Saturday’s College Basketball Recap: Duke goes down, Florida rebounds, the Deandre Ayton show

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PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Boston College sophomore guard Ky Bowman played completely out of his mind on Saturday. The catalyst for the Eagles in a stunning home win over No. 1 Duke, Bowman finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, coming just short of a triple-double against a roster full of future NBA players.

Bowman is a North Carolina native. He was passed over by the Tobacco Road juggernauts – and every ACC member south of Massachusetts – so games like this give him the proverbial chip-on-the-shoulder. But this game isn’t simply explained by a kid being mad that a one-and-done factory didn’t want him. Bowman, and his backcourt partner Jerome Robinson, can outplay any pair of guards on a given night, and Saturday was another example of that.

As good as Bowman was, dare I say Arizona’s Deandre Ayton was better? The big fellas went for 29 points and 18 boards on 12-for-18 shooting on Saturday night as the Wildcats held off a scrappy Alabama team that got 30 points out of Collin Sexton. Ayton was playing a different level of basketball in this one, but perhaps the most impressive part of this performance was that he sealed the game with a pair of mid-range jumpers in the final two minutes.

Ayton is a physical freak. He stature on the floor and in the paint is eerily reminiscent of Greg Oden, the former Ohio State star.

The difference, however, is on the offensive end of the floor. While Ayton has the physical tools to one day figure out how to be the defensive presence that Oden, his skill set offensively is on a much higher level.

THE REST OF SATURDAY’S STARS

  • Landry Shamet, Wichita State: Shamet had a career-high 30 points while adding five assists as the No. 6 Shockers overcame a slow-start to beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 78-66.
  • Luwane Pipkins, UMass: Pipkins popped off for 30 points to lead the Minutemen to a 72-63 win over Providence in Amherst.
  • Tayler Persons, Ball State: After knocking off Notre Dame earlier this week with a huge three-pointer, Persons hit another game-winning three-pointer to knock off Valparaiso. He finished with 23 points, five rebounds and five assists.

TEAM OF THE DAY

Arkansas bounced back from an embarrassing loss at Houston last weekend in emphatic fashion. Beating Colorado State was one thing, but Saturday’s performance against No. 14 Minnesota is another. The Razorbacks jumped all over the Gophers early and never allowed Minnesota to truly get back into the game, running away late to win 95-79. Jaylen Barford led the way with 22 points, four boards and four assists, while Daniel Gafford chipped in with 16 points (on 8-for-8 shooting) to go along with seven boards and six blocks. This was the last chance that the Razorbacks had at landing a quality non-conference win, and they did not miss.

GAME OF THE DAY

No. 5 Florida dispatched No. 17 Cincinnati, 66-60, in a physical, entertaining game in the nightcap of the Never Forget Classic in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday night. Florida has been must-see TV all season long, but this performance was different than the way that they’ve played much of the year. Florida averaged 24 threes per game entering Saturday. They only took one in the first ten minutes. Florida has struggled on the defensive end of the floor for much of the first month of the season. They held a good Cincinnati team to just 60 points on Saturday. But most importantly, at least in the mind of Mike White and Chris Chiozza, Florida got back to sharing the ball.

So while this wasn’t a double-overtime game that reached the triple-digits, this was a tense, hard-fought game between two really good, well-coached teams. Florida won.

WTF???? OF THE DAY

Boston College beating Duke doesn’t count?

Then how about this: Middle Tennessee State picked off Ole Miss at home on Saturday. It was their second-straight win over an SEC opponent and their fifth straight win over teams from the league in the last three seasons. Both of those years, the Blue Raiders won a game in the NCAA tournament, beating No. 2 seed Michigan State in 2016 and No. 5 seed Minnesota in 2017.

MTSU gets Auburn next. At some point, you’d think SEC schools would want to stop scheduling Kermit Davis’ team and just hire him instead.

Right?

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

Michigan rallied in the second half to pick up an overtime home win over UCLA as Moritz Wagner paced the Wolverines with 23 points. Charles Matthews also broke out of a recent mini slump to finished with 20 points for Michigan despite only going 2-for-10 from the free-throw line.

No. 3 Michigan State struggled but used a late run to put away Southern Utah.

No. 8 Kentucky cruised past Monmouth in Madison Square Garden as the Wildcats had five players finish in double-figures. Freshman guard Hamidou Diallo paced Kentucky’s offense with 23 points while freshman forward P.J. Washington added 20 points.

Jevon Carter finished with 19 points, nine assists and six boards, for No. 18 West Virginia, but the Mountaineers never really put away a struggling Pitt team, winning just 69-60 despite holding an 18-point first half lead.

We don’t typically see beatdowns like this in this rivalry but Marquette cruised to an 82-63 road win over in-state rival Wisconsin. With the Badgers dinged up in the backcourt, the Golden Eagles took advantage with big games from Andrew Rousey (24 points) and Markus Howard (23 points). Marquette has now won four of its last six games in the Kohl Center.

Speaking on in-state rivalries, Creighton outlasted Nebraska for a home win as five players finished in double-figures. Marcus Foster led the Bluejays with 19 points, scoring 17 in the second half. .

In a game that was close until the end, Louisville was able to hold off Indiana for a home win. Deng Adel led a balanced effort with 16 points for the Cardinals as they held the Hoosiers to 21 percent three-point shooting.

Zach Edey has 19 points, No. 1 Purdue beats Michigan 75-70

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Zach Edey had 15 of his 19 points in the first half and Fletcher Loyer finished with 17 points to help No. 1 Purdue hold off Michigan 75-70 on Thursday night.

The Boilermakers (20-1, 9-1 Big Ten) had a 15-0 run to go ahead 41-28 lead in the first half after there were 10 lead changes and four ties, but they couldn’t pull away.

The Wolverines (11-9, 5-4) were without standout freshman Jett Howard, who missed the game with an ankle injury, and still hung around until the final seconds.

Joey Baker made a 3-pointer – off the glass – with 5.9 seconds left to pull Michigan within three points, but Purdue’s Brandon Newman sealed the victory with two free throws.

Purdue coach Matt Painter said Michigan slowed down Edey in the second half by pushing him away from the basket.

“They got him out a little more, and got him bottled up,” Painter said.

The 7-foot-4 Edey, though, was too tough to stop early in the game.

“He’s one of the best in the country for a reason,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “He’s very effective, especially if he’s 8 feet and in.”

With size and skills such as a hook shot, the junior center from Toronto scored Purdue’s first seven points and finished the first half 7 of 12 from the field and 1 of 2 at the line.

“He did a great job in the first half, going to his right shoulder and using his left hand,” Painter said. “He made four baskets with his left hand which is huge.”

Freshman Braden Smith had 10 points for the Boilermakers.

Purdue’s defense ultimately denied Michigan’s comeback hopes, holding a 22nd straight opponent to 70 or fewer points.

Hunter Dickinson scored 21, Kobe Bufkin had 16 points and Baker added 11 points for the Wolverines, who have lost four of their last six games.

Dickinson, a 7-1 center, matched up with Edey defensively and pulled him out of the lane offensively by making 3 of 7 3-pointers.

“Half his shots were from the 3, and that’s a little different,” Painter said. “His meat and potatoes are on that block. He’s the real deal.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Boilermakers got the top spot in the AP Top 25 this week after winning six games, a stretch that followed a loss to Rutgers on Jan. 3 that dropped them from No. 1 in the poll. Purdue improved to 7-2 as the top-ranked team.

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: Edey can’t beat teams by himself and he’s surrounded by a lot of role players and a potential standout in Loyer. The 6-4 guard was the Big Ten player of the week earlier this month, become the first Boilermaker freshman to win the award since Robbie Hummel in 2008.

“Fletcher is somebody who has played better in the second half, and on the road,” Painter said.

Michigan: Jett Howard’s health is a critical factor for the Wolverines, who will have some work to do over the second half of the Big Ten season to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. Howard averages 14.6 points and is the most dynamic player on his father’s team.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Boilermakers were away from home for 12 of 23 days, winning all five of their road games. They won at Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan for the first time since the 1997-98 season and beat the Spartans and Wolverines on their home court in the same season for the first time in 12 years.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Hosts Michigan State on Sunday, nearly two weeks after the Boilermakers beat the Spartans by a point on Edey’s shot with 2.2 seconds left.

Michigan: Plays at Penn State on Sunday.

Miller scores 23, No. 10 Maryland tops No. 13 Michigan 72-64

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Diamond Miller scored 23 points, and No. 10 Maryland closed the first quarter with a 13-2 run and led the rest of the way in a 72-64 victory over No. 13 Michigan on Thursday night.

Abby Meyers contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (17-4, 8-2), who won for the 10th time in 11 games. Lavender Briggs scored 14 points and Shyanne Sellers added 13.

Maryland gained a measure of revenge after losing twice to Michigan last season – including a 20-point rout in College Park.

Leigha Brown led the Wolverines with 16 points.

Michigan (16-5, 6-4) led 13-9 in the first quarter before a three-point play by Miller started Maryland’s big run. Briggs and Faith Masonius made 3-pointers during that stretch.

The Terps pushed the lead to 16 in the third quarter before the Wolverines were able to chip away. Miller sat for a bit with four fouls, and Michigan cut the lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines still wasted too many possessions with turnovers to mount much of a comeback.

Michigan ended up with 24 turnovers, and Maryland had a 25-5 advantage in points off turnovers.

Miller fouled out with 2:19 remaining, but even after those two free throws, the Terps led 65-57 and had little trouble holding on.

Michigan lost for the second time in four days against a top-10 opponent. No. 6 Indiana beat the Wolverines 92-83 on Monday.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: Whether it was against Maryland’s press or in their half-court offense, the Wolverines turned the ball over too much to score consistently. This was a lower-scoring game than the loss to Indiana, but the margin ended up being similar.

Maryland: While Miller clearly led the way, the Terps had plenty of offensive contributors. They also held Michigan to 13 points below its season average entering the game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Wolverines have appeared in 48 straight AP polls, and although a two-loss week could certainly drop them, the quality of their opponents could save them from a substantial plunge.

Maryland is tied for 10th with an Iowa team that beat No. 2 Ohio State on Monday night. Now the Terps can boast an impressive victory of their own.

UP NEXT

Michigan: The Wolverines play their third game of the week when they visit Minnesota on Sunday.

Maryland: The Terps host Penn State on Monday night.

 

Boum, Jones lead No. 13 Xavier over No. 19 UConn, 82-79

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STORRS, Conn. – Souley Boum scored 21 points, Colby Jones added 20 and No. 13 Xavier went on the road and held off No. 19 Connecticut 82-79 Wednesday night.

The win was the 13th in 14 games for the Musketeers (17-4, 9-1 Big East) and it gave them a season sweep over the struggling Huskies (16-6, 5-6).

Jack Nunge had 12 points and Jerome Hunter added 11 for Xavier, which led by 17 in the first half and 39-24 at halftime.

Jordan Hawkins scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half for UConn, leading a comeback that fell just short.

Tristen Newton added 23 points for the Huskies, who won their first 14 games this season but have dropped six of eight since.

The Musketeers never trailed but had to withstand UConn runs that cut the lead to a single point four times in the second half.

A three-point play from Hawkins made it 78-77 with 2:40 left. But a second-chance layup from Nunge put the lead at 80-77 just over a minute later.

Newton was fouled with two seconds left by Desmond Claude, but his apparent attempt to miss his second free throw went into the basket.

Boum then hit two free throws at the other end, and Newton’s final attempt from just beyond halfcourt was well short.

Xavier jumped out to a 9-0 lead as UConn missed its first nine shots.

A 3-pointer from Zach Freemantle gave the Musketeers their first double-digit lead at 20-9, and another from Jones pushed it to 35-18.

BIG PICTURE

Xavier: The Musketeers lead the Big East, and the win over UConn was their ninth conference victory this season, eclipsing their total from last season.

UConn: The Huskies came in with a 17-game winning streak at Gampel Pavilion dating to February 2021. They fell to 1-4 against the four teams in front of them in the Big East standings. The lone win came at Gampel against Creighton.

UP NEXT

Xavier: The Musketeers continue their road trip with a visit to Creighton on Saturday.

UConn: Doesn’t play again until next Tuesday, when the Huskies visit DePaul.

No. 12 Iowa State holds on to beat No. 5 Kansas State 80-76

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AMES, Iowa – Jaren Holmes matched his season high with 23 points as No. 12 Iowa State held on to beat No. 5 Kansas State 80-76 on Tuesday night.

The Cyclones (15-4, 6-2 Big 12) moved into a three-way tie atop the conference standings with the Wildcats and Texas.

Gabe Kalscheur added 19 points for Iowa State. Osun Osunniyi finished with 16.

Markquis Nowell led Kansas State (17-3, 6-2) with 23 points.

A 3-pointer from Holmes gave Iowa State a 59-49 advantage with 8:12 remaining. Kansas State responded with a 10-1 run to trim the margin to 60-59.

Caleb Grill’s 3-pointer steadied the Cyclones and pushed the lead back to 63-59 with five minutes left.

Free throws by Osunniyi, Grill and Holmes sealed the victory in the final 24 seconds.

The first half featured eight lead changes and ended with Kansas State up 33-31.

A 3-pointer by Kalscheur ignited an early 9-0 run for the Cyclones and helped them build a 19-14 lead. Iowa State made just one of nine 3-point tries in the first 20 minutes.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State was trying to extend its best start to a season since 1961-62.

Iowa State improved to 11-0 at home. The Cyclones have not lost back-to-back games this season.

UP NEXT

Kansas State hosts Florida on Saturday as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Iowa State travels to Missouri on Saturday.

Georgetown snaps 29-game conference losing streak

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WASHINGTON – Primo Spears scored 21 points and Georgetown snapped a 29-game conference losing streak with an 81-76 victory over DePaul on Tuesday night.

Georgetown (6-15, 1-9) won its first Big East game since March 13, 2021, ending the longest skid in the history of the conference. The Hoyas also ended a 10-game losing streak this season.

Spears also contributed six assists for the Hoyas. Akok Akok scored 12 points and added six rebounds and four blocks and Brandon Murray recorded 12 points.

Umoja Gibson led the Blue Demons (9-12, 3-7) in scoring, finishing with 24 points, four assists and three steals. Javan Johnson added 13 points.

Spears scored nine points in the first half and Georgetown went into the break trailing 37-36. Georgetown used a 10-0 run in the second half to build a 12-point lead at 75-63 with 1:39 remaining.