GAME OF THE NIGHT: North Dakota89, Southern Utah 85 (OT)
After two Jaron Nash free throws gave North Dakota a 75-72 lead with eight seconds remaining, Southern Utah’s A.J. Hess knocked down a three-pointer to force overtime. North Dakota managed to hang on in the extra session, winning a game they led by 13 at the half. Nash finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Estan Tyler added 18 for North Dakota, while Hess led the Thunderbirds with 18.
1. Iowa 72, Michigan 54
This was a game the Hawkeyes could not drop, even with it being on the road, and Fran McCaffery’s team took care of business in Ann Arbor. Jarrod Uthoff led five Hawkeye starters in double figures with 16 points, and as a team Iowa shot nearly 63 percent from the field as they had little trouble finding quality looks against the Michigan zone defense. Aubrey Dawkins led the way for the Wolverines with 16 points, but they shot 40.7% from the field and Zak Irvin scored just seven points on 3-for-10 shooting.
2. Auburn 81, LSU 77
While Iowa avoided a loss in a game they needed to win, the same can’t be said for LSU. Auburn managed to hang on for the four-point win in Baton Rouge, with K.T. Harrell scoring a season-high 28 points and Antoine Mason adding 24 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Mickey scored 24 and Tim Quarterman 17 for LSU, which is part of that major logjam behind No. 1 Kentucky in the SEC standings. Johnny Jones’ team hosts Kentucky Tuesday night, and a loss like tonight’s makes that game (and their game against Alabama on Saturday) even more important for LSU.
3. Cincinnati 62, No. 23 SMU 54
With a win SMU could have gone into Saturday’s game at Tulsa just a game out of first in the loss column. Instead, they’ll look to avoid falling three games behind the Golden Hurricane, as Larry Brown’s team lost to Cincinnati for the second time this season. Jermaine Saunders scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and guards Troy Caupain and Farad Cobb scored 14 apiece to help push Cincinnati to 7-3 in the American. Cannen Cunningham scored 14 off the bench for SMU, but the Mustangs shot just 36.5% from the field on the night.
4. No. 3 Gonzaga 77, Santa Clara 63
The Bulldogs rebounded from a tough first half to beat the Broncos by 14 on the road, with turnovers being a factor. Gonzaga committed ten of their 14 turnovers in the first half, and that combined with the play of Santa Clara’s Jared Brownridge resulted in the visitors trailing at halftime for just the second time this season. But Mark Few’s team took better care of the basketball in the second half and they were balanced offensively, with Kyle Wiltjer scoring 22 points, Bryon Wesley 17 and Gary Bell Jr. 16. Brownridge finished with a game-high 25 for Santa Clara.
1. Jalen Cannon, St. Francis-Brooklyn
35 points (13-for-19 FG) and 13 rebounds in the Terriers’ 90-81 win at Central Connecticut State.
2. Marshun Newell, UT-Martin
23 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and three steals in the Skyhawks’ 76-64 win at Austin Peay.
3. Karam Mashour, Morehead State
21 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in the Eagles’ 72-57 win over Tennessee State.
In their 57-44 home loss to Tulsa, the Cougars managed to score just ten second-half points.
2. Marcus Jackson, Rice
Averaging 14.5 points per game, Jackson scored five points on 1-for-9 shooting in the Owls’ 69-55 loss at Marshall.
3. Nic Moore, SMU
Moore made just one of his eight field goal attempts, finishing with eight points and six assists in the Mustangs’ 62-54 loss to Cincinnati.
- Tulsa limited Houston to ten points in the second half, winning 57-44 to move to 10-0 in the American. Next up for the Golden Hurricane is their first matchup with SMU, Saturday night.
- Wofford moved to 10-1 in the SoCon with a 74-64 win at East Tennessee State. Chattanooga (9-2) and Mercer (8-3) also picked up road wins of their own Thursday night.
- Bryant is now in sole possession of second place in the NEC after beating Mount St. Mary’s 55-53. Robert Morris, which was tied with the Bulldogs, lost at LIU Brooklyn.
- William & Mary, which entered the day in sole possession of first in the CAA, was upset 80-72 by Charleston. Canyon Barry led five Cougars in double figures with 19 points.
- South Dakota State is no longer in first place in the Summit League, as the Jackrabbits lost 84-74 at IPFW.
- UCLA picked up its first win outside of Los Angeles since November 28, winning 69-67 at Stanford in a game they led by 21 in the second half. While they have a lot of work to do, the Bruins still have hopes of playing their way into the NCAA tournament.
- With leading scorer Tyler Harvey out due to injury, Drew Brandon scored 27 points (six rebounds, five assists) to help lead Eastern Washington to its first win at Montana since 2004.
- UAB, which entered conference play with a 4-9 record, is now 8-2 in Conference USA after beating Louisiana Tech 80-60 in Birmingham. UAB limited the Bulldogs to 33.8% shooting. Western Kentucky (9-1) is now in sole possession of first after they beat North Texas 65-59.
- Murray State has won 18 straight and is now 10-0 in the OVC after beating Southeast Missouri State 82-72. Jarvis Williams went for 23 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
- Despite not having leading scorer Corey Hawkins, UC Davis soundly defeated UC Irvine 75-56. The Aggies are now tied for first in the Big West with Long Beach State, which beat UC Riverside 68-63.
- Tyrone Wallace’s three-pointer as time expired gave Cal the 70-69 win over USC.