Thursday’s Snacks: Purdue adds another quality win to its resume, and No. 21 SMU comes back to beat Temple

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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.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

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.

STARRED

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.

STRUGGLED

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.

NOTABLES

  • 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.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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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.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.