Late Night Snacks: No. 2 Kentucky, No. 5 Duke win comfortably

Associated Press
0 Comments

GAME OF THE DAY: Radford 82, Georgetown 80 (2OT)

In the regular season opener for both the Hoyas played a sluggish first half of basketball, doing enough to go into the locker room tied at 33 with the visiting Highlanders. Radford played with confidence throughout, with guard Rashun Davis scoring 28 points with the final three coming on a 25-footer with 1.5 seconds remaining in double overtime. While this is a big win for Radford, Georgetown now has to face the possibility of beginning the season 0-2 with a trip to Maryland set for Tuesday night.

SCORES YOU NEED TO KNOW

No. 2 Kentucky 87, NJIT 57: John Calipari’s Wildcats didn’t get off to the best start against NJIT, with guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray struggling to make shots in the first half. One player who had no such issues was freshman Skal Labissiere, who scored 18 points in the first half (7-for-7 FG) and finished the game with 26 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the field.

Fellow front court starters Derek Willis (11 points) and Marcus Lee (ten points, eight rebounds, three blocks) also played well, and Isaiah Briscoe accounted for 11 points and 12 rebounds in his regular season debut. Damon Lynn, who was saddled with foul trouble in the first half, paced NJIT with 19 points.

Next up for the Wildcats is No. 5 Duke at the Champions Classic.

No. 5 Duke 113, Bryant 75: Grayson Allen picked up where he left off Friday night, scoring 28 points and dishing out six assists as the reigning national champions blew out Bryant. Junior Matt Jones added 19 points, shooting 5-for-6 from three, and freshman Brandon Ingram scored 21 points. Duke shot 53.4 percent from the field and 13-for-26 from beyond the arc, and they also forced 19 Bryant turnovers on the night. Hunter Ware scored 24 points to lead the way for Bryant, but with the turnover count being what it was the Bulldogs saw the gap grow as the game went on.

No. 24 Butler 144, The Citadel 71: Butler scored 92 points in the paint in a game that got out of hand quickly. You can read more about this contest here.

Providence 76, Harvard 64: While he didn’t shoot as well from the field as he would have liked, there’s debating the influence Providence point guard Kris Dunn had on the Friars’ 12-point win over the Crimson. Dunn (11-for-26 FG) filled the box score, finishing with 32 points, six rebounds, five assists, eight steals and two turnovers.

But while Dunn’s night was impressive overall, do not overlook the importance of Rodney Bullock’s 20 points. Providence will need other options to step forward to help Dunn, and Bullock is one possibility. The key: consistency, so if Bullock can build on this outing the Friars will be that much better for it.

STARRED

Rashun Davis, Radford: Davis accounted for 28 points, four rebounds and five assists in the Highlanders’ double overtime win over Georgetown. Radford was picked to finish fourth in the Big South preseason poll, but if Davis and company can duplicate Saturday’s showing that spot may prove to be too low.

Kris Dunn, Providence: Dunn shot just 11-for-26 from the field but that didn’t stop him from making an impact, as he finished with 32 points, six rebounds, five assists and eight steals.

Jordan Price, La Salle: Price was efficient helping to lead the Explorers to a 78-76 win over Towson, scoring 27 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field while also grabbing six rebounds. Johnnie Schuler’s three free throws in the final 40 seconds proved to be the difference for Dr. John Giannini’s team.

Quinton Chievous, Hampton: The Pirates may have lost 102-95 to Winthrop but Chievous did his best to keep that from happening, accounting for 29 points, 23 rebounds and three assists in the defeat. Jimmy Gavin scored 26 and Xavier Cooks added 22 and nine rebounds to lead the way for Winthrop.

STRUGGLED

The Citadel: The process of putting in his full-court press will take Duggar Baucom some time. The Bulldogs fell 144-71 at Butler, giving up 92 points in the paint as Butler shot nearly 64 percent from the field.

Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray: The fact that Ulis and Murray combined to score 13 points on 4-for-21 shooting didn’t matter Saturday night against NJIT. But these games are about getting better in advance of their big games, the first of which set for Tuesday night against No. 5 Duke in Chicago. Those two will need to be better if Kentucky’s to win that showdown.

Harvard’s Tommy McCarthy: With Siyani Chambers out for the year with a torn ACL, McCarthy is an important player for the Crimson. And even though he did dish out seven assists in their loss at Providence he struggled shooting the ball, making just two of his 13 attempts from the field.

Mississippi Valley State’s Isaac Williams and Rashaan Surles: The Delta Devils’ starting backcourt combined to score four points on 1-for-11 shooting in a 97-51 loss at Nebraska.

NOTABLES

  • Colorado State picked up a quality road win Saturday afternoon, as they won 84-78 at Northern Iowa. Gian Clavell, Joe De Ciman and John Gillon scored 16 points apiece to lead the way for the Rams, who shot 65.6 percent from two against a team that limited opponents to 44 percent shooting inside of the arc last season.
  • UMass rallied from a 14-points second half deficit to beat Howard 85-79 in Amherst. At one point in the second half Trey Davis scored ten straight points, finishing with 19 points while Jabarie Hinds added 19 points and eight assists. James Daniel led the Bison with a game-high 30 points.
  • Eli Carter scored 23 points to lead Boston College to a comfortable win over St. Francis-Brooklyn. But the most exciting development for BC fans has to be the play of freshman Jerome Robinson, who finished with 19 points and six rebounds. Keep an eye on him as the season wears on.
  • Jaaron Simmons accounted for 20 points and seven assists ad Ohio beat FGCU 85-75, shooting 7-for-8 from the foul line in the game’s final minute to seal the win. Kenny Kaminski added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats.
  • James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison combined for 45 points and eight steals as Tulsa beat Central Arkansas 98-81. The Golden Hurricane have one of the better perimeter tandems around in these two upperclassmen, and they’re a big reason why this team should contend in the American Athletic Conference.
  • Jamel Waters racked up 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists to lead Alabama State to an 85-82 win over Virginia Tech, thus spoiling a solid debut for USF transfer Zach LeDay. LeDay led the Hokies with 26 points and 15 rebounds.
  • Jack Gibbs scored 35 points while also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out five assists to lead defending Atlantic 10 regular season champion Davidson to a 90-85 win over UCF. Four starters scored in double figures for the Wildcats, and Adonys Henriquez led UCF with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
  • Another freshman who had a good night was guard Shake Milton, who scored 17 points off the bench in SMU’s comfortable win over Sam Houston State.
  • Creighton’s newcomers made their presences felt in the Bluejays’ 93-70 win over Texas Southern. Freshman Khyri Thomas scored a team-high 18 points, with classmate Martin Krampelj adding 11 and eight rebounds and transfers Mo Watson Jr. (ten points, seven assists) and Cole Huff (12 points, six rebounds) reaching double figures as well. Isaiah Zierden, who’s battled injuries throughout his career, finished the game with 15 points.

No. 1 South Carolina tops fifth-ranked UConn 81-77

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

HARTFORD, Conn. – In a rematch of last season’s national championship game, South Carolina came out on top again over UConn thanks to a strong fourth quarter by Aliyah Boston.

Geno Auriemma stepping onto the court to spike a water botte, that helped them, too.

Boston scored 23 of her 26 points in the second half, including 14 in the final period, to help the No. 1 Gamecocks beat the fifth-ranked Huskies 81-77 on Sunday in front of a sellout crowd.

“Aliyah is just relentless, she plays relentlessly although she had a subpar (first half) as far as statistics, she impacted the game,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “She doesn’t get flustered. she knew she didn’t play up to her standards. What does she do? Raise her standard. Bad first half or not she’s going to continue to play.”

While there wasn’t as much on the line as the title game last April, there was a high intensity to it, including Auriemma getting the technical late in the fourth quarter after getting frustrated by the officiating enough to throw the bottle.

“I thought there were a lot of things being overlooked. It was difficult for some of our guys to move out on the floor,” said Auriemma, UConn’s coach. “I didn’t think it was one key play, I just couldn’t keep quiet any longer. It was bad. … Dumb mistake by me. Bad decision.”

The Gamecocks (23-0) have won 29 consecutive games since losing to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament title game last year. They’ve won four of the past five meetings with the Huskies, including a victory in the NCAA championship game last season. That ended UConn’s perfect 11-0 record in title games.

“This was a national championship-like game. I wanted us to feel what it takes to do this,” Staley said.

Now South Carolina finally has a win in Connecticut after winning there before.

South Carolina used its size again to top the Huskies. The 6-foot-7 Kamilla Cardoso and Boston, the reigning AP Player of the Year helped the Gamecocks have a 42-30 advantage on the boards, including grabbing 25 offensive rebounds.

Boston finished with 11 rebounds for the 76th double-double of her career. Cardoso added 17 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.

With her team leading by four in the fourth quarter, Boston took over. She scored the next 12 points for South Carolina, two of those came when Auriemma tossed the water onto the court and was charged with the technical foul.

Boston hit the two free throws. She then hit a jumper, a 3-pointer and another basket to give the Gamecocks a double-digit advantage.

“I’m kind of in attack mode. In the second half I made more shots then I did in the first half,” Boston said.

Despite seeing their starting backcourt foul out, the short-handed Huskies (21-3) wouldn’t go away. They whittled the lead down to 80-77 with 10.8 seconds left on Aubrey Griffin’s three-point play.

Raven Johnson hit the first of two free throws a second later and UConn couldn’t convert to close out the game

“They have a lot to feel good about once they get past what it feels like to lose,” Auriemma said. “I feel better at 3 o’clock today then I did at 12 o’clock. I didn’t know how we’d respond. I knew we’d play hard and compete like hell. I didn’t know who was going to make a big play, who was going to get a big rebound, make a big shot. I know now more than I did at noon and I feel better about my team.”

Aaliyah Edwards led UConn with 25 points.

UConn got off to a solid start, outscoring South Carolina 25-14 in the opening period. Lou Lopez Senechal capped the strong start, hitting a running 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

South Carolina asserted its size in the second quarter with Cardoso scoring 11 points in the period. Her putback with just under 10 seconds left tied the game at 34 heading into the half.

TIP-INS:

UConn is 8-10 against No. 1 teams all time. … The Huskies are still missing guards Azzi Fudd (knee), Caroline Ducharme (concussion) as well as Paige Bueckers (knee) and Ice Brady (knee), who are both out for the season. … Many former UConn players were in the crowd including Sue Bird, Jen Rizzotti, and Napheesa Collier sitting a few rows behind the Huskies bench. … South Carolina has gone 41-6 against ranked teams since the start of the 2019-20 season.

DEPTH:

The Gamecocks reserves outscored UConn’s 37-0. The Huskies only had eight healthy players.

UP NEXT:

South Carolina: visits Auburn on Thursday before a showdown with No. 3 LSU on Feb. 12

UConn: visits Marquette on Wednesday.

No. 16 Duke tops No. 9 Notre Dame 57-52 for 1st place in ACC

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Celeste Taylor scored 14 points and No. 16 Duke came from behind for a 57-52 victory at No. 9 Notre Dame on Sunday to move into first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Trailing for most of the game’s first 28 minutes, the Blue Devils (20-3, 10-2 ACC) took the lead for good in the final minutes of the third quarter to knock off the Fighting Irish (18-4, 9-3) before a sellout crowd of 9,149 at Purcell Pavilion.

A jumper by Jordyn Oliver put Duke ahead 45-44 with 1:20 left in the third quarter and the visitors never trailed after that.

“I’m proud of my players for finishing the game,” Duke coach Kara Lawson said.

Duke led 48-46 going into the fourth quarter after trailing Notre Dame by as many as five points in the third quarter. A steal by Elizabeth Balogun in the final 15 seconds helped seal the win.

A 13-4 run helped Notre Dame take its biggest lead of the first half for either team at 31-23. The Irish led 31-25 at halftime.

“We fell short, but you know it’s a part of our growth,” Irish coach Niele Ivey said. “It’s part of our journey.”

Taylor scored 10 points for Duke in the second half. Balogun and Shayeann Day-Wilson finished with 9 points apiece and Taya Corosdale and Oliver had 8 each.

Maddy Westbeld, playing all 40 minutes, led Notre Dame with 15 points, Sonia Citron scored 14 and Olivia Miles added 11.

“She’s one of the best players in the country,” Lawson said of Miles, who logged just over 31 minutes. “We didn’t have to go against her for a quarter of the game.”

COLD SHOOTING

Neither team shot well in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame made just 2 of 13 shots from the floor and Duke was 3 of 13.

“We just talked about staying disciplined defensively and making it hard,” Lawson said. “I though we challenged shots.”

Ivey also addressed that stretch of the game.

“Some of those opportunities were in transition and we didn’t get a chance to capitalize,” she said. “We did a good job of finding the open person, we just didn’t nail the shots.”

SUPERB SUBS

Led by Corosdale and Oliver, Duke enjoyed a 21-4 edge in reserve scoring.

“I’m really proud of my players off the bench,” Lawson said. “Jordyn Oliver was really good.

“We needed to have that depth in scoring. Not only did they score but they were efficient from the field.”

The Blue Devils’ bench shot 9 of 15.

SHORT-HANDED IRISH

Notre Dame graduate student Dara Mabrey was lost for the season in the Jan. 22 game against Virginia.

Lauren Ebo, a 6-foot-4 graduate student, has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury.

“Ebo does a great job of being a precence on the block with her size and ability to rebound and play post defense,” Ivey said. “She’s been working really hard (at rehabilitation).

“It’s kind of day to day.”

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: The Irish fell out of a first-place tie with Duke in the ACC standings.

Duke: The Blue Devils are now alone atop the conference standings.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: The Irish meet Pitt in two of the next four contests – on Thursday in South Bend and on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Pittsburgh.

Duke: The only regular-season meeting between the Blue Devils and Boston College is Thursday at Boston.

Colorado State sorry for ‘Russia’ chant at Ukrainian player

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado State has apologized for a group of fans who chanted “Russia” at a player on an opposing team who is from Ukraine during Saturday’s game.

Utah State’s Max Shulga is from Kyiv and was shooting free throws when TV cameras picked up the chant from the student section during the game in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Russia invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago.

“On behalf of Colorado State, we apologize to the student-athlete and Utah State. This is a violation of our steadfast belief in the Mountain West Sportsmanship Policy and University Principles of Community,” Colorado State said in a statement.

“Every participant, student, and fan should feel welcomed in our venues, and for something like this to have occurred is unacceptable at Colorado State.”

Utah State beat CSU 88-79.

Duke edges North Carolina 63-57 behind Roach, Lively

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

DURHAM, N.C. — Jeremy Roach scored 20 points, Dereck Lively II had career highs of eight blocks and 14 rebounds and Duke defeated North Carolina 63-57.

Kyle Filipowski added 14 points and Tyrese Proctor 11 for the Blue Devils (17-6, 8-4 ACC), who won their third straight and beat the Tar Heels (15-8, 7-5) for the first time in three meetings, including in last year’s Final Four in the NCAA Tournament.

North Carolina’s Armando Bacot had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his 63rd career double-double, extending his own program record, Leaky Black had 13 points and 10 rebounds, Caleb Love added 12 points and RJ Davis 11.

Roach scored eight of Duke’s final 10 points, including the last four after Lively’s tiebreaking dunk with 1:35 to go. North Carolina missed its last five shots, including a trio of 3-point tries in the final minute.

The Blue Devils’ six-point winning margin matched their largest lead.

Neither team reached 40% shooting but Duke outscored North Carolina 20-2 off fast breaks and was 11 of 15 at the free-throw line to only 2 of 3 for the Tar Heels.

The stat sheet was fairly even at halftime when Duke led 33-32 except for one telling stat, a 16-0 advantage for the Blue Devils on fast-break points as they scored repeatedly off transition.

A 14-5 run erased a seven-point North Carolina lead — the Tar Heels’ largest — and put Duke in front 26-24 with just under four minutes left in the half. A Proctor 3-pointer broke the fourth tie before Bacot cut it to the one-point margin at the break. Bacot had 12 points in the first half. Roach had 10.

The game matched two men who played in this rivalry and are now leading the programs they played for: first-year Duke coach Jon Scheyer and Hubert Davis, in his second year for North Carolina.

The teams will meet again in their regular-season finale at Chapel Hill on March 4. Duke plays at No. 23 Miami on Monday. North Carolina is at Wake Forest on Tuesday.

No. 13 Iowa State rolls past eighth-ranked Kansas 68-53

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

AMES, Iowa – Jaren Holmes scored all 15 of his points in the second half as No. 13 Iowa State rolled past No. 8 Kansas 68-53 on Saturday.

Osun Osunniyi added 13 for the Cyclones (16-6, 7-3 Big 12), who stayed within at least a game of front-running Texas in the conference standings. Tamin Lipsey added eight rebounds and 10 assists.

“Today, we came out and played desperate,” Holmes said.

Jalen Wilson led the Jayhawks (18-5, 6-4) with 26 points for his sixth straight game with at least 20. No other Kansas player had more than 8 points.

“It’s not a formula for success for us,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “We need balance from our starting five. If one guy feels like he’s got to go do it all on his own, it crashes the offense.”

The Cyclones led for all but 1:14 of the game, building a 34-16 scoring edge in the paint. Kansas struggled early, making just two of their first 10 shots and committing 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

Iowa State shot 46% for the game.

“From the beginning, we gave them some easy buckets,” Wilson said. “That’s something we’ve struggled with (defensively) … the easiest way to get comfortable is easy buckets, layups, stuff like that.”

Iowa State was up 33-21 at the break.

Holmes missed all four shots in the first half, but after getting sick at halftime, he helped the Cyclones stretched the lead to 42-31 early in the second half with a 3-pointer and layup.

“I felt a little nauseous the whole day,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with some sickness over the past week and a half.”

BIG PICTURE

Kansas: The Jayhawks dropped to 3-4 during a stretch in which six of its seven opponents were ranked. The lone unranked foe was Kentucky. … Kansas committed a season-high 20 turnovers Saturday. … The loss to Iowa State was Self’s first in five meetings with second-year Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger.

Iowa State: Improved to 12-0 at home this season and 5-0 in the Big 12. It was also the Cyclones’ fifth win over a top-10 opponent in the past two seasons.

UP NEXT

Kansas: Hosts No. 10 Texas on Monday.

Iowa State: Travels to West Virginia on Wednesday.