup on the other end.

STRUGGLED

Tim Frazier, Penn State: One of the more underrated players in the Big Ten shot 3-of-12 for seven points in Penn State’s loss to No. 5 Michigan State. The Nittany Lions led 47-40 at half, but Frazier only scored two points.

Nebraska offense: The Cornhuskers shot 30 percent for the game (27 in the first half when they trailed on seven) and 5-of-18 from three.

UCF defense: The Golden Knights allowed the Cardinals to jump out to a 23-4 lead in the first eight minutes off the game. Louisville shot 54 percent from the field and 52 percent from behind the arc on the night.

OTHER TOP 25 SCORES

  • No. 2 Syracuse 70, Eastern Michigan 48
  • No. 5 Michigan State 79, Penn State 63
  • No. 7 Duke 86, Elon 48
  • No. 13 Iowa State 99, Northern Illinois 63
  • No. 18 Memphis 88, South Florida 73
  • No. 19 North Carolina 84, UNC-Wilmington 51
  • No. 22 Iowa 67, Nebraska 57

NOTABLE:

  • Creighton 67, Marquette 49
  • Seton Hall 81, Providence 80 2OT
  • Princeton 73, Kent State 68
  • Kansas State 72, George Washington 55
  • Georgetown 62, DePaul 54
  • North Texas 61, Texas A&M 41
  • Pittsburgh 58, Albany 46
  • Richmond 70, Northeastern 66

Eastern Kentucky basketball player charged with rape

jaylen-babb-harrison
1 Comment

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) Authorities say an Eastern Kentucky basketball player has been arrested on a rape charge.

Records at Kentucky’s Madison County Detention Center show 23-year-old Jaylen Babb-Harrison was arrested Sunday in Richmond and charged with first-degree rape.

A statement from Eastern Kentucky says Babb-Harrison, a redshirt senior guard, has been suspended from the team. It says the school is cooperating with police.

Local media organizations cited an arrest citation in reporting that police were called to a Richmond hospital when a female reported she was at Babb-Harrison’s home and that he had sex with her against her will.

WKYT-TV reports Babb-Harrison declined to be interviewed at a jail. His first court appearance is set for Wednesday.

Online jail records didn’t list an attorney for the player.

Judge dismisses sex charges against ex-Michigan State star

3 Apr 2000: Mateen Cleaves #12 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates on the floor as he holds up the trophy after winning the NCAA Men''s Finals Four Game against the Florida Gators at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Spartans defeated the Gators 89-76.
Leave a comment

FLINT, Mich. (AP) A judge has dismissed all charges against former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves, who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman after a charity golf event.

Judge Cathy Dowd in Flint, Michigan, said Monday there wasn’t enough evidence to send Cleaves to trial. Prosecutors can appeal.

A woman said she twice tried to get away from Cleaves but was pulled back into a motel room and sexually assaulted in September 2015. A witness confirmed that she saw the woman try to escape a room at the Knights Inn near Flint.

But a police officer said the woman never indicated that she was assaulted. Cleaves pleaded not guilty.

The Associated Press generally doesn’t name people who say they were sexually assaulted. Cleaves led Michigan State to the 2000 national championship.

Coaches Poll: Villanova takes the top spot

VILLANOVA, PA - DECEMBER 03: Kris Jenkins #2 of the Villanova Wildcats yells to his team in the first half against the Saint Joseph's Hawks at The Pavilion on December 3, 2016 in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Saint Joseph's Hawks 88-57. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Villanova has overtaken Kentucky as the new No. 1 in the Coaches Poll on Monday.

The defending champions also took No. 1 in the new AP poll thanks to an 8-0 start while UCLA beat Kentucky at Rupp Arena this weekend. The Bruins finished at No. 2 while Kansas and Duke are right behind them.

RANKINGS: AP Poll | NBC Sports Top 25

  1. Villanova (28)
  2. UCLA (1)
  3. Kansas (1)
  4. Duke (2)
  5. North Carolina
  6. Baylor
  7. Kentucky
  8. Gonzaga
  9. Indiana
  10. Creighton
  11. Saint Mary’s
  12. Virginia
  13. Louisville
  14. Xavier
  15. Butler
  16. West Virginia
  17. Wisconsin
  18. South Carolina
  19. Purdue
  20. Arizona
  21. Florida
  22. Notre Dame
  23. Cincinnati
  24. Oregon
  25. Iowa State

AP Poll: Defending champion Villanova is the new No. 1

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 26:  Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats reacts in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at KFC YUM! Center on March 26, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Josh Hart
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

The defending national champs are back at No. 1.

Villanova is atop the latest Associated Press top 25 poll this week as the 8-0 Wildcats are off to a hot start. With Kentucky’s loss to UCLA and North Carolina’s loss at Indiana there were some major shakeups in the polls this week.

  1. Villanova (57 first-place votes)
  2. UCLA (2)
  3. Kansas
  4. Baylor
  5. Duke
  6. Kentucky
  7. North Carolina
  8. Gonzaga
  9. Indiana
  10. Creighton
  11. Louisville
  12. Saint Mary’s
  13. Xavier
  14. Virginia
  15. West Virginia
  16. Butler
  17. Purdue
  18. Wisconsin
  19. South Carolina
  20. Arizona
  21. Florida
  22. Cincinnati
  23. Notre Dame
  24. Oregon
  25. Iowa State

 

Five things we learned last week: UCLA, Kentucky, the Big 12 and Lagerald Vick

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 03: Isaac Hamilton #10 of the UCLA Bruins drives to the basket against Bam Adebayo #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats in the second half of the game at Rupp Arena on December 3, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky. UCLA defeated Kentucky 97-92. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

1. There’s a lot more to this UCLA team than just Lonzo Ball: Entering this weekend, that’s the name that everyone knew on UCLA. Ball is the team’s superstar freshman point guard, a player that has been compared favorably to Jason Kidd and whose ability to spray passes all over the floor is the biggest reason that the Bruins offense is a juggernaut.

But that offense isn’t going to be the difference-maker for the Bruins this season, because the Bruins were able to score last year, too.

No, the reason that UCLA has a chance to win a national title this season is that they can actually defend. They’re not Virginia. They’re not going to hold good teams to 50 points. They’re not going to be forcing 20 turnovers a night. They don’t have to. All they need to do is to be ‘good enough’ on that end of the floor. Limit penetration, protect the rim, clean the defensive glass.

If we learned anything on Saturday, it’s that the Bruins are going to be able to do the latter two things on that list. T.J. Leaf injected a shot of athleticism into the front court while Ike Anigbogu provides a physicality and a toughness they haven’t had in the paint under Alford. Throw in Thomas Welsh, who more than held his own against the Wildcats, and this is a pretty good front line that UCLA is working with.

And given what we already know about this team’s guards, that’s a scary proposition.

RELATED: Player of the Week | Team of the Week | Five Takeaways

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 03: De'Aaron Fox #0 and Isaiah Briscoe #13 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrate in the first half of the game against the UCLA Bruins at Rupp Arena on December 3, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky. UCLA defeated Kentucky 97-92. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

2. Kentucky is going to be just fine: Saturday’s loss was a humbling one for the Wildcats. After steam-rolling through literally everyone they’ve played this season – Kentucky entered the game having won by at least 21 points in every game – the Wildcats got outplayed by UCLA pretty thoroughly. That’s going to happen with young teams, regardless of how well they play against inferior competition, and it may happen again before SEC play starts; Kentucky still have to play North Carolina and Louisville before Christmas.

The Wildcats are an elite defensive team, and they are even better at scoring in transition. Where they struggle, however, is with half court offense. They simply don’t have enough shooters to be able to consistently create high-percentage looks against a set defense, and the way to force them into half court offense is, simply, to score on them. UCLA is one of just a handful of teams that has the guard play and the offensive weapons to be able to do that consistently for 40 minutes, and even then, it took the Bruins a while to grow into the game.

In other words, there aren’t very many teams that can do what UCLA did to Kentucky’s defense.

Thus, there aren’t very many teams that can actually beat Kentucky.

So don’t be worried about the ‘Cats.

They’ll be just fine.

3. Turns out, the Big 12 is really good: The narrative on the Big 12 entering the season was that the league was down outside of Kansas. The Jayhawks were the favorite to win the league just like they always are, but once you got past Bill Self’s club, there really wasn’t much of substance in the league.

That looks to be a dumb narrative.

It starts with Baylor, who has been awesome this season. The Bears picked up yet another excellent non-conference win on Saturday, coming from behind at halftime to beat No. 7 Xavier by 15 points in Waco. It turns out that Baylor actually has the supporting cast around Johnathan Motley to be relevant, and if the tournament was to start today, Baylor would very likely be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

Then there’s West Virginia, who went into Charlottesville and picked up a road win over No. 6 Virginia the same week that they forced 40 turnovers in a 40 minute game. Iowa State is probably still top 25 good, even with that home loss to Cincinnati last week, and we’d be remiss not to mention the play of both Texas Tech and TCU, the latter of whom is one of just two teams in the league and 11 teams in the country that are still undefeated.

Here’s the kicker: As of today, the No. 1 conference in college basketball, according to KenPom.com, is … the Big 12.

LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 29: Lagerald Vick #2 of the Kansas Jayhawks dunks on a fast break as Javonntie Jackson #35 of the Long Beach State 49ers looks on during the game at Allen Fieldhouse on November 29, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Lagerald Vick (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

4. Is LaGerald Vick the most surprising player in the league?: Baylor’s Manu Lecomte has been better than expected, as has his teammate, Jo Lual-Acuil. Jawun Evans has been a star for Oklahoma State, but we all knew that he was going to be good. Texas A&M transfer Alex Robinson is leading TCU in points, assists and steals, but he was a good player for the Aggies before he left. We knew he would do good things in Fort Worth.

But Vick?

I’m not sure anyone expected Vick to develop into a starter for Kansas just weeks into the season, but here we are. He’s averaging double-figures on the season. He’s made 9-of-11 threes in the last three games, a stretch where he’s averaging 15.3 points. He’s been terrific defensively, and his presence has allowed Kansas to put plus-defenders on the floor at every position while playing small-ball lineups.

Who saw that coming?

5. So maybe the North Carolina hype train got a bit out of control: Yes, North Carolina played well early on this season. Yes, they were impressive in their wins against Chattanooga and in the Maui Invitational. Yes, Joel Berry II and Justin Jackson have both gotten better.

But the fact that the narrative last week somehow turned into North Carolina being the most impressive team in college basketball seemed a little bit weird, a fact that was confirmed by UNC’s loss at Assembly Hall on Wednesday night.

Now let me be clear: There’s no shame in losing in Assembly Hall, not when IU was playing the way they were playing. But UNC dug themselves a 26-9 hole early in the first half that they were never really able to dig out of. They were rattled by the atmosphere. They did not play well at all, and I just don’t think that if this was truly the best team in college basketball, that doesn’t happen that way.

UNC is good, and probably better than many thought entering the season, but before we go anointing them the champs can we take a second to remember these are basically the same dudes we’ve been unimpressed by for a couple of years now?