GAME OF THE NIGHT: Belmont 99, Murray State 96
Belmont hasn’t been in the OVC very long, but their three games against Murray State have all been good. Thursday’s meeting was the latest chapter in this series, with the Bruins hanging on to beat the Racers with Blake Jenkins and J.J. Mann scoring 25 points apiece to lead the way. As a team Belmont shot 56% from the field, with Murray State shooting 48% and hitting 12 three-pointers to remain close. Cameron Payne scored 29 points and Jarvis Williams added 21 and 13 rebounds to lead Murray State offensively. The two teams remain atop their respective divisions, with Belmont maintaining a one-game lead in the loss column on Eastern Kentucky in the OVC’s East Division.
1) No. 2 Arizona 67, Oregon 65
In their first full game without the injured Brandon Ashley the Wildcats struggled for much of the night, and some suspect foul shooting helped keep Oregon in the game. But the Ducks also missed some key free throws late, falling by two points with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (14 points, ten rebounds) giving Arizona a much-needed spark.
2) No. 7 Cincinnati 63, No. 22 UConn 58
Senior guard Sean Kilpatrick added more evidence to the argument that he’s one of the nation’s best players, accounting for 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the Bearcats’ 15th consecutive victory. UConn shot just 32% from the field in the second half, and their offensive struggles in the final 20 minutes contributed to the outcome as well.
3) No. 9 Michigan State 82, Penn State 67
Keith Appling didn’t play due to an injured write but Adreian Payne returned to the court, scoring 12 points and grabbing three rebounds in his first action since January 7. The stars for Michigan State in their win over the Nittany Lions were Kenny Kaminski and Denzel Valentine, with Kaminski scoring a career-high 19 points and Valentine adding 11 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
1) Tyler Stone (Southeast Missouri State)
In the Redhawks’ 93-88 overtime loss at SIU-Edwardsville, Stone tallied 37 points (15-for-19 FG), eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
2) Charlie Lee (Cleveland State) and Travis Bader (Oakland)
In the Vikings’ 92-85 win at Oakland both Lee and Bader stood out for their respective teams. Lee accounted for 31 points, six assists and three rebounds to lead Cleveland State to the win, with Bader hitting ten of his 13 three-pointers and scoring 35 points. Bader set the NCAA record for made three-pointers in a career on Sunday.
3) Brett Comer (FGCU)
30 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field, eight assists and four rebounds in the Eagles’ 100-71 win over Jacksonville.
1) Andrew Andrews (Washington)
Made just one of his 12 field goal attempts in Washington’s 78-69 loss at Utah.
2) Shabazz Napier (UConn)
UConn’s leading scorer shot 5-for-19 from the field (2-for-12 in the second half) in the Huskies’ 63-58 loss at No. 7 Cincinnati.
3) Xavier Munford (Rhode Island)
Munford shot 4-for-15 from the field in Rhode Island’s 68-52 loss at VCU. As a team URI shot 34.6% from the field and committed 20 turnovers.
- LSU suffered a defeat that won’t look good on its resume, falling 91-78 at Georgia. The Bulldogs shot 60% from the field.
- Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski put together one of the best games of his career, finishing with 17 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks in the Sun Devils’ 86-82 overtime win over Oregon State. In the win Bachynski also became the Pac-12’s all-time leader in blocked shots (279).
- Karvel Anderson scored 16 points to lead Robert Morris to a 65-56 win at LIU Brooklyn, maintaining their one-game lead atop the NEC. In the loss LIU’s Jason Brickman moved into 11th on the NCAA’s all-time assist list (941), passing Gary Payton.
- Juvonte Reddic accounted for 14 points and 11 rebounds as VCU beat Rhode Island 68-52, staying within a game of Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10.
- Markus Kennedy and Shawn Williams scored 14 points apiece to lead five players in double figures as SMU beat Temple 75-52.
- Georgia State moved to 10-0 in Sun Belt play with a 68-57 win at UALR, putting the game away with a 16-6 second half run.
- Davidson shot 16-for-22 from three in its 109-88 win at Samford, with Brian Sullivan making seven of his ten attempts from beyond the arc.
- Weber State maintained its two-game lead in the Big Sky with an 84-72 win at North Dakota. After the Wildcats and Northern Colorado (7-4) there are eight teams with either five or six conference losses. Only the top seven qualify for the Big Sky tournament.
- Luke Nelson scored 28 points to lead UC Irvine to a 61-58 win over Long Beach State in a battle of teams tied for first place in the Big West.