Late Night Snacks: No. 22 SMU, No. 23 Syracuse fall

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GAME OF THE DAY: Charlotte 106, Penn State 97 (2OT)

A John Johnson three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation forced overtime, but the Nittany Lions ultimately dropped this Gildan Charleston Classic quarterfinal. Florida transfer Braxton Ogbueze scored 26 and center Mike Thorne Jr. added 23 and 16 rebounds to lead the way for the 49ers, who are looking to win an in-season tournament for the second consecutive year (they won the Puerto Rico Tipoff last year). Penn State’s D.J. Newbill played all 50 minutes, finishing with 35 points and eight rebounds.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. Indiana 74, No. 22 SMU 68

The Hoosiers welcomed back the suspended Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson (Emmitt Holt did not get into the game), but the star was freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. Blackmon hit five three-pointers, finishing the game with 26 points to go along with seven rebounds. Williams was Indiana’s most productive reserve, scoring 11 points in 23 minutes of action. SMU shot nearly 57 percent from the field, but they also turned the ball over 19 times and that cost them in the end.

2. California 73, No. 23 Syracuse 59

The Golden Bears executed well against the Syracuse zone, assisting on nearly 77 percent of their made baskets on the night. Jordan Mathews scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, and a late first half stretch in which the Golden Bears hit four three-pointers turned a close game into a 12-point Cal lead at the half. As for Syracuse, they’ve got a lot to work on offensively, as Trevor Cooney continues to struggle shooting the basketball and Kaleb Joseph has yet to find his bearings as the point guard.

3. No. 10 Texas 71, Iowa 57

Texas struggled in the first half, trailing the Hawkeyes by six at the break. But Rick Barnes’ team turned it on in the second half, outscoring the Hawkeyes by 20 with Jonathan Holmes scoring 17 of his 19 points in the final session. Isaiah Taylor finished with 15 points for Texas, who will play California in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic Friday night.

STARRED

1. Mike Thorne Jr. (Charlotte) 

23 points (9-for-15 FG) and 16 rebounds in the 49ers’ 106-97 double overtime win over Penn State.

2. Bryce Alford (UCLA)

28 points (8-for-14 FG), 13 assists and just one turnover in UCLA’s 107-74 win over Nicholls State. And he did this after barely practicing in the days prior due to a strained hip flexor.

3. Chris Hass (Bucknell)

Hass scored 32 points, shooting 9-for-12 from the field, in Bucknell’s 72-65 loss at No. 12 Villanova.

STRUGGLED

1. Bakersfield

While No. 16 San Diego State wasn’t all that good offensively, they did limit the Roadrunners to a Viejas Arena-record 27 points on 12-for-56 shooting from the field (1-for-20 3PT).

2. USC’s starting guards

Julian Jacobs, Jordan McLaughlin and Katin Reinhardt combined to shoot 5-for-23 in the Trojans’ 66-46 loss to Akron.

3. Galal Cancer and Devin Cherry (Cornell)

Cancer shot 2-for-13 from the field and Cherry committed seven turnovers in the Big Red’s 69-45 loss to South Carolina.

NOTABLES

  • Ryan Boatright led three starters in double figures with 19 points as No. 17 UConn held off the College of Charleston, 65-57.
  • New Mexico’s 69-65 loss to Boston College could be more costly than anticipated. Starting point guard Cullen Neal suffered a left ankle injury in the second half, and he’s expected to miss the remainder of the Puerto Rico Tipoff.
  • Three days after winning at Clemson, Winthrop was knocked off by Savannah State 59-58. Terel Hall’s three-point play with a second remaining was the difference.
  • Caris LeVert scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds in No. 24 Michigan’s 71-62 win over Detroit. The Wolverines took control of the game with a 16-1 run late in the second half.
  • Terry Larrier scored 21 points in 20 minutes of action in No. 15 VCU’s 106-66 beating of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
  • No. 16 San Diego State didn’t win pretty, beating Bakersfield 51-27, but there was a potentially important development in the game. Malik Pope made his debut, scoring four points in 14 minutes of action. Pope battled injuries throughout his high school career, but he has the skill needed to potentially help the Aztecs offensively.
  • Beejay Anya racked up seven points, eight rebounds and ten blocks in NC State’s 79-43 win over Jacksonville.
  • There was even a conference game Thursday, with Niagara beating Saint Peter’s 61-59. Rayvon Harris scored 19 to lead the Purple Eagles, who are now 1-0 in MAAC play.
  • Devon Scott’s tip-in with nine tenths of a second remaining gave Dayton a 55-53 win over Texas A&M.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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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

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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.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.