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


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:


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.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies


SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.