GAME OF THE DAY: Evansville 74, Loyola (Chicago) 73
The Purple Aces nearly lost a game they led by as much as 19, but Marty Simmons’ team managed to survive as Milton Doyle’s jumper as time expired missed the mark. Egidijus Mockevicius led the way for Evansville with 24 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots, with Devon Turk countering with 22 points for the Ramblers.
No. 8 Michigan State 88, Indiana 69: The Spartans turned a one-point halftime lead into a rout in East Lansing, with Denzel Valentine playing a starring role. Valentine finished with 30 points, five rebounds, 13 assists and one turnover in a truly dominant performance from the senior. Matt Costello added 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Spartans, who shot 63.3 percent in the second half.
No. 12 Miami 67, Florida State 65: Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes managed to hang on in Tallahassee, despite Sheldon McClellan suffering an ankle injury. McClellan still finished the game with a team-high 20 points, with Davon Reed adding 14 and Angel Rodriguez 11. The difference was the foul line, where Miami outscored Florida State 16-4 as they remained a game behind No. 9 North Carolina in the ACC.
No. 17 Arizona 86, No. 23 USC 78: Gabe York led four Wildcats in double figures with 17 points as the Wildcats beat the Trojans to move into a tie for first place in the Pac-12 with No. 11 Oregon. USC struggled for much of the first half, trailing by as much as 19 and that margin proved to be too much to make up. But the Trojans nearly did it, thanks to a combination of their improved play and Arizona getting away from what worked so well in the first half.
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State: 30 points, five rebounds, 13 assists and one turnover in the win over Indiana. One of the best overall performances of the season in college basketball.
Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville: 24 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks in a one-point win at Loyola (Chicago).
Jabarie Hinds, UMass: Hinds scored a career-high 37 points and dished out six assists as the Minutemen picked up a 108-99 overtime win at Duquesne.
Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa: Uthoff tallied 24 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks in the Hawkeyes’ four-point win over Minnesota.
Jamel Artis, Pittsburgh: Five points on 2-for-8 shooting in the Panthers’ loss at No. 9 North Carolina.
Washington State: The Cougars finished their game at Utah with more turnovers (20) than made baskets (15). As expected, they lost 88-47.
Tra Holder, Arizona State: Holder did account for six assists and three steals, but in the Sun Devils’ loss to UCLA he also shot 2-for-12 from the field and scored five points.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 4 Iowa nearly became Minnesota’s first victim in conference play, but the Hawkeyes hung on for the 75-71 win in Iowa City. Jarrod Uthoff produced a quality line of 24 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots in the win as Iowa grabbed sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
- After a listless showing in their win at Boston College, No. 9 North Carolina showed significant signs of improvement in their 85-64 blowout of Pitt. UNC shot 59.3 percent from the field, with Brice Johnson leading five players in double figures with 19 points, and they limited the Panthers to 37.3 percent shooting.
OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS
- Syracuse has now won eight of its last nine games, as they rebounded from a slow start to beat Boston College 75-61 in Chestnut Hill. Tyler Lydon scored 20 points and grabbed six boards for the Orange, who struggled to slow down BC’s Matt Milon (25 points).
- With a game against top-ranked Villanova looming, Temple took care of USF 77-65 in Philadelphia. Jaylen Bond scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Owls, who at 10-3 lead the American.
- Stony Brook extended its win streak to 18, as they held off New Hampshire 59-58 at home. Jameel Warney and Carson Puriefoy scored 16 points apiece for the Seawolves, with Warney also accounting for eight rebounds and eight blocks.
- Jakob Poeltl racked up 25 points, ten rebounds, three steals and two blocks as Utah whipped Washington State, 88-47. The Cougars haven’t won a league game since beating UCLA the first weekend of Pac-12 play.
- Jonah Bolden scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds as UCLA won 78-65 at Arizona State. The Bruins have a lot of work to do to get into the NCAA tournament discussion, but they do have some quality wins (Kentucky, Arizona) to their credit if they can go on a run.