Sunday’s Snacks: St. John’s, Arizona State, Syracuse earn solid afternoon victories

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source: AP
St. John’s D’Angelo Harrison (AP)

GAME OF THE DAY: Texas Southern 58, Kansas State 56

The final score may not scream the word “classic,” but the finish in Manhattan sure did. Texas Southern found a way to score six points in the final 3.8 seconds to stun the Wildcats, with Jason Carter’s shot as time expired providing the final margin. Prior to Sunday Kansas State had won 38 straight home games in the month of December, but their mistakes combined with Texas Southern taking advantage of those miscues ended the streak.

Kansas State made just two of its final eight free throws, and there was also the inability to rebound an intentionally missed Texas Southern free throw and a turnover in the game’s final seconds. Chris Thomas, who tied the game after rebounding the aforementioned missed free throw, scored 15 points to lead the way for Texas Southern and Kansas State’s Marcus Foster led all scorers with 17 points.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 17 St. John’s 82, Tulane 57

I thought this one would have been a little closer with Tulane entering at 9-2 and giving Washington a close game on the road a week ago, but the Red Storm had a tremendous defensive performance as Sir’Dominic Pointer had 24 points, seven steals, four assists, four rebounds and four blocks in the win. D’Angelo Harrison added 21 points in the win.

2. Arizona State 55, Harvard 44

This was yet another chance for Harvard to have an impact non-conference win, but the Crimson once again struggled from the field in a road loss. Arizona State had four double-figure scorers in its starting lineup, led by Shaq McKissic’s 13 points and the Sun Devil defense held Harvard to 36 percent shooting on the afternoon. A solid home win for Arizona State while the Crimson need to regroup and focus on winning the Ivy League if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.

3. Syracuse 85, Long Beach State 67

Nice win for the Orange at home as the 49ers actually came into this game with a higher RPI due a difficult non-conference schedule. Rakeem Christmas and Michael Gbinije each finished with 24 points as Christmas added 10 rebounds and Gbinije had eight assists and six rebounds.

STARRED

1. Marquis Wright, Siena

Wright had a solid outing of 24 points and six assists in a two-point Siena win over Bucknell, but he also carried the Saints down the stretch, as he scored the team’s final eight points in the win.

2. Luke Fisher, Marquette

The sophomore once again provided a spark off the bench as he went a perfect 6-for-6 from the field for 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks in an afternoon win over Morgan State.

3. D.J. Balentine, Evansville

The junior guard had to put up 32 points to help the Purple Aces escape with a close home win over Coppin State. Balentine has now scored 20 or more points in eight consecutive games.

STRUGGLED

1. Harvard’s frontcourt

While Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders combined for 25 points, the other three members of the starting lineup, Kenyatta Smith, Steve Moundou-Missi and Agunwa Okolie combined for eight points on 1-for-9 shooting from the field.

2. Norman Powell and Kevon Looney (UCLA)

Powell and Looney combined to score seven points on 3-for-15 shooting in the Bruins’ 56-50 loss at Alabama.

NOTABLES

  • UConn senior guard Ryan Boatright had 18 points, five assists, three rebounds and a block, to go along with no turnovers, in a win over Central Connecticut State.
  • A.J. English had a team-high 19 points and David Laury had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Iona to an 81-62 win over Drexel.
  • East Carolina picked up a win over UNC Greensboro as Terry Whisnant had 17 points and six assists.
  • Reserves Nate Buss (14 points), Wes Washpun (12) and Paul Jesperson (ten) all reached double figures in No. 23 Northern Iowa’s 74-63 win over South Dakota State.
  • Devin Thomas’ tip-in as time expired gave Wake Forest a 65-63 win at Richmond. Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 17 points for the winners, with T.J. Cline leading the way for Richmond with 22.
  • Remy Abell led three Musketeers in double figures with 13 points as Xavier beat FGCU 71-57 in Cincinnati.
  • Ricky Tarrant scored 24 points and Levi Randolph added 15 in Alabama’s 56-50 win over UCLA in Tuscaloosa.
  • Frank Kaminsky scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in No. 3 Wisconsin’s 68-56 win over Buffalo. The Bulls, which led No. 1 Kentucky at the half earlier this season, led 27-26 at the half in Madison.
  • Jameel Warney scored 15 points and Kameron Mitchell added 12 big second-half points as Stony Brook upset No. 13 Washington 62-57 in Seattle. The Seawolves trailed by as much as 16 in the second half.
  • Aly Ahmed scored 19 points and grabbed ten rebounds in Bakersfield’s 55-52 win at California. The Golden Bears committed 18 turnovers, which the Roadrunners converted into 20 points.