Bryce Cotton

Late Night Snacks: Baylor, Oregon and Providence land huge wins

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GAME OF THE DAY: Providence 81, Marquette 80 2OT

Providence managed to survive a visit from Marquette in thrilling fashion, a double-overtime that featured big shots, costly turnovers, fouled three-point shooters and quite possibly the most exciting shot that never counted:

Bryce Cotton played all 50 minutes, finishing with 25 points, nine assists and seven boards and LaDontae Henton added 20 points and 16 boards.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES:

1) Baylor 74, No. 16 Iowa State 61: Cory Jefferson went for 21 points, Kenny Chery had 16 points and six assists, and Brady Heslip added 18 as the Bears all but locked up an NCAA tournament bid by knocking off the Cyclones.

2) No. 12 Michigan 84, Illinois 53: The Illini hadn’t allowed more than 50 points in four games. Michigan scored 52 in the first half, knocking off Illinois 84-53 while hitting 16-for-23 from three. Illinois’ hopes for an NCAA tournament bid went ‘poof’ as Michigan locked up the Big Ten regular season title.

3) No. 25 Kentucky 55, Alabama 48: It wasn’t pretty, but the Wildcats got back to their winning ways by knocking off the Crimson Tide. Julius Randle finished with 12 points and 11 boards, but Kentucky still has some massive kinks that need to be worked out in the next ten days if they truly are going to have a chance to make noise in the Big Dance.

STARRED:

1) Michael Frazier II had 37 points and his 11-for-18 from three as No. 1 Florida knocked off South Carolina 72-46.

2) Markel Starks had 17 points and 11 assists and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 18 points and 12 boards as Georgetown knocked off No. 13 Creighton.

3) Mike Moser continued his hot streak, hitting for 22 points and 17 boards as Oregon moved a step closer to an NCAA tournament bid with a win over Arizona State.

STRUGGLED:

1) Trevor Cooney was 1-for-8 from three and 3-for-12 from the floor in No. 7 Syracuse’s 67-62 loss to Georgia Tech. He’s now shooting 31.3% from three in ACC play. If you take away the 9-for-12 that he shot in the win over Notre Dame, he’s shooting 26.7% from three in league play.

2) James Young shot 1-for-11 from the floor, the Harrisons combined to shoot 4-for-14 from the floor and the three of them combined to shoot 3-for-19 from three. No. 25 Kentucky still beat Alabama 55-48.

3) Melvim Ejim and Georges Niang combined for 10 points on 5-for-25 shooting — 0-for-9 from three — in No. 16 Iowa State’s loss at Baylor.

VIDEO: Taylor University celebrates 20th anniversary of Silent Night tradition

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Taylor University celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Silent Night Game on Friday night.

The Division III school in Upland, Indiana has one of the best traditions in college sports as Taylor has its fanbase stay completely silent until the team scores its 10th point of the game. Upon scoring the team’s 10th point, the Taylor students go ballistic as they storm the court and temporarily stop the game. Dressing up in all sorts of group costumes, the Taylor students bring out some of the best ideas you’ll see from any college fanbase in the country.

As for the game, Taylor jumped out to a 37-9 lead on Lincoln Christian University and never looked back as they won 99-68. The win moves Taylor’s record to 20-0 all-time in Silent Night games.

Jake Heggeland was the game’s high scorer with 18 points for Taylor while Evan Crowe broke the Taylor silence for the second consecutive year.

Kansas forward arrested on suspicion of battery

Douglas County Sheriff
Douglas County Sheriff
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Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. was charged today with one count of battery.

According to a press release sent out by the Douglas County district attorney’s office, police received a call around 1 a.m. from a woman who said that “her boyfriend had struck her and pushed her down stairs during an argument.”

The DA also included a note in the statement that, essentially, said the only reason Bragg wasn’t charged with domestic violence – he was initially arrested on suspicion of domestic battery – was due to a technicality. Since the couple is only dating and not married, under Kansas law, the assault does not constitute domestic violence.

Battery is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison.

Bragg, who was still in custody until an appearance in court on Friday afternoon, was held on bond of $500. Bragg plead not guilty.

“We are still trying to gather information,” head coach Bill Self told The Star. “But it is a charge which we take very seriously.”

Bragg is a 6-foot-8 sophomore that lost his spot in the starting lineup earlier this year. He is averaging 7.8 points and 5.3 boards in 16 minutes. No. 3 Kansas hosts Nebraska on Saturday.

St. John’s to lose center to transfer

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 13: Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats has his shot blocked by Yankuba Sima #35 of the St. John's Red Storm at the Wells Fargo Center on February 13, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Villanova won 73-63. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Yankuba Sima will transfer out of the St. John’s program, the school announced on Friday.

“I want to thank the coaching staff and the administration for all of their support since I arrived at St. John’s,” said Sima. “I enjoyed my experience at St. John’s, but right now I feel it is best for me to explore options that will be a better fit for me as I work toward my goals.”

“We wish Yankuba the best of luck,” said head coach Chris Mullin. “I know this wasn’t an easy decision for him, but we respect and understand it. He’s a good basketball player and a good person with a bright future ahead.”

Sima started 26 of the 34 games he played with the Johnnies, including eight starts this season. He was averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 boards this year.

Frank Martin comments on Sindarius Thornwell suspension

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26:  Sindarius Thornwell #0 of the South Carolina Gamecocks drives to the basket defended by Tyler Lydon #20 of the Syracuse Orange in the second half during the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational at Barclays Center on November 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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South Carolina head coach Frank Martin commented on Sindarius Thornwell’s suspension during his call-in show on Thursday.

Thornwell, who was the leading scorer for the 8-0 No. 19 Gamecocks, was suspended indefinitely last Sunday. Martin has yet to provide a reason for the suspension.

“He’s been with us at practice, he’ll travel with us, he’s excited about our team, his role on the team,” he said, according to South Carolina’s 247 site. “Sindarius is one of my favorite guys I’ve ever come across. He messed up and it is what it is. He’s like a son to me. He messed up and he’s owned up to his mess up.”

“Outside of that, I’m not going to get into anything else. He has my full support. Our job is to prepare our team to play, we don’t prepare individual players to play. It’s no different to someone rolling an ankle. We’re down because of a bad decision. We’ll be fine.”

Thornwell is averaging 18.7 points, 6.0 boards and 4.1 assists. The Gamecocks play Seton Hall in New York City on Monday night.

UCF star point guard out indefinitely with thumb injury

STORRS, CT - JANUARY 22: B.J. Taylor #1 of the Central Florida Knights carries the ball up the court in front of Ryan Boatright #11 of the Connecticut Huskies in the first half during the game at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on January 22, 2015 in Storrs, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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Sophomore guard B.J. Taylor is out indefinitely after suffering a hand injury, UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins confirmed at a press conference earlier today.

According to a report from 247 Sports’ UCF site, the injury is a broken thumb, which was suffered in Saturday’s win over UMass.

Taylor is not expected to miss the rest of the season but will be out for an extended amount of time. He missed all of 2015-16 season dealing with a foot injury.

On the season, Taylor, a 6-foot-2 point guard, was having an all-AAC caliber season, averaging 17.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.3 boards.