Games of the Night
1. No. 22 VCU 92, Saint Joseph’s 86 (OT)
Up four with 13 seconds remaining the Hawks were called for a travelling violation when two players simultaneously held the ball following a defensive rebound. That mistake would be the opening that VCU needed to complete its comeback, sending the game into overtime on a Darius Theus layup and then outlasting a Saint Joseph’s team that doesn’t have much depth with Halil Kanacevic away from the program due to a death in the family.
2. Valparaiso 89, Detroit 88
In a matchup of the defending Horizon League regular season (Valparaiso) and tournament (Detroit) champions the Titans looked to be in good shape for much of the night at Calihan Hall. Detroit led 50-32 at the half and 88-77 with just over three minutes remaining…and did not score another point. Two Ryan Broekhoff free throws with 17 seconds remaining proved to be the difference, and Kevin Van Wijk led the Crusaders with 31 points. Nick Minnerath led Detroit with 36 points, and given how wild this one was the rematch at Valparaiso on February 23 should not lack for entertainment.
Also of note: Chattanooga trailed Appalachian 60-42 with 8:48 remaining but outscored the Mountaineers 33-15 to send the game into overtime. The Mocs won 91-88 with Z. Mason (23 points, 11 rebounds) leading the way and Dontay Hampton scoring 22 points off the bench.
1. No. 5 Michigan 83, No. 9 Minnesota 75
Once again the Golden Gophers shot themselves in the foot with turnovers, digging themselves a hole too deep to crawl out of. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points to lead the Wolverines and Austin Hollins scored 21 to pace Minnesota. Minnesota turned the ball over 15 times, which the Wolverines converted into 24 points.
2. No. 10 Florida 68, Texas A&M 47
On Saturday Elston Turner lit up Kentucky to the tune of 40 points. Tonight the Aggie had no such luck as Florida limited him to four points. Mike Rosario scored 19 points and Patric Young added 18 points and seven rebounds for the Gators, who moved to 3-0 in SEC play with the win. As a team Texas A&M shot 34% from the field, and when Turner struggles offensively the entire team will follow suit; he’s that important to Billy Kennedy’s team.
3. Northwestern 68, No. 23 Illinois 54
Illinois’ struggles from beyond the arc continued as they shot 3-of-21 from deep in a disappointing home loss to Northwestern. Reggie Hearn led four Wildcats in double figures with 20 points, and Illinois also helped out the Wildcats by turning the ball over 18 times. Brandon Paul scored 21 points to lead all scorers.
1. F/C Damen Bell-Holter (Oral Roberts)
27 points (8-of-9 FG, 11-of-12 FT) and 13 rebounds in the Golden Eagles’ 64-52 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
2. F Nick Minnerath (Detroit) and G Kevin Van Wijk (Valparaiso)
In Valparaiso’s 89-88 win over Detroit these two players stood out. Minnerath finished with 36 points (12-of-17 FG), four rebounds and three steals, and Van Wijk led the Crusaders with 31 points (13-of-15 FG) and five rebounds.
3. G Darius Theus (VCU)
22 points, ten assists, four steals and three rebounds in the Rams’ 92-86 overtime win over Saint Joseph’s.
The Fighting Illini shot 3-of-21 from three in their loss to Northwestern, and over the last three games they’re 8-of-59 from deep.
2. G Anthony Stitt (Charleston)
Stitt had a night to forget for the Cougars, who fell 51-47 at Georgia Southern, shooting 0-of-13 from the field and finishing with two points, two assists and three turnovers.
3. G Elston Turner (Texas A&M)
One game after shooting 14-of-19 from the field at Rupp Arena, Turner didn’t experience that level of success against No. 10 Florida. Turner finished the game with four points on 1-of-10 shooting.
1. South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters surpassed the 2,000-point mark in the Jackrabbits’ 59-53 win at Western Illinois, handing the Leathernecks their first Summit League loss in the process. Wolters finished the game with 22 points, six assists and five rebounds, and the program’s all-time leading scorer has a career total of 2,010 points.
2. Canisius head coach Jim Baron picked up the 400th win of his coaching career as the Golden Griffins beat Manhattan 64-60 in Buffalo. The Griffs trailed by ten at the half but thanks to Isaac Sosa, who scored a season-high 25 points, they were able to rally for the win.
3. One year after winning just two games the Bryant Bulldogs sit alone in first place in the NEC with a 5-0 record. 12-4 overall, the Bulldogs beat Mount St. Mary’s 79-78 in overtime on a Shane McLaughlin layup with just over six seconds remaining in overtime. Alex Francis led the way offensively with 25 points.
Top 25 Scores
No. 3 Duke 73, Georgia Tech 57
No. 5 Michigan 83, No. 9 Minnesota 75
No. 10 Florida 68, Texas A&M 47
No. 21 Oregon 76, USC 74
No. 22 VCU 92, Saint Joseph’s 86 (OT)
Northwestern 68, No. 23 Illinois 54
No. 24 UCLA 74, Oregon State 64
Check out this halftime buzzer-beater from Idaho State’s Chris Hansen in the Bengals’ 60-59 win over Sacramento State (fast forward to the 0:29 mark).
And here’s Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski jumping into the arms of Mason Plumlee after a second half dunk from his senior big man.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.