Loyola Marymount 75, No. 25 St. Louis 68: Fresh off of getting climbing their way into the top 25, the Billikens blew a 12 point first half lead as the Lions used a 20-6 run that spanned both halves to take a 36-34 lead early in the second half. LMU slowly gained control of the game down the stretch as they earned their second win over a ranked opponent on the season. LaRon Armstead led the way with 22 points off the bench while Anthony Ireland and Jarrod DuBois went for 17 and 16, respectively. Most impressive? The Lions were without second-leading scorer Ashley Hamilton and have yet to get a minute of playing time for their best player, Drew Viney.
Its easy to write this game off as the Billikens being over-rated after a hot start to the season, but consider this: St. Louis, who is 6-1 on the season, are now on their sixth day on the west coast after playing in the 76 Classic. They’ve played five of their first seven games away from home — with one of those home games being a whooping of Washington — and dropped a competitive game on the road to a team with talent that is better than people think. No loss is a good loss, but losing this game is far from terrible for St. Louis.
Arizona 83, New Mexico State 76: This is a good win for Arizona. New Mexico State is a talented team that will compete for the WAC title and tough to beat at home. More impressive? The Wildcats got this victory despite NMSU’s two best players — forwards Wendell McKines (28 points, 10 boards) and Hamidu Rahman (13 points, eight boards) — going off against Arizona’s young front line. Nick Johnson was terrific, scoring 19 points and making a number of big plays down the stretch, while Jesse Perry had 15 points and 12 boards. Solomon Hill went for 12 points, seven assists and six boards while Josiah Turner had 12 points and three assists, but three turnovers as well.
No. 8 Baylor 90, Prairie View A&M 54: I think its safe to say that Perry Jones has made his entrance into the 2011-2012 season. Prairie View opened up a 11-2 lead in the first four minutes, but that’s when Jones woke up. He finished the evening with 27 points on 10-14 shooting, a performance that included a couple of high-flying dunks. Of note: Pierre Jackson had 17 points and six assists.
No. 3 Syracuse 84, Eastern Michigan 48: There were all kinds of story lines heading into this game. It was the first game that the Orange had played since the latest news cycle on Bernie Fine went public and the longtime Syracuse assistant coach was fired. It was also the first time that former assistant Rob Murphy, now the head coach at Eastern Michigan, had returned to his old Carrier Dome stomping grounds. What happened in this game didn’t matter to, well, anyone, but the postgame press conference had some fireworks.
ACC/Big Ten Challenge: Yeah, I went 6-0 on Day 1. And yeah, I’m going to brag about it.
Ohio State 85, Duke 63: See here.
Virginia 70, No. 15 Michigan 58: Well, it looks like Mike Scott has healed from his ankle injury. Virginia’s star forward had 18 points and 11 boards, taking over for a stretch in the second half that spurred a 19-2 run from Virginia to gain control of this game. Michigan was stifled by Virginia’s pack line defense, their offense that was so beautifully run in Maui stifled. Joe Harris added 18 for the ‘Hoos.
Illinois 71, Maryland 62: Terrell Stoglin scored 25 points while James Padgett added 16 as the Terps put up an impressive fight against the Illini, but in the end Sam Maniscalco was too much. The Bradley transfer hit three big threes in the second half and knocked down the game-clinching free throws. He finished with 24 points and Brandon Paul added 17.
Purdue 76, Miami FL 65: Robbie Hummel had 17 points and five boards while Lewis Jackson added 15 points as the Boilermakers countered Miami’s small lineup by pounding the ball inside. They went 22-31 from two-point range. Of note: the Johnsons — Anthony and Terone — combined for 21 points and a number of key plays late in the game.
Clemson 71, Iowa 55: Andre Young had 19 points, TJ Sapp added 13 off the bench and Tanner Smith had seven points, eight assists and 14 boards as Clemson rolled their hosts.
Northwestern 76, Georgia Tech 60: The Wildcats got 25 points and eight boards from John Shurna as they jumped on Georgia Tech at the start of both halves.
Other notable games:
– Texas 73, North Texas 57
– LSU 59, Houston 58
– Providence 82, Holy Cross 77
– Cincinnati 56, Miami OH 47
– Oregon 64, UTEP 59
Gerard Coleman and Vincent Council, Providence: Council had 19 points, 11 assists and seven boards and Coleman added 18 points, eight boards, six assists and three steals as Providence knocked off Holy Cross 82-77.
Chris Gaston, Fordham: Gaston has 15 points and 11 boards as Fordham knocked off Colgate. Gaston scored the 1,000th point of his college career.
Emil Jones, Troy: Jones was a fantasy all-star as they knocked off ETSU, finishing with 14 points, eight boards, five assists and five steals.
Perry Jones, Baylor: In his first game back from suspension, Jones went for 27 points on 10-14 shooting as the Bears knocked off Prairie View A&M.
Jonathon Loyd, Oregon: Loyd had 24 points and hit 6-7 from three as the Ducks outlasted UTEP 64-59.
John Shurna, Northwestern: Shurna went for 25 points, eight boards, three steals and three blocks to lead the Wildcats past Georgia Tech for the second straight year in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.