Freshman Lykes helps No. 15 Miami beat No. 24 FSU 80-74

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Not even a smack in the nose could stop 5-foot-7 Miami Hurricanes guard Chris Lykes against Florida State.

The freshman dynamo scored a season-high 18 points and shook off an accidental blow to the face, helping the No. 15 Hurricanes withstand a late rally from the No. 24 Seminoles to win 80-74 on Sunday.

Lykes was hit — with no foul called — as he drove for a layup midway through the second half. Dazed, he didn’t even see his shot go in.

“I just heard the crowd,” he said. “I got hit in my nose, and I couldn’t breathe through my nose for a minute.”

He quickly went to the dressing room accompanied by a trainer, but was back in the game moments later. His jumper to beat the shot clock with 4 minutes left slowed Florida State’s comeback.

Lykes finished 6 for 10 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers and baskets on two acrobatic drives.

“I told everybody before the season, don’t sleep on him,” teammate Bruce Brown said. “He does it in practice. I knew it was a matter of time before he did it in a game.”

Brown scored a season-high 23 points and Dewan Huell had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Hurricanes, who took the lead for good in the early minutes and made 13 of their first 14 shots.

The Hurricanes (13-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their first home game since Dec. 5. Florida State (12-3, 1-2) lost for the third time in the past six games.

Lykes made two highlight plays in the first half. He drove into the lane and scooped in a shot from knee level, and in the final seconds weaved past two defenders for a reverse layup to give Miami its largest lead of the half, 45-32.

“I know my teammates believe in me a lot,” Lykes said. “I just try to bring energy off the bench and make the right plays.”

Florida State cut a 16-point second-half deficit to four with 24 seconds left. Braian Angola then made a backcourt steal but missed a 3-pointer that would have left the Seminoles trailing by one.

Brown made five of six free throws in the final 45 seconds and finished 12-for-14 at the line.

“It was two Top 25 teams going at each other,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.

Angola had 16 points and five steals for Florida State, which shot a season-low 36 percent. Miami, ranked second nationally in scoring defense, held the Seminoles below their season average of 85.4.

“In the second half we were a little more aggressive,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “But we had dug such a hole, it was hard to pull out of it.”

POUNDING THE BOARDS

Rebounding kept the taller Seminoles in the game. They had a 44-32 edge, with 21 offensive rebounds, and outscored Miami 13-2 on second-chance points. Freshman Mfiondu Kabengele tied a season high with 12 rebounds in 18 minutes.

Christ Koumadje returned from a foot injury that had sidelined him since the third game of the season. He had eight rebounds and five points in 13 minutes.

PEP TALK

Larranaga said Brown and the other Hurricanes shot poorly in practice Saturday. Later, Larranaga phoned Brown and recommended he watch video highlights of himself to restore his confidence.

“Right after the game, he said, ‘I did,'” Larranaga said with a laugh. “Guys just need to think positively.”

SLUMPING WALKER

Highly touted Hurricanes freshman Lonnie Walker IV started for only the second time this season, but that didn’t help him shake a slump. He hit a 3-pointer on the game’s first possession but finished with only five points in 15 minutes.

BIG PICTURE

The Hurricanes beat a ranked team for the second time this season. They won at then-No. 12 Minnesota on Nov. 29.

The Seminoles, who made 45 3-pointers in their three previous games, went 5 for 24 from beyond the arc.

TRASH CHANT

Fans near the Seminoles bench taunted them regarding the recent departure of their football coach, chanting “Jimbo left you!”

UP NEXT

The Hurricanes began a stretch of three consecutive games against ranked teams. They play at No. 25 Clemson on Saturday and face No. 2 Duke at home on Nov. 15.

“I ain’t looking ahead,” Larranaga said, “except to dinner.”

Florida State will try to bounce back from the loss when it faces Louisville at home on Wednesday.

“You can’t sit around and have a pity party,” Hamilton said.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

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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

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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.