GAME OF THE NIGHT: Louisiana Tech 83, Charlotte 82 (OT)
Michael White’s Bulldogs moved to 12-2 in Conference USA with a one-point win at Halton Arena, and Alex Hamilton was the star. Hamilton scored 29 points, making 11 of his 22 field goal attempts, to lead the way offensively for Louisiana Tech. Also scoring in double figures were guard Raheem Appleby (seven rebounds, four assists) and forward Michale Kyser (12 rebounds, three steals), who scored 12 points apiece. Braxton Ogbueze led five 49ers in double figures with 16 points. With the win, Louisiana Tech retains sole possession of first place in Conference USA.
1. Purdue 67, Indiana 63
Matt Painter’s Boilermakers entered Thursday’s game in Bloomington having already beaten the Hoosiers once this season, and they were able to complete the season sweep thanks in large part to their big men. A.J. Hammons scored 20 points and blocked four shots, and fellow 7-footer Isaac Haas added 12 points and nine rebounds to lead Purdue to a road win that will enhance its NCAA tournament resume. Jon Octeus added 12 points and Rapheal Davis 11 for Purdue, which is now 10-4 in Big Ten Play. Yogi Ferrell, who missed a three-pointer that would have given Indiana the lead with five seconds remaining, led the Hoosiers with 21 points.
2. No. 21 SMU 67, Temple 58
Fran Dunphy’s Owls led by as many as ten points in the second half, but Nic Moore and company went on a 17-4 run to erase that deficit and eventually pull away for the win. Moore scored 18 points and dished out four assists for the Mustangs, who are now 13-2 in conference play, and Cannen Cunningham added ten points off the bench. Will Cummings finished with 14 points, seven assists and seven steals for the Owls, who shot 6-for-21 from beyond the arc and were outscored 20-8 from the foul line.
3. Ole Miss 71, Mississippi State 65
Rivalry games can be tough, even if one of the teams involved isn’t a threat to go to the NCAA tournament. Mississippi State gave Ole Miss everything they wanted in Starkville, but thanks to Stefan Moody the Rebels were able to pick up the road victory. Moody scored 29 points and grabbed six rebounds for Ole Miss, making eight three-pointers, and during the second half he put together a stretch of three consecutive threes that gave the Rebels a much-needed boost. Now 18-8 overall and 9-4 in SEC play, Ole Miss avoided a loss that would not have helped their resume as they look to earn an NCAA tournament bid.
1. Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer
Wiltjer scored a career-high 45 points, shooting 15-for-22 from the field (7-for-10 3PT), while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out for assists in an 86-74 win at Pacific.
2. Jacksonville’s Kori Babineaux
Babineaux led the Dolphins to an 83-75 overtime win over Northern Kentucky, tallying 27 points, ten assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Northern Kentucky’s Tayler Persons accounted for 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
3. Maryland’s Melo Trimble
Trimble tallied 26 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Terps’ win over Nebraska.
4. Ole Miss’ Stefan Moody
Moody scored 29 points, shooting 8-for-12 from three, while also tallying six rebounds and four steals in a 71-65 win at Mississippi State.
1. Tulane’s Louis Dabney
Shot 1-for-12 from the field, scoring three points, in the Green Wave’s 69-55 home loss to UCF.
2. Oregon State’s Olaf Schaftenaar
To be fair no one shot particularly well in this game, a 47-37 Utah win. Schaftenaar scored three points on 1-for-9 shooting from the field.
3. USC’s Katin Reinhardt
With Jordan McLaughlin sidelined Reinhardt struggled in the Trojans’ loss at No. 7 Arizona, scoring two points on 1-for-7 shooting.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- Melo Trimble accounted for 26 points, six rebounds and five assists as No. 16 Maryland held off Nebraska 69-65 in College Park. The Terrapins are in a tie for second place in the Big Ten with Purdue.
- No. 7 Arizona rolled to an 87-57 win over USC, and the Wildcats finished the game with six players scoring in double figures. Among those six was backup point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who scored 11 in his first game since suffering a concussion in a home win over Oregon January 30.
- No. 3 Gonzaga wrapped up at least a share of the WCC regular season title with an 86-74 win at Pacific. Kyle Wiltjer scored 45 points for the Bulldogs, who shot 60 percent from the field.
- There were no such offensive fireworks in Corvallis, as No. 9 Utah beat Oregon State 47-37. Dakarai Tucker led the Utes, who handed the Beavers their first home loss of the season, with 11 points.
- Dayton moved into a first-place tie with VCU and Rhode Island atop the Atlantic 10 standings with a 68-64 win over Saint Joseph’s. Kendall Pollard finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, and Dyshawn Pierre posted another double-double (15 points, ten rebounds and six assists).
- A Jamail Jones layup with 29.8 seconds remaining proved to the be the difference as FGCU moved to 10-1 in the Atlantic Sun with a 54-53 win over Kennesaw State. The Eagles maintained their one-game lead on North Florida.
- Wofford erased a ten-point halftime deficit, scoring 52 points in the second half of their 77-62 win over UNCG. Mike Young’s Terriers remain a game ahead of Chattanooga, which beat Mercer Thursday night, atop the SoCon standings.
- Coastal Carolina won for the fifth time in its last six games, beating Campbell 81-57. The Chanticleers (11-5) are a game behind High Point and Charleston Southern (both 11-4) in the loss column in the Big South.
- St. Francis-Brooklyn moved to 13-2 in NEC play with a 70-54 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. As a result of the win, Glenn Braica’s Terriers have clinched at least a share of the the regular season title.
- Delaware, which began the season on a 12-game losing streak, has won three of its last four games with all three wins coming against teams at the top of the CAA standings. Monte Ross’ Fightin’ Blue Hens knocked off UNCW Thursday night.
- Georgia State won for the seventh time in its last eight games, beating South Alabama 79-51 in Atlanta. Tied with Georgia Southern for second place in the Sun Belt, Ron Hunter’s Panthers (11-4) remain a game behind ULM (12-3).
- Rider moved to 13-4 in the MAAC with a 94-83 win over Quinnipiac, wrapping up a first round bye in next month’s conference tournament. Monmouth also secured a bye, as they beat Saint Peter’s 63-58 in Jersey City.
- New Mexico State moved to 10-1 in WAC play with a 51-38 win at Utah Valley, limiting the Wolverines to 28.6% shooting from the field and 1-for-16 from three.
- Both Saint Mary’s and BYU picked up home wins, with the Gaels beating Portland and BYU taking care of San Diego. With both looking to get into the NCAA tournament, they need every win they can pick up.
- Alan Williams returned to the lineup for UCSB, but it wasn’t enough to help the Gauchos avoid a two-point loss at UC Riverside. That may not impact the regular season title race, but the return of Williams is a big deal when it comes to the Big West tournament.
- UC Davis is now 10-1 in Big West play after winning 65-58 at Long Beach State. Jim Les’ Aggies have now won six straight games.
- Venky Jois scored 22 points to lead Eastern Washington to a win at Southern Utah despite Tyler Harvey shooting 3-for-16 from the field. The Eagles have now won 20 games for the second time in school history.