Fresno State to open season without starting point guard

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With four starters returning from a team that won 21 games and reached the championship series of the CBI, Fresno State is expected to be a contender in a Mountain West race seen by many to have seven teams capable of winning the league. One of those starters is junior guard Cezar Guerrero, who averaged 13.1 points and 3.5 assists per game in 2013-14.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs Guerrero won’t be available when they open their season at Pepperdine Friday night, as the NCAA has declared him ineligible “for not meeting continuing eligibility standards” according to Robert Kuwada of the Fresno Bee. The Fresno State basketball program released a short statement on the situation via its Twitter account.

“Cezar Guerrero ruled ineligible by NCAA for not meeting the continuing eligibility standards & will not play during appeal process,” the program stated via Twitter. “Cezar continues to practice with the team and is in good academic standing with the university.”

How long this process carries on for remains to be seen, and as noted above the school is appealing the NCAA’s decision.

On the court Fresno State does take a hit with this loss, and they’ll need their other options to step forward while Guerrero sits. Marvelle Harris finished the 2013-14 season second on the team in assists, and sophomore Emmanuel Owootoah saw some time (9.8 ppg) as a reserve during his freshman year.

Fresno State also has 6-foot-3 combo guard Darnell Taylor, a transfer from Saddleback (California) College who averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 2012-13. Taylor sat out last season to focus on his academics, ultimately landing at Fresno State.

Tuesday’s Things to Know: Baylor upends Iowa State; Purdue, Maryland score Big Ten road wins

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Tuesday night in college hoops had some games to monitor for both the bubble, and the Big Ten, as road teams winning tight games was a bit of a theme. One team looks to have solidified their at-large bid while two more teams made major moves in the Big Ten standings. 

Baylor potentially punches NCAA ticket with road win at Iowa State

The bubble didn’t have many important wins on Tuesday. Most of the bubble lost, or, at best, earned wins over underwhelming competition. That wasn’t the case for Baylor though as the Bears might have earned their way into the Field of 68 with a notable 73-69 road win at No. 19 Iowa State.

Struggling a bit over the last few games, Baylor earned the very important sweep over the Cyclones as they stayed in the tight Big 12 race by continuing to earn unlikely wins. Depleted by injury, the Bears had strong outings from Jared Butler (17 points) and Makai Mason (14 points). But it was the play of former Division III transfer Freddie Gillespie that made the difference for Baylor. Playing 31 minutes, Gillespie was 7-for-8 from the floor as he finished with 14 points, 10 rebound and two blocks — including a key swat in the game’s final minutes.

While Baylor has some work to do if they want to stay in the crowded Big 12 race, they can rest a little bit easier tonight knowing that they are likely safely in the NCAA tournament.

No. 15 Purdue outlasts rival Indiana to tie for Big Ten lead

One of college basketball’s most heated rivalries took center stage on Tuesday night as the Boilermakers needed a late tip-in from big man Matt Haarms to beat Indiana with a 48-46 road win. Tying for the Big Ten lead with Michigan and Michigan State, this is one of Purdue’s most impressive wins of the season, as they stepped up and won on the road despite an awful night from star guard Carsen Edwards.

Shooting only 4-for-24 from the floor, Edwards was bailed out by a stout Purdue defense as well as 11-second half points from senior shooter Ryan Cline. It also didn’t hurt that Indiana freshman Romeo Langford (14 points, nine rebounds) missed the go-ahead free throw with less than 30 seconds left. Not many believed the Boilermakers could win games with Edwards missing 20 shots. But it shows how strong Purdue is defensively and it’s a testament to why they are surprisingly tied for the Big Ten lead at this point in the season.

No. 24 Maryland escapes with Big Ten road win at No. 21 Iowa

The night’s only matchup between top-25 teams was another exciting finish in the Big Ten as the Terrapins got the best of Iowa thanks to a late tip-in from big man Bruno Fernando (11 points). After a back-and-forth game that saw the Hawkeyes take the lead thanks to a late run, Maryland charged back and made critical plays on both ends to get the important road win. Anthony Cowan Jr. paced the Terps with 17 points while Eric Ayala also chipped in 11 points.

This win for Maryland is crucial because they own any potential tiebreaker over Iowa in the Big Ten standings. That could definitely come into play as the Terps, Wisconsin and the Hawkeyes are all in the mix for the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament — the final double-bye.

Fernando’s putback lifts No. 24 Maryland over No. 21 Iowa

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Bruno Fernando scored 11 points, including the last two on a putback with 7.8 seconds left, to lift No. 24 Maryland to a 66-65 win over No. 21 Iowa on Tuesday night.

Maryland (20-7, 11-5 Big Ten) gave up an 11-point lead over the final four minutes, but held on against an Iowa team that had won its last two games via buzzer-beater and had two looks at the basket in the final seven seconds. The Terrapins got 17 points from Anthony Cowan, who shot 5 of 10 from 3-point range and had eight rebounds. Eric Ayala added 11 points and Fernando had 11 rebounds.

Iowa (20-6, 9-6) saw its four-game winning streak end. The Hawkeyes were led by Jordan Bohannon, who had 14 points, and Isaiah Moss, who added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: The Hawkeyes couldn’t make another miracle, and finally were bit by inconsistent play they were able to overcome previously. Iowa held Maryland without a field goal for nearly six minutes to open the game, but allowed the Terrapins to shoot nearly 52 percent in the second half.

Maryland: The Terrapins had 10 offensive rebounds, including the big one by Fernando. Maryland also forced 17 Iowa turnovers and scored 20 points off those turnovers.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Iowa: The Hawkeyes dipped slightly last week after narrow wins, but a loss to a ranked team shouldn’t be the biggest indictment.

Maryland: A road win against a ranked team should boost the Terrapins next Sunday, provided Mark Turgeon’s team holds serve at home against Ohio State.

UP NEXT

Iowa welcomes Indiana to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday.

Maryland returns home to play Ohio State on Saturday.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Butler helps Baylor upset No. 19 Iowa State 73-69

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AMES, Iowa — Jared Butler scored 17 points, Freddie Gillespie had 14 and Baylor upset No. 19 Iowa State 73-69 on Tuesday night.

Makia Mason scored 14 points on 18 shots in his return from a toe injury for the Bears (17-9, 8-5 Big 12). They outrebounded Iowa State 44-28 and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds over the smaller Cyclones, who’ve dropped back-to-back games at Hilton Coliseum.

After trailing by 10 points midway through the first half, Iowa State went ahead 52-50 on Marial Shayok’s three-point play with 11:45 left. Baylor swapped the lead with the Cyclones (19-7, 8-5) seven times in the next eight minutes, but Butler followed a layup with a 3 to put the Bears ahead 69-65 with two minutes left.

Iowa State’s Cameron Lard then fumbled an entry pass from Shayok, and Mason hit two free throws to make it 71-65 with 35.3 seconds to go.

Shayok had 16 points for Iowa State, which went nearly six minutes without a field goal down the stretch.

THE BIG PICTURE

Iowa State: This is the third time the Cyclones lost a Big 12 home game that they should have won. If they don’t rally to win a share of the league title — a scenario that’s starting to look implausible — they’ll regret playing so poorly in a gym that’s been so good to them in the past. What made this loss even more painful is that beloved former coach Fred Hoiberg, recently fired by the Bulls, was watching from the stands.

Baylor: The Bears moved into a tie for third in the Big 12 with the Cyclones, just two games back of K-State. But they still have the Wildcats and Kansas on the road, so it’s hard to see Baylor as a true threat just yet.

UP NEXT

Iowa State plays at TCU on Saturday.

Baylor hosts scuffling West Virginia on Saturday.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Haarms’ late tip-in sends No. 15 Purdue past Indiana 48-46

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Matt Haarms used the cascading boos and profane chants as motivation Tuesday night.

And when he was called for a double-foul in the first half and a technical foul in the second, the scrappy 7-foot-3 center refused to back down.

Instead, he found himself in the perfect spot to make the perfect play with 3.2 seconds left — a tiebreaking tip-in to give No. 15 Purdue a 48-46 victory at rival Indiana.

“It feels great to be public enemy No. 1, that’s what it’s about,” Haarms said after finishing with six points, four rebounds and three blocks. “It’s the rivalry. We don’t like them, they don’t like us. That’s what it’s all about for us so it’s amazing to get a win behind enemy lines.”

For Haarms, it was a fitting conclusion to a challenging night for himself and his teammates.

He became the crowd’s punching bag when he landed on the ground after locking arms with De’Ron Davis late in the first half. After the refs assessed each player a foul, the Dutchman was jeered on every play he was involved in.

So when Haarms drew his third foul with 13:36 left in the game and picked up a technical as he and Davis continued battling for the loose ball, the crowd again burst into taunts and chants.

He returned 6 1/2 minutes later, to even louder boos, but ready to make a difference and when the chance came, Haarms delivered.

Indiana had a chance to win it at the buzzer but Juwan Morgan’s 3-pointer glanced off the rim — ending the lowest scoring game in the series since January 1950 and helping the Boilermakers (19-7, 12-3 Big Ten) win their third straight at Assembly Hall for the first time in school history.

“It’s probably as physical of a basketball game that I’ve ever been a part of,” Hoosiers coach Archie Miller said. “Both teams, I thought, really competed hard, and at the end of the day, they make the winning play.”

Ryan Cline led Purdue with 11 points while Carsen Edwards had nine.

Romeo Langford led the Hoosiers with 14 points despite not taking a shot in the second half. Morgan had nine points and 11 rebounds as Indiana (13-13, 4-11) lost its fourth straight overall.

It was rivalry basketball at its absolute ugliest.

Players repeatedly hit the deck. Rebounds bounced off the floor. The unforgiving rims made the teams appear to be playing in the peach-basket era, and the serenades coming from the crowd kept Haarms locked in long enough to make the winning play.

“What chant?” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “I didn’t hear it, but it’s part of it, it’s part of it, it’s competitive sports. At the end of the day, it bothers you if lose a game.”

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: It’s a win, but there’s nothing to be satisfied with in this game. The Boilermakers were outhustled most of the night, but they took care of the ball when the Hoosiers couldn’t. It’s the third straight game the Boilermakers have not looked like the same team that was rolling a month ago — and they need to find some solutions before the postseason starts.

Indiana: The Hoosiers brought the effort and energy they need every night. It showed. They scrapped, they worked together and when things got tough, they dug down on defense. If they continue playing this way, Indiana might finally turn the corner.

TOGETHER AGAIN

The Hoosiers’ best-known twins, Dick and Tom Van Arsdale, were honored at halftime — with each receiving a framed jersey.

The brothers shared Indiana’s Mr. Basketball Award, were named co-MVPs of the Hoosiers in each of their final two college seasons, both received All-American honors in 1965 and went on to play in the NBA before retiring together with the Phoenix Suns in 1977.

STAT PACK

Purdue: Edwards, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, was 4 of 24 from the field and 0 for 10 on 3-pointers. He also had seven rebounds and four assists and finished with its worst scoring total of the season. … Purdue shot 31.7 percent for the game and finished with its lowest scoring total this season. … The Boilermakers have won five straight in the series and 10 of their last 11 overall.

Indiana: Davis had eight points and rebounds. … The Hoosiers had 17 turnovers and seven assists. … Indiana shot 27.3 percent overall and finished 5 of 25 on 3s.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Wraps up a two-game trip at Nebraska on Saturday.

Indiana: Hits the road to face No. 21 Iowa on Friday.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

No. 5 Tennessee wins 58-46 as Vandy loses 14th straight

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s offense was bad. Vanderbilt’s was worse.

On a night when both teams posted their lowest point totals of the season, No. 5 Tennessee outlasted Vanderbilt 58-46 on Tuesday in the Volunteers’ first game since losing their No. 1 ranking.

“I think we were really good defensively,” said Tennessee’s Lamonte’ Turner, who scored 12 points. “I think we guarded them well, and I think we disrupted a lot of their sets and stuff like that. Offensively for us, I think we turned down some shots, and some shots that normally fall didn’t fall tonight. You have those nights.”

Tennessee (24-2, 12-1 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from its first loss since Thanksgiving week, an 86-69 defeat at No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday to snap a school-record 19-game winning streak.

Vanderbilt (9-17, 0-13) dropped its 14th straight, matching the longest skid in school history. Vanderbilt had a 14-game losing streak that began in 1934-35 and carried over to the next season.

Even as the losses pile up, Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew remains upbeat.

“You saw the character of these guys, saw how hard they fight,” Drew said. “Losing’s not fun. It brings out the worst. But we’re building something here.”

Vanderbilt shot just 32.1 percent (18 of 56) overall and 23.5 percent (8 of 34) in the second half. Tennessee won despite scoring just two points during a stretch that lasted nearly nine minutes.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said he liked the way his team responded after the loss to Kentucky, even if the score didn’t necessarily reflect it.

“We came out (Monday) and had as good a practice as we’ve had in probably three weeks,” Barnes said “We came out tonight, and I thought defensively we were very good, and we had some shots we didn’t make.”

Grant Williams had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Tennessee, while Admiral Schofield added 12 points. Aaron Nesmith scored 13 points to lead Vanderbilt.

Turner put Tennessee ahead for good 16-13 with 12:47 left in the first half when he sank a 3-pointer while getting fouled to produce a four-point play. Turner added another 3-pointer less than a minute later as part of an 11-0 run.

Tennessee led by 14 in the first half before its offensive woes enabled Vanderbilt to cut the lead to four on multiple occasions in the second half. Vanderbilt’s own issues on offense prevented the Commodores from getting any closer.

“We translated the defensive intensity that we brought to shootaround,” Williams said. “We just didn’t translate much offense.”

BIG PICTURE

Vanderbilt: If Vanderbilt played other opponents as tough as it plays Tennessee, the Commodores would have a much better record. The closest Vanderbilt has come to a win during this losing streak was an 88-83 overtime loss to Tennessee on Jan. 29. Vanderbilt led that game much of the way and gave Tennessee a challenge again Tuesday.

Tennessee: The Vols struggled in the opening minutes of the second half for a second straight game, only this time it wasn’t quite as costly. Kentucky pulled away from Tennessee on Saturday by scoring the first 14 points of the second half. Tennessee scored just two points in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the second half Tuesday but played defense well enough to stay in front.

NOTABLE NUMBER

Williams missed his only free-throw attempt of the night. He went 23 of 23 from the foul line while scoring 43 points in Tennessee’s overtime victory at Vanderbilt last month.

SEEKING DONORS

Tennessee’s players wore T-shirts with the message “Donate Life” during pregame warmups as part of an initiative to encourage fans to become registered organ and tissue donors.

Organ donor recipients also wore the “Donate Life” T-shirts as they gathered on the Thompson-Boling Arena floor before the game. Fans who registered as organ or tissue donors during the game got to go on the floor and pose for a group picture with Barnes afterward.

Tennessee athletic department spokesman Tom Satkowiak received a liver transplant Oct. 18 after spending more than four years on the waiting list. Satkowiak received a standing ovation after a video detailing his health situation played on the scoreboard at halftime.

UP NEXT

Vanderbilt is at Alabama on Saturday.

Tennessee visits No. 13 LSU on Saturday.

Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25