Sunday’s Snacks: No. 5 Wisconsin wins eighth straight, and Northwestern upsets Iowa

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GAME OF THE DAY: Northwestern 66, Iowa 61 (OT)

Chris Collins’ Wildcats ended their ten-game conference losing streak, beating the Hawkeyes in Evanston. Northwestern looked poised to win the game in regulation, but Iowa’s Jared Uthoff hit a contested three-pointer in the final seconds to force overtime. Uthoff scored 25 to lead all scorers, but it wasn’t enough as Aaron White shot 1-for-12 from the field. Alex Olah, who played well on both ends for Northwestern, accounted for 11 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks, with guards Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps combining to score 34 points.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 5 Wisconsin 68, Illinois 49

Bo Ryan’s Badgers won their eighth straight game Sunday afternoon, pulling away from the Fighting Illini in the second half. Wisconsin’s starting front court of Sam Dekker, Nigel Hayes and Frank Kaminsky (23 points, 11 rebounds) combined to score 47 points on 20-for-33 shooting from the field, and sophomore guard Bronson Koenig added 15 points and four assists. Now 11-1 in Big Ten play, Wisconsin has a three-game lead in the loss column on Maryland, Purdue (both 9-4) and Michigan State (8-4).

2. No. 11 Utah 76, California 61

The Golden Bears hung around for the first half, but a 15-4 run to end the half gave the Runnin’ Utes a six-point lead at the intermission. From there it was all Utah, as Larry Krystkowiak’s team pushed their lead to as much as 18 in the second half. Jakob Poeltl led four players in double figures with 18 points while also grabbing eight rebounds, and fellow big man Chris Reyes grabbed ten rebounds. The big difference was the foul line, as Utah took advantage of its superior size and outscored the Golden Bears 21-5 from the charity stripe. Utah is now 10-2 in the Pac-12, keeping pace with No. 7 Arizona.

3. Indiana 90, Minnesota 71

Tom Crean’s Hoosiers remain undefeated at home in Big Ten play, and they set a school-record with 18 made three-pointers Sunday night. James Blackmon Jr., who was responsible for six of those three-pointers, scored 24 points and Robert Johnson (5-for-8 3PT) and Troy Williams (2-for-2 3PT) added points apiece. Indiana shot 59.3% from the field, and the Golden Gophers could not withstand the Hoosier barrage from beyond the arc. Indiana’s now 9-5 in Big Ten play, and they’re right in the mix for one of the four double-byes in next month’s Big Ten tournament.

STARRED

1. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky 

Kaminsky was once again a matchup problem, scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the Badgers’ 68-49 win over Illinois.

2. Arizona State’s Savon Goodman

Goodman scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Sun Devils’ 78-68 win at Washington.

3. Oakland’s Khalil Felder

29 points, eight assists and three rebounds in the Golden Grizzlies’ 83-78 win over Detroit.

STRUGGLED

1. Iowa’s Aaron White

White grabbed 13 rebounds in the Hawkeyes’ 66-61 loss at Northwestern, but he shot 1-for-12 from the field.

2. Stanford’s Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown

Randle scored 14 points on 4-for-16 shooting and Brown shot 2-for-11 from the field (eight points) in Stanford’s loss at Colorado.

3. Quinnipiac’s Zaid Hearst

Hearst scored ten points on 5-for-17 shooting (0-for-6 3PT) in the Bobcats’ 60-57 loss to Iona.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25 

  • No. 13 Northern Iowa has now won 13 in a row, as they won 68-57 at Missouri State. Seth Tuttle scored 22 points, and guards Matt Bohannon and Deon Mitchell combined for 12 assists and just one turnover.
  • No. 7 Arizona moved to 10-2 in conference play with an 86-59 win at Washington State. The Wildcats led 53-19 at the half, and three starters finished the game with 17 points.

NOTABLES

  • Nebraska’s road struggles continue, as they fell 66-54 at Purdue, and they remain winless on the road in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers are now 9-4 in the Big Ten, and they also received good shooting from Dakota Mathias (ten points) and Kendall Stephens (12 points). Vince Edwards led the Boilers with 15 points, while Shavon Shields paced the Huskers with 19.
  • Iona maintained its two-game lead in the MAAC, coming back to win 60-57 at Quinnipiac. Rider, who won at Niagara Sunday afternoon, remains in sole possession of second place.
  • Valparaiso won its sixth straight game, as they won 62-55 at Milwaukee. Bryce Drew’s Crusaders have a one-game lead on Cleveland State and Green Bay, and two of their final three Horizon League games will be on the road.
  • Stanford fell 64-58 at Colorado, capping a two-game sweep on the tough Utah/Colorado swing. Johnny Dawkins’ team has lost four of its last five games.

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

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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.