1/3 – College Hoops Week in Review: Happy New Year!


Game of the Week: Dayton 76, New Mexico 73 OT

In a game that featured far more than its share of big time dunks, New Mexico jumped out to an early 33-21 lead in Dayton. Dayton chipped away at the lead, eventually cutting it to six points heading into halftime on a three from Chris Johnson. New Mexico started the second half off ice cold, eventually tying the game for the first time since it was 0-0 on a thunderous tip dunk from Chris Wright.

After a bucket by the Lobos, Matt Kavanaugh gave Dayton their first lead with an and-one finish off of a pass from Juwan Staten. Dayton would eventually open a 64-58 lead with 3:54 left in regulation, but the Lobos scored six straight points — the last four on back-to-back jumpers by Kendall Williams — as they forced overtime.

Dayton took a three point lead late in the first OT, but after a free throw and a stop for the Lobos, Dairese Gary scored with 36 seconds left to force the second overtime. In the second extra frame, Paul Williams hit a three on the first possession. Two Chris Wright free throws extended the lead. New Mexico didn’t score a field goal in the second overtime and went 2-6 from the foul line. With with three seconds left they were down 76-73 with Williams at the line. He missed the second intentionally and the ball came right back to him, but his game-tying three came up short.


Christian Laettner 2.0: This finish has to be mentioned. After Richmond choked down the stretch, missing seven of eight free throws in the final 2:58, they still found themselves up 61-60 on Bucknell with 1.7 seconds left. Bucknell had the ball under the Spider’s basket. They needed a miracle, and they got one:


Player of the Week: E’Twaun Moore, Purdue

Its not necessarily a surprise that Purdue has gotten off to a 2-0 start to the Big Ten season. This is, in fact, a top 15 team that has two all-americans on the roster. What was a bit of a surprise, however, was the manner in which Purdue got off to their 2-0 start. On Tuesday, the Boilermakers went into Ann Arbor and obliterated the Wolverines, 80-57. And on New Year’s Eve, when John Shurna and Northwestern came to town, Purdue looked terrific once again, winning 82-69 in a game that wasn’t really in doubt for much of the second half.

Moore was the star for Purdue this week. Against Michigan, he had 21 points, 9 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block while also helping to hold Darius Morris, the Wolverine’s star that is averaging 15 points and 7 assists, to just 3-14 shooting. He was even better against Northwestern, hitting five threes in the first six minutes and finishing with 31 points, 7 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals, and another block. Oh, and John Shurna, the leading scorer in the Big Ten, finished with just 11 points.

Moore wasn’t alone this week — JaJuan Johnson averaged 20.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg while Ryne Smith added 15.0 ppg. When the Boilermakers are getting that kind of production, they are going to be a tough team to beat. But Moore, however, was the star.

The All-they-were-good-too team:

  • G: Nolan Smith, Duke: In Duke’s first game without Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith tried to fill the void at the point, finishing with just 2 points but 10 assists. Since then, Coach K has asked Smith to be more of a scorer, and he has obliged, getting at least 22 points in the last four games. This week, he averaged 27.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and 7.0 apg in wins over UNC-Greensboro and Miami FL.
  • G: Demetri McCamey, Illinois: McCamey led the Illini to a 2-0 week to open the Big Ten season, knocking off Iowa and Wisconsin. He averaged 20.5 ppg and 8.5 apg in the two wins, needing just 18 shots to score his 41 points.
  • G: Corey Stokes, Villanova: Stokes has arguably been Villanova’s best back court player this season, as he is the team’s leading scorer. He showed why this week, as he went for 24 points and 23 points in wins over Temple and Rutgers, respectively.
  • F: Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Washington: MBA, as we like to call him, was terrific as the Huskies went on their LA road trip and swept USC and UCLA. He averaged 19.5 ppg and 9.0 rpg in the two games.
  • C: Josh Harrellson, Kentucky: In what was arguably Kentucky’s biggest game of the season, the man known as ‘Jorts’ made a lot of people momentarily forget all about Enes Kanter by going for 23 points and 14 boards in a win over Louisville.
  • Bench: Kris Joseph, Syracuse; Jamar Samuels and Curtis Kelly, Kansas State; Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt; Marcus Jordan, UCF

Team of the Week: Oregon State Beavers

Its been an up-and-down season for Oregon State. Well, actually, that’s not exactly correct. Coming into the Pac-10’s first weekend, it had been mostly a down season for the Beavers. They were 5-6 on the season with five fairly embarrassing losses — Texas Southern, Utah Valley State, and George Washington all beat OSU in Gill Coliseum while they lost to Colorado, Seattle, and Montana on the road. If it wasn’t for the pathetic seasons being had by Wake Forest and Auburn, Oregon State likely would have been referred to as the worst major college team in the country.

It was moronic to think that the Beavers would have a chance to make any kind of noise in the Pac-10, but all of that changed on New Year’s Eve’s Eve, when the Beavers smacked Arizona State 80-58. Granted, the Sun Devils were playing without Trent Lockett, their leading scorer, but the score looks all the more legitimate after Sunday’s 76-75 win over Arizona, a team many believed to be the second best in the Pac-10. More interesting, however, is the fact that Oregon State won without playing well. They shot 42.4% from the field and 2-15 from three. They were bailed out by the Wildcat’s penchant for fouling (32 free throws for the Beavers) and inability to hit their own foul shots (13-24).

So one week into conference play, and Oregon State is sitting atop the conference at 2-0. The scarier thing is that in watching the Beavers play, this doesn’t look like a fluke. Jared Cunningham is a terrific athlete and defender that is starting to come into his own offensively. Joe Burton is a solid post player that is active and has quick feet. Calvin Haynes and Omari Johnson are seniors playing for a trip to the NCAA Tournament. We all know the story of Roberto Nelson. I don’t want to get ahead of myself because this team has, in fact, lost to Utah Valley State at home. But I wouldn’t be that surprised if the Beavers hung around in the Pac-10 this season.

Teams that deserve a shout out:

St. John’s: The Beavers weren’t the only team that surprised some folks with a 2-0 start to conference play. The Johnnies, coming off of losses to Fordham and St. Bonaventure, looked like they were going to fade slowly into the back ground like so many St. John’s team before them. But believe it or not, St. John’s swept their Big East schedule this week, and more impressive still is the fact that won both games on the road. Against West Virginia, the Johnnies pounded away at the Mountaineers inside while against Providence it was 21 point from Dwight Hardy and a clutch three ball by Paris Horne that won the game. Perhaps we will get a real feel for the Red Storm after tonight’s game against Georgetown in Madison Square Garden.

Vanderbilt: After Kentucky’s emphatic win over Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center, its tough to argue against the Wildcats being the favorite to win the SEC. Having said that, with Tennessee’s struggles, it appears as if Vanderbilt may just be the second best team in the conference. This week, Vandy knocked off a solid Marquette team at home 77-76 on a layup from Andre Walker with 4.1 seconds left despite a 4-21 shooting performance from John Jenkins. On Sunday, they ran Davidson, a SoCon contender, out of the gym 80-52.

Charlotte: Since Shamari Spears was kicked off the team, the 49ers have been a different group. Namely, they have been winning games. Four in a row to be exact, starting with their 49-48 upset of then-No. 7 Tennessee and ending with Sunday’s 86-83 2OT win over Georgia Tech. Charlotte is now 8-6 on the season and peaking just in time for conference play, which starts with a Wednesday trip to Richmond.

Dayton: I had all but written the Flyers off. That’s what a 68-34 loss to Cincinnati and a loss to East Tennessee State will do to you. But after beating George Mason and New Mexico this week — and winning at Seton Hall last week — while trailing by double figures in all three games is impressive. Dayton is now 12-3 on the season and, like Charlotte, peaking at the right now.

Iowa State: Did anyone expect the Cyclones to be 12-2 heading into the New Year? I certainly didn’t. And while Fred Hoiberg’s group hasn’t exactly played a murderer’s row of opponents, they did go to Charlottesville and knock off UVa this week. The record needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but at the least this is a nice confidence booster for fans of the Cyclone program.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats still haven’t played anyone of note, but they can now add a 2-0 start in the Big East to their 14-0 start to the season.

Portland: Would you believe me if I told you that Portland might have the best chance at earning at at-large bid out of the WCC? They have the best RPI in the league, none of their three losses are bad losses, they’ve won at Montana and at Denver while beating Boise State, Nevada, and Utah in their last three games. Ok, maybe I wouldn’t even believe that, but keep an eye on the Pilots. On Saturday, they head to Gonzaga to open WCC play.

Matchups of the Week:

  • 1/3 – 7:00 pm: Georgetown @ St. John’s
  • 1/3 – 7:30 pm: Michigan State @ Northwestern
  • 1/4 – 7:00 pm: UConn @ Notre Dame
  • 1/5 – 7:00 pm: Drexel @ VCU
  • 1/5 – 9:00 pm: Memphis @ Tennessee
  • 1/5 – 10:00 pm: BYU @ UNLV
  • 1/6 – 9:00 pm: Northwestern @ Illinois
  • 1/6 – 7:00 pm: Xavier @ Cincinnati
  • 1/7 – 7:00 pm: Cleveland State @ Butler
  • 1/8 – 11:00 am: West Virginia @ Georgetown
  • 1/8 – 12:00 pm: Austin Peay @ Murray State
  • 1/8 – 3:30 pm: UConn @ Texas
  • 1/8 – 8:30 pm: Portland @ Gonzaga
  • 1/9 – Minnesota @ Ohio State
  • 1/9 – 12:00 pm: Cincinnati @ Villanova
  • 1/9 – 8:00 pm: Maryland @ Duke

Top-ranked Houston grinds out 53-48 win over Saint Mary’s

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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FORT WORTH, Texas – J’Wan Roberts scored 15 points, Marcus Sasser added 13 and top-ranked Houston held on to beat Saint Mary’s 53-48 on Saturday night.

The Cougars (8-0) won twice in their first week as the No. 1 team since the final poll of the 1982-83 regular season, when Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon led high-flying Phi Slama Jama.

Logan Johnson scored 17 points and Aidan Mahaney had 14 for the Gaels (6-3), who lost their third in a row following a 6-0 start.

Houston was the favorite to win it all in the second of three consecutive trips to the Final Four nearly 40 years ago, but lost to Jim Valvano and North Carolina State in one of the iconic championship games.

Coach Kelvin Sampson’s first top-ranked team is coming off trips to the Final Four and Elite Eight the past two seasons.

For the third straight year, the postseason path will start at Dickie’s Arena, where Sampson likes to bring his team during the regular season as prep for the American Athletic Conference tourney.

This victory in the Battleground 2k22 series improved the Cougars to 9-0 in the arena near downtown Fort Worth, where they have won AAC tournament titles each of the past two years.

Saint Mary’s whittled a 12-point deficit to a single possession when Mahaney hit a 3, and he made it a three-point game again at 46-43 with another from long range.

Roberts answered by backing down for a short jump hook before Sasser converted a three-point play to put the Cougars up 51-43.

Houston broke a 17-all tie with a 14-3 run to finish the first half, with Saint Mary’s going 1 of 11 from the field in that stretch against the vaunted Cougars defense. Both teams shot 37%.


Saint Mary’s: Facing the No. 1 team isn’t foreign to the Gaels, who play in the West Coast Conference with Gonzaga. St. Mary’s is 2-7 against the Zags when they have the top ranking, with one of the victories coming last season.

Houston: The Cougars had no trouble in their debut with the No. 1 ranking, blowing out Norfolk State 100-52 at home Tuesday. A disciplined and tournament-tested opponent for the second game was just the threat Sampson’s club figured it could be.


Saint Mary’s: Missouri State at home Wednesday.

Houston: North Florida at home Tuesday.

Clowney, No. 11 Alabama recover to beat South Dakota St

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Freshman Noah Clowney’s breakout game – 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a steal – helped No. 11 Alabama recover from blowing a 20-point lead and beat South Dakota State 78-65 on Saturday night.

Clowney shot 8 of 17, including 5 of 12 on 3s, in his highest-scoring game of the season.

“We’ve encouraged him to shoot it, I’m glad he did,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “His senior year of high school, he started out pretty poorly from 3 then shot it 40% after that, so I kind of referenced that.”

Alabama (7-1) led 37-17 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half. South Dakota State (3-6) rallied to go ahead 51-50 on Alex Arians’ 3-pointer with 11 1/2 minutes remaining.

Nimari Burnett’s foul shot a minute later put the Crimson Tide ahead for good at 54-53. Alabama used a 9-0 run to pull away.

Mark Sears scored 19 points and Brandon Miller had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Crimson Tide

Alabama made 14 of its first 26 shots to build a big lead before it slipped away.

“I’m not going to call them mature, we still have some room to grow,” Oats said. “Our guys have to understand, no matter who we’re playing, even if their record isn’t great, they’re Division I basketball players, they’re good teams. Last year, we had issues with this going down the road.”

Charlie Easley and Arians each scored 17 points for the Jackrabbits. Zeke Mayo added 12 points and Matt Dentlinger contributed nine rebounds.


Sears continues to be a force at home for Alabama. In Alabama’s last three home games – wins over Liberty, Jacksonville State and South Dakota State – he has scored 22, 18 and 19 points, making at least three 3-pointers in all three games. Alabama’s next home game comes against a Memphis team that already has two wins over SEC competition.


South Dakota State coach Eric Henderson noticed that in Alabama’s first two home games, Longwood and Liberty both trailed by fewer than 10 points at halftime before losing by 21 and 36 points, respectively. He viewed the first five minutes of the second half as critical in both instances, seeing an Alabama team using the home environment to its advantage.

Henderson stressed to his team that it had to win those five minutes to have a chance. Down 42-35 at the break, it did, and ultimately took the lead.

“They really increase the pressure, they try to play a little faster, they get downhill and they really spray it,” Henderson said. “I thought we were getting some 50-50 balls, I thought we were playing with some confidence. There’s been a lot of schools to come in here and have a good first half and it ends up being a 30- or 40-point game.”


South Dakota State stays on the road to face Montana on Tuesday.

Alabama takes a weeklong break before its second game against the current No. 1 team in the nation, this time a road game against Houston on Saturday. The Crimson Tide beat former No. 1 North Carolina in its first shot at the top-ranked team, winning 103-101 in four overtimes on Nov. 27.

Rutgers beats No. 10 Indiana for sixth straight time, 63-48

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. – With the clock winding down in the final minutes, Rutgers fans didn’t hesitate in letting No. 10 Indiana how they felt about the Hoosiers’ rating.

Chants of “Who’s Your Daddy” and “Overrated” were shouted with glee at the Indiana bench after the team was knocked from the unbeaten ranks.

Make no mistake, Rutgers (6-2, 1-0 Big Ten) owns Indiana (7-1, 0-1) on the basketball floor these days.

Freshman guard Derek Simpson scored 10 straight points in a game-deciding run and Rutgers beat Indiana for the sixth time in a row and ninth time in 10 meetings, 63-48 on Saturday.

“As far as Indiana goes, I feel we just know the focus of this team,” said Rutgers senior Caleb McConnell, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds. “It gives us an advantage because we had beaten them five times in a row. We went in trying to execute our game plan and we did it again.”

Simpson scored all 14 of his points in the second half as Rutgers made coach Mike Woodson’s first visit to “The Banks” unpleasant.

“We got to make shots from the perimeter,” said Woodson, whose team shot 30.4% from the field, including 6 of 21 from long range. “But we just got out-toughed tonight. I thought, I mean, from the beginning to the end, I mean, we couldn’t rebound the basketball with him. I thought that was the difference in the ballgame and that was the cushion that they needed.”

Miller Kopp scored a season-high 21 points for Indiana . Star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, who faced a packed in defense, was held to 13 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out late.

Jackson-Davis said Indiana just didn’t play well.

“I don’t necessarily say that it’s a bad matchup for us because I think defensively we’re still good,” he said. “But at the same time, our offense just wasn’t clicking tonight.”

The win was coach Steve Pikiell’s 14th over a ranked team since taking over a struggling Rutgers’ program in 2016-17. As usual, defense was at the center of its win.

The Hoosiers’ point total was a season low. They were averaging 87.1 points and were coming off a win over North Carolina.

Indiana played poorly in the first half in falling behind 31-24. The Hoosiers opened the final 20 minutes with a 13-4 spurt, taking two-point leads on baskets by Xavier Johnson and Kopp.

McConnell hit a 3-pointer to put Rutgers ahead for good and then Simpson took over, hitting a layup, a jumper, a 3-pointer and a big scoop shot for a 47-37 lead. His final point in the run came when Johnson hit him in the face in the offensive zone and a flagrant foul was eventually called. He made 1 of 2 free throws.

“I still have have much more to do and I am going to keep working and we’re going to keep working as a team,” Simpson said. “It was a fun game, and it really got loud. My ears are still ringing right now.”


Rutgers senior starting guard Paul Mulcahy returned to the lineup after missing four games with a shoulder injury. He came off the bench early in the first half and played almost 24 minutes, scoring six points and handing out four assists.


Indiana starting guard Jalen Hood-Schifino did not play because of a back problem. He was averaging 8.7 points. Starting forward Race Thompson, who was averaging 7.3 points, was scoreless on 0 for 4 shooting.


Indiana: This was poor performance by the Hoosiers. They are bound to take a tumble.

Rutgers: This was a big win for Rutgers, which was coming off a road loss at Miami. They are 6-0 at home.


Indiana: Conference home opener against Nebraska on Wednesday.

Rutgers: At No. 25 Ohio State on Thursday.

Flagler, No. 6 Baylor rally late, top No. 14 Gonzaga 64-63

Baylor vs. Gonzaga
USA Today

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In a rematch of the 2021 national championship game, Adam Flagler hit a pair of 3s as No. 6 Baylor scored the final eight points to rally past No. 14 Gonzaga 64-63 Friday night.

Gonzaga’s Rasir Bolton missed a wild, driving layup try at the buzzer.

Two seasons ago, Baylor beat the then-undefeated Zags 86-70 to win its first title. This time, the Bears didn’t take the lead for good until Jalen Bridges made two free throws with 16 seconds left.

“Adam is a great leader, but no one knew he wasn’t feeling well today,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “To be honest, some players wouldn’t have played. He played through the pain and left it all out on the court. As a coach, I appreciate that.”

The Bears (6-2) trailed 63-56 before Flagler hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 left. Flagler’s 3 with just over a minute to play cut Baylor’s deficit to 63-62.

After a Gonzaga shot clock violation, Flagler’s 3-point attempt for the lead was off the mark, but Bridges was fouled by Drew Timme on the rebound attempt. Bridges hit two foul shots to put Baylor ahead.

The Zags (5-3) had a final chance when Bolton caught an inbounds pass near his own foul line with 4.6 seconds remaining. He drove the lane, but his off-balance shot went high off the glass and missed as the buzzer sounded.

“We took two balls down hill and tried to make plays at the rim. At that point in the game, those are tough,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. “It’s very disappointing. They made plays, man.”

Freshman Keyonte George had 18 points and seven rebounds for Baylor. Flagler had 11 points and Langston Love added 10.

“I trust my work. I was able to knock them down,” George said. “My teammates believe in me each and every day. They give me that confidence in a big game to make big shots like that.”

Malchi Smith scored 16 points for Gonzaga. Anton Watson added a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Timme had nine points.

Baylor led by as many as 12 in the first half before Gonzaga closed to five at the break.

Watson’s basket put Gonzaga ahead 41-40. From there, the teams swapped leads over the next 13 minutes as the second half featured two ties and 14 lead changes.

A thunderous dunk from Smith gave Gonzaga its seven-point lead with under two minutes to go.


Baylor: The win was a big rebound for Baylor after its 26-point loss to Marquette earlier in the week. The loss was the Bears’ most lopsided since they fell to Kansas 82-56 in 2007

Gonzaga: After opening the season ranked No. 2 in the AP preseason poll, the Zags have now lost two of three.


Timme began the night leading the Bulldogs in scoring at 20 points per game. He was hampered by foul trouble against Baylor and got his first field goal with six minutes remaining. He fouled out with 16 seconds to play.


Four players on the floor Friday night had significant minutes in the championship game two years ago including Flagler, Timme and Watson, along with Baylor’s Flo Thamba.


Baylor: The Bears return home to host Tarleton on Tuesday before playing Washington State on Sunday in Dallas for the Pac 12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs return to Spokane for three straight beginning Monday when they face Kent State for the first time in school history.

Carr scores 19, No. 2 Texas beats No. 7 Creighton 72-67

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas had pressured Creighton’s shooters into a miserable night, only to watch a late flurry of 3-pointers start swishing.

An 11-point Longhorns lead was down to three.

That hardly rattled Marcus Carr and the second-ranked Longhorns, who stepped up with big late shots of their own and steady free-throw shooting to secure another impressive early-season victory, 72-67 over the seventh-ranked Bluejays on Thursday night.

Carr scored 19 points and made two free throws with 10 seconds left as Texas held off Creighton’s furious late-game rally.

Creighton struggled through a wretched 3-point shooting night, but pulled within 62-59 thanks in part to five points in a row by Baylor Scheierman. Carr’s baseline jumper and an easy layup by Tyrese Hunter when Creighton lost him on an inbound pass with 46 seconds left stretched the Longhorns’ lead again.

That didn’t quite close the door on Creighton, which got two more 3-pointers from Scheierman, who had missed his first nine attempts. That forced Texas to finish it from the free-throw line behind Carr and Brock Cunningham. Cunningham’s two free throws with 4 seconds left were his only points of the game.

“There’s going to be a bunch of times one of us has to go down there and knock down a bunch of free throws,” Carr said. “We talk about it all the time.”

The matchup was part of the Big 12-Big East Battle and Texas earned its second win over a top-10 opponent in its new arena. The Longhorns (6-0) beat then-No. 2 Gonzaga on Nov. 16 and have their highest ranking since they were No. 1 during the 2009-2010 season.

“I don’t think we’ve proven anything,” Texas coach Chris Beard said. “We’re just a team that’s trying to get better.”

Hunter scored 15 points for Texas.

Ryan Kalkbrenner had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Creighton (6-2), and Ryan Nembhard scored 17 points. The Bluejays were 4 of 27 on 3-pointers.

Scheierman, a 44% shooter from beyond the arc this season, made three 3s in a row late. His off-balance shot from the right corner over a defender pulled the Bluejays within 68-65 with 11.4 seconds left.

Scheierman finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

“The reality is you are gonna have nights,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “It just happens. We don’t ever want him to stop shooting.”


Creighton: Kalkbrenner was all but unstoppable on a 9-of-10 shooting night for the Bluejays, who kept launching from long range instead of looking for their 7-foot-1 center.

Texas: The Longhorns couldn’t force their usual numbers of turnovers and fast-break points, but were exceptionally clean with the ball on offense. Texas had just three turnovers that Creighton turned into three points.


Texas senior forward Christian Bishop played three seasons at Creighton before transferring prior to last season. He finished with six points and four rebounds in 16 minutes.

“We understood what this game was, not just for our team but for Christian,” Carr said.


McDermott suggested his team maybe just wore out. The Bluejays went 2-1 in the Maui Invitational last week and then played their first game of the season on an opponent’s home court.

“Three games in three days against ranked teams (in Hawaii) and then to come in here,” McDermott said. “That’s a lot to ask of my team.”


Creighton hosts in-state rival Nebraska on Sunday.

Texas plays No. 16 Illinois in New York City on Dec. 6 in the Jimmy V Classic.