Wednesday’s Snacks: No. 4 Duke comes back, and No. 12 Louisville continues to struggle

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 4 Duke 92, No. 15 North Carolina 90 (OT)

This great rivalry never seems to disappoint. North Carolina led by as much as ten in the second half but they couldn’t close the game out, as Tyus Jones made some big plays down the stretch to force overtime. Jones scored 14 points in the second half and overtime, finishing with 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the way for Duke. Quinn Cook added 22 points, and he also did a good job of defending Marcus Paige for most of the night. North Carolina did a lot of its damage in the paint, scoring 62 points there, with Brice Johnson going for 18 points and 12 rebounds and Kennedy Meeks adding 18 and seven rebounds. The rematch is scheduled for March 7 in Chapel Hill.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

1. Syracuse 69, No. 12 Louisville 59 

Without the suspended Chris Jones the Cardinals hung around but could not get the win at the Carrier Dome. Rakeem Christmas led the Orange with 29 points, making nine of his ten field goal attempts, and he also grabbed eight rebounds. Add in 18 points from Mike Gbinije and 13 from Tyler Roberson, and Syracuse was able to win despite Trevor Cooney shooting 1-for-10 from the field. Terry Rozier led Louisville with 17 points and Montrezl Harrell added 15, but Wayne Blackshear accounted for just one assist and two turnovers before fouling out.

2. Xavier 59, Cincinnati 57

Two Trevon Bluiett free throws with 11.5 seconds remaining to give the Musketeers the lead for good in a game that loomed large for both teams from an NCAA tournament standpoint. Having lost at home to St. John’s on Saturday, this was a nice bounce back win for Chris Mack’s team, which was led offensively by Dee Davis (16 points). Freshman forward Gary Clark led the Bearcats with 14 points and seven rebounds.

RELATED: Wednesday’s Bubble Banter

3. No. 14 Iowa State 70, No. 22 Oklahoma State 65 

Jameel McKay scored 13 of his 17 points from the foul line and also grabbed 14 rebounds as the Cyclones won in Stillwater. McKay was responsible for nine of Iowa State’s 18 offensive rebounds, and as a team Fred Hoiberg’s squad converted those extra opportunities into 21 second-chance points. The rebounding and post play were the biggest issues for Oklahoma State, which was outscored 34-14 in the paint. Phil Forte III and Le’Bryan Nash led four Cowboys in double figures with 13 points apiece.

STARRED

1. Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse

Christmas shot 9-for-10 from the field and 11-for-13 from the foul line, scoring 29 points to go along with eight rebounds and four blocks in the Orange’s 69-59 win over No. 12 Louisville.

2. Lance Crawford, UMass-Lowell

Crawford scored 35 points, dished out four assists and grabbed three rebounds in the River Hawks’ 82-71 win over Maine.

3. Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones, Duke

Cook and Jones scored 22 points apiece as No. 4 Duke came back to beat No. 15 North Carolina 92-90 in overtime.

STRUGGLED

1. Wayne Blackshear, Louisville

Blackshear didn’t have much of an impact in the Cardinals’ loss at Syracuse, as he went scoreless and finished with two turnovers and an assist before fouling out.

2. Matthew Fisher-Davis and Luke Kornet, Vanderbilt

Fisher-Davis and Kornet combined to shoot 2-for-15, scoring six points, in the Commodores’ 50-47 loss at Florida.

3. Marcus Paige, North Carolina

Paige scored five points on 2-for-11 shooting in the Tar Heels’ two-point loss at Duke.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Sam Dekker scored 22 points to lead No. 5 Wisconsin to a 55-47 win at Penn State. The Badgers have now won nine straight games.
  • No. 11 Northern Illinois has now won 14 straight, as they beat Loyola-Chicago 58-39 in Chicago. Seth Tuttle and Nate Buss scored ten points apiece for the Panthers, who are now 14-1 in Missouri Valley play.
  • Michael Qualls scored 21 points and Bobby Portis added 16 points and nine rebounds as No. 18 Arkansas beat Missouri 84-69.

NOTABLES

  • Tulsa snapped its two-game losing streak with a 69-58 win over East Carolina. Frank Haith’s team is now 11-2 in American Athletic Conference play.
  • In a matchup of teams that are in the bubble conversation, Davidson won 65-63 at George Washington. Jordan Barham led a balanced effort for the Wildcats with 15 points.
  • Also in the Atlantic 10, Rhode Island took care of UMass 75-59 in Kingston. As a result of the win URI moves back into a tie for first place with VCU at 10-3.
  • Lorenzo Cugini scored 19 points to help lead High Point to an 83-62 win over Gardner-Webb. Scott Cherry’s Panthers are tied atop the Big South standings with Charleston Southern, which beat Presbyterian.
  • With Northeastern beating William & Mary, UNCW is now in sole possession of first place in the CAA. The Seahawks are 10-4, with the Huskies, Tribe and James Madison (which beat Drexel) all a game back in the loss column at 10-5.
  • Greg Mays (34 points) and Keifer Sykes (23, eight assists and seven rebounds) led Green Bay to a 96-78 win over Detroit. The Phoenix are now tied for second in the Horizon League with Cleveland State (a game behind Valparaiso), and the two teams meet Friday night.
  • UCLA may have been looking ahead to Saturday’s game against No. 7 Arizona. They can’t afford to do such things and Arizona State made the Bruins pay for it, beating them 68-66 on the night that James Harden’s jersey was retired. Oregon did not have that problem, as they took care of Colorado in Eugene.
  • Providence took care of business, rolling to an 84-57 win at DePaul. LaDontae Henton scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Kris Dunn added 21, four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
  • Northwestern followed up its win over Iowa on Sunday with a 72-66 win at Minnesota.