Tuesday’s Shootaround: Two upsets and a buzzer-beater

Leave a comment

Davidson 80, No. 11 Kansas 74: See here.

LSU 67, No. 10 Marquette 59: See here.

Southern Miss 64, Arizona State 61: The Golden Eagles did everything they could to hand this game to Arizona State.

USM dug themselves a 30-21 hole in the first half by missing seemingly every shot they took. After battling back to take the lead, they got Torye Pelham — who had nine offensive rebounds in the game — ejected for fighting with Ruslan Pateev. Then after rebounding to build up a double-digit lead with just 1:33 left on the clock, USM decided to miss free throws and turn the ball over, allowing Arizona State to tie the game with 5.0 seconds left. Luckily, Darnell Dodson was there to bail them out:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/embed/mpdCCwoIaQ4]

Dodson, who was playing his first basketball game in a year and a half, scored all 17 of his points in the second half, sparking USM’s comeback and, eventually, winning the game. Dodson was good enough to start at Kentucky. He may not have played since the 2009-2010 season, but he adds a dynamic for the Golden Eagles that should put them into the conversation for a wide-open Conference USA race.

Marshall 87, Belmont 86: DeAndre Kane had a career-high 29 points while Dennis Tinnon added 24 points and 10 boards and Damier Pitts went for and 11 assists as the Thundering Herd won an exciting game against the Bruins. Controlling the game for much of the second half, Kerron Johnson led a comeback that came up just short. After Pitts missed two free throws with five seconds left, Johnson went the length of the floor and go tall the way to the rim before missing a would-be buzzer-beating layup. With the loss, whatever miniscule chance that Belmont had of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament has been wiped out.

Cal 70, UC-Santa Barbara 50: Finally, someone in the Pac-12 makes a statement with a win. Playing without Jorge Gutierrez (food poisoning) and Richard Solomon (injured foot), the Bears came out and jumped all over the Gauchos early, opening up a double digit lead early in the first half. That lead was extended in the second half as Justin Cobbs made people forget that Gutierrez was on the bench. He finished with 25 points and played a lot of defense on Orlando Johnson, who shot just 4-13 from the flooor for nine points.

No. 21 Creighton 83, Tulsa 64: The Bluejays rolled over a struggling Tulsa team, taking a double-digit lead late in the first half and pushing that lead to 17 in the first three minutes of the second half. Doug McDermott, as you might expect, was the star for the Bluejays, but he did it differently than we are used to out of him. McDermott scored 35 points on 16-23 shooting for the floor, doing the majority of his damage in the post.

The rest of the top 25:

No. 5 Duke 90, UNC-Greensboro 63: UNCG was in this thing for about 15 minutes before Duke woke up. Mason Plumlee led five scorers in double figures with 15 points and 13 boards, but his struggles from the free throw line continued (3-8).

No. 6 UNC 99, Nicholls State 49: How about this for a stat? UNC had 72 rebounds, 31 on the offensive end of the floor. They shot the ball 85 times and scored 99 points, but their leading scorer had 14 and only four guys reached double-figures.

No. 7 Baylor 95, Paul Quinn 54: Paul Quinn is a small liberal arts school in Texas, not just one person.

No. 12 Florida 82, Mississippi Valley State 54: Florida hit their first eight shots, opened up a 20 points lead midway through the first half and put all five starters into double-figures.

No. 18 Indiana 107, Howard 50: Indiana put six players in double figures and hit 11 threes as they rolled over the Bison.

No. 20 Michigan State 89, UMKC 54: Branden Dawson scored a career-high 16 points as the Spartans took a 20 point lead into the halftime break and cruised from there.

No. 23 UNLV 81, UL-Monroe 63: Chace Stanback broke out of a season-long slump, hitting 8-9 from beyond the arc and scoring a career-high 29 points. Hopefully, the senior can build off of this performance.

No. 24 Illinois 64, Cornell 60: Illinois struggled again against inferior competition. Cornell hit six threes in the first ten minutes to open up a 24-14 lead and again took control midway through the second half as Illinois missed 12 of 13 shots at one point. But down the stretch, the Illini scored six straight points, including back-to-back jumpers from Brandon Paul and DJ Richardson, which sealed the game. Meyers Leonard had 19 points, 16 boards and three blocks.

Other notable scores:

– Delaware 70, La Salle 66
– South Florida 70, Cleveland State 55
– East Carolina 76, Coastal Carolina 51
– Memphis 85, Lipscomb 75
– Virginia Tech 85, North Florida 55
– West Virginia 72, Tennessee Tech 53
– Notre Dame 106, Sacred Heart 65
– Denver 57, Wyoming 46
– Vanderbilt 99, Longwood 71
– Temple 77, Rice 70
– San Diego State 80, UC Riverside 55
– St. Mary’s 74, Kennesaw State 51
– Stanford 75, Bethune-Cookman 56

Top performers

Javaris Barnett, Charlotte: Barnett had 26 points and 12 boards in a win over Coppin State.

Justin Cobbs, Cal: Cobbs had 25 points on 10-12 shooting and played a large role in holding Orlando Johnson’s off-night.

Eric Griffin and Darren White, Campbell: Griffin had 18 points, 15 boards, four assists and three blocks while White went for 29 points, but Campbell still lost to UNC-Wilmington.

Kevin Jones, West Virginia: Jones had 25 points and 14 boards in a 72-53 win over Tennessee Tech.

Maurice Jones, USC: The diminutive point guard had 25 points and seven assists as the Trojans knocked of TCU 83-59.

Marshall: The Thundering Herd had a number of big performances in their 87-86 win over Belmont: Deandre Kane (29 points, four assists, four boards), Dennis Tinnon (24 points, 10 boards, two blocks) and Damier Pitts (19 points, 11 assists, five boards).

Robert Nyakundi, SMU: Nyakundi scored 29 points in a win over Southeast Missouri State.

Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs, Creighton: McDermott had 35 points and seven boards on 16-23 shooting, but Gibbs was terrific as well, finishing with nine points, seven boards and ten assists.

Wendell McKines, New Mexico State: McKines had 20 points and 16 boards in a 91-66 win over Southern.

Josh Watkins, Utah: Watkins had 26 points and six assists as Utah won their second straight game, 72-67 over Portland. BREAK UP THE UTES!!!

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

Three Things To Know: Memphis embarrassed; Luka Garza shows out again

AP Photo/Joey Johnson
Leave a comment

The story of the night in hoops was Zion Williamson’s return to the basketball court.

But there was plenty of action in the college ranks that is worthy of talking about.

Here are the three things that you need to know:

1. No. 20 MEMPHIS LOST BY 40 TO TULSA

That is not a typo.

The 20th-ranked team in the country went into Tulsa, Okla., and lost to the Golden Hurricane, 80-40. Tulsa was up 40-17 at halftime. This was a butt-whooping that was so bad that all Tulsa needed to do was score a single point in the second half and they would have been able to get the win.

Memphis shot 28 percent from the floor. They were 2-for-21 from three. They finished the night with more turnovers (20) and fouls (22) than field goals (16). This was the worst loss that a top 25 team has suffered against a ranked team in 27 years, since UConn beat then-No. 12 Virginia by 41 points.

For Tulsa, this is a massive, massive win. They are currently sitting all alone in first place in the American standings, a half-game up on Houston.

So good for Frank Haith.

But the story here is Memphis, because the Tigers, considered title contenders before the season began, look anything-but right now.

“We let our defense dictate our offense,” head coach Penny Hardaway told reporters after the game. “We didn’t play any defense today. I think today was the first day we’ve done that ll year. I don’t know if guys overlooked Tulsa because of the name. We did our due diligence as a coaching staff to let them know what was going to happen with the matchup zone and how hard they play.

“It’s pretty embarrassing.”

2. LUKA GARZA WENT NUTS AGAIN

If it seems like Garza is putting up monster numbers every games, it’s because he is.

On Wednesday night, the Hawkeyes welcomed newly-ranked Rutgers to campus and sent them home with an entertaining, hard-fought, 85-80 win. And Garza was the star of the show. He finished with 28 points, 13 boards, four blocks and two steals in the win, anchoring the paint as Iowa out-scored Rutgers 47-37 in the second half.

The big fella is now averaging 23 points and 10.5 boards.

Iowa has now won four straight games to move into a tie for third in the Big Ten standings — with Rutgers, among others — and they have won eight straight games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They are a third of the way through a three-game homestand as well.

3. VIRGINIA TECH TAKES DOWN NORTH CAROLINA

Virginia Tech kept up their push to finish as the fourth-best team in the ACC with a 79-77 double-overtime win over North Carolina.

The Hokies are now 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC, but the more interesting story might actually be the Tar Heels.

They are 8-10 on the season and 1-6 in the ACC. They have been a disaster for the last month, but there may be some reinforcements on the way in the shape of Cole Anthony. If he returns and the Tar Heels, who are 2-7 in his absence but have wins over Alabama and Oregon with him, get things back on the right track, they are likely going to find themselves in an incredibly awkward situation on Selection Sunday.

Big 12 hands down Kansas-Kansas State fight suspensions

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
6 Comments

The Big 12 handed down suspensions to four Kansas and Kansas State players for their role in the fight that occurred in Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

Silvio De Sousa, who tried to fight three different Kansas State players and picked up a stool during the melee, received a 12 game suspension from the conference. David McCormack, who went into the stands to confront James Love III, received a two game suspension. Love was given eight games for part in the fight, while Antonio Gordon, the freshman that turned a messy situation into a fight, was hit with a three game suspension.

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.  “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”

In the final seconds on Tuesday night, after DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from him at halfcourt, De Sousa blocked Gordon’s shot and towered over him. That sparked an incident that turned into a full-fledged brawl, as De Sousa threw punches at three different players on Kansas State before picking up a stool as the fight spilled into the handicapped section of Kansas seating.

Self called the fight “an embarrassment” after the game, adding on Wednesday that “we are disappointed in [De Sousa’s] actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior.”

McCormack will be eligible to return for Kansas on Feb. 1st when they play Texas Tech at home. De Sousa will be available to play in the final game of the regular season at Texas Tech. Gordon can return on Feb. 3rd, when the Wildcats host Baylor, while Love will be out until late February. But he has played just one game and two minutes on the season, so there is no clear indication of when he will actually put on a Kansas State jersey again.

The four most important questions after Kansas-Kansas State fight

Screengrab via ESPN
2 Comments

Very other sport can treat brawls like comedy, and I think it’s about time that we did the same for basketball.

So let’s take a look at the four funniest moments from last night’s Kansas-Kansas State fight. Shouts to Jomboy:

1. IS THE KANSAS MASCOT OK?

Throughout the entire fight, the mascot is just in utter disbelief. He cannot believe what he just saw, and he certainly cannot be consoled:

2. CAN JEREMY CASE START AT LINEBACKER FOR KU’S FOOTBALL TEAM?

Case is the video coordinator for Kansas. He’s also a former Kansas point guard. He knows what this rivalry is all about, and he also is not going to be afraid to get in the middle of it.

Case starts out on the wrong side of the melee:

But when he sees De Sousa and Love squaring up and throwing punches, he intervenes by throwing himself into a player six inches taller than him:

3. WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES LOVE III’S SHOE?

James Love the third has played in exactly one game this season. He has spent more time on the court fighting that he has actually playing, but he still found a way to get into the middle of this fight and, in the process, lost his shoe:

He’s not dressed for the game.

Did he bring an extra pair of shoes? Did he have to head back onto the bus without a shoe on this right foot? So many questions, so few answers.

4. WHO IS THE MAN IN THE ORANGE HAT?

He’s some kind of photographer.

He got his shot, that’s for sure:

Kansas-Kansas State fight: Nuance, context the key in Silvio De Sousa discussion

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
8 Comments

So I wanted to elaborate on a point that I made on twitter this morning because 280 characters just is not enough to be able to parse through the nuance of this situation.

If you missed it, the thread is here.

First and foremost, everyone involved in this needs to be punished. Silvio De Sousa needs to be suspended. Antonio Gordon needs to be suspended. James Love III needs to be suspended. David McCormack, and potentially Marcus Garrett, probably need to be suspended, although I’m not sure either of them actually through a punch. Point being, anyone else that threw a punch needs to be suspended.

Full stop.

I am not saying otherwise.

But I think that it is important to add some context to the conversation, and I also think that it is important to say this: This doesn’t make any of the young men involved in this fight bad people. Silvio De Sousa is not inherently a bad person because he picked up a stool, and the faux-trage of people calling for him to get booted out of school, arrested or even deported are, at best, completely over-reacting and, at worst, showing off a bit of their racial bias.

Before I get into this, one more thing: I am not condoning any of it. Fights like this should not happen.

But the reality of hyper-competitive athletics is that in emotionally charged situations, fights are going to happen. And if you’ve ever been in a fight like this, you know that things happen incredibly quickly. You’re not thinking, you’re reacting. You can’t call a 20 second time out to come up with a way to defend yourself when someone is throwing haymakers, you just do what you can in the moment.

So let’s talk about the moment, shall we?

De Sousa is the guy that set this entire thing in motion with the way that he reacted to DaJuan Gordon’s steal and layup attempt. The reason the Kansas State bench rushes over to the scene is because De Sousa is towering over one of their freshman teammates, and the reason the Kansas sideline runs over is because the Kansas State sideline does. What turned this incident into a full-fledged brawl was Antonio Gordon flying in and shoving De Sousa over the back of the basket stanchion. De Sousa reacts by throwing punches at two different Kansas State players when a third player — James Love III, in the black polo — comes flying in and squares up with him. They both throw a few punches at each other, knocking De Sousa back over the stanchion again as Kansas staffer Jeremy Case comes flying in to break them up.

Put yourself in De Sousa’s shoes here. In the span of 10 seconds, he’s fought three different Kansas State players, sees nothing but purple in front of him and just got knocked to the ground. Is he getting jumped? Does he have to fight them 1-on-3? That’s when he grabs the stool, to defend himself, and when he sees that no one is coming after him anymore, he drops it:

Context.

He should be suspended for 8-10 games.

He set this entire thing in motion.

But maybe, just maybe, tone down the rhetoric.

Women’s Wednesday: A new column dedicated to the women of college basketball

Getty Images
2 Comments

Welcome to CBT’s first ever weekly women’s basketball column. I’m here to help provide you with some insight into the world of women’s college hoops.

Women’s sports are reaching new heights, especially in basketball. The WNBA announced a new collective bargaining agreement starting in the 2020 season that includes a 53 percent raise, maternity benefits, a base salary and performance-based bonuses. This year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament will be broadcasted in its entirety on ESPN, with the semifinals and championship game premiering in primetime.

Female athletes are beginning to garner the attention they deserve. Sabrina Ionescu is drawing national attention for a historic senior season, as she has 22 career triple-doubles and became Oregon’s all-time leading basketball scorer in her career-high 37-point performance against Stanford last week. In the WNBA, women such as Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and more are shattering gender stereotypes and proving that women can play basketball at a high level, just as men can.

While women’s sports have made a push into the public eye, there is still quite a way to go. It’s important to place an emphasis on the women who excel in their sport and give them the spotlight they deserve. Too many times women are only given credit through a masculine lens, whether that’s only getting attention after receiving praise from men, being compared to a male counterpart, or being a footnote in a male athlete’s story. Female athletes deserve to be their own story.

That’s what I’m hoping to do with this column over the rest of the season — give women a place to shine. I’d like to use this space to highlight some of the amazing women that play in the NCAA and hear from them about their experiences, the records they’re setting and their basketball journey. While I won’t even begin to make a dent in the breadth of talent available in women’s college basketball, I hope to use this column each week to take a deeper dive into some incredible women, as well as give you an idea of what’s happening around the country that week.

WEDNESDAY’S NEWS AND NOTES

South Carolina sits atop the world of college hoops, earning 22 first-place votes from the AP panel to nab the No. 1 spot. The Gamecocks have an 18-1 record with wins over ranked opponents such as Maryland, Baylor, Kentucky and most recently Mississippi State.

Baylor — the reigning national champs —- sits in the No. 2 spot in the rankings after dethroning UConn and ending its dominant 98-game winning streak at home. The Lady Bears received six of the first-place votes from the AP committee.

The rest of the top five is filled out by UConn at No. 3, Oregon at No. 4 after beating then-No. 3 Stanford, and Louisville rounds it out at fifth, receiving the last two first-place votes.

In a monster performance against Stanford, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu had a career-high 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. She has four triple-doubles on the season and has a chance to become the NCAA’s first player to eclipse 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career assists. As of Jan. 18, she has 2,265 points, 904 rebounds and 928 assists.

DePaul remains unbeaten in the Big East, with Chante Stonewall leading the team with 17.9 ppg while Kelly Campbell has 102 assists on the season, ranking No. 8 in the country.

Baylor’s 40-point victory over then-No. 17 West Virginia is their 45th consecutive Big 12 win.

Mississippi State’s JaMya Mingo-Young and Aliyah Matharu combined for 24 points and four steals off the bench in a close 79-81 loss to South Carolina on Monday.

Star freshman and No. 1 recruit Haley Jones suffered an apparent right knee injury and left Stanford’s Sunday win over Oregon State. She is scheduled to have an MRI but the team has given no further updates.

North Carolina State’s Elissa Cunane has 20+ points in four of her last six games and 10 double-doubles on the season, helping the Wolfpack to a dominant win over Florida State last week.

UCLA became the last undefeated team to fall with a double overtime loss to USC — who hadn’t yet won a Pac-12 matchup —  on Friday.

Northwestern made its debut this season in the Top-25, coming in at No. 22 — its first ranking since the 2015-2016 season.

No. 3 Oregon faces rival No. 7 Oregon State on Friday in a crucial Pac-12 matchup.

Stanford freshman Fran Belini threw down a one-handed dunk in pregame warmup before facing Oregon that you HAVE to see: