Game of the Day
Saint Louis 65, No. 15 Butler 61
The Billikens used a 15-4 run in the first few minutes of the second half to take a lead they would never surrender. Butler would cut it close, but missed free throws and turnovers kept the Bulldogs trailing. Saint Louis was led by Mike McCall with 18 points. Dwayne Evans added 17 points while Kwamain Mitchell scored 12 for the Billikens. The win gives Saint Louis a 4-1 record against ranked opponents. Saint Louis swept Butler this season, also defeating No. 24 VCU earlier in the week.
Harvard 65, Brown 47
The Crimson beat Princeton last Saturday to provide some breathing room in the Ivy League standings. Harvard forced 14 turnovers in the first half giving the Crimson an 11-point lead heading into the break. Brown cut the lead to six midway through the second half, but Harvard rallied off five straight points to get the lead back to double digits. Wesley Saunders went for 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Akron 68, North Dakota State 53
The Zips still own the nation’s longest win streak, which is now at 18. Akron led by 14 at half, but in the second half the Bison were able to cut the led down to six with under eight to go. Akron countered with nine unanswered. Zeke Marshall had 14 points and five blocks. Demetrius Treadwell finished with 11 point and 14 boards.
Stephen F. Austin 68, Long Beach State 60
Stephen F. Austin is tied for first place in the Southland standings with Northwestern State. But the Lumberjacks were able to add a nice non-conference win against Long Beach State Friday night. Antonio Bostic went for a team-high 21 points off 8-for-14 shooting. SFA has also beaten Oklahoma this season.
Tony Hicks, Penn
The Quakers got back to .500 in conference play thanks in large part to Tony Hicks’ shooting. The freshman went for 29 points off 11-of-18 shooting. Miles Cartwright had 15 points and nine rebounds.
The Crimson locked down on the defensive end, forcing 14 first half turnovers giving them a double-digit lead at half. Harvard forced 19 miscues in all, and held Brown to 37 percent shooting.
Saint Louis defense
Saint Louis forced 14 turnovers as opposed to its own four miscues. Saint Louis took care of the ball this week with only 12 turnovers while forcing 24. The Billikens also made several defensive stops when the Bulldogs were threatening.
The Hatters hit 11-of-28 threes en route to an 80-71 win over Florida Gulf Coast. Joel Naburgs was 6-of-9 from behind the arc for a game-high 27 points.
Butler free throws
Saint Louis didn’t shoot well from the line, but Butler had opportunities to tie the game from the line, but couldn’t get in a rhythm from the charity stripe. Roosevelt Jones missed four foul shots on the night, three came in the second half. On the night Butler was 15-of-26, one shot better than Saint Louis.
Brown 3-point shooting
The Bears were 1-of-14 from behind the arc. Tucker Halpern connected on a three with 27 seconds to go in the first half and that was the only three ball Brown would hit on then night.
North Dakota State offense
The Bison shot a miserable 31 percent from the field, 21 from deep. NDSU also committed 13 turnovers. Laurence Alexander and Mike Felt were the only two to score in double figures, both over their season averages, including Felt who almost doubled it with 15 points.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne