No. 23 UConn falls to Temple 55-53 on Brown’s jumper

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Temple guard Josh Brown knew he was going to take the final shot against UConn, even though that wasn’t the plan.

The 6-foot-3 junior hit a spinning jumper in the lane with 2.5 seconds left and the Owls upset the 23rd-ranked Huskies 55-53 on Tuesday night.

The Owls (7-6, 2-1 American Athletic Conference) led by as many as eight points in the second half, but were tied after two free throws from UConn’s Daniel Hamilton.

Coach Fran Dunphy called a timeout with 14 seconds left to set up a final shot that was supposed to go to leading scorer Quenton DeCosey. But Brown said he was sure UConn would deny DeCosey the ball and had a plan of his own.

“Once I seen that, I saw a couple of seconds on the clock, I put my head down and tried to make a play, which I did,” he said.

A desperation 3-pointer by Sterling Gibbs at the buzzer was well off the mark.

DeCosey scored 15 points to lead the Owls and made all three of his attempts from 3-point range. Devin Coleman added 14 points, while Brown and Jaylen Bond each had 11.

Shonn Miller scored 18 points to lead the Huskies (10-4, 1-1), who had won five straight. Rodney Purvis added 11 points.

The win was the 200th at Temple for Dunphy and the Owls’ second in three games against a ranked team. They beat then-No. 22 Cincinnati 77-70 on Dec. 29 before losing Saturday by 27 points at home to Houston.

Dunphy is one of five just five Division I coaches to get 200 or more wins at two different schools and take both schools to at least six NCAA Tournaments. He was 310-163 during his 17 years at Penn.

“I’ve just been coaching a long time,” Dunphy said. “It’s been 10 years at Temple. It’s been a fantastic 10 years.”

Temple led by three points at halftime and extended that to 40-32 on a jumper by Bond.

Hamilton, who missed his first nine shots and was 2 of 13 from the field, made a jumper to cut the Temple lead to 46-45. Two free throws by Miller gave UConn its first lead of the half at 47-46 with 8 minutes left.

But DeCosey put Temple back in front with his third 3-pointer, and the teams struggled to score the rest of the way.

UConn shot just 31.6 percent from the field, almost 19 percentage points under the team’s season average. Temple shot 39 percent, but outrebounded the Huskies 40-34 and held the Huskies’ transition game in check.

“Our guards combined were 7 for 30, no fast break points,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. “If you do that, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

The Owls were 7 of 18 from 3-point range after going just 3 for 23 from beyond the arc against Houston.

Purvis scored the Huskies’ first eight points and UConn used an 11-0 run to open an early 11-3 lead.

But that was the largest lead the Huskies would have in the half. Temple’s defense forced seven first-half turnovers and held UConn to 10 baskets on 31 shots (32 percent). The Huskies came into the game shooting better than 50 percent.

UConn made just four of 20 shots from 3-point range.

“We just tried to protect the 3-point line as much as we could and play great team defense, and we were able to do that tonight,” Bond said.

The Owls were 10 of 31 from the field, but took a 15-13 lead on a 3-pointer by DeCosey and led 30-27 at halftime.

Dunphy ranks fourth on Temple’s all-time wins list, and can pass James Usilton, Sr. with five more wins. John Chaney leads the list with 516 wins.

Temple won both meetings between the teams last season.

UConn was playing its fifth straight game without center Amida Brimah, who broke the middle finger on his right hand on Dec. 21 and isn’t expected back until mid-February.

TIP-INS

Temple: Temple is 2-3 this season against ranked opponents. The Owls played three ranked teams in their first four games, losing to all of them. … Temple was averaging just under nine turnovers a game coming into the contest, the second-best mark in the nation. UConn forced 12 Owl turnovers on Tuesday.

UConn: The Huskies have not won six straight since their improbable run through the 2014 NCAA Tournament to earn the program’s fourth national championship. … Purvis has scored in double figures in every game this season and extended his streak of double-figure games to 20.

UP NEXT:

Temple: The Owls host East Carolina on Saturday.

UConn: The Huskies host Memphis at Gampel Pavilion on Saturday.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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.