Rob Dauster

SPOKANE, WA - DECEMBER 10:  Przemek Karnowski #24 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs moves toward the basket against defender Isiah Johnson #23 of the Akron Zips in the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center on December 10, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  Gonzaga defeated Akron 61-43.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
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No. 8 Gonzaga beats Tennessee, 86-76, improves to 11-0

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mark Few wondered how his eighth-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs would handle a nine-day break for exams, traveling cross country and playing in front of a heavily orange crowd.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes saw enough Sunday to think Few and Gonzaga still might be undefeated when March rolls around.

Nigel Williams-Goss scored 20 points, and Gonzaga remained unbeaten by holding off Tennessee 86-76.

“I thought they did good, especially the way we started the first half,” Few said. “Usually when you come out of finals like this, you’re a little bit concerned about losing rhythm. We had some pretty good rhythm going into finals. Gave them several days off, I was a little bit worried about that. They responded.”

Gonzaga (11-0) hadn’t played since beating Akron on Dec. 10 and looked strong as it scored the first eight points and never trailed. The Bulldogs led 27-6 on a jumper by Zach Collins with 12:06 left, 43-29 at halftime and 64-48 midway through the second half.

Tennessee (6-5) went on a 10-3 run and got within 75-71 on a jumper by Robert Hubbs III with 2:26 left.

Josh Perkins then hit a jumper as Gonzaga held on for its fourth straight win in the five games between these teams.

“Obviously we weren’t perfect, but to come in here and beat a good Tennessee team by double digits, and pretty much control the entire game, I thought we did a good job,” Williams-Goss said. “But there’s room to grow.”

This was billed as the Battle of Broadway played at Bridgestone Arena, so technically it was a neutral court – except for all the fans wearing Tennessee orange in the seats. Those fans got very loud as the Vols made their run.

Barnes wasn’t happy with how the Vols started, and he’s tiring of coming close in losses.

“It’s one thing being talked about as being a scrappy team that fights all the time, but at some point in time we’ve got to want to be more than that,” he said. “We’ve got to want to play 40 minutes, and we haven’t done that at any point in time this year.”

Detrick Mostella led Tennessee with 17 points and Hubbs had 10.

The Vols played without 6-foot-7 freshman John Fulkerson, who missed his first game since dislocating his right elbow in Thursday night’s win over Lipscomb. Fulkerson is expected to miss six weeks with the injury.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs came in as one of six undefeated teams in the Top 25 and did nothing to hurt their stock after their break. … They improved to 12-8 all-time against Southeastern Conference teams and 2-0 this season. Gonzaga beat Florida last month. … With 7-1 center Karnowski and 6-9 Johnathan Williams, the Bulldogs outrebounded Tennessee 42-38.

Tennessee: This was the Vols’ fourth game in eight days, a stretch that started a week ago with a 73-71 loss in Chapel Hill to No. 7 North Carolina. … Barnes now is 0-5 against Gonzaga and 0-4 against Few. … Freshman Grant Williams scored 30 points in the Vols’ last game and finished with 11.

QUOTABLE

“I think he’s got as good a team as he’s ever had,” Barnes said of Few. “I think he’s going to become an even bigger story in college basketball because if you look ahead, he’s always done tremendous things with his team in the league and he could be the first time in a long time that you’ve got a team capable of being undefeated heading into postseason play.”

FOUL TROUBLE

The officiating crew of Karl Hess, Jamie Luckie and Brent Hampton called 56 fouls combined. Gonzaga and Tennessee each had a player foul out with Silas Melson playing 18 minutes before his fifth foul for the Bulldogs, while Jordan Bowden had nine points in 27 minutes for the Vols. Gonzaga finished the game with four players having four fouls apiece.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs host South Dakota on Wednesday.

Tennessee: At East Tennessee State on Thursday night.

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

No. 24 USC rallies to beat Troy to improve to 10-0

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 17:  Jordan McLaughlin #11 of the USC Trojans dunks the ball against the Providence Friars during the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PNC Arena on March 17, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES — Jordan McLaughlin really didn’t mind seeing No. 24 Southern California pushed to the limit by a big underdog.

McLaughlin scored 19 points, including a go-ahead floater in the lane with 48 seconds left, and USC remained undefeated with an 82-77 comeback victory over Troy on Saturday night.

“This was good for our young guys to get a game like this with conference coming up,” McLaughlin said. “It will help us mature.”

Southern California (10-0) has its best start since going 16-0 to open the 1971 season. It remains one of two undefeated Pac-12 schools, along with UCLA, which beat Ohio State on Saturday to improve to 12-0.

With the shot clock winding down in the final minute, McLaughlin drove into the lane, created separation and put a soft shot over two defenders to give USC the lead for good.

“Down the stretch, I feel like nine times out of 10 I’ll make the right play,” McLaughlin said. “Coach has always had confidence in me. That’s why I came here.”

USC coach Andy Enfield said McLaughlin’s go-ahead basket was a perfect example of the maturity he’s developed over the past two-plus seasons.

“Jordan is playing at such a high level for us,” Enfield said. “This year, he’s taken it to another level. The last three, four weeks, he’s playing as good as any point guard in the nation. That’s why we’re 10-0. It all starts with him.”

Chimezie Metu added 18 points and eight rebounds, Elijah Stewart had 11 points and Nick Rakocevic 10.

“We came out slow,” Metu said. “But we picked up our defensive intensity down the stretch and got some stops.”

Wesley Person had 19 points to lead Troy (6-5). Jordan Vonardo added 17 points and eight rebounds, and Kevin Baker had 15 points. It has won three straight

After a pair of USC blocks and a Troy turnover, McLaughlin added two free throws with 13 seconds left. De’Anthony Felton added a free throw with 3 seconds left for the final margin.

“For us to be 10-0 with our lack of experience, to be without Bennie Boatwright, I’m so proud of our players,” Enfield said. “We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve still got a lot of things to improve. It’s a long season and there will be games like this.”

Trailing most of the way and by as many as 10 points, Southern California took a 70-68 lead on Stewart’s 3-pointer with 4:58 to play.

Metu hit a jumper in the lane and then made one of two free throws to pull USC even at 77 after Jeremy Hollimon’s three-pointer with 1:16 left had given Troy a 77-74 lead.

Up 40-38 at half, Troy reeled off a 10-2 spurt, opening its biggest lead 50-40 on a free throw by DeVon Walker with 16:45 to play. Troy led 60-51 on Walker’s layup with 12:35 to play.

BIG PICTURE:

Troy: Person is the son of former NBA player Wesley Person and nephew of former NBA player Chuck Person. The Trojans lost for the first time this season after leading at halftime. Saturday night’s game marked the first time the Trojans played a Top 25 team since playing at No. 17 Mississippi State on Dec. 10, 2011.

Southern California: This was the first time this season the Trojans trailed at half. USC won its 17th consecutive nonconference game at the Galen Center. Seven of their 10 wins this season have come on their home floor. USC played its third straight game without sophomore forward Boatwright, expected to be out six weeks with a sprained left knee injured on Nov. 30 against San Diego.

UP NEXT:

Troy: At Wyoming on Monday night.

Southern California: Host Cornell on Monday night.

Oregon’s Chris Boucher in boot before UNLV game

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 17: Chris Boucher #25 of the Oregon Ducks battles for position under the basket with Shane Hammink #11 of the Valparaiso Crusaders  in the second half of the game at Matthew Knight Arena on November 17, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 76-54. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Oregon’s Chris Boucher had a boot on his right foot and was using crutches Saturday night before the Ducks’ game against UNLV at Moda Center.

It was unclear when Boucher was injured. He played in No. 22 Oregon’s 81-67 victory at home over Montana on Tuesday night, scoring 23 points with 19 rebounds. He was a rebound short of becoming the Ducks’ first player with 20 or more points and rebounds since 1977.

Boucher, a 6-foot-10 senior, is averaging 14.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game for Oregon (9-2). He ranks 10th nationally in blocks.

No. 22 Oregon downs UNLV 83-63 in Portland

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 17: Tyler Dorsey #5 of the Oregon Ducks drives to the basket during the second half of the game against the UNLV Rebels at the Moda Center on December 17, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. The Ducks won the game 83-63. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Dillon Brooks had 20 points, including 16 in the second half, and the No. 22 Oregon Ducks extended their winning streak to eight games with an 83-63 victory over UNLV on Saturday night at Portland’s Moda Center.

Tyler Dorsey added 18 points while Jordan Bell had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Oregon (10-2), which led by 23 points in the second half. The Ducks have held 11 straight opponents under 70 points.

Jovan Mooring led the Rebels (6-5) with 20 points. Tyrell Green added 18 points and eight rebounds.

Oregon was without leading scorer Chris Boucher, who was on crutches and wearing a boot on his right foot on the Ducks’ bench.

It was unclear when Boucher was injured. He played in Oregon’s 81-67 victory at home over Montana on Tuesday night, scoring 23 points with 19 rebounds. He was a rebound short of becoming the Ducks’ first player since 1977 with 20 or more points and rebounds.

Boucher, a 6-foot-10 senior, is averaging 14.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game for Oregon this season. He ranks 10th nationally in blocks.

Boucher’s absence made way for Brooks’ first start of the season. Brooks has played off the bench since returning from offseason foot surgery.

Brooks was key to Oregon’s success last season, when the team won a school-record 31 games while claiming the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles. The Ducks earned a first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to Elite Eight for the first time since 2007.

The Ducks led by as many as 11 points in the first half. The Rebels closed within 34-29 late after Tyrell Green’s layup, but Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey answered with a 3-pointer.

Green hit a 3-pointer for UNLV to narrow it to 37-33 at the break. Green led all scorers with 15 points in the half.

Oregon went on a 10-run to open the first half, capped by Payton Pritchard’s 3-pointer, as the game started to get away from UNLV. The Ducks stretched the lead to 55-36 on Dorsey’s layup.

BIG PICTURE

UNLV: The Rebels are in the midst of a tough stretch where they’ll face three ranked teams. They lost at No. 5 Duke 94-45 last Saturday and they’ll host No. 3 Kansas on Thursday. … The Rebels are playing their first season under coach Marvin Menzies, hired after Chris Beard left the job after only a week in March to become head coach at Texas Tech.

Oregon: With Oregon’s women ranked No. 25 this past week, it is the first time both the Ducks’ men and women are ranked since January 1995. The women’s team played in the early game Saturday night, defeating Portland State 90-46. … Oregon has been ranked in the Top 25 for 14 straight weeks dating to last season.

LOCAL KID: Payton Pritchard drew cheers from the Portland crowd when he hit the Ducks’ first basket of the night, a 3-pointer. The 6-foot-2 freshman point guard played for West Linn High School just south of Portland. He’s played at the Moda Center before, when West Linn defeated Sheldon in the 2014 Class 6A state championship game.

UP NEXT

UNLV: The Runnin’ Rebels return home to face Southern Illinois on Monday.

Oregon: The Ducks host Fresno State on Tuesday, the team’s final nonconference game before Pac-12 play starts.

Foster has 22 points, Creighton rallies to beat Oral Roberts

OMAHA, NEBRASKA-NOVEMBER 26: Marcus Foster #0 of the Creighton Bluejays take s a break during their game against the Loyola (Md) Greyhounds at the CenturyLink Center on November 26, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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OMAHA, Neb. — Marcus Foster scored 22 points and No. 10 Creighton rallied to beat Oral Roberts 66-65 on Saturday night.

The Bluejays (11-0) led by as many as 13 early in the second half, but saw the Golden Eagles (2-10) claw back to take a five-point lead with 6:08 left in the game. Creighton held Oral Robert the rest of the way, talking the lead on Foster’s short jumper in the lane with 3:28 left.

Owens led Oral Roberts with 23 points, and Jalen Bradley had 16 for the Golden Eagles.

The Bluejays used a zone press to trigger a 9-0 early second half run that made it 54-41. Then Creighton went cold, hitting just two of its next 14 shots while Oral Roberts scored steadily, taking the lead at 60-58 on Albert Owens’ short jumper with 8:45 left. Oral Roberts went up 65-60 on Owens’ banked-in 3-pointer.

The Golden Eagles didn’t score again while Creighton managed just three field goals, a layup and a dunk from Justin Patton and Foster’s short jumper. Neither team scored again as Creighton missed the front end of two 1-and-1 free-throw opportunities in the final minute.

Creighton, which shot 58 percent and had 21 fast break points in the first half, hit just 37 percent of its shots in the second half and didn’t have a fast break point. The high-scoring Bluejays, who have averaged 91.6 points per game, scored just 21 points in the first half

Foster had 10 points in the first three minutes as Creighton raced out to a 12-5 lead and went up by 10 on Maurice Watson Jr.’s layup with 14:27 left in the half. But Oral Roberts stayed within striking distance with strong inside play and trailed by seven at half.

Maurice Watson Jr. had 13 points and 10 assists for Creighton. Patton finished with 10 points.

BIG PICTURE

Oral Roberts: Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton was born in Omaha, the son of former Creighton coach Eddie Sutton, who led the Bluejays from 1969 to 1974 in his first Division I coaching post. The Sutton family was recognized by Creighton before Saturday’s game with a jersey presentation to Scott and his brother and assistant coach Sean Sutton..

Creighton: With Saturday’s victory, the Bluejays have won 97 straight home games against teams that enter the contest with a record of .500 or worse, a streak that dates to 2002. The Bluejays who led 45-38 at halftime have now won 67 straight games when scoring 42 or more in the first half.

UP NEXT

Oral Roberts” Hosts Little Rock on Monday night.

Creighton: At Arizona State on Tuesday night.

Bluiett scores 20, No. 17 Xavier holds off Wake Forest 69-65

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 14:  Trevon Bluiett #5 of the Xavier Musketeers attempts a reverse layup in the second half as Ikenna Smart #34 of the Buffalo Bulls defends on November 14, 2016 at Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Xavier defeated Buffalo 86-53.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI — No. 17 Xavier got outrebounded for the first time all season and wasted several chances to put the game away, allowing it to come down to a final free throw. Trevon Bluiett made it.

Bluiett scored 20 points, including three free throws in the final 19 seconds, and the Musketeers held on for a 69-65 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday night in their annual game dedicated to former coach Skip Prosser .

The Musketeers (9-2) led most of the second half but didn’t have the game in hand until Bluiett hit one of his two free throws with 2 seconds left. Wake Forest (8-3) missed a pair of 3-point shots that could have tied it before Bluiett got the rebound and was fouled.

“Something may be off,” said point guard Edmond Sumner, who had 17 points and six turnovers. “At times you can see we’re clicking, but it’s not through a whole half, it’s in spurts. We still have to figure out what’s going on.”

John Collins had his sixth consecutive double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Bryant Crawford scored 20 points for the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest missed all of its 12 shots from beyond the arc in the second half and finished 5 of 25 on 3-pointers.

“We’re still going to shoot it,” coach Danny Manning said. “We’re going to shoot it 12 times the next game. Normally we make our fair share.”

There were nine ties and 11 lead changes in a back-and-forth game, with the Musketeers holding a slim lead for most of the second half. Sumner had a bank shot high off the backboard, and J.P. Macura had a steal and layup that made it 66-61 with 1:29 left.

Sumner and Bluiett both missed the front end in the bonus before Bluiett finally closed it out from the line.

“Even when we’re not on top of our game, we can still close games out,” Bluiett said. “It’s a good feeling for us to know we’re capable of doing that. We don’t want to keep putting ourselves in those situations.”

OUTREBOUNDED

The Demon Deacons became the first team to outrebound Xavier this season, getting a 38-37 edge that included 15 offensive rebounds.

ARC WOES

Wake Forest has done much better at shooting the 3 this season, making 38.8 percent before Saturday’s game. They’ve been a team of extremes, tough, making 13 twice and five or less four times.

“We were getting good looks at the basket but the ball wasn’t falling,” Crawford said. “We should have gone inside more, found other ways to score.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Xavier has won its last two games, including a 77-69 victory over Utah, to stabilize in the poll after dropping because of back-to-back road losses against Baylor and Colorado.

BIG PICTURE

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have lost both of their games against ranked teams this season, including 96-77 to Villanova in the Charleston Classic. They’re 1-12 against ranked teams in last two seasons, including a win over No. 13 Indiana in the Maui Invitational. Their last win on the road over a ranked team was 82-69 at No. 24 North Carolina on Jan. 20, 2010.

Xavier: The Musketeers’ soft passes led to repeated turnovers that played into Wake Forest’s hands. Xavier had 10 turnovers in the first half and 15 overall.

“That was just us doing careless stuff, like me traveling two times,” Sumner said. “It wasn’t because of the pressure.”

UP NEXT

Wake Forest returns home and finished non-conference play against LSU on Thursday. The Demon Deacons won in Baton Rouge 77-71 last season.

Xavier hosts Eastern Washington on Tuesday before opening Big East play by hosting Providence on Dec. 28.

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org