Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier (13) goes up for the game winning basket at the buzzer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Storrs, Conn. Connecticut won 65-64. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
LAS VEGAS (AP) Grayson Allen shot 75 percent from the field – including a perfect 7 of 7 in the second half – en route to a career-high 34 points to lead No. 5 Duke to a 94-45 victory over UNLV on Saturday in the first college basketball game ever played at T Mobile Arena.
Luke Kennard had 16 points and five rebounds for the Blue Devils (10-1), while Jayson Tatum had 13 points and five rebounds, and Amile Jefferson contributed with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Duke, which is 4-1 on a neutral court, jumped out to a 20-3 lead in the first 7 minutes and never looked back, as it outscored the Runnin’ Rebels 52-19 in the second half.
The Rebels (5-4) tried to make a couple of runs to challenge Duke, getting as close as 38-26 late in the first half after an 8-0 spurt. The Blue Devils answered with their defensive prowess and proved to be too much for an outmatched UNLV team that committed 13 turnovers a little more than 14 minutes into the game, and shot just 34 percent (10 of 29) in the first half.
Though UNLV was competitive on the glass, outrebounding the Blue Devils 20-17 in the first half, Duke outscored the Rebels 26-10 in the paint while opening a 42-26 halftime lead.
Jalen Poyser had 16 points for UNLV.
The Blue Devils shot 58.7 percent (37 of 63) from the field, including 10 of 22 (45.5 percent) from 3-point range. UNLV, meanwhile, shot 29.6 percent (16 of 54) from the field.
Duke: Jefferson came into Saturday’s game leading the ACC in field goal percentage, converting at a rate of 67 percent for the season. He is a career 63 percent shooter from the field.
UNLV: After opening the season 5-2, the Runnin’ Rebels have lost their last two after allowing an average of 95.5 points per game. UNLV lost at Arizona State 97-73 last Saturday.
Duke: Hosts Tennessee State on Dec. 19
UNLV: Hosts Incarnate Word on Wednesday
No. 2 UCLA and Michigan are stuck in the middle of an absolute shootout.
At halftime in Pauley Pavilion, the score is tied at 50 after the two teams combined to shoot 22-for-30 from three.
Ball capping the first half with a three from the logo:
Duke embarrassed UNLV in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon.
Not only did they beat the Runnin’ Rebels 94-45, but they made sure that UNLV was on the receiving end of what will probably go down as the best dunk of the college basketball season.
(No, seriously, you need to see what Grayson Allen did.)
After the game, Duke had a special visitor in their locker room: soon-to-be free agent Bryce Harper, who seems destined to break the hearts of Washington Nationals fans when he leaves D.C. for the Yankees. I’m sure this will only boost his popularity in a city that loves the Maryland Terrapins:
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) It took nine games for West Virginia’s Daxter Miles Jr. to start to find a rhythm.
Miles scored a season-high 20 points and the 15th-ranked Mountaineers overcame an early lull to beat VMI 90-55 on Saturday and give coach Bob Huggins his 799th career win.
Miles missed the first three games with an unspecified illness and was ejected for throwing an elbow in the first half of a close win over Virginia last Saturday. The lack of court time set him back on a team where a dozen players are getting extensive minutes.
Against VMI, the junior went 6 of 9 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range.
“It feels good,” Miles said. “I just had to get back into the basic of things, and just whatever it takes me to do. Did I feel like it was my time? No. Everybody has roles and we all kind of know what each other likes to do.”
West Virginia (8-1) followed up a 53-point win over Western Carolina on Wednesday night with a lackluster first half to finish its final exams week.
VMI (1-7) accomplished what no other mid-major opponent has done in the first half this season – handle West Virginia’s full-court pressure defense and keep up in scoring for a while.
The Keydets lost by 18 points at home to Gardner-Webb in their last game but were scrappy out of the gate against the often-substituting Mountaineers.
After falling behind by 16, the Keydets were within 22-17 before Miles made two 3-pointers, and Elijah Macon’s free throw with 4 minutes left until halftime put the Mountaineers ahead by double digits for good, 32-22.
“I thought we competed, especially for the first 25 minutes,” VMI coach Dan Earl said. “I give West Virginia a ton of credit. They come at you for 40 minutes. They wore us down a little bit.”
Esa Ahmad added 12 points and Brandon Watkins had a season-high 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for West Virginia.
QJ Peterson scored 17 points for VMI, which was limited to three field goals over the final 12 minutes of the game.
VMI: The Keydets might win more games if they match the intensity that they had midway through the first half, when they went on an 11-0 run, including seven points by Peterson, who led West Virginia’s Hedgesville High School to a state championship in 2012.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers lead the nation in forced turnovers with 26.5 per game, including at least 34 turnovers in two of their last three games. Two years ago VMI committed 36 against them. But the defensive effort wasn’t there from start-to-finish Saturday for West Virginia, which forced 22.
“Twenty-two forced turnovers to most people is good,” Huggins said. “And we’re looking at it like we should’ve had some more.”
The Mountaineers haven’t gotten much production lately out of Nathan Adrian, who no longer is the team’s top scorer after getting two points each against Western Carolina and VMI.
West Virginia should move up in the AP poll after No. 12 Saint Mary’s and No. 13 Xavier lost earlier in the week.
West Virginia isn’t going to win many games at the free throw line. The Mountaineers are shooting 66 percent from the line this season and went 26 of 42 (62 percent) on Saturday. They fared better from 3-point range, going 10 of 19.
VMI: Hosts Charleston Southern on Tuesday.
West Virginia: Can give Huggins his 800th win when it hosts Missouri-Kansas City next Saturday.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Kansas coach Bill Self and Nebraska coach Tim Miles exchanged a few humorous words after the third-ranked Jayhawks rolled to an 89-72 victory over their former Big 12 foe on Saturday.
Turns out Miles was giving him a little jab.
“Come on, what do you have to complain about? Nothing,” Miles said, recalling their light-hearted conversation. “Sorry, the cheerleaders’ little thing on their pompom fell on the floor. You got it tough.”
Indeed, Self had just spent most of the afternoon riding the officials and riding his players.
Basically, spoiling for a fight.
But from Miles’ perspective, there wasn’t much reason: The Jayhawks made it look easy.
“I thought the first half we were really good, we were really solid. The second half we weren’t,” Self said. “We didn’t guard anybody, but the first half was good, so we’ll dwell on the positive.
“That’s what I always choose to do,” he added with a wry grin, “dwell on the positive.”
Frank Mason III had 18 points and seven assists without a turnover. Josh Jackson had 17 points and Svi Mykhailiuk added 15. Devonte Graham scored 14 and kept everybody calm. Landen Lucas was 5 for 5 from the field and finished with 12 points to give Kansas (9-1) an inside presence.
The result was a blowout despite the absence of forward Carlton Bragg Jr., who is suspended following his arrest Friday for misdemeanor battery. The part-time starter spent the game in street clothes.
“I don’t know anything more than I knew yesterday, which is very little,” Self said. “It’s not anything that’s worth commenting on because there’s no decisions to be made as far as finality goes until you hear what transpired, and certainly I’m sure people are trying to figure it out.”
Tai Webster led Nebraska (5-5) with 22 points. Ed Morrow Jr. finished with 16.
“Yeah, it was rough,” Webster said, “a tough environment to come into. The crowd is nothing like we’ve seen before, but they’re good at what they do. They pressure you full-court, every time you take it out, and they’re relentless. They’re tough.”
The Jayhawks rolled to a 54-34 halftime lead, but things started to go haywire after the break. They missed eight of their first 11 free throws in the second half, allowing Nebraska to claw back into the game.
What really set Self off, though, came with about 12 minutes left, when Mykhailiuk tracked down a loose ball and tried to throw an alley-oop pass to Jackson off the glass. Jackson’s dunk hit the rim and sprung into the air – and sent Self springing from his seat with an R-rated roar.
Asked who earned the brunt for it, Jackson or Mykhailiuk, Lucas chimed in: “Everybody on the court.”
It was Jackson who responded, though. He scored the next two baskets, then converted an emphatic jam, as the Jayhawks pushed their lead back to 20 and coasted the rest of the way.
“That’s a fast team, a skilled team, a powerful team. They can get you a lot of ways,” Miles said. “I was really proud of our guys. I thought the second half we showed some toughness, some resiliency to at least claw back and make it uneasy on them.”
Nebraska has lost five of six, including a blowout loss to No. 10 Creighton. The only win for Miles’ struggling team during that stretch came against South Dakota.
Kansas finished 14 of 25 from the free throw line, continuing a troubling trend. Jackson was 3 of 8, while Udoka Azubuike clanked three of his four attempts off the rim.
The Jayhawks’ sophomore forward pleaded not guilty to a charge of misdemeanor battery after allegedly pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs. Bragg had appeared in their first nine games, starting five of them, and is averaging 7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 16 minutes.
“I think one reason why in the first half we were more focused was because of it. I don’t know,” Self said. “But they seemed to be pretty focused in the first half, but it was a distraction, and with teams and throughout seasons, there’s going to be different things come up.”
Nebraska returns home to play Gardner-Webb on Dec. 18.
Kansas plays Davidson on Dec. 17 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.