Wednesday’s Morning Shootaround: What a crazy night

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No. 5 Duke 79, No. 21 UNC 73: We got three posts on the Duke-UNC game from last night for you — here, here, and here.

No. 11 Georgetown 64, NO. 13 Syracuse 56: See here.

One last note on this game — Georgetown is slowly but surely reconvincing me that they are an elite basketball team this season. Its tough to give my full trust to a team that has betrayed that trust so many time the past two seasons, but with each impressive road win, I’m closer to becoming a believer. Again.

As for Syracuse? Well, this team appears to be flawed. They are not the same team on the defensive end of the floor that they were last year. The Hoyas may have only scored 64 points last night, but they were impressively effective against the Orange zone. They shot 45.3% from the floor and 9-21 from three. They grabbed 10 offensive rebounds. Most impressive? They had 20 assists on 24 field goals. The Hoyas did all of that with Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, and Jason Clark combining to go 12-34 from the field.

Does that sound like great defense to you?

Rutgers 77, No. 10 Villanova 76: Possibly the best finish you will see all season long. As far as Villanova goes, this loss drops them a game behind Notre Dame for second place in the Big East standings.

Idaho 64, No. 17 Utah State 56: See here.

Notre Dame 89, Louisville 79 OT: Don’t let the final fool you, this was a terrific, exciting, high-scoring basketball game. In the first half, it was the Kyle Kuric show, as he scored 18 of his 28 points, two of which came on this vicious throw down over Scott Martin to end the half. Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis combined to score 48 points, but Louisville was still the team with the chance at the end of regulation to win it. They missed twice, and it cost them. In overtime, Carleton Scott, who had been struggling, scored nine of his 16 points and Notre Dame opened with a 14-0 run to put the game away.

Tough loss for the Cards, but road losses in conference to top ten teams are no where near as disastrous as they are disappointing. The Irish, however, are putting together an impressive resume. They are now in sole possession of second place in the Big East standings, two games behind Pitt, who they own the tiebreaker with. They play for of their last six on the road, including trips to West Virginia and UConn, so we shall see where they end up, but right now this team has a legitimate argument for a spot on the No. 1 seed line.

No. 14 Wisconsin 62, Iowa 59 OT: The Badgers, like so many teams this season, are not the same on the road as they are at home. Maybe Saturday’s date with Ohio State was on their mind, but the Badgers struggled in the first half (6-33 shooting!) and needed all of Jon Leuer’s 19 points and 15 boards and Jordan Taylor’s 16 points and eight assists to pull this out.

No. 22 Texas A&M 73, Colorado 70 OT: The Aggies needed a 25 footer from BJ Holmes with 1.9 seconds left just to get this thing to overtime, but once they were in the extra frame, the Aggies scored the first six points to grab control. This was an enormous bounce back win for A&M, and the loss may have cost Colorado any chance at the NCAA Tournament.

No. 19 Florida 79, South Carolina 60: Chandler Parsons scored 14 points and added 12 boards and eight assists while Erving Walker went for 25 as the Gators shot 55% from the floor and cruised to a win on the road. Florida is now a full two games in front of the rest of the SEC East pack.

No. 3 Texas 68, Oklahoma 52: Just another 20 points and nine boards for Jordan Hamilton as the Longhorns cruised to their first 9-0 start in conference play since 1978.

No. 8 BYU 90, Air Force 52: Air Force got physical with Fredette, even banged up his knee a bit, but he still had 25 points while Brandon Davies finished with 13 points, eight boards, and six assists.

VCU 84, Delaware 74 2OT: The Rams got 32 points and 11 boards from Jamie Skeen as they were able to hang on in double overtime to knock off the Blue Hens. With the win, VCU moves into first place in the CAA standings.

Marquette 59, South Florida 58: This was a hideous game. USF blew a 40-24 second half lead, but couldn’t capitalize on seven straight missed free throws by Marquette to finish the game.

Baylor 74, Nebraska 70: The Bears look they are starting to find a rhythm. Lace Dunn had 24 points to lead the way tonight, but the Bears need to notch another big win or two if they want to end up dancing.

Richmond 69, GW 65: Justin Harper scored 20 points, including the go ahead bucket with 43.5 seconds left, as the Spiders remained a game behind Xavier and Duquesne in the loss column.

Memphis 63, UCF 62: The Tigers avoid a disastrous loss at UCF thanks to this three from Antonio Barton:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJlbUioMXro]

The Golden Knights have now lost eight straight games after winning their first 14 of the season.

UNLV 94, TCU 79: Yup, that gym was packed. Good thing TCU is joining the Big East next season!

Rhode Island 67, Dayton 53: At one point, Dayton was up 27-17 late in the first half.

Michigan 75, Northwestern 66: Can Michigan be a spoiler late in the Big Ten race? They’ve own four out of five, tonight thanks to 27 points from Jordan Morgan.

Bucknell 66, American 60: Mike Muscala scored 21 points and grabbed 10 boards as the Bison built a two game cushion in the Patriot League standings.

Indiana State 56, Illinois State 46: With 9:36 left in the game, Illinois State was up 45-37. They scored one point the rest of the way.

Other Notable Games:

  • Maryland 106, Longwood 52
  • New Mexico 68, Wyoming 57
  • Temple 77, Fordham 66
  • Miami 74, Wake Forest 73
  • UAB 74, Marshall 48
  • James Madison 68, Drexel 54
  • Hofstra 79, Georgia State 68
  • Old Dominion 69, William & Mary 53
  • Long Island 87, St. Francis 76
  • Vermont 80, UMBC 67
  • Charleston 85, Elon 67
  • Davidson 67, Wofford 58
  • Missouri State 77, Bradley 69

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

Tennessee center Tamari Key out for season with blood clots

Saul Young/News Sentinel/USA TODAY NETWORK
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee senior center Tamari Key will miss the rest of this season because of blood clots in her lungs, coach Kellie Harper said.

Doctors found the issue during testing. Key is expected to make a full recovery after treatment from University of Tennessee doctors, Harper said, adding that her sole concern is Key getting the medical care she needs to heal and return to full strength.

Key missed the first game of her career in a win Tuesday night over Chattanooga after playing her first 99.

“This is much bigger than basketball. We are so grateful that this medical condition was caught,” Harper said in a statement. “Our entire program will be right beside Tamari during this process and welcomes prayers and positive thoughts from Lady Vol Nation and beyond.”

The Lady Vols opened the season ranked fifth but currently are 5-5.

The 6-foot-6 Key from Cary, North Carolina, currently is Tennessee’s third-leading scorer averaging 8.4 points a game and averaged 4.2 rebounds per game. She started all 34 games as the Lady Vols reached their first Sweet 16 since 2016 last season and set the school record with 119 blocked shots.

Key had 18 blocks this season and 295 for her career, five away from becoming the eighth woman to reach that mark in Southeastern Conference history.

No. 7 Tennessee beats Eastern Kentucky, win streak hits 7

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Saul Young/USA TODAY NETWORK
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tyreke Key scored 10 of the first 12 points of the second half and finished with 17, and No. 7 Tennessee overcame a sluggish first half and beat Eastern Kentucky 84-49 on Wednesday night.

“Tyreke is handling the ball now,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “That’s all new to him. He keeps getting better.”

The Volunteers (8-1) struggled in the first half but still built an 11-point lead over Eastern Kentucky (4-5) on the way to their seventh straight victory.

Key led Tennessee in scoring before leaving with a cramp in his right leg with 6:15 left in the game. Julian Phillips had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Zakai Zeigler and Uros Plavsic added 13 points apiece. Olivier Nkamhoua scored 10.

“I’m still settling in,” said Key, a transfer from Indiana State who didn’t play last year while recovering from an injury. “This is a new role. I’m taking steps every day and keep learning.”

Eastern Kentucky, which came into the game averaging 83.5 points, was held well below that total due to 17% (6 for 35) shooting from long range and 22% (15 for 68) overall. Leland Walker led the Colonels with 13 points.

It was the seventh time this season Tennessee has held its opponent to 50 or fewer points.

“(Tennessee) is the best defensive team in the country,” Eastern Kentucky coach A.W. Hamilton said. “I think they’re the best team in the country.”

At one point in the first half, Tennessee was shooting 20% and still leading by 10 points. The teams combined to shoot 4 of 32 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes. The Vols, who shot 24% (8 of 34), led 32-21 at the break.

“If we can’t make shots, can you find a way to win the game?” Barnes said. “When the shot’s not going in, find a way to play. The first thing we talk about is our defense.”

Tennessee shot 41 free throws. Phillips, a true freshman, was 7 of 10.

“(Phillips) has learned the pace of the game,” Barnes said. “I’m not sure there’s been a more effective freshman in the country (this season).”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Since its early season slip against Colorado, Tennessee has had a steady ascent in the rankings. The Vols’ next two games – neutral site (Brooklyn) against No, 13 Maryland (Dec. 11) and at No. 10 Arizona (Dec. 17) – will go a long way toward justifying the No. 7 ranking.

BIG PICTURE

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels’ run-and-gun style of offense had them averaging 83.5 points through their first eight games. They ran into a defensive buzz saw in Tennessee, which was yielding just over 51 points.

Tennessee: Santiago Vescovi sat out his second straight game with a shoulder problem. He is expected to be ready to play Sunday against Maryland. . The Vols have won seven in a row since their loss to Colorado.

UP NEXT

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels host Boyce College on Saturday.

Tennessee: Take on No. 13 Maryland on Sunday at the Hall of Fame Invitational in New York.

Hoggard scores career-high 23, Michigan State snaps 2-game skid

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Matthew OHaren/USA TODAY Sports
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A.J. Hoggard scored a career-high 23 points, Joey Hauser had 12 points and 15 rebounds and Michigan State beat Penn State 67-58 on Wednesday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Michigan State (6-4, 1-1 Big Ten) avoided going .500 or worse after 10 games for the first time in 18 seasons.

Hoggard blocked an open layup with less than a minute to play and Hauser grabbed the rebound before being fouled and making two free throws at the other end for a 66-58 lead.

Hoggard, Hauser and Tyson Walker combined for 31 of Michigan State’s 32 second-half points.

The Michigan State defense allowed only one made field goal in the final five minutes. Penn State was just 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the second half after 7 of 18 before halftime.

Walker scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half for Michigan State. Hoggard, who entered third in the conference in assists at 6.3, had six rebounds, two assists and one key block.

Hoggard gave Michigan State 35-33 lead – its first since 4-2 – after back-to-back three-point plays with 59.3 seconds left in the first half. It was tied at 35-all at the break.

Seth Lundy scored 16 points and Jalen Pickett had 13 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists for Penn State (6-3, 0-1)

Michigan State hosts Brown on Saturday. Penn State, which hadn’t played since a double-overtime loss to Clemson on Nov. 29, plays at No. 17 Illinois on Saturday.

No. 7 Virginia Tech posts 9th straight win, beats Boston College 73-58

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Erica Denhoff/Getty Images
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BOSTON — Reigning Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Elizabeth Kitley had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Cayla King scored 16 on Wednesday night to lead No. 7 Virginia Tech to a 73-58 victory over Boston College, the Hokies’ ninth straight win.

Taylor Soule, one of two BC transfers on the roster for Virginia Tech (9-0, 1-0 ACC), added nine points and five rebounds. Soule scored more than 1,500 points and grabbed almost 700 rebounds in four seasons at BC, earning All-ACC honors three times.

Andrea Daley scored 15 points and Maria Gakdeng scored 14 for BC (7-4, 0-1). They each grabbed six rebounds.

Virginia Tech scored 17 of the game’s first 21 points and led by as many as 19 in the third quarter before BC cut the deficit to 10 in the fourth. Leading 64-54 with under three minutes left and the shot clock expiring, Kayana Traylor hit a 3-pointer for the Hokies.

Gakdeng missed two free throws for BC, and then Kitley scored from inside to make it a 15-point game.

Clara Ford, who also played four years in Chestnut Hill, pitched in 2 points in 2 minutes against her former team.

BIG PICTURE

At No. 7, the Hokies have the highest ranking in the program’s history. With the victory over BC, a 10th straight win against North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday would leave Virginia Tech in position to move up even higher should a top five team falter.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: Hosts North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday.

Boston College: Hosts Albany on Saturday.

Michigan’s Jaelin Llewellyn out for season with knee injury

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan point guard Jaelin Llewellyn is out for the rest of the season with an injured left knee and is expected to have surgery next month.

Wolverines coach Juwan Howard made the announcement three days after Llewellyn was hurt in a loss to Kentucky in London.

Llewellyn transferred to Michigan from Princeton last spring and that seemed to lead to Frankie Collins transferring to Arizona State after a solid freshman season for the Wolverines.

Llewellyn averaged seven points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in eight games at Michigan. He was an All-Ivy League player last season and averaged nearly 16 points over three seasons at Princeton.