Late Night of the Snacks: No. 3 Arizona stays perfect, holds off UTEP, 60-55

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 3 Arizona 60, UTEP 55

The Wildcats jumped out to a 15-2 lead in the early moments of the game. It looked as if No. 3 Arizona was going to run away with an easy win, however, the Miners bounced back after a slow start to tie the game at 21-all with three minutes remaining in the half. Arizona took a 3-point lead into halftime after Stanley Johnson got a shooter’s bounce to go for a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

UTEP took a 40-38 lead in the second half off a Vince Hunter layup, but in a 90 second span — from 9:28 to 8:12 — Hunter picked up his fourth and fifth fouls, leaving the game with 18 points. Over the next five minutes, Arizona stretched the lead to 10 at 56-46. UTEP would cut into the lead, but would never make it a one-possession game.

OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 20 St. John’s 53, St. Mary’s 47

St. Mary’s was looking to score its second win over a Big East opponent this month, jumping out to a 15-point halftime lead behind 19 first half points from Brad Wadlow. The senior forward didn’t shy away from the shotblocking ability of Chris Obepka. The Gaels opened him up with screens in the high post and Wadlow used ball screens to get open looks going to the basket.

In the second half, Sir’Dominic Pointer sparked a better effort out of the Johnnies. The Red Storm turned up the speed and in forced the Gaels to commit nine second half turnovers. St. John’s went on an 18-6 run with Pointer’s layup giving the Johnnies a 45-41 lead. St. John’s locked down in the final moments, not allowing Kenny Carter to get a decent look at a game-tying 3-pointer. Phil Greene IV and Pointer iced the victory from the line with 3-of-4 free throws.

STARRED

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels knocked down 14-of-26 threes against No. 18 Miami in a 28-point win. Miami’s previous five opponents had shot a combined 27-of-104 from deep, but Eastern Kentucky continued to find open looks, especially early in the second half where four 3-pointers sparked a 14-0 run.

Brad Waldow, St. Mary’s: Despite the loss, Waldow was impressive. He attacked the St. John’s frontline for 19 first half points. He ended with a game-high 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. If it wasn’t for a reenergized Johnnies team in the second half, the Gaels would have walked away with another win over a Big East program.

Alex Mitola, Dartmouth: The junior guard could have ended up on the ‘Struggled’ list, but caught fire in the overtime, hitting 4-of-5 shots for 12 points in the extra frame, including the game-winner.

STRUGGLED

Miami: The Hurricanes came out flat after an 11-day layoff. They’ll likely drop from the rankings on Monday, the same day as they are scheduled to play Providence at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Angel Rodriguez, Miami: The transfer guard was 0-for-6 with a single point.

Clemson: The Tigers led by two at halftime. They were outscored 40-15 in the second half in a 68-45 loss to South Carolina. Clemson shot 29 percent from the field.

TOP 25

  • No. 3 Arizona 60, UTEP 55
  • Eastern Kentucky 72, No. 18 Miami 44
  • No. 20 St. John’s 53, St. Mary’s 47

NOTABLES

  • Tyrone Wallace scored 21 point and grabbed 11 rebounds in Cal’s 78-67 win over Eastern Washington. Tyler Harvey scored a game-high 31 points in the loss.
  • Colorado State Daniel Bejarano scored 15 of his 25 points after halftime, in addition to his eight rebounds in an 85-84 win over Denver.
  • Justin Moss went for 24 points and 11 boards in Buffalo’s 88-62 win over Niagara.
  • Alan Williams was one more board away from his seventh double-double of the season. UC Santa Barbara defeated San Diego Christian, 69-46, however, Williams has gone three games without a double-double.
  • Josh Richardson scored 11 of his 19 in the second half as Tennessee erased a six-point deficit and beat Tennessee Tech, 61-58.
  • Brett Comer recorded a double-double in Florida Gulf Coast’s 83-78 win over Furman. The senior point guard had a team-high 19 points, dished 10 assists and only committed two turnovers.
  • Carlos Morris had 19 points, Maurice Walker, Andre Hollins and Nate Morris each scored 15 in Minnesota’s 92-57 win over Seattle.
  • Austin Chatman’s 20 points led Creighton over UT Pan American, 75-60.
  • Luke Fischer was a perfect 8-for-8 from the field for 22 points in Marquette’s 83-49 victory over Alabama A&M. In two games, he’s 17-of-19 from the field.