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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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