Wednesday’s Snacks: No. 1 Kentucky moves to 28-0, Northwestern knocks off Indiana

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Richmond 67, No. 22 VCU 63 (2OT)

Richmond now has a two-game win streak in this series for the first time since 2001, and as a result of the Spiders’ win there’s now a four-way tie atop the Atlantic 10. Terry Allen’s block of a Treveon Graham shot in the final seconds of double overtime sealed the game for Richmond, which forced a second overtime on a T.J. Cline layup with 2.8 seconds remaining in the first extra session. ShawnDre’ Jones scored 22 points off the bench for Richmond, while Graham led all scorers with 25 points while also grabbing ten rebounds.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

1. No. 1 Kentucky 74, Mississippi State 56

John Calipari’s Wildcats didn’t play their best basketball in the first half, and that carried over into the early stages of the second. Then Kentucky went on a 24-4 run and removed any doubt. Trey Lyles scored 18 points and Aaron Harrison added 16 for the Wildcats, who host No. 18 Arkansas on Saturday. Kentucky wraps up at least a share of their record 46th SEC regular season title.

2. Northwestern 72, Indiana 65

Chris Collins’ young Wildcats continued to build on their recent momentum, winning their fourth straight conference game for the first time since 1967. Tre Demps scored a game-high 23 points and freshman Victor Law IV added 14 and eight rebounds. As for Indiana, they went more than ten minutes without a point in the second half and that stretch proved costly. Troy Williams scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers.

3. No. 19 Baylor 79, No. 12 Iowa State 70

Thanks to an 18-4 second half run the Bears turned an eight-point deficit into a six-point lead, and from there they were able to do enough to wrap up their first-ever win at Iowa State. Taurean Prince scored 20 points off the bench to lead five players in double figures for Baylor, which shot 14-for-26 from three. By comparison, Iowa State shot 6-for-24 from beyond the arc.

Wednesday’s Bubble Banter

STARRED

1. Saint Joseph’s DeAndre Bembry

Even with his team’s struggles, Bembry has been one of the best players in the Atlantic 10. Bembry led the Hawks to an 82-71 win at UMass with 33 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.

2. North Florida’s Beau Beech

Beech scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Ospreys’ 76-62 win at FGCU. Matthew Driscoll’s team is one win away from clinching home court throughout the A-Sun tournament.

3. Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes

The Seminoles’ comeback at Miami fell short, but Rathan-Mayes (35 points, five assists, four rebounds) did his best to make it happen. The redshirt freshman scored 30 points over the final 4:39 of the 81-77 loss.

STRUGGLED

1.  Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr.

Blackmon Jr. shot 1-for-10 from the field, scoring six points, in the Hoosiers’ loss at Northwestern.

2. La Salle’s Cleon Roberts and Steve Zack

Robert and Zack combined to shoot 0-for-14 from the field and score two points (two Roberts free throws) in the Explorers’ 63-48 loss at Fordham.

3. Iowa State’s Naz Long and Bryce Dejean-Jones

The two guards combined to score nine points on 3-for-12 shooting in the Cyclones’ 79-70 loss to Baylor.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 2 Virginia whipped Wake Forest 70-34, and they were playing without both Justin Anderson and London Perrantes. The Cavaliers limited the Demon Deacons to 21.8% shooting from the field.
  • No. 11 Wichita State took care of business on the road, beating Indiana State 63-53. The Shockers led by four at the half, with Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet both going scoreless during the stanza.
  • No. 23 Butler moved to 10-5 in Big East play with a 21-point win over Marquette. Chris Holtmann’s Bulldogs are now tied for second with Georgetown, and the two teams meet March 3 in Indianapolis.
  • No. 4 Duke needed overtime to leave Blacksburg with a 91-86 win over Virginia Tech. Jahlil Okafor made his return, tallying 30 points and nine rebounds, and Quinn Cook added 26 for the Blue Devils. However Duke needs to get better defensively, as Virginia Tech shot 53.4% from the field.
  • No. 10 Northern Iowa avenged its lone conference loss, beating Evansville 68-57. The Panthers visit Wichita State on Saturday, with the winner earning the outright Missouri Valley Conference title.

NOTABLES

  • North Florida won 76-62 at FGCU, moving into a first-place tie atop the Atlantic Sun with the Eagles as a result. Beau Beech went for 22 points and 13 rebounds for UNF, which will earn the top seed in the conference tournament with a win over Stetson (or FGCU loss to Jacksonville) on Saturday.
  • Valparaiso failed to wrap up the Horizon League regular season title, losing 63-60 at Detroit. The Crusaders can still clinch the outright title with a win over Cleveland State on Friday.
  • Vermont clinched the two-seed in the America East tournament as they beat New Hampshire 64-49. All tournament games will be played on the home floor of the higher seed this year (Albany is the top seed).
  • In a matchup of Atlantic 10 teams looking to play their way into the NCAA tournament discussion, Davidson won 60-59 at Rhode Island on a Jack Gibbs three with 13 seconds remaining. Both teams are now 11-4 in league play.
  • In a matchup of two of the four teams tied for first in the CAA, UNCW took care of James Madison 74-54. The Dukes (11-6 CAA) have lost all six of their games against UNCW (12-5), William & Mary (12-5) and Northeastern (11-5).
  • Bucknell will have to wait a couple days to wrap up the Patriot League, as they lost 84-65 at Lehigh. The defeat gives Colgate some hope, as the Raiders pulled to within a game of first with a win at Lafayette.
  • Larry Nance Jr. made his return to the court for Wyoming, playing 37 minutes in the Cowboys’ 64-59 home loss to Fresno State. Fresno State’s Marvelle Harris led all scorers with 23 points.
  • Aaron White scored 29 points and corralled nine rebounds to lead Iowa to a 68-60 win over Illinois in Iowa City.
  • Georgia picked up a solid road victory, winning 76-72 at Ole Miss. Kenny Gaines scored 22 points and Marcus Thornton added 18 and 13 boards for the Bulldogs, who need to get hot down the stretch if they’re to get into the NCAA tournament conversation.
  • Oregon and UCLA both avoided losses that would not have looked good on their respective resumes, with the Ducks winning 80-69 at Cal and UCLA blowing out Washington in Los Angeles.