Friday’s Shootaround: Murray State and St. Mary’s lose


Gonzaga 73, No. 13 St. Mary’s 59: See here.

Tennessee State 72, No. 7 Murray State 68: See here.

No. 22 Wisconsin 68, Minnesota 61 OT: In one of the stranger games you are going to see this season, Minnesota whiffed on a golden opportunity to land a marquee win heading into the season’s crucial stretch. The Golden Gophers were down 13 point midway through the second half, but managed to hold Wisconsin scoreless over a seven and a half minute stretch to close out regulation. The problem? Minnesota was only able to muster 10 points during that stretch, eventually heading to overtime after Tubby Smith’s club missed two shots in the game’s final seconds that would have sent Wisconsin back to Madison with their fifth loss of Big Ten play.

In the extra frame, Minnesota went cold, allowing Wisconsin to reel off six straight point in the first 3:35 of overtime to take a commanding lead. The Badgers hit 11 of their 12 free throws in the final minute to seal the win. Jordan Taylor led the way for Wisky going for 27 points on 8-14 shooting from the floor. If Wisconsin wants a real shot to make some noise late in the season, they are going to need more out of the rest of the Badgers. Everyone not named Jordan Taylor went just 11-39 from the floor.

Minnesota’s next five games: Ohio State, at Northwestern, Michigan State, Indiana, at Wisconsin. They’ll have their chances to prove they belong in the dance.

No. 23 Indiana 84, Illinois 71: Its looks like Indiana may have finally righted the ship. After losing five of seven, four of which were away from Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers backed up a 17 point win in Mackey Arena with a solid win over an up-and-down Illinois team. Cody Zeller finished with 22 points and five boards — outplaying Meyers Leonard, who fouled out with 17 points — as the Hoosiers head into the stretch of the Big Ten schedule with a 7-6 record in the league and their three toughest opponents all visiting Bloomington.

No. 18 Mississippi State 70, Ole Miss 60: Despite losing their leading scorer midway through the season, the Rebels have found themselves sitting smack in the middle of the SEC and with a real shot at earning an at-large bid to the Big Dance. Unfortunately, this season looks like it is going to go down as one of missed opportunities. They lost in double overtime to both Alabama and Auburn. They blew a 16 point lead and lost to Florida at home. Dee Bost had 15 points and 13 assists while Arnett Moultrie added 18 points in the win for the Bulldogs, who improved to 6-3 in league play.


Oregon 82, Washington 57: There are times where Washington can look so good and there are times where the Huskies look downright atrocious. Tonight was the latter. The Ducks were up 49-26 at the half as they ran away with this one. I don’t care if the game was played on the road, you cannot lose by 25 points in league play to a thoroughly mediocre team and be considered a threat to do anything. Unless, of course, you are Washington, who always seems to put themselves in this situation before making a miraculous, late-season run.

Arizona 71, Colorado 57: All of a sudden, the Wildcats look like they may actually be the best team in the Pac-12. Granted, the Buffs have been atrocious on the road this season, but the Wildcats, playing without the injured Kevin Parrom, have now won three in a row, picking off both Cal and Stanford on the road last week.

Cal 75, USC 49: With this win and Washington’s loss, the Bears pull back into a first-place tie in the league with Washington at 9-3. Oregon, Colorado and Arizona are all sitting a game back at 8-4.

– UCLA 72, Stanford 61

Summit League:

South Dakota 72, South Dakota State 68: The Jackrabbits hit 10 second half threes, including eight in the final 11 minutes, to cut a 19 point deficit all the way down to two points with 23 seconds left. But Nate Wolters, who finished with 27 points and six assists, missed a potential game-tying three and SDSU missed two front-ends late in the game. SDSU falls two games behind league leader Oral Roberts, a deficit that is going to be tough to make up in the season’s final four games.

Oral Roberts 76, IUPUI 74 OT: ORU barely survived in this one. Playing in the Mabee Center, the Golden Eagles fouled Alex Young, who finished with 34 points, when he hit a three. He hit the free throws, forcing OT. In the extra session, IUPUI hit a free throw to tie the game at 74, but Roderick Pearson bailed ORU out with a running one-hander to win the game at the buzzer.

NC State 61, Georgia Tech 52: The Wolfpack overcame an early deficit on the strength of 15 points from CJ Williams as they avenged an loss to the Yellow Jackets earlier this season. The win moves NC State to 7-3 in the ACC and keeps them in contention for an at-large bid.

Valparaiso 59, Cleveland State 41: Valpo’s win gave them a sweep of the Vikings, my pick to win the Horizon this season, and in the process took over sole possession of first place in the league, although they are only a half-game up on CSU and tied in the loss column. Of note: Kevin Van Wijk injured his knee in the game and didn’t return.

Other notable scores:

– LMU 76, Portland 62
– Nevada 88, Hawaii 79
– Davidson 77, The Citadel 66
– Stony Brook 80, UMBC 68
– Weber State 67, Northern Arizona 49
– Northwestern 83, Iowa 64
– Miami 65, Virginia Tech 49
– Long Beach State 74, Pacific 66

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

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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.