GAME OF THE DAY: Lafayette 87, Saint Peter’s 86 (OT)
Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Leopards and Peacocks was a wild one, as Fran O’Hanlon’s team led by as much as 17 before Saint Peter’s mounted a rally to trim their halftime deficit to five points. Saint Peter’s was able to take a two-point lead in the final minute of regulation, but two Matt Klinewski free throws sent the game into overtime. SPC scored 11 of the first 13 points of overtime and looked to be well-position to grab the win away from home, but three Lafayette steals and ten points from Nick Lindner over the final 1:30 of overtime gave the defending Patriot League tournament champions the one-point victory.
Lindner finished the game with 22 points and six assists, with Trevis Wyche accounting for 18 points and five assists to pace the Peacocks.
SCORES YOU NEED TO KNOW
No. 1 North Carolina 92, Fairfield 65: The top-ranked Tar Heels moved to 2-0 on the season with a comfortable win over visiting Fairfield. Nate Britt led the way offensively with 17 points and five assists, with four other Tar Heels finishing in double figures. Britt, whose shooting woes led to him switching shooting hands (from left to right) before his sophomore season, made four of his six attempts from beyond the arc. Sophomore wing Theo Pinson led the Tar Heels, who assisted on 22 of their 33 made field goals, with eight helpers on the afternoon.
As a team North Carolina shot just 8-for-23 from three but they found quality looks inside of the arc, shooting 58.1 percent from two and scoring 40 points in the paint. UNC also outscored the Stags 22-0 in the points off turnovers category, and they shot nearly 55 percent from the field in the second half to pull away from a team they led by just eight (40-32) at the intermission.
No. 23 Purdue 107, Vermont 79: Purdue shot so well from three that “The Paint Crew” ran out of placards to signal each made three-pointer. Matt Painter’s Boilermakers shot 18-for-36 from three against the Catamounts, who focused their defensive efforts on keeping Purdue out of the paint. Purdue outscored Vermont 54-15 from three, which more than made up for the Catamounts’ 36-34 edge in points in the paint. Dakota Mathias led the way for Purdue with 17 points in 20 minutes off the bench, one of six players to reach double figures for the home team.
Isaac Haas added 16 points and forwards Vince Edwards and Caleb Swanigan tallied 14 apiece, with the latter also grabbing 13 rebounds for his second double-double in as many games. The front court more than made up for the absence of A.J. Hammons, who was sidelined for a third consecutive game (one exhibition and two regular season games) for an unspecified reason. Ernie Duncan scored a game-high 18 points to lead Vermont, who was allowed to have 2015 signee Josh Speidel on their bench for the game. Speidel, who suffered a serious head injury in a car accident last February, was honored prior to Sunday’s game.
No. 17 Wisconsin 92, Siena 65: Bo Ryan’s Badgers rebounded from their season-opening loss to Western Illinois in a big way, taking care of the Saints by 27 in Madison. Bronson Koenig led the way with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists, and as a team Wisconsin shot 58.5 percent from the field. Wisconsin was also better defensively than they were in the opener, as Siena shot just 39.3 percent from the field and 3-for-16 from three. Guards Nico Clareth (21 points) and Marquis Wright (17) led the way offensively for the Saints, who opened their season with road games against last year’s national finalists.
Valparaiso 83, Iona 58: Two teams expected to be among the best mid-major programs in the country met in Valparaiso, and the game wasn’t close at all. Bryce Drew’s team controlled the action from start to finish, with their defense doing a good job of limiting Iona’s quality looks. Tevonn Walker scored 17 points and Shane Hammink 16 to lead the way for the Crusaders, who finished with five players in double figures. Iona, which shot just 29 percent from the field in their season opener, received 12 points apiece from A.J. English and Deyshonee Much. Much, who began his career at Buffalo, was granted a waiver that made him eligible to compete immediately just hours before Sunday’s game.
Elijah Brown, New Mexico: Brown scored 31 points, shooting 13-for-14 from the foul line, while also grabbing six rebounds to lead the Lobos to an 83-74 win at rival New Mexico State.
Cat Barber, NC State: Barber led the Wolfpack to an 88-70 win over South Alabama, tallying 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Mike Brown, Western Carolina: Brown accounted for 29 points, four rebounds and seven assists in the Catamounts’ 90-81 win over UNC Asheville.
Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State: Tate finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and three assists in Ohio State’s 76-54 win over Mount St. Mary’s.
Robert Morris: The Colonials couldn’t get anything going at Cincinnati, shooting 27.7 percent from the field and committing 24 turnovers in a 106-44 loss.
Emile Blackman, Niagara: Blackman made just one of his 12 shots from the field, scoring five points in the Purple Eagles’ 73-62 loss at Saint Joseph’s.
Ryan Bowie, UTSA: Bowie shot 2-for-13 from the field, scoring six points in the Roadrunners’ 78-45 loss at Clemson.
Iona: One of the nation’s top scoring teams last season, the Gaels shot just 29 percent from the field in an 83-58 season opening loss at Valparaiso.
- Farad Cobb scored 15 points to lead eight players in double figures as Cincinnati whipped Robert Morris, 106-44. Mick Cronin’s Bearcats are a team to keep an eye on as the season progresses; they have enough talent to make some serious noise.
- Thomas Welsh scored 22 points and Tony Parker added 16 and 13 rebounds to help UCLA hold off Cal Poly by the final score of 88-83. UCLA managed to rebound from their overtime loss to Monmouth on Friday.
- Florida State opened its season in impressive fashion, shooting 65.5 percent from the field in a 109-62 win over Nicholls State. Freshmen Dwayne Bacon (23 points) and Malik Beasley (21) led the way offensively for the Seminoles.
- Thad Matta picked up his 300th win as head coach at Ohio State, as the Buckeyes beat Mount St. Mary’s 76-54 in Columbus.
- Wake Forest, which went 2-10 in road games last season, mounted a second half comeback to win 90-82 at Bucknell. The Demon Deacons outscored the Bison 53-34 in the second half.
- Illinois rebounded from its season-opening loss, scoring 52 points in the second half to come back and beat North Dakota State 80-74. Mike Thorne Jr. scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Alex Austin helped change the momentum on the defensive end in the second half.
- Aaron Brown and Isaiah Miles scored 14 apiece to help lead Saint Joseph’s to a 73-62 win over Niagara. If players such as Brown, Miles and Pierfrancesco Oliva can step forward to consistently help DeAndre Bembry offensively, the Hawks can make significant strides within the Atlantic 10.
- Dorian Pickens tallied 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists and Rosco Allen added 19 points and six boards as Stanford rolled past Charleston Southern. Due to injuries the Cardinal are using Christian Sanders at the point, and as a team they racked up 20 assists Sunday night.