Saturday’s Snacks: No. 18 North Carolina comes back to beat No. 5 Louisville, and No. 1 Kentucky survives

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 18 North Carolina 72, No. 5 Louisville 71

A Marcus Paige layup with eight seconds remaining was the difference for the Tar Heels, who bounced back from a tough loss to No. 13 Notre Dame on Monday. The shot capped an afternoon for Paige that included his leaving the game with a right ankle injury, only to return and help spark North Carolina’s comeback from a 12-point deficit in the final 8:23. Six Tar Heels scored at least eight points, with Kennedy Meeks leading the way with 13, and Terry Rozier paced the Cardinals with 25.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 1 Kentucky 70, Texas A&M 64 (2OT)

For the second consecutive game the Wildcats were taken to overtime by a conference opponent, this time outlasting the Aggies in College Station. Devin Booker scored 18 off the bench, which helped the Wildcats navigate a game in which starting guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison combined to shoot 5-for-30 from the field. Add in Dakari Johnson hitting some key free throws in double overtime, and Kentucky managed to remain undefeated. Danuel House led all scorers with 25 points, but off days from the foul line (16-for-30) and from three (2-for-15) kept A&M from winning the game in regulation and that came back to haunt them in the end.

2. No. 3 Virginia 62, No. 13 Notre Dame 56

Virginia moved to 15-0 on the season with a six-point win in South Bend, and a big reason for their success was Malcolm Brogdon’s defending of Jerian Grant. Grant finished the game with just six points, and as a team Notre Dame shot just 10-for-35 inside of the arc. Virginia was balanced offensively, with Darion Atkins (14 points), Brogdon (13) and Justin Anderson (11) all reaching double figures and freshman Marial Shayok adding seven off the bench. Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton led all scorers with 21 points to go along with eight rebounds.

3. Kansas State 66, No. 16 Oklahoma 63 (OT): A Marcus Foster three-pointer with just over four seconds remaining in overtime was the difference as the Wildcats won in Norman. Foster finished the game with 13 points, and Stephen Hurt led the way offensively with 15 to go along with seven rebounds. Buddy Hield scored a game-high 31 for Oklahoma, but 20 of those points came in the first half. Oklahoma shot just 39.7% from the field in the loss, with Kansas State making 47.6% of its field goals.

4. Indiana 69, No. 22 Ohio State 66

Playing some great defense for stretches of the second half and getting a big lift from Troy Williams, Indiana held off No. 22 Ohio State. Williams had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds and James Blackmon Jr. had 18 points to lead the cold-shooting Hoosiers. Indiana was 4-for-18 from 3-point range but got a lift from two triples from Nick Zeisloft (eight points) and Ohio State was even worse (3-for-21). Four Buckeyes finished in double-figures led by Shannon Scott’s 16 points, but D’Angelo Russell (12 points) struggled to a 3-for-15 game shooting from the floor.

STARRED

1. Devin Thomas, Wake Forest

The junior had 17 points and 14 rebounds in the Demon Deacons’ win over Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds in three ACC games this season and two of those games came against Louisville and Duke.

2. J.J. Avila, Colorado State

In the Rams’ 92-87 win at Air Force the senior forward accounted for 28 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

3. Marvelle Harris, Fresno State

Harris scored 40 points in the Bulldogs’ 69-66 win at Nevada, shooting 14-for-23 from the field. His teammates combined to shoot 8-for-34.

4. Rico Gathers, Baylor

17 points and 18 rebounds (ten offensive) in Baylor’s 66-59 overtime win at TCU.

STRUGGLED

1. Pitt’s shooting

Pitt lost an ACC home contest to Clemson in a very bad loss for a mediocre team. The Panthers only committed three turnovers on the offensive end but shot 39 percent (21-for-53) from the field and 30 percent (4-for-13) from 3-point range.

2. Kentucky’s Harrison twins

The Wildcats won, beating Texas A&M 70-64 in double overtime, but they’re going to need more production from their starting guards than they received today (5-for-30 FG combined).

3. Jesse Morgan, Temple

With Will Cummings injured during the second half, the UMass transfer needed to step up if the Owls were to hang on against Tulsa. Morgan finished the game 1-for-17 from the field, and Tulsa was able to come back and win 63-56.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Melvin Johnson and Treveon Graham combined to score 39 points in No. 20 VCU’s 89-74 win over Saint Joseph’s.
  • No. 8 Villanova handed DePaul its first Big East loss Saturday, beating the Blue Demons 81-64 in Philadelphia.
  • Sterling Gibbs’ three-pointer with 2.1 seconds remaining was the difference as No. 19 Seton Hall won 68-67 at Creighton.
  • Jake Layman scored 14 points to help lead No. 11 Maryland to a 69-60 win at Purdue, bouncing back from a loss at Illinois on Wednesday.
  • Perry Ellis led a balanced effort with 15 points as No. 12 Kansas whipped Texas Tech, 86-54.
  • Rico Gathers scored 17 ponts and grabbed 18 rebounds in No. 21 Baylor’s 66-59 overtime win at TCU.
  • Bobby Portis accounted for 32 points and ten rebounds in No. 23 Arkansas’ 82-70 win over Vanderbilt.
  • No. 25 Old Dominion’s short stay in the Top 25 will likely come to an end Monday, as they fell 72-65 at Western Kentucky. George Fant led the Hilltoppers with 24 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Oklahoma State handed No. 10 Texas its second straight Big 12 loss, 69-58, with Phil Forte IV scoring a game-high 20 points.
  • Przemek Karnowski scored 18 points to lead four Bulldogs in double figures as No. 6 Gonzaga beat Santa Clara 79-57.
  • Abdel Nader scored 19 points off the bench as No. 17 Iowa State won 74-72 at No. 14 West Virginia.

NOTABLES

  • UConn’s now won five of its last six games, as they beat Cincinnati 62-56 in Hartford.
  • LaDontae Henton scored 19 points to help lead Providence to a 60-57 overtime win over Georgetown.
  • Kendall Knorr led four Navy starters in double figures with 17 points as the Midshipmen topped Army.
  • Vermont moved to 3-0 in America East play with a 71-57 win over Stony Brook, holding the Seawolves without a point over the final 4:09.
  • La Salle scored 19 of the game’s first 21 points in their 63-50 win over George Washington, and they held Kevin Larsen scoreless in doing so.
  • Tulsa moved to 3-0 in the American with a 63-56 win at Temple. This one turned when Temple senior guard Will Cummings went down with an injury during the second half, and the Golden Hurricane took advantage and erased an 11-point deficit.
  • Since starting the season 11-0 Washington’s lost four straight, the most recent of which being an 80-77 home loss to in-state rival Washington State. Ernie Kent’s Cougars are now 2-1 in Pac-12 play.
  • Northern Iowa beat Drake 64-40, limiting the Bulldogs to just 11 second-half points.
  • Incarnate Word and Northwestern State combined to score 204 points in their game, with the Demons winning 103-101. Incarnate Word’s Denzel Livingston scored 37 in a losing effort, with Jalan West (33 points) and Zikiteran Woodley (28) leading the way for Northwestern State.
  • Indiana State moved to 4-0 in Missouri Valley play with a 59-56 win at Southern Illinois.
  • Eli Carter scored 20 points in Florida’s 72-47 win over Mississippi State, and the Gators have now won 20 consecutive SEC regular season games.
  • Dayton’s now won six straight since they lost their two biggest players, with the Flyers winning 76-58 at Fordham.
  • Jordan Bell blocked eight shots in Oregon’s 59-56 win over Arizona State, establishing a new school record for blocks in a season with 56.
  • UC Davis moved to 12-3 on the season with a 73-67 overtime win over Long Beach State, their first over the 49ers since 2009. Corey Hawkins scored 28 and grabbed ten rebounds for the Aggies, with Mike Caffey countering with 29, six rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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

Joe Rondone/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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.