SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Virginia, Iowa State lose to unranked teams; Melo’s 3 buries Wisconsin

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GAME OF THE DAY: USC 103, No. 7 Arizona 101 (4OT)

The preseason favorites to win the Pac-12 were swept in Los Angeles, with the two losses coming by a total of five points. Saturday night Arizona lost on two Elijah Stewart free throws with 22.3 seconds remaining in the fourth overtime, capping a wild back and forth affair and a huge victory for Andy Enfield’s growing program.

USC’s now 3-1 in the Pac-12 (and should be 4-0), so could “next year” be now for the young Trojans? Arizona dropped to 1-2 in the Pac-12 with the loss.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 3 Maryland 63, Wisconsin 60: Melo Trimble’s magical 3-pointer from deeeeep lifted the Terps past the Badgers for a Big Ten road win. CBT’s Raphielle Johnson recaps why the sensational sophomore is so important to Maryland (and you also need to see the video of Trimble’s ridiculous game-winner).

Georgia Tech 68, No. 4 Virginia 64: Virginia lost to an unranked opponent for the second time this week as a second-half cold spell really hurt them in this one. Raphielle Johnson has more on Virginia’s offensive woes and what their next stretch looks like.

Baylor 94, No. 13 Iowa State 89: This is only Iowa State’s second loss at Hilton Coliseum over its last 32 home games and both came to Baylor in the last two seasons. The Bears made a tremendous second-half adjustment to rally in this one and I have more on that adjustment here.

Florida 68, LSU 62: Just when you believe LSU might be starting to figure things out, they go and suffer a bad road loss at Florida. Tigers freshman forward Ben Simmons put up another gaudy stat line (28 points, 17 rebounds) but had eight turnovers — all in the second half — as he tried to do too much with his teammates doing so little. In a game in which Florida went 3-for-18 from 3-point range and shot 17-for-30 from the free-throw line, this is a game that LSU needed to win. Credit Florida for only turning the ball over six times and having a good gameplan on the rest of LSU’s roster as nobody outside of Simmons did much of anything.

STARRED

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma: A prime candidate for Player of the Year, Hield went for 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in an Oklahoma win over Kansas State. The senior also shot 11-for-14 from the floor and 6-for-8 from 3-point range. If there was a negative, he did have six turnovers, but overall another great game for Hield.

Agunwa Okolie, Harvard: The senior exploded for a season-high 29 points in a win over Dartmouth has the 6-foot-8 Okolie was 9-for-11 from the field and 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. To put Okolie’s outburst into perspective, his previous season high was 16 and during one six-game stretch this season, Okolie played 170 minutes and scored only 28 points over that span.

Jonathan Motley, Baylor: After struggling a bit over his last few games, the sophomore exploded for 27 points on 13-for-15 shooting while also grabbing 13 rebounds. Motley’s play off the bench was a huge reason why Baylor was able to rally in the second half to beat No. 13 Iowa State.

Andrew Andrews, Washington: The senior guard wasn’t going to lose a rivalry game to Washington State as he went for 29 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals in 41 minutes of play in an overtime win.

Andrew White, Nebraska: Sticking with another Andrew, the Nebraska version went for 28 points, nine rebounds and two assists on 11-for-14 shooting from the field in a win over Rutgers.

STRUGGLED

Tim Quarterman and Craig Victor of LSU: These guys just didn’t show up to play in LSU’s road loss to Florida.

Quarterman and Victor in Tuesday night’s LSU win over Kentucky: 36 points, 22 rebounds, eight assists.

Quarterman and Victor in Saturday afternoon’s LSU loss to Florida: nine points, 12 rebounds, three assists.

Auburn’s Kareem Canty: Missouri did a good job defensively on Canty in their 76-61 win, limiting him to nine points on 2-f0r-9 shooting from the field.

Bradley: For the second straight game the Braves produced more turnovers than made field goals. Bradley turned the ball over 18 times in a 65-37 loss at Evansville, shooting 12-for-46 from the field.

OTHER TOP 25 RESULTS

  • No. 1 Kansas visited Texas Tech and found itself in a dogfight for much of the night. But Wayne Selden Jr. hit a key three-pointer as the Jayhawks pulled away for the 69-59 win. Frank Mason III (17 points, ten rebounds) and Perry Ellis (15 and ten) posted double-doubles for the Jayhawks.
  • It was another big outing for senior Player of the Year candidate Buddy Hield, as he went for 31 points as No. 2 Oklahoma beat Kansas State.
  • Jim Boeheim made his return to the sidelines for Syracuse, but the emotional boost wasn’t enough as No. 6 North Carolina won by the final score of 84-73. Isaiah Hicks scored 21 and Brice Johnson racked up eight assists, doing most of his damage in the high post against the Syracuse zone.
  • No. 9 Kentucky rebounded from its loss at LSU with a 77-61 win at Alabama. Alex Poythress scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the way, with Jamal Murray adding 21 points.
  • Sheldon McClellan had 21 points and five rebounds as No. 12 Miami won at home over Florida State in the ACC. The Hurricanes overcame an off-day from Angel Rodriguez in the win as their defense held the Seminoles to 35 percent shooting.
  • No. 14 Duke cruised to an easy ACC home win over Virginia Tech as Marshall Plumlee had a career-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Freshman Brandon Ingram had 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocks while Grayson Allen also chipped in 16 and had this dunk.
  • Playing their first home game since before Christmas, No. 17 West Virginia rolled over Oklahoma State as Jevon Carter had 16 points and five assists.
  • No. 21 Texas A&M had a furious comeback to beat Tennessee on the road. Trailing nearly the entire game, the Aggies were down 10 with just over four minutes left before an 18-4 run at the end of the game gave them a victory. Jalen Jones had 27 points while Danuel House added 23 points for Texas A&M.
  • Staying unbeaten was No. 22 South Carolina as they won their biggest test of the season with a home win over Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks moved to 15-0 as Sindarius Thornwell had 19 points and eight rebounds.
  • Sterling Gibbs scored 26 points as No. 23 UConn held off Memphis 81-78. Shaq Goodwin led the Tigers with 23 points before fouling out.
  • No. 24 Pitt picked up one of its best wins of the season by beating Notre Dame on the road for an ACC win. Michael Young led the Panthers with 25 points while Jamel Artis had 19 points and Sheldon Jeter had 18 points.
  • Also suffering an upset to an unranked opponent was No. 25 Dayton. The Flyers had a surprising loss to a depleted La Salle team that was only running with six players. Raphielle Johnson has more on this one.

NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Georgetown swept its Big East season series over DePaul with a home win. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and L.J. Peak both scored 17 points in the win for the Hoyas.
  • UCLA picked up a Pac-12 win over Arizona State as Isaac Hamilton had 26 points and Thomas Welsh went for 12 points and 16 rebounds.
  • Creighton earned a solid Big East road win at Seton Hall as Geoffrey Groselle went for 20 points and Mo Watson Jr. had 13 points and 14 assists.
  • Marquette picked up a win over St. John’s as Luke Fischer had 18 points and Henry Ellenson contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Northwestern was a winner in the Big Ten on the road at Minnesota as freshman Aaron Falzon had 20 points.
  • Arkansas defeated Mississippi State as Dusty Hannahs went for eight 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 26 points.
  • Wichita State blew out a 14-win Southern Illinois team on the road as Ron Baker had 18 points and Conner Frankamp chipped in 14 points off the bench.
  • St. Bonaventure continued its best start in 16 years with an Atlantic 10 road win at UMass. Sophomore Jaylen Adams continued his tremendous season with 24 points, eight assists and only one turnover.
  • UAB improved to 13-3 overall and 3-0 in Conference USA with a win over UTEP. William Lee had 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in the win for the Blazers.
  • Nevada earned a road win at Air Force as Tyron Criswell led with 19 points and seven rebounds.
  • Indiana State defeated Illinois State in a matchup of strong Missouri Valley teams as Brenton Scott had 25 points.
  • Senior Frank Eaves dropped his third 30-point game of the season with a 30-point game in an Appalachian State win over Texas State.
  • An upset in the WCC as Pepperdine upset St. Mary’s as forward Jett Raines went for 24 points and eight rebounds. As far as I can tell, Drake did not attend, after he was at Pepperdine’s Thursday home win.
  • The 1976 Final Four team was honored prior to Rutgers’ game against Nebraska…which the Scarlet Knights lost 90-56. Tim Miles’ team scored 52 points in the paint in the win.
  • Rivals Washington and Washington State needed an extra five minutes to determine a winner, with the Huskies winning 99-95 in Pullman. Andrew Andrews went for 29 points and ten rebounds for the Huskies, who are now 3-0 in the Pac-12.
  • NJIT played its first conference game as a member of the Atlantic Sun, but the day didn’t end on a good note as Michael Buchanan’s tip-in with four tenths of a second remaining gave USC Upstate an 80-78 victory.
  • Iona remained undefeated in the MAAC with a 90-80 win over Marist. A.J. English finished with 24 points and eight assists and Dayshonee Much added 21 and six rebounds for the Gaels.
  • Princeton beat rival Penn 73-71 in the Ivy League opener for both. Amir Bell led the Tigers with 28 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field.
  • A Chris Washburn blocked shot in the final seconds preserved a 58-57 win for TCU over Texas. Washburn scored 14 points and Brandon Parrish 15 for the Horned Frogs.
  • Stefan Moody’s layup with five seconds remaining capped a wild sequence for Ole Miss, which beat Georgia 72-71 in Oxford. The Rebels are now 2-0 in their new arena.
  • Montana and Weber State remain undefeated in Big Sky play with comfortable home victories. The Grizzles took care of Sacramento State by 19, while the Wildcats beat Northern Colorado by 17. The top two teams in the conference, they won’t meet until February 27 in Ogden.
  • BYU surpassed the 100-point mark for the first time this season in a 102-92 win over San Francisco. Chase Fischer led three Cougars with 20 points or more with 25.
  • Grand Canyon moved to 15-2 with a 79-75 win over New Mexico State. Dan Majerle’s Antelopes won’t be able to go to the NCAA tournament until 2017 (Division I transition rules), but that doesn’t mean they can’t win the WAC regular season title.
  • Kyle Wiltjer scored 32 points and Domantas Saboins added 28 and 17 boards as Gonzaga beat Portland 85-74.
  • Arizona wasn’t the only Pac-12 team to get swept on the road this week. California went 0-2 in Oregon, as they lost 77-71 at Oregon State. Gary Payton II finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
  • UC Irvine moved to 2-0 in the Big West with an 84-68 win over UC Riverside. Luke Nelson snapped out of his shooting slump with a 29-point night for the Anteaters.

Alabama coach Nate Oats gets new 6-year, $30 million deal

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nate Oats has agreed to a new six-year, $30 million contract amid the program’s best regular season in decades.

Oats will average $5 million plus incentives over the deal running through the 2028-29 season under a deal approved by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees Compensation Committee.

It makes him the fourth-highest paid basketball coach in the Southeastern Conference and among the Top 10 nationally, athletic director Greg Byrne said.

Oats, who is in his fourth season, will make $4.5 million for the first year with $200,000 annual raises. The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide (19-3, 9-0 SEC) has the team’s highest ranking this deep into a season since 1976-77.

“I am honored and humbled to receive a contract extension from the University of Alabama,” Oats said in a statement. “As I have said many times, my family and I love this community, the city of Tuscaloosa and the university.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to build during our time at UA which is a direct reflection of the student-athletes, coaches and staff who have all played a big part in our success. I am excited for what’s happening in the future of our program and the direction we are heading.”

Alabama has gone 80-39 under Oats, winning the 2021 SEC regular season and tournament championships.

“Coach Oats has done an outstanding job leading our men’s basketball program, and we want him to continue doing so for many years to come,” Byrne said in a statement. “He and his staff have lifted the program back to national prominence and built a product that is exciting to be a part of for our team and for our fans.

“We were confident Nate was going to be an outstanding coach for us when we hired him, and he is not only that, but also a great leader of our young men.”

The new contract comes nearly three weeks after Alabama basketball player Darius Miles and another man were charged with capital murder following a fatal shooting near campus. Miles, a reserve forward, was removed from the team and suspended from the university following his arrest.

Duke women’s coach Kara Lawson says men’s ball used vs. FSU

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Duke coach Kara Lawson said her team played with a men’s basketball for the first half of a loss to Florida Stated.

The 16th-ranked Blue Devils lost to the Seminoles 70-57 in Tallahassee, Florida – the team’s second Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season.

After her team beat Pittsburgh 53-44 , Lawson ended her news conference by speaking animatedly.

“This would never happen in a men’s game. This would never happen. It’s embarrassing for our sport,” she said.

The circumference of a women’s ball is about an inch smaller than a men’s ball and it is typically 2 ounces lighter. While it may not seem like a lot, that’s a big difference.

Lawson said throughout the first half, Duke players were “complaining about the ball.” The Blue Devils were 7 for 34 from the field in the opening 20 minutes of that game. They were 12 for 38 in the second half. Florida State made 10 of its 30 shots in the first two quarters and 14 of 31 in the second half.

“To have a game that, at the end of the season, could be the difference between a seed, between a title, my players don’t deserve that and neither do their players,” Lawson said. “It’s a complete failure. And you can figure out who the people I’m talking about that failed the sport and our players and both teams.”

Lawson said assistant coach Winston Gandy went to the scorer’s table at the half to check on the ball when he realized what the problem was. She said the game officials changed the ball to start the second half.

“We have concluded through our investigation that it was a men’s ball,” Lawson said. “The conference and Florida State is saying that it wasn’t.”

The ACC said it did a comprehensive review talking with game officials, administrators, the table crew and both schools.

“Following the thorough and objective review process, there was no evidence found to support the claim,” the conference said in a statement. “Per NCAA playing rules, there is no appeal or protest process.”

The ACC has instituted a procedural change that the game ball will be brought to the pregame meeting with the captains for approval.

“It’s very frustrating that (the game) … was not treated with the utmost respect that players on both teams deserve,” she said.

This wasn’t the first time this has happened in women’s basketball. In 2017, the College of Charleston played home games and practiced with men’s balls for most of its season until the error was was discovered.

“Let me be clear: Florida State beat us. They beat us playing with a men’s ball in the first half and a women’s ball in the second half. But I can’t say if we’d have played with a women’s ball in the first half and the second half that we would have won. But they can’t say that either,” Lawson said.

No. 1 South Carolina wins 28th straight 87-69 over ‘Cats

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dawn Staley’s pleased South Carolina had made its once-lopsided series with UConn more competitive the past few years.

She hopes her top-ranked team can accomplish another milestone when the teams meet for a top-five showdown on Sunday.

“It still stands true that we haven’t won up there,” Staley said.

Aliyah Boston had 14 points and 14 rebounds as South Carolina prepared for the top-five showdown with an 87-69 victory over Kentucky on Thursday night.

The Gamecocks (10-0 Southeastern Conference) improved to 22-0 and won their 28th straight, a run that included a 64-49 victory over the Huskies in Minneapolis last April to win the national championship.

Staley had lost her first seven games as South Carolina coach against UConn. The Gamecocks have won three of the past four matchups since.

“This particular class committed to each other,” Staley said. “When you have that type of commitment and you just want to win, you find yourself winning some games that you haven’t won before.”

Against Kentucky, reigning AP player of the year Boston extended her school mark with her 75th career double-double and moved within 11 of the SEC record of 86 games with a double-double held by LSU great Sylvia Fowles.

Things weren’t perfect for South Carolina, which fell behind early, then had its 15-point halftime lead cut to 54-48 midway through the third quarter.

Still, its dominant inside game – South Carolina outscored the Wildcats 62-14 in the paint – was more than enough to shut down Kentucky (10-12, 2-8), the last team to defeat the defending national champions at the SEC Tournament last March.

The Wildcats went on top 16-15 after a pair of baskets by Adebola Adeyeye.

That’s when South Carolina, fueled by its bench, took control with a 17-2 run. Ashlyn Watkins had three inside shots and Kamilla Cardoso scored four points during the surge.

The Wildcats used a 13-4 burst to start the third quarter to give South Carolina a few uncomfortable moments. But the Gamecocks got going once more with an 11-0 run to extend their margin.

Cardoso, the 6-foot-7 reserve, had 14 points and five of South Carolina’s 14 blocks. Defensive ace Brea Beal had 10 including both of the Gamecocks’ 3-pointers.

Beal thought the team held together well to blunt Kentucky’s runs and regain control. “I think it’s our mental aspect of the game and us believing in each other,” she said.

Robyn Benton had 24 points to lead Kentucky, which has lost three of its past four games.

Wildcats coach Kyra Elzy said South Carolina is difficult to match up with because of its deep bench. “They have depth after depth after depth,” she said. “They keep coming.”

BIG PICTURE

Kentucky: The Wildcats are the not the same team that featured two-time SEC player of the year Rhyne Howard the past few seasons. They have 10 newcomers – and six freshmen – who are still learning how to play against the SEC’s top teams like South Carolina.

South Carolina: Forgive the Gamecocks if their focus wasn’t fully on this one at first with a big week ahead. In an eight-game span, South Carolina will face No. 5 UConn and No. 3 LSU, a pair of high-profile games could expose any flaw – or show how powerful the Gamecocks are in chasing a second straight NCAA crown.

UCONN KARMA

South Carolina has opened 22-0 twice under coach Dawn Staley, in 2014-15 and the following year. Both runs ended against UConn. Next up for Gamecocks are the Huskies, although South Carolina has won three of the past four games over UConn including last April’s 64-49 victory to win the NCAA Tournament title.

UP NEXT

Kentucky returns home to face Alabama on Feb. 9.

South Carolina heads to No. 5 UConn on Sunday.

Miles, Citron lead No. 9 Irish past Boston College 72-59

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BOSTON — Olivia Miles and Sonia Citron had already scored 10 straight points to put away Boston College when they turned their attention to other things.

“I told Sonia I needed two more assists for the double-double. And she was like, `All right, I’ve got you,”‘ Miles said after helping No. 9 Notre Dame beat BC 72-59 on Thursday night.

“That’s just kind of our communication on the court,” said Miles, who found Citron for baskets on the next two Irish possessions to complete a 14-0 run – with all 14 points from Miles and Citron. “We just really play off each other really well.

Miles scored 22 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds, and Citron scored 23 for the Irish (18-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Maria Gakdeng scored 16 points, T’Yana Todd had 13 and Andrea Daly scored 10 with eight rebounds for BC (14-11, 4-8). The Irish beat BC at home 85-48 on New Year’s Day but hadn’t won in Chestnut Hill since 2019.

“This is such a tough place to play,” said Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey, whose team faces No. 16 Duke next. “We’ll celebrate it until about 12:30, and then we’ve got film. Tomorrow we start focusing on Duke.”

BC came within five points, 55-50, before the Irish ran off 14 points in a row – nine by Citron, and five by Miles. That put an end to what had been a back-and-forth game in which the Irish opened big leads and then frittered them away.

“I always feel like we’re close,” BC coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “They’re young; I think consistency comes with experience.

“I think it’s a big improvement from the first time we played Notre Dame,” she said. “I still want to see more, and I want to see us grow up as fast as humanly possible because I think we do have a dangerous team when we going well.”

Notre Dame led by 11 in the first quarter and held a 38-30 lead with two minutes gone in the third. BC scored 13 of the next 18 points, capitalizing on back-to-back Irish turnovers to tie it 43-all with three minutes left in the quarter.

But Natalija Marshall put back the rebound of her own miss, Miles drove to the basket, Maddy Westbeld added a pair of baskets and then Miles stole the ball and found Citron on the fast break to make it 53-43.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame bounced back from their first league loss of the season, a 69-65 defeat at North Carolina State on Sunday. Now they face No. 16 Duke.

The Eagles, who beat Pittsburgh on Sunday to snap a five-game losing streak, were looking for their second victory over a Top 25 team this season, having also beaten then-No. 10 N.C. State on Jan. 5.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: Hosts No. 16 Duke on Sunday.

Boston College: Visits Syracuse on Sunday.

No. 16 Xavier beats No. 17 Providence 85-83 in OT thriller

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Kareem Elgazzar/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CINCINNATI — Jack Nunge had 23 points and 14 rebounds as No. 16 Xavier held off No. 17 Providence 85-83 in an overtime thriller Wednesday night.

Colby Jones and Souley Boum each scored 20 for the Musketeers, who won a first-place showdown in the Big East without injured forward Zach Freemantle.

Noah Locke had 22 points and Ed Croswell added 21 for Providence (17-6, 9-3), which had beaten Xavier three straight times.

A layup by Boum put the Musketeers (18-5, 10-2) ahead 82-79 with 51 seconds remaining in overtime. A turnover by the Musketeers led to a layup by Devin Carter that cut Xavier’s lead to one with 24 seconds left.

Boum hit one of two free throws, and Jared Bynum’s 3-point attempt from the left corner rimmed out at the buzzer as the Musketeers held on.

Xavier played its first game without Freemantle, the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer. He is expected to miss four weeks with a left foot injury, the same foot that required surgery in 2021.

Jerome Hunter, who has excelled off the bench for the Musketeers, made his first start of the season and scored nine points with eight rebounds. Xavier had used the same starting lineup in each of its previous 11 Big East games.

Things started well for the Musketeers. who went on a 12-1 run to build a 25-11 lead.

With Boum on the bench with two fouls, the Musketeers didn’t have a field goal in the final 4:18 of the first half and the Friars pulled to 39-35 at halftime.

Providence outscored Xavier 8-2 to start the second half and took its first lead, 43-41, with 17:41 left.

There was a frantic finish to the second half, with Adam Kunkel’s 3-pointer putting Xavier ahead 76-73 with 55 seconds left. But then Bynum banked in a tying 3 and Boum missed two long shots to send the game to overtime.

BIG PICTURE

Providence: The Friars, who won their first Big East regular-season title last year, entered the night tied atop the conference standings with Xavier and No. 14 Marquette, which hosted Villanova later. Providence was picked fifth in the preseason.

Xavier: Hunter, who averages 14 minutes, left with three minutes remaining in OT with an apparent cramp in his right leg. With Freemantle out, Hunter played 36 minutes.

UP NEXT

Providence: Hosts last-place Georgetown on Wednesday.

Xavier: Will host St. John’s on Saturday.