Late Night Snacks: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 23 Purdue roll

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

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.


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.


Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events


WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

kansas mccullar
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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”

Clemson leading scorer Hall withdraws from NBA draft, returns to Tigers

clemson pj hall
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson leading scorer PJ Hall is returning to college after withdrawing from the NBA draft on Thursday.

The 6-foot-10 forward took part in the NBA combine and posted his decision to put off the pros on social media.

Hall led the Tigers with 15.3 points per game this past season. He also led the Tigers with 37 blocks, along with 5.7 rebounds. Hall helped Clemson finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference while posting a program-record 14 league wins.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell said Hall gained experience from going through the NBA’s combine that will help the team next season. “I’m counting on him and others to help lead a very talented group,” he said.

Hall was named to the all-ACC third team last season as the Tigers went 23-10.

George Washington adopts new name ‘Revolutionaries’ to replace ‘Colonials’

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WASHINGTON — George Washington University’s sports teams will now be known as the Revolutionaries, the school announced.

Revolutionaries replaces Colonials, which had been GW’s name since 1926. Officials made the decision last year to drop the old name after determining it no longer unified the community.

GW said 8,000 different names were suggested and 47,000 points of feedback made during the 12-month process. Revolutionaries won out over the other final choices of Ambassadors, Blue Fog and Sentinels.

“I am very grateful for the active engagement of our community throughout the development of the new moniker,” president Mark S. Wrighton said. “This process was truly driven by our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the result is a moniker that broadly reflects our community – and our distinguished and distinguishable GW spirit.”

George the mascot will stay and a new logo developed soon for the Revolutionaries name that takes effect for the 2023-24 school year. The university is part of the Atlantic 10 Conference.