Daniel Martin

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VIDEO: Princeton beats Columbia in Ivy League tilt

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Five Princeton players scored in double figures, including T.J. Bray with 17 points, as the Tigers defeated Columbia Saturday. Ian Hummer added 16 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists for Princeton, which improves to 10-7 and remains an undefeated 3-0 in Ivy League play.

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Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Late Night Snacks: Kansas falls, Indiana triumphs, Florida continues to roll

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Game of the Day: No. 3 Indiana 81, No. 1 Michigan 73

We came into the weekend knowing that this was the marquee matchup on the Saturday slate and it didn’t disappoint. It was a game of runs in the first half, but Indiana never seemed out of control at any one point. Victor Oladipo continued to show how important he is to the championship hopes of this Indiana team, scoring 15 points and affecting the game on the defensive end of the floor.

Point guard Trey Burke did everything he could for the Wolverines with 25 points, five rebounds, and eight assists, but there wasn’t enough offensive firepower in the end to topple Indiana and retain the No.1 overall spot. Glenn Robinson III was disrupted on the offensive end and never seemed comfortable. Tim Hardaway, Jr., picked up his third foul early in the second half and that got him out of his rhythm for a stretch.

Indiana now takes sole possession of the Big Ten, but that conference race is far from over.

Important Outcomes 

1. Oklahoma State 85, No. 2 Kansas 80

It’s not every day you see a team come into Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence and walk out with a win. The key to Oklahoma State’s ability to do so Saturday was the play of its backcourt, Marcus Smart and Markel Brown. It is a signature win for Oklahoma State, which now finds itself right in the thick of the race in the Big 12. Kansas is still the overwhelming favorite, but coach Travis Ford’s team is building its postseason resume.

2. No. 4 Florida 78, No. 16 Ole Miss 64

The Gators continue to steamroll through the SEC schedule. In what is a down year for the conference, Florida has just Kentucky left to beat to prove that it undisputedly reigns supreme in the conference. The Gators continue to feed off their defense, holding Ole Miss to 38 percent shooting from the floor.

3. No. 14 Miami 78, No. 19 NC State 77

After trouncing then-No. 1 Duke, Miami continues to pick up steam in the ACC and is looking more and more like the team to beat. They needed a tip-in in the final seconds from Reggie Johnson to get a road win Saturday at NC State, but coach Jim Larranaga has the Hurricanes in business in the final month of the season.

Starred

1. Oklahoma State backcourt (Markel Brown 28 points | Marcus Smart 25 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals)

This one-two punch was the biggest reason that the Cowboys were able to get a big conference win on the road at Allen Fieldhouse over No. 2 Kansas on Saturday. Smart had nine points in the final 2:19 of regulation to help Oklahoma State score the upset.

2. Jack Cooley (26 points, 16 rebounds)

Cooley’s huge double-double helped Notre Dame avoid an upset loss on the road to DePaul. He was efficient, going 9-of-15 from the floor, and didn’t turn the ball over in the overtime victory.

3. Cody Zeller (19 points, 10 rebounds)

Rob Dauster calls him “the nation’s best role player“. Regardless of what his role was Saturday, he was a key to Indiana’s ability to outlast Michigan and get a key conference win. The Hoosiers are now in position to possibly regain the No. 1 overall spot that they held earlier in the season.

Also of Note: Trey Burke, Michigan (25 points, 8 assists) | R.J. Hunter, Georgia State (38 points, 12-of-18 FG, 10-of-15 3pt FG) | Mike Muscala, Bucknell (11 points, 19 rebounds) | Sim Bhullar, New Mexico State (17 points, 18 rebounds, 5 blocks)

Struggled 

1. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan (2 points, 1-of-6 FG)

Robinson III looked more like a true freshman than he has at perhaps any other point this season. He was never able to find his stride on the offensive end and had just one dunk in transition on the night. Without his production, Trey Burke was forced to shoulder more of the load offensively, along with Tim Hardaway, Jr.

2. D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s (2 points, 0-of-10 FG)

St. John’s came into the game hot, but Harrison was cold. Georgetown was able to disrupt him on the offensive end and take the biggest asset out of the game for the Red Storm.

3. Chase Tapley, San Diego State (2 points, 1-of-7 FG)

Tapley was shaken up early in San Diego State’s loss Air Force Saturday, which perhaps contributed to his poor shooting afternoon and his low production in 35 minutes on the floor. Without him, Jamaal Franklin and James Rahon combined for 30 shots in the loss.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Cody Zeller, No. 3 Indiana knock off No. 1 Michigan

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It was billed as the Big Ten’s heavyweight title fight of the year and it did not disappoint.

Behind a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore forward Cody Zeller, No. 3 Indiana outmuscled No. 1 Michigan down the stretch for an 81-73 victory Saturday night at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.

Zeller and junior Victor Oladipo set the pace for Indiana on both the offensive and defensive ends. Oladipo’s energy was a catalyst and his impact was felt in more ways than just his 17 points and three rebounds.

Indiana had Assembly Hall on fire from the start, jumping out to a 28-13 lead with 10:13 to play in the first half.

The difference early was energy, with Indiana pushing the basketball and scoring with Oladipo, Zeller, and Christian Watford all contributing and getting the crowd at Assembly Hall to become a factor. Indiana coach Tom Crean was even vocal and visibly expressive in trying to rile up the fans in attendance.

But the same speed that allowed Indiana to get out to an early lead also allowed Michigan to get back into the game, once the Hoosiers sped up too much for their own good.

Indiana turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, almost negating an advantage in rebounding (+8 in 1st half) and shooting percentage (Indiana: 54 percent, Michigan: 40 percent).

While Glenn Robinson III struggled in the first half and Tim Hardaway, Jr., was relatively quiet, point guard Trey Burke carried the Wolverines in the first twenty minutes.

He was relentless in transition and pushed the pace to score 14 of his 25 points in the first half, including a key three-pointer at the close of the half to pull Michigan within four at the break. He would finish with his game-high 25 points on 9-of-24 shooting, while adding eight assists and five rebounds.

Coming out in the second half, Michigan worked to tie the game at 40 with 17:42 to play after three Nik Stauskas free throws.

But from that point, Indiana seized control.

The Hoosiers ripped off an 11-0 run over the next 3:14, capped by a Will Sheehey jumper with 14:27 to play to extend the lead to 51-40. During that stretch, Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. picked up third foul and was forced to the bench. Despite sitting out for that stretch, he finished with 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting.

Michigan responded quickly with an 11-2 run of its own to pull back within two points, 53-51.

Indiana fought to take control again, never letting Michigan get within four points after the 7:13 mark. Two consecutive Zeller dunks and an Oladipo layup with a questionable “and-one” foul tacked on, extended the lead to seven and the Hoosiers never looked back.

This is the fifth time this season that the No. 1 team has fallen, following Indiana’s loss to Butler, Duke’s losses to both Miami and NC State, and Louisville’s loss to Syracuse.

Indiana now claims sole possession of first place in the Big Ten with a conference mark of 8-1, 20-2 overall. Michigan falls into a tie for second at 7-2 with No. 13 Michigan State and No. 11 Ohio State.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Nerlens Noel’s double-double helps Kentucky outlast Texas A&M in overtime

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Blowing a nine-point halftime lead, letting a team creep back and force overtime, turning the ball over 18 times. It likely wasn’t exactly what Kentucky coach John Calipari wanted from his team Saturday against Texas A&M, but the Wildcats fought to stay in control and closed the door in the extra period, winning, 72-68, at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.

Freshman Nerlens Noel, so important down the stretch in Kentucky’s win over Ole Miss earlier in the week, was key against Saturday evening, tallying a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds. Guard Julius Mays also had 19 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range.

On the final possession of regulation, Kentucky tried to double-team guard Elston Turner on the perimeter, but he was able to dribble through and hit a pull up from the right elbow that kissed off the front of the rim, popped in the air, and fell through.

Texas A&M never led, though they were able to tie the game three times, including Turner’s jumper to end regulation. That run erased a nine-point Kentucky lead at halftime.

In overtime, Kentucky made a more concerted effort to keep the ball out of Turner’s hands with more double teams. The result was a stagnant A&M offense, until Turner was able to hit a three with 2:07 to play to pull the Aggies within three, 69-66.

Kentucky, though, tightened up on defense on Texas A&M’s last possession to secure the victory. Turner was forced into a long three-pointer to tie the game, which rattled out and Kentucky came down with the rebound.

After an up-and-down non-conference season, Kentucky now moves to 6-2 in the SEC and 15-6 overall. The win likely pulls the Wildcats into a tie for second in the conference with Ole Miss, who was losing by double-digits late in the second half to Florida at the time of publication.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Otto Porter, Georgetown continues winning streak with victory over St. John’s

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We’ve seen both sides of this Georgetown team in 2012-13, both good and bad, but Saturday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., the Hoyas put together a strong team outing to beat St. John’s, 68-56.

Playing with a more athletic but smaller three-guard lineup, St. John’s struggled to counter Georgetown’s interior attack and were outrebounded, 38-33. Many open misses on the perimeter turned into offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities for the Hoyas.

Nate Lubick and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera led the way with nine rebounds each and do-it-all forward Otto Porter had seven boards.

As has become the norm, Porter made an impact in nearly every category, finishing with 11 points to go with those seven rebounds and two blocks.

Georgetown did a good job defensively of disrupting St. John’s leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison, who had just 2 points without registering a field goal, 0-of-10 from the floor.

The Hoya zone pushed St. John’s to the perimeter, where the Red Storm were cold. Coach Steve Lavin’s team shot just 4-of-17 from behind the arc, though they saw a surprising 12 points off the bench from reserve Marco Bourgault. Without Harrison producing, the offensive load was pushed to JaKarr Sampson, who had 16 points.

There may be one lasting implication of this loss for the Red Storm, though, with guard Jamal Branch injuring his knee in the second half. The official word from St. John’s is that Branch suffered a knee sprain.

The win extends Georgetown’s winning streak to four games. Georgetown has now won six of its last seven games. The Hoyas also creep up in the Big East standings and is now tied for third in a crowded field that includes Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and Syracuse.

For more, check out coverage from CSNWashington.com.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

No. 10 Oregon falls to Cal, now 1-2 as Dominic Artis sits with injury

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Despite shooting 47 percent from the floor, No. 10 Oregon turned the ball over 22 times and lost a three-point halftime lead in its 58-54 loss to California Saturday at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.

Oregon’s E.J. Singler had a good look from three-point range to take the lead with 0:08 remaining, but the shot was off the mark. Cal grabbed the rebound and two free throws from Cal guard Justin Cobbs made it a two-possession game, putting it out of reach.

The Ducks now fall to 1-2 as starting freshman point guard and leading assist man Dominic Artis sits with a foot injury, having missed a win over Washington and losses in the Bay Area to Stanford and now Cal.

Without Artis directing the offense, back-up Johnathan Loyd struggled. Despite his seven assists, he turned the ball over six times and was 3-of-7 from the floor. An Oregon team that typically averages 75 points per game was held to just 54, one game after posting 52 points in that loss to Stanford.

For Cal, the win gives coach Mike Montgomery and the Bears their first signature win of the Pac-12 season and their first win over a ranked team.

The scoring duo of Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, and Cobbs combined for just 21 points, but the Bears were able to get contributions from elsewhere to fill in the gaps offensively. Forward Richard Solomon had a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Tyrone Wallace added 12 points and three steals.

Oregon is now just half a game (for the time being) over Arizona State, who plays Saturday at 9 p.m. ET against Washington, and No. 8 Arizona, who tips Saturday at 10 p.m. ET against Washington State.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_