eagles

Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Syracuse falls on most entertaining weeknight of the season

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Boston College 62, No. 1 Syracuse 59 (OT)

With a game at No. 5 Duke on Saturday night, many expected No. 1 Syracuse to take care of a struggling Boston College squad and move to 26-0. But the Eagles had other ideas, shooting 11-for-22 from three on their way to a stunning win at the Carrier Dome. The issue for Syracuse was their shooting, as they shot just 32% from the field for the game. Also of note is the fact that Syracuse and Virginia are tied in the loss column atop the ACC as result of the Orange’s first loss.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 4 Arizona 67, Utah 63 (OT)

Utah needed a resume-building victory but they were unable to get it, losing by four in overtime with foul shooting and turnovers being the biggest reasons why. Utah shot 13-for-22 from the foul line and committed 16 turnovers, which were converted into 16 second-chance points by the Wildcats. Add in Jordan Loveridge shooting 1-for-12 and Delon Wright turning the ball over six times, and the end result is Arizona bouncing back from its loss at Arizona State on Friday night.

2) No. 3 Wichita State 88, Loyola (Ill.) 74

With Syracuse losing there’s just one remaining undefeated team in college basketball: Wichita State. The Shockers moved to 28-0 with Fred Van Vleet accounting for 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Wichita State plays two of its final three regular season games at home, with Missouri State being the strongest of the three.

3) No. 2 Florida 71, Auburn 66

Like Syracuse the Gators struggled at home against a team they were expected to beat. Unlike the Orange, Florida took care of business in the end with a little help from the visiting Tigers. Auburn committed a critical turnover late in regulation, and those mistakes cost Tony Barbee a win that would have done wonders for his program. Patric Young led the Gators with 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

STARRED

1) D.J. Covington (VMI)

Covington scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Keydets’ 84-81 win over Campbell.

2) Jordan Adams (UCLA) 

28 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals in the 23rd-ranked Bruins’ 86-66 wins at California.

3) Javon McCrea (Buffalo) 

McCrea finished the Bulls’ 96-90 home win over Akron two assists short of a triple-double, finishing the game with 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

STRUGGLED

1) Jordan Loveridge (Utah)

Shot 1-for-12 from the field in the Utes’ 67-63 overtime loss to No. 4 Arizona.

2) Tyrone Wallace (California) 

Five points on 1-for-9 shooting in Cal’s 86-66 loss to UCLA.

3) Malik Smith (Minnesota) 

Went scoreless in Minnesota’s 62-49 loss to Illinois, shooting 0-for-7 from the field.

NOTABLES

  • No. 11 Creighton retained sole possession of first place in the Big East, beating Marquette 85-70. Doug McDermott scored 25 points and Ethan Wragge added 22 for the Bluejays.
  • Boston University extended its lead in the Patriot League to two games with a 71-62 win over American in Boston.
  • Davon Usher and Devon Saddler combined to score 51 points in Delaware’s 81-77 win at Hofstra, moving the Blue Hens to 12-1 in the CAA.
  • Langston Galloway shot 2-for-12 from the field but Ronald Roberts Jr. scored 17 points to lead Saint Joseph’s to a 57-54 win at Rhode Island.
  • Jordan Clarkson led Missouri to a 67-64 win over Vanderbilt with 21 points and five assists.
  • Kendall Williams scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds in New Mexico’s 68-56 win at UNLV, avenging a loss to the Runnin’ Rebels last month.
  • Jordair Jett scored 25 points to lead five players in double figures as No. 10 Saint Louis beat George Mason in overtime, 89-85.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 7 Cincinnati 77, UCF 49
  • No. 23 UCLA 86, California 66
  • No. 24 Ohio State 76, Northwestern 60

No. 5 Xavier stumbles at Creighton, lose 70-54

Creighton's Cole Huff (13) and Toby Hegner, left, guard Xavier's Jalen Reynolds (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Leave a comment

Mo Watson went for a career-high 32 points, seven boards and five assists as Creighton jumped out to an early 21-4 lead and never looked back, beating No. 5 Xavier, 70-54, in Omaha on Tuesday night.

 

It was a massive win for the Bluejays, who still have an outside shot at earning an at-large bid this season. (We wrote all about that here.)

As well as Creighton played, the bigger story here may actually be Xavier, who lost for just the third time this season; they had been the only top ten team with just two losses to their name.

The issue for the Musketeers tonight was two-fold, but they both are a symptom of what could be an issue down the road for this team: Xavier doesn’t really have a true point guard.

They certainly didn’t have anyone to stop Watson. By the second half, they had essentially asked Reynolds, who was playing the middle of their 1-3-1 zone to matchup with Watson. It was weird but was actually somewhat effective.

The Musketeers also started out ice cold from the floor, missing 11 of their first 13 shots, and those misses led to leak outs from Bluejays, who got layups and open threes in transition to build that 17 point lead. Once Xavier got behind, it turned into scramble mode for Xavier. They forced shots early in the clock and didn’t start pounding the ball into the paint until it was too late. What they needed was someone to be able to settle things, to ensure that offensive would get initiated and sets would get executed when they were able to get the lead down to single digits.

That 1-for-19 shooting performance from beyond the arc certainly didn’t help matters, and neither did the fact that they got just nine field goals all game from players not named James Farr or Jalen Reynolds. The most frustrating part for head coach Chris Mack? They had good shots. It wasn’t like Creighton took away everything that Xavier wanted to do.

The kids just had one of those nights where nothing went down.

Those happen.

And when you combine them with a total inability to contain the opposing team’s point guard, what you get is a 16 point loss on the road against a team that was desperate to get a good win.

Gill’s 16, ‘D’ lead No. 7 Virginia past Virginia Tech, 67-49

Lehigh Virginia Basketball
AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff
Leave a comment

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Anthony Gill scored 16 points and No. 7 Virginia turned the tables on state rival Virginia Tech with a 67-49 victory Tuesday night, the Cavaliers’ seventh straight.

Isaiah Wilkins added a career-best 14 points and Malcolm Brogdon had 12 for the Cavaliers (20-4, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Virginia avenged a 70-68 loss to the Hokies in Blacksburg on Jan. 4 in what rates as their worst performance of the season, and extended their winning streak at John Paul Jones Arena to 17 games.

Freshman Justin Robinson scored 16 points and classmate Chris Clarke had 11 in his first action for the Hokies (13-12, 5-7) since breaking his right foot in late December. Virginia Tech’s top two scorers, Zach LeDay (16.0 ppg) and Seth Allen (14.5), were limited to seven and six points, respectively, in part because of foul trouble.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett said his team wasn’t ready to play when it lost to the Hokies earlier, but they have been surging of late and were focused from the outset. They were credited with assists and 14 of their first 15 baskets and forced 10 turnovers in the first half; they forced just eight in the last meeting of the teams.

For most of the game, the Hokies had more turnovers than field goals.

The Cavaliers led 32-20 at halftime and extended their advantage to 47-29 on a three-point play by Mike Tobey with 12:11 remaining. It capped an 11-4 run for Virginia, during which LeDay was whistled for his fourth foul. On Virginia’s next trip down court, it got the ball to Gill inside and LeDay basically backed off and let him score, quickly earning a spot on the bench.

The Cavaliers’ lead never dipped into single digits again.

The Hokies had just eight turnovers and outscored Virginia 26-6 off turnovers in their first meeting. This time, Virginia Tech had 10 turnovers by halftime and the Cavaliers had already turned them into 15 points. Virginia Tech finished with 16 field goals and 15 turnovers.

Already leading 9-6, Virginia got scoring from eight players in a 23-8 run that spanned about 8 1/2 minutes.

Gill started it with a dunk, Brogdon hit a 3-pointer, London Perrantes had a four-point play and Wilkins finished it with two free throws, giving the Cavaliers a 32-14 lead with 2:06 left in the half. They didn’t score again, and the Hokies closed within 32-20 by halftime.

TIP-INS

Virginia Tech: The Hokies shot 57.1 percent (15 of 26) from the field in the second half of their 70-68 victory against Virginia on Jan. 4. … Virginia Tech’s starting five totaled four points in the first half.

Virginia: The Cavaliers have held four consecutive opponents to 50 points or fewer.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech plays at No. 12 Miami next Wednesday.

Virginia plays at Duke on Saturday.

Follow Hank on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hankkurzjr

The AP’s college basketball page: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org