Michael Reaves/Getty Images

No. 15 Florida beats Mississippi State in first game without Egbunu

Leave a comment

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Florida is a team that has occasionally put up huge offensive numbers this season, including 106 and 114 points in games over the past month.

But the shots weren’t falling on Saturday.

So the 15th-ranked Gators resorted to Plan B: A little grit, a little luck and a whole lot of defense in a 57-52 victory over Mississippi State.

“We’ve been able to find different ways to win different games,” Florida coach Mike White said. “It’s been different guys night in and night out and this is just another example.”

Florida (22-5, 12-2 Southeastern Conference) extended its winning streak to eight games, which is the longest during White’s two-year tenure. The Gators also won their first game since starting center John Egbunu suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Chris Chiozza scored 14 points and KeVaughn Allen added 11. Sophomore forward Kevarrius Hayes – who now has an expanded role because of Egbunu’s injury – finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Hayes had a crucial block during the final minute when Mississippi State was trying to push ahead. Chiozza said the Gators might be known for offense, but are more than capable of handling defensive showdowns.

“You just have to want to do it,” Chiozza said. “We’ve got good athletes, size and speed. So we just fly around and communicate.”

Florida was also fortunate that Mississippi State had one of its worst offensive games of the season. The Bulldogs (14-12, 5-9) trailed for most of the game, but Aric Holman threw down a dunk with 2:23 remaining to tie it at 52.

Mississippi State had multiple chances to tie or take the lead, but couldn’t hit shots in the crucial final minute. The Bulldogs finished 2 of 23 (8.7 percent) from 3-point range, including 0 of 13 in the first half. Several of the shots were wide open, but nobody could convert.

“It’s tough to continue to be right there, but not be able to get it over the hump,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said.

Quinndary Weatherspoon led Mississippi State with 17 points, but was just 1 of 8 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs have lost eight of their past 10 games.

“We were getting good looks,” Weatherspoon said. “We just weren’t hitting them.”

BIG PICTURE

Florida: It’s a solid win for the Gators, who are still figuring out their rotation after the loss of Egbunu. Hayes was excellent, providing the constant rim protection that Florida will need if it wants to make a deep NCAA Tournament run.

Mississippi State: The late-season slide continues for the Bulldogs, who started three freshmen on Saturday. Mississippi State continues to show signs of promise, but a tough game from 3-point range kept the Bulldogs from pulling off the upset.

OFF NIGHT FOR BERRY

Florida’s leading scorer Canyon Barry was held to just seven points on Saturday. Berry limped off the court late in the game and didn’t return. White didn’t believe the injury was serious, saying Barry had a “rolled ankle” but wanted to go back in the game.

TOO MANY TURNOVERS

Florida had 16 turnovers Saturday, which was one off a season high. White said his team was trying too hard to generate offense when the shots weren’t falling early.

“You can see why the pressing and forcing, trying to do a little too much, could creep in,” White said. “But we’ve got to avoid that in the future.”

UP NEXT

Florida: The Gators return home to face No. 21 South Carolina on Tuesday.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs host rival Mississippi on Tuesday.

—–

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .

Buffalo sophomore arrested, charged with strangulation, witness intimidation

City of Tonawanda Police
1 Comment

Buffalo sophomore Quate McKinzie is facing a litany of charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly attempted to strangle a female acquaintance.

McKinzie, who is 20 years old, was later handed more charges after he made threatening phone calls to his accuser from jail.
From the Buffalo News:

The original charges placed against the UB sophomore were second-degree strangulation, a D-felony; misdemeanor counts of criminal obstruction of breathing, assault, menacing, harassment; and stealing the victim’s vehicle.

The latest charges are third-degree witness intimidation and first-degree criminal contempt, both E-felonies; and two misdemeanors, aggravated harassment and disobeying a court mandate, according to Tonawanda Police Patrol Capt. Fredric Foels.

“University Athletics is aware of the alleged incident and is in communication with university and local authorities,” Buffalo released in a statement. “Quate McKinzie is currently enrolled at the University at Buffalo and is suspended indefinitely from the university’s basketball team. Due to the ongoing investigation and federal protections on student information, we will have no further comment on the matter at this time.”

McKinzie is a 6-foot-8, 195 pound forward that played in 17 games last season. He averaged 3.9 points and 4.3 boards.

Auburn’s Austin Wiley suffers stress fracture

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Auburn center Austin Wiley has a stress fracture in his left leg and will be out 4-6 weeks, the school announced Monday.

No surgery is required, but Wiley, who played with Team USA’s U19 team in Egypt earlier this month, will miss Auburn’s trip to Italy.

“You know how tough and committed a young man is when he plays through the pain of a stress fracture,” said Pearl. “He was receiving treatment while in Egypt, but had no way of knowing the extent of his injury. Doctors say it is in a good spot for healing, and he will be fine.”

Wiley averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.1 minutes this past season. He started 21 of the Tigers’ 22 games after he enrolled in school midseason.

Virginia Tech loses key shooter to torn ACL

Rob Carr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Virginia Tech suffered a brutal blow earlier this month when Ty Outlaw went down with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Outlaw is one of the best shooters on Virginia Tech’s roster, banging home 48 percent of his three-balls last season, and he was expected to be a major part of the rotation following a season where he scored in double-figures in six of the last eight games, including four games of better than 16 points in that stretch.

This is a blow to Virginia Tech’s depth, but it is also a tough break for Outlaw, who transferred to Virginia Tech from a Junior College and had to sit out the 2015-16 season due to a heart issue. The redshirt senior will likely be eligible to receive a medical redshirt should he decide to apply for one.

Report: Miller brothers schedule Indiana-Arizona series

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Miller family does not appear to be worried about sibling rivalry.

According to a report from FanRag Sports, Archie, the head coach at Indiana, and Sean, the head coach at Arizona, have agreed to a three-year deal to have the two programs face-off against each other. They’ll start in 2019-20, playing in Arizona, then face-off in Bloomington the following season before finally heading up to Madison Square Garden in 2021-22.

If you can get past the fact that we are now scheduling games for 2022 (!!!), this is actually going to be a pretty neat and unique thing. How often do two brothers end up coaching at the Division I level? The Drew brothers — Bryce at Vanderbilt and Scott at Baylor — are one pair, but they cancelled a series that would have seen the two programs square off last season. James and Joe Jones at Yale and Boston University are another pair. They were league rivals for eight yeas when Joe was the head coach at Columbia. When Sean Sutton was the head coach at Oklahoma State, his brother, Scott, beat them was the head coach at Oral Roberts.

So it’s not typical for this to happen, mainly because it’s not easy to compete at something so important against someone you care about so much.

Think about it.

Imagine working in a profession where your success comes at the expense of your brother? It’s one of the major reasons — beyond the obvious — that no one believed Sean Miller would actually consider taking the Ohio State job when it opened. Facing off against your brother in a non-conference game you choose to play is one thing. Competing for league titles against him for the foreseeable future is something totally different.

Which is a long way of saying that this should be an enticing matchup, however it plays out.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

(YouTube)
Leave a comment

Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)