Late Night Snacks: Nova holds off Michigan, Maryland upsets Iowa State, Arkansas gets big road win

1 Comment
source: Getty Images
Villanova held off Michigan at the Legends Classic (Getty Images)


GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 12 Villanova 60, No. 19 Michigan 55

In a tremendous back-and-forth affair over the final few minutes, Villanova held out and won the Legends Classic thanks to a game-saving block from JayVaughn Pinkston. Guard Dylan Ennis led the Wildcats with 15 points and Daniel Ochefu added 10 points while Caris LeVert led all scorers with 16 points for Michigan. Both teams really struggled to make shots from the perimeter, but made up for it with good ball movement down the stretch and big shots from a number of different players.


1. No. 25 Arkansas 78, SMU 72

The Razorbacks earned a really nice non-conference road win on Tuesday night as sophomore forward Bobby Portis opened the game with a three-pointer and never slowed down on his way to a game-high 22 points. Arkansas led the entire game and led by as many as 19 points in the second half as they looked every bit like a top-25 team in a tough road environment. SMU dropped to 2-3 on the young season as the team has struggled to find consistency, especially without Markus Kennedy. Yanick Moreira stepped up with 20 points and but Ben Moore and Nic Moore combined to go 2-for-11 from the field on Tuesday.

2. No. 3 Arizona 72, Kansas State 68

This Maui Invitational semifinal went down to the wire as Sean Miller’s team found some new offense from guard Gabe York. Starting in-place of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for the second game in a row, York scored a season-high 15 points and jump-started an Arizona lineup that had four double-figure scorers.  Kaleb Tarczewski added 18 points, Stanley Johnson had 14 points and Brandon Ashley added 10 points in a solid win over a good opponent for Arizona.

3. Maryland 72, No. 13 Iowa State 63

Not many people would have predicted this kind of result in the championship game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Terrapins used four double-figure scorers and a big and physical defensive front to knock the high-scoring Cyclones off their game. Maryland held Iowa State to 29 percent shooting from the field and 22 percent three-point shooting as the Cyclones couldn’t get anything going on offense.


1. Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Florida State

The redshirt freshman wing is starting to heat up after a slow start and his 26 points on Tuesday night carried a short-handed Seminole team to victory. Playing without Aaron Thomas (illness) and Devin Bookert (screw removed from foot), Rathan-Mayes went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc and 8-for-9 from the field on the night. After scoring 22 points against UMass on Sunday, it looks like the freshman is finally getting comfortable as a scorer.

2. Myles Turner, Texas

We finally got the breakout Myles Turner game we’ve been waiting for as the freshman big man went for 25 points and 10 rebounds in a 78-46 win over St. Francis (PA). Turner was 11-for-12 from the field and did all of this damage in only 25 minutes of action for his first college double-double.

3. D.J. Newbill, Penn State

With his team trailing Akron, 45-32, at the half, Newbill put Penn State on his back as he finished with 29 points, five rebounds and five assists to help the Nittany Lions to a 78-72 win. Newbill already owns a buzzer-beating layup as well this season and has come up big for Penn State on a number of occasions in the early season.


1. Missouri

The Tigers came out flat and didn’t play very hard against Purdue in an ugly, 82-61 loss a day after falling to Arizona. Missouri trailed 45-20 at the half as Purdue came out aggressive and knocked the Tigers on their back very quickly. In their first year under new head coach Kim Anderson, Missouri has dropped to 2-3 and will earn a Maui win over Chaminade if they beat them on Wednesday.

2. Rutgers

Rutgers hosted 0-4 St. Peter’s on Tuesday as the Peacocks were playing without Desi Washington, one of their most important players. But the Scarlet Knights didn’t come prepared to play as they were blown out, 68-50, on their home floor. Rutgers trailed by double-digits for the final 28 minutes of the game.

3. Pittsburgh

It was San Diego State who played a double-overtime game late the night before while Pitt opened the Maui Invitational with host Chaminade, but it was the Panthers who looked completely flat in a blowout 74-57 loss. The No. 15 Aztecs shot 58 percent from the floor for the game while Pitt was held to 37 percent shooting and 5-for-17 (29 percent) shooting from three-point range. Between the loss at Hawaii and this flat effort, this has not been the road trip that Pitt was looking for.


  • BYU ran past Chaminade in the loser’s bracket at Maui as junior guard Chase Fischer tied a tournament record with 10 three-points, nine of them coming in the first half, as the Cougars won 121-85.
  • Georiga State topped Western Carolina, 85-70, as junior guard R.J. Hunter finished with 27 points.
  • No. 8 Virginia ran past Tennessee State, 79-36, as Justin Anderson was 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-5 from three-point range for 20 points.
  • Six Kentucky players finished in double-figures, led by freshman Devin Booker’s 18 points as they cruised past UT-Arlington, 92-44.
  • Horizon League Player of the Year candidate Keifer Sykes had 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead Green Bay in a 64-62 win over Evansville.
  • No. 23 Creighton had 15 points from junior center Geoffrey Groselle in a 75-53 home win over Eastern Illinois.
  • A night after falling to Villanova, No. 14 VCU took down Oregon with a 77-63 win as Treveon Graham led the Rams with 19 points.
  • Gary Clark had 12 points and eight rebounds to lead Cincinnati to a 59-50 win over North Carolina Central.
  • Syracuse got past Loyola (MD), 70-37, as Rakeem Christmas had 18 points, nine rebounds and six blocks.
  • A scheduling quirk meant that Miami had to play Charlotte twice in three days, but the Hurricanes were up to the challenge of winning again as Shelden McClellan had 31 points and 11 rebounds in a 77-74 win.
  • Big outing from senior Levi Randolph, as he scored 28 points and had the go-ahead bucket in the final minute to give Alabama a 76-71 consolation win over Arizona State in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
  • Fresh off a road win at Marquette, Omaha jumped out to a 23-7 lead at Nebraska before Shavon Shields went for a career-high 35 points to give the Huskers the 80-67 win.
  • Chris Perry hit the game-winning basket with seven seconds left to give South Florida a 71-70 win over Hofstra.
  • Harvard earned a respectable home win over Houston as Wesley Saunders (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Steve Moundou-Missi (14 points, 14 rebounds) each had double-doubles.
  • Colorado used a 25-0 run to run past Air Force as Xavier Johnson had 15 points in a 68-53 win.
  • Boise State rode a monster 31-point outing from senior guard Derrick Marks in a 86-75 win over Idaho.

Top-ranked Houston grinds out 53-48 win over Saint Mary’s

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

FORT WORTH, Texas – J’Wan Roberts scored 15 points, Marcus Sasser added 13 and top-ranked Houston held on to beat Saint Mary’s 53-48 on Saturday night.

The Cougars (8-0) won twice in their first week as the No. 1 team since the final poll of the 1982-83 regular season, when Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon led high-flying Phi Slama Jama.

Logan Johnson scored 17 points and Aidan Mahaney had 14 for the Gaels (6-3), who lost their third in a row following a 6-0 start.

Houston was the favorite to win it all in the second of three consecutive trips to the Final Four nearly 40 years ago, but lost to Jim Valvano and North Carolina State in one of the iconic championship games.

Coach Kelvin Sampson’s first top-ranked team is coming off trips to the Final Four and Elite Eight the past two seasons.

For the third straight year, the postseason path will start at Dickie’s Arena, where Sampson likes to bring his team during the regular season as prep for the American Athletic Conference tourney.

This victory in the Battleground 2k22 series improved the Cougars to 9-0 in the arena near downtown Fort Worth, where they have won AAC tournament titles each of the past two years.

Saint Mary’s whittled a 12-point deficit to a single possession when Mahaney hit a 3, and he made it a three-point game again at 46-43 with another from long range.

Roberts answered by backing down for a short jump hook before Sasser converted a three-point play to put the Cougars up 51-43.

Houston broke a 17-all tie with a 14-3 run to finish the first half, with Saint Mary’s going 1 of 11 from the field in that stretch against the vaunted Cougars defense. Both teams shot 37%.


Saint Mary’s: Facing the No. 1 team isn’t foreign to the Gaels, who play in the West Coast Conference with Gonzaga. St. Mary’s is 2-7 against the Zags when they have the top ranking, with one of the victories coming last season.

Houston: The Cougars had no trouble in their debut with the No. 1 ranking, blowing out Norfolk State 100-52 at home Tuesday. A disciplined and tournament-tested opponent for the second game was just the threat Sampson’s club figured it could be.


Saint Mary’s: Missouri State at home Wednesday.

Houston: North Florida at home Tuesday.

Clowney, No. 11 Alabama recover to beat South Dakota St

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Freshman Noah Clowney’s breakout game – 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a steal – helped No. 11 Alabama recover from blowing a 20-point lead and beat South Dakota State 78-65 on Saturday night.

Clowney shot 8 of 17, including 5 of 12 on 3s, in his highest-scoring game of the season.

“We’ve encouraged him to shoot it, I’m glad he did,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “His senior year of high school, he started out pretty poorly from 3 then shot it 40% after that, so I kind of referenced that.”

Alabama (7-1) led 37-17 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half. South Dakota State (3-6) rallied to go ahead 51-50 on Alex Arians’ 3-pointer with 11 1/2 minutes remaining.

Nimari Burnett’s foul shot a minute later put the Crimson Tide ahead for good at 54-53. Alabama used a 9-0 run to pull away.

Mark Sears scored 19 points and Brandon Miller had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Crimson Tide

Alabama made 14 of its first 26 shots to build a big lead before it slipped away.

“I’m not going to call them mature, we still have some room to grow,” Oats said. “Our guys have to understand, no matter who we’re playing, even if their record isn’t great, they’re Division I basketball players, they’re good teams. Last year, we had issues with this going down the road.”

Charlie Easley and Arians each scored 17 points for the Jackrabbits. Zeke Mayo added 12 points and Matt Dentlinger contributed nine rebounds.


Sears continues to be a force at home for Alabama. In Alabama’s last three home games – wins over Liberty, Jacksonville State and South Dakota State – he has scored 22, 18 and 19 points, making at least three 3-pointers in all three games. Alabama’s next home game comes against a Memphis team that already has two wins over SEC competition.


South Dakota State coach Eric Henderson noticed that in Alabama’s first two home games, Longwood and Liberty both trailed by fewer than 10 points at halftime before losing by 21 and 36 points, respectively. He viewed the first five minutes of the second half as critical in both instances, seeing an Alabama team using the home environment to its advantage.

Henderson stressed to his team that it had to win those five minutes to have a chance. Down 42-35 at the break, it did, and ultimately took the lead.

“They really increase the pressure, they try to play a little faster, they get downhill and they really spray it,” Henderson said. “I thought we were getting some 50-50 balls, I thought we were playing with some confidence. There’s been a lot of schools to come in here and have a good first half and it ends up being a 30- or 40-point game.”


South Dakota State stays on the road to face Montana on Tuesday.

Alabama takes a weeklong break before its second game against the current No. 1 team in the nation, this time a road game against Houston on Saturday. The Crimson Tide beat former No. 1 North Carolina in its first shot at the top-ranked team, winning 103-101 in four overtimes on Nov. 27.

Rutgers beats No. 10 Indiana for sixth straight time, 63-48

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – With the clock winding down in the final minutes, Rutgers fans didn’t hesitate in letting No. 10 Indiana how they felt about the Hoosiers’ rating.

Chants of “Who’s Your Daddy” and “Overrated” were shouted with glee at the Indiana bench after the team was knocked from the unbeaten ranks.

Make no mistake, Rutgers (6-2, 1-0 Big Ten) owns Indiana (7-1, 0-1) on the basketball floor these days.

Freshman guard Derek Simpson scored 10 straight points in a game-deciding run and Rutgers beat Indiana for the sixth time in a row and ninth time in 10 meetings, 63-48 on Saturday.

“As far as Indiana goes, I feel we just know the focus of this team,” said Rutgers senior Caleb McConnell, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds. “It gives us an advantage because we had beaten them five times in a row. We went in trying to execute our game plan and we did it again.”

Simpson scored all 14 of his points in the second half as Rutgers made coach Mike Woodson’s first visit to “The Banks” unpleasant.

“We got to make shots from the perimeter,” said Woodson, whose team shot 30.4% from the field, including 6 of 21 from long range. “But we just got out-toughed tonight. I thought, I mean, from the beginning to the end, I mean, we couldn’t rebound the basketball with him. I thought that was the difference in the ballgame and that was the cushion that they needed.”

Miller Kopp scored a season-high 21 points for Indiana . Star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, who faced a packed in defense, was held to 13 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out late.

Jackson-Davis said Indiana just didn’t play well.

“I don’t necessarily say that it’s a bad matchup for us because I think defensively we’re still good,” he said. “But at the same time, our offense just wasn’t clicking tonight.”

The win was coach Steve Pikiell’s 14th over a ranked team since taking over a struggling Rutgers’ program in 2016-17. As usual, defense was at the center of its win.

The Hoosiers’ point total was a season low. They were averaging 87.1 points and were coming off a win over North Carolina.

Indiana played poorly in the first half in falling behind 31-24. The Hoosiers opened the final 20 minutes with a 13-4 spurt, taking two-point leads on baskets by Xavier Johnson and Kopp.

McConnell hit a 3-pointer to put Rutgers ahead for good and then Simpson took over, hitting a layup, a jumper, a 3-pointer and a big scoop shot for a 47-37 lead. His final point in the run came when Johnson hit him in the face in the offensive zone and a flagrant foul was eventually called. He made 1 of 2 free throws.

“I still have have much more to do and I am going to keep working and we’re going to keep working as a team,” Simpson said. “It was a fun game, and it really got loud. My ears are still ringing right now.”


Rutgers senior starting guard Paul Mulcahy returned to the lineup after missing four games with a shoulder injury. He came off the bench early in the first half and played almost 24 minutes, scoring six points and handing out four assists.


Indiana starting guard Jalen Hood-Schifino did not play because of a back problem. He was averaging 8.7 points. Starting forward Race Thompson, who was averaging 7.3 points, was scoreless on 0 for 4 shooting.


Indiana: This was poor performance by the Hoosiers. They are bound to take a tumble.

Rutgers: This was a big win for Rutgers, which was coming off a road loss at Miami. They are 6-0 at home.


Indiana: Conference home opener against Nebraska on Wednesday.

Rutgers: At No. 25 Ohio State on Thursday.

Flagler, No. 6 Baylor rally late, top No. 14 Gonzaga 64-63

Baylor vs. Gonzaga
USA Today

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In a rematch of the 2021 national championship game, Adam Flagler hit a pair of 3s as No. 6 Baylor scored the final eight points to rally past No. 14 Gonzaga 64-63 Friday night.

Gonzaga’s Rasir Bolton missed a wild, driving layup try at the buzzer.

Two seasons ago, Baylor beat the then-undefeated Zags 86-70 to win its first title. This time, the Bears didn’t take the lead for good until Jalen Bridges made two free throws with 16 seconds left.

“Adam is a great leader, but no one knew he wasn’t feeling well today,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “To be honest, some players wouldn’t have played. He played through the pain and left it all out on the court. As a coach, I appreciate that.”

The Bears (6-2) trailed 63-56 before Flagler hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 left. Flagler’s 3 with just over a minute to play cut Baylor’s deficit to 63-62.

After a Gonzaga shot clock violation, Flagler’s 3-point attempt for the lead was off the mark, but Bridges was fouled by Drew Timme on the rebound attempt. Bridges hit two foul shots to put Baylor ahead.

The Zags (5-3) had a final chance when Bolton caught an inbounds pass near his own foul line with 4.6 seconds remaining. He drove the lane, but his off-balance shot went high off the glass and missed as the buzzer sounded.

“We took two balls down hill and tried to make plays at the rim. At that point in the game, those are tough,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. “It’s very disappointing. They made plays, man.”

Freshman Keyonte George had 18 points and seven rebounds for Baylor. Flagler had 11 points and Langston Love added 10.

“I trust my work. I was able to knock them down,” George said. “My teammates believe in me each and every day. They give me that confidence in a big game to make big shots like that.”

Malchi Smith scored 16 points for Gonzaga. Anton Watson added a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Timme had nine points.

Baylor led by as many as 12 in the first half before Gonzaga closed to five at the break.

Watson’s basket put Gonzaga ahead 41-40. From there, the teams swapped leads over the next 13 minutes as the second half featured two ties and 14 lead changes.

A thunderous dunk from Smith gave Gonzaga its seven-point lead with under two minutes to go.


Baylor: The win was a big rebound for Baylor after its 26-point loss to Marquette earlier in the week. The loss was the Bears’ most lopsided since they fell to Kansas 82-56 in 2007

Gonzaga: After opening the season ranked No. 2 in the AP preseason poll, the Zags have now lost two of three.


Timme began the night leading the Bulldogs in scoring at 20 points per game. He was hampered by foul trouble against Baylor and got his first field goal with six minutes remaining. He fouled out with 16 seconds to play.


Four players on the floor Friday night had significant minutes in the championship game two years ago including Flagler, Timme and Watson, along with Baylor’s Flo Thamba.


Baylor: The Bears return home to host Tarleton on Tuesday before playing Washington State on Sunday in Dallas for the Pac 12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs return to Spokane for three straight beginning Monday when they face Kent State for the first time in school history.

Carr scores 19, No. 2 Texas beats No. 7 Creighton 72-67

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas had pressured Creighton’s shooters into a miserable night, only to watch a late flurry of 3-pointers start swishing.

An 11-point Longhorns lead was down to three.

That hardly rattled Marcus Carr and the second-ranked Longhorns, who stepped up with big late shots of their own and steady free-throw shooting to secure another impressive early-season victory, 72-67 over the seventh-ranked Bluejays on Thursday night.

Carr scored 19 points and made two free throws with 10 seconds left as Texas held off Creighton’s furious late-game rally.

Creighton struggled through a wretched 3-point shooting night, but pulled within 62-59 thanks in part to five points in a row by Baylor Scheierman. Carr’s baseline jumper and an easy layup by Tyrese Hunter when Creighton lost him on an inbound pass with 46 seconds left stretched the Longhorns’ lead again.

That didn’t quite close the door on Creighton, which got two more 3-pointers from Scheierman, who had missed his first nine attempts. That forced Texas to finish it from the free-throw line behind Carr and Brock Cunningham. Cunningham’s two free throws with 4 seconds left were his only points of the game.

“There’s going to be a bunch of times one of us has to go down there and knock down a bunch of free throws,” Carr said. “We talk about it all the time.”

The matchup was part of the Big 12-Big East Battle and Texas earned its second win over a top-10 opponent in its new arena. The Longhorns (6-0) beat then-No. 2 Gonzaga on Nov. 16 and have their highest ranking since they were No. 1 during the 2009-2010 season.

“I don’t think we’ve proven anything,” Texas coach Chris Beard said. “We’re just a team that’s trying to get better.”

Hunter scored 15 points for Texas.

Ryan Kalkbrenner had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Creighton (6-2), and Ryan Nembhard scored 17 points. The Bluejays were 4 of 27 on 3-pointers.

Scheierman, a 44% shooter from beyond the arc this season, made three 3s in a row late. His off-balance shot from the right corner over a defender pulled the Bluejays within 68-65 with 11.4 seconds left.

Scheierman finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

“The reality is you are gonna have nights,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “It just happens. We don’t ever want him to stop shooting.”


Creighton: Kalkbrenner was all but unstoppable on a 9-of-10 shooting night for the Bluejays, who kept launching from long range instead of looking for their 7-foot-1 center.

Texas: The Longhorns couldn’t force their usual numbers of turnovers and fast-break points, but were exceptionally clean with the ball on offense. Texas had just three turnovers that Creighton turned into three points.


Texas senior forward Christian Bishop played three seasons at Creighton before transferring prior to last season. He finished with six points and four rebounds in 16 minutes.

“We understood what this game was, not just for our team but for Christian,” Carr said.


McDermott suggested his team maybe just wore out. The Bluejays went 2-1 in the Maui Invitational last week and then played their first game of the season on an opponent’s home court.

“Three games in three days against ranked teams (in Hawaii) and then to come in here,” McDermott said. “That’s a lot to ask of my team.”


Creighton hosts in-state rival Nebraska on Sunday.

Texas plays No. 16 Illinois in New York City on Dec. 6 in the Jimmy V Classic.