Bishop leads No. 19 Creighton past cold-shooting Hoyas 63-48

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

WASHINGTON — Just last week, Georgetown dominated Creighton on the Bluejays’ home court.

Creighton did the same to the Hoyas on Tuesday night.

Christian Bishop scored 17 points and the 19th-ranked Bluejays capitalized on Georgetown’s worst shooting performance in a decade while rolling to a 63-48 win.

Creighton (15-5, 11-4 Big East) avenged an 86-79 loss that wasn’t as close as the score indicated and won for the fifth time in six games.

“We’ve got a little more grit to us now,” Bishop said. “We had a little team meeting the other day and figured out some things and decided to come together more as a group and show people what we’ve got. I think we’ve been doing that well the past couple games.”

The Bluejays’ blowout followed a 71-68 win at Marquette three days earlier. Next up is fifth-ranked Villanova at home Saturday in a meeting of the Big East’s top teams.

“We went on a difficult road trip after coming off a tough loss at home and found a way to get two road wins,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said, “and it keeps us in the hunt and sets up what’s going to be a big game.”

Georgetown (5-10, 3-7) had elevated its play while winning two of three since its three-week COVID-19 pause. But against their third straight ranked opponent, the Hoyas looked more like the team that lost eight of its first 11 games.

The Bluejays never trailed and led by as many as 24 points at McDonough Arena.

“We beat them at their home court and they wanted to make sure they beat us here tonight,” Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing said, “and that’s the way they came out.”

Creighton wasn’t overly sharp offensively itself, shooting 44.1% overall and 24% on 3-pointers. But with the 6-foot-7 Bishop making 8 of 11 shots and often scoring at will inside, Creighton held a 38-12 scoring advantage in the paint.

Mitch Ballock had 14 points and had four of the Bluejays’ six 3-pointers. Damien Jefferson added 12 points.

Jamorko Pickett led the Hoyas with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jahvon Blair had eight points, less than half his season average, on 3-of-12 shooting.

Georgetown was lethargic throughout. The Bluejays made a school-record 19 steals, with Ballock and Denzel Mahoney swiping the ball four times apiece. The Hoyas, with 24 turnovers, committed more than 20 for the third time this season.

Georgetown shot 27.6%, its worst mark since making 25% of its field goals in a loss to Cincinnati on Feb. 23, 2011.

The Hoyas were fast to shoot 3-pointers rather than work the ball inside against man-to-man defense. The Hoyas launched 20 3s in the first 20 minutes, their most in a half this season and one fewer than their total in their win over the Bluejays.

Georgetown took eight 3s in a row over a 3 1/2-minute stretch of the first half and missed them all. The Hoyas finished 9 of 31 from distance.

“I don’t mind if we take 3s, but the 3 has to come driving the ball into the paint and kicking it out for the 3 or when they double the post, kicking it out for the 3,” Ewing said. “We were just jacking 3s. To a man, I thought we played very selfish.”

BIG PICTURE

Creighton: The Bluejays showed greater energy on the road trip than they have in recent weeks. They’re the first major conference team to win seven conference road games this season, their most since 2011-12 when they were in the Missouri Valley.

Georgetown: The Hoyas will want to flush what was the first of four straight home games.

KEEPING WAHAB IN CHECK

Creighton was successful in its strategy of double- and triple-teaming 6-11, 237-pound center Qudus Wahab, who had six points and committed four turnovers after scoring 12 points against the Bluejays last week.

“We decided we would take him out of the game,” McDermott said. “He’s going to feel from the opening tip that we’re coming from different spots and swipe that basketball any time they got it in the paint. Our guys were really active with their hands and did it without fouling.”

UP NEXT

Creighton hosts No. 5 Villanova on Saturday.

Georgetown hosts Butler on Saturday.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

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

Joe Rondone/USA TODAY NETWORK
1 Comment

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

uconn
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
0 Comments

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

Getty Images
0 Comments

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.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

Getty Images
1 Comment

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.