Late Night Snacks: No. 10 Oregon survives in Salt Lake City

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Game of the Night: No. 10 Oregon 70, Utah 68 (OT) 

Damyean Dotson’s steal and dunk with sixth tenths of a second was the difference as Oregon remained undefeated in the Pac-12 opener for both. But even in defeat Utah showed more signs of progress, with Larry Krystkowiak’s team giving the Ducks all they wanted and then some. Next up for Oregon is a game at No. 20 Colorado on Sunday, and Utah will host Oregon State on Saturday.

Important Outcomes

1) Michigan 63, Minnesota 60

A Michigan squad without Mitch McGary represented an opportunity for Minnesota, but thanks to Nik Stauskas the Golden Gophers were unable to take advantage. Stauskas led the Wolverines with 12 points, seven assists and two steals, and Michigan won despite losing Glenn Robinson III to injury early in the second half.

2) No. 24 Gonzaga 73, Saint Mary’s 51

One of the better rivalries around was played on Thursday night but it wasn’t all that close as the Bulldogs controlled play against the Gaels in Spokane. Of note for Gonzaga was the performance of Louisville transfer Angel Nunez, who accounted for 13 points and seven rebounds. That could be a key development moving forward for the Zags, who are without Gary Bell Jr. and have a center in Sam Dower who isn’t playing at full strength.

3) Washington 76, Arizona State 65

To be fair this game wasn’t as close as the margin would indicate, with Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies taking control of the game in the latter stages of the first half and leading by as much as 21. C.J. Wilcox scored 17 points, but the biggest surprise was the fact that Washington scored 42 of its 76 points in the paint.

Starred 

1) Brendan Lane (Pepperdine)

The UCLA transfer racked up 26 points (10-for-15 FG) and 17 rebounds in Pepperdine’s 70-61 win at Santa Clara. Marty Wilson’s Waves are 3-0 in WCC play.

2) Glenn Cosey (Eastern Kentucky)

Cosey caught fire from deep in the Colonels’ 100-81 win at Eastern Illinois, hitting ten of 12 from distance and scoring 34 points to go along with six assists.

3) Akeem Richmond (East Carolina)

Cosey wasn’t the only player to make ten three-pointers, with Richmond doing so on 17 attempts in the Pirates’ 79-71 win at Campbell. Richmond scored 37 points and grabbed five rebounds. (Note: UC Davis’ Ryan Sypkens hit ten in a win over Simpson University)

Struggled

1) Washington State

The Cougars scored just seven points in the first half of their 60-25 loss at No. 1 Arizona. The Wildcats are a good defensive team, but even with two starters (DaVonte Lacy and Dexter Kernich-Drew) out there’s no way the Cougars should shoot 9-for-45 from the field.

2) Northwestern

The Wildcats shot 6-for-23 and scored 14 points in the first half of their 76-49 loss to No. 4 Wisconsin.

3) Saint Mary’s

The Gaels shot 31.9% from the field and 1-for-12 from beyond the arc in their 73-51 loss at No. 24 Gonzaga.

Notables

  • Tyrone Wallace scored 20 points and Justin Cobbs added 18 and some big plays late as California won 69-62 at Stanford.
  • Aaseem Dixon scored 23 points to lead Northern Arizona to a 73-65 win at Montana, ending the Grizzlies’ 31-game win streak in Big Sky home games.
  • It was a bit of a struggle but Colorado beat Oregon State, 64-58, with Josh Scott accounting for 13 points, ten rebounds and three blocked shots.
  • Cole Dickerson scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds as San Francisco moved to 2-1 in the WCC with a 75-61 win over Loyola Marymount.
  • Sam Houston State beat Northwestern State 107-104 in double overtime, with Jabari Peters scoring nine of his 21 points in the second extra session.
  • Cleanthony Early led three players in double figures with 23 points as No. 8 Wichita State moved to 14-0 with an 82-67 win at Southern Illinois.
  • Bryon Allen scored 24 points and Patrick Holloway added 18 off the bench in George Mason’s 80-77 win over Penn.
  • Tim Kempton scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Lehigh’s 88-81 double overtime win at Colgate.
  • George Beamon tallied 28 points and ten rebounds in Manhattan’s 74-62 win at Saint Peter’s, the Jaspers’ ninth win away from home this season.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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
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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

Joe Rondone/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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.