Keita Bates-Diop

Associated Press

SUNDAY’S SNACKS: No. 4 Maryland, Syracuse take care of business

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GAME OF THE DAY: Fairfield 101, Bucknell 91

This was a wild one, as the Stags and Bison combined to score 192 points with the winning team shooting 17-for-32 from three. Tyler Nelson led the way for Fairfield with 25 points and Jerome Segura dished out nine assists on the afternoon. Ryan Frazier led five Bison in double figures with 20 points, but Bucknell was outscored 51-15 from three.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 4 Maryland 87, Marshall 67: Robert Carter Jr. led four Terrapins in double figures with 19 points while also grabbing eight rebounds and blocking two shots as Maryland moved to 11-1 on the season. Maryland held a major advantage beyond the arc, as they shot 13-for-27 from distance with the Thundering Herd going 6-for-31. The one issue for Maryland in the win: turnovers. They finished with 18 as Marshall was able to speed things up in the first half, with Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon committing five apiece.

Syracuse 80, Texas Southern 67: Michael Gbinije went for 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Orange past the Tigers at the Carrier Dome. Five Syracuse players scored in double figures including center DaJuan Coleman, who scored 14 to go along with seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. The concern for the Orange ahead of their ACC opener at Pittsburgh Wednesday is the status of freshmen wing Malachi Richardson, who left the game in the second half after taking a hard fall.

Northwestern 74, Loyola (MD) 59: Playing their final non-conference game before the start of Big Ten play, the Wildcats struggled mightily in the first half as they got used to playing without injured senior center Alex Olah. Chris Collins’ team was much better in the second half, shooting 65.6 percent from the field and 7-for-10 from three in the game’s final 20 minutes. Bryant McIntosh led the way with a career-high 33 points and eight assists, and Scottie Lindsey scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half.

STARRED

Henry Ellenson, Marquette: 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks in a win over Presbyterian.

Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State: Bates-Diop tallied 24 points and ten rebounds in the Buckeyes’ win over South Carolina State.

STRUGGLED

Marshall’s three-point shooters: The Thundering Herd shot 6-for-31 from three in their loss at No. 4 Maryland.

Tashombe Riley, South Carolina State: Shot 2-for-12 from the field, scoring five points, in the Bulldogs’ loss at Ohio State.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • They didn’t play their best game but Marquette managed to beat Presbyterian 84-66 in Milwaukee. Henry Ellenson went for 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks in the win.
  • VCU rolled to an 85-57 win over Liberty in their final tune-up before the start of Atlantic 10 play. Melvin Johnson led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points, and the Rams shot 53.3 percent from the field and 10-for-19 from three.
  • Despite shooting 15-for-33 from the foul line, South Dakota State managed to hold off Middle Tennessee State 65-61. The Jackrabbits, who are now 11-3, received 16 points and eight rebounds from Deondre Parks.
  • Keita Bates-Diop posted a double-double (24 points, ten rebounds) and Kam Williams scored 12 points off the bench as Ohio State beat South Carolina State, 73-57. With Austin Grandstaff transferring, Williams will have the opportunity to earn more minutes.

SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Five of nation’s top 12 teams lose on Saturday

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GAME OF THE DAY: Utah 77, No. 7 Duke 75, OT: Utah picked up a huge non-conference win in Madison Square Garden as Jakob Poeltl had 19 points and 14 rebounds. The Utes were able to limit a flu-ridden Grayson Allen to 3-for-18 shooting from the floor, but the bigger story here is just how good Utah and Poeltl looked.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 8 Virginia 86, No. 12 Villanova 75: Virginia shot 56 percent from the floor and 66 percent from 3-point range as they outlasted Villanova in Charlottesville. The star of the game was, once again, London Perrantes, who took over down the stretch again.

No. 11 North Carolina 89, No. 22 UCLA 76: North Carolina erased a double-digit deficit to beat the Bruins in Brooklyn. The Tar Heels scored 51 second-half points and Brice Johnson was outstanding after getting benched. For cussing?

Ohio State 74, No. 4 Kentucky 67: Going up against an Ohio State team that has already lost five games this season, Jamal Murray scored 27 of his 33 points in the second half for Kentucky .. and they still managed to lose? Raphielle Johnson has more on the day’s biggest shocker here.

No. 17 Butler 74, No. 9 Purdue 68: The Bulldogs handed the Boilermakers their first loss of the season despite the fact that Kellen Dunham shot 0-for-12 from the field and scored just two points. How’d that happen? Rob has more on Butler’s win here.

Northern Iowa 81, No. 5 Iowa State 79: The Panthers shot 13-for-22 from beyond the arc and got 49 combined points from Wes Washpun and Paul Jesperson as they upset the Cyclones in Des Moines. What does this do for UNI’s at-large hopes? And how does it help Wichita State? Find out here.

STARRED

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma: Hield scored a career-high 33 points in the Sooners’ 87-74 win over Creighton, shooting 12-for-22 from the field.

Wes Washpun, Northern Iowa: Washpun had 28 points, 11 assists and seven boards as the Panthers knocked off No. 5 Iowa State.

Malcolm Hill, Illinois: 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a 91-79 win over South Dakota.

Kahlil Felder, Oakland: Felder was outstanding in the Golden Grizzlies’ 97-83 win at Washington. 38 points (25 in the first half), six rebounds and nine assists.

Cat Barber, N.C. State: Cat had 33 points, seven boards and four assists in a win over Missouri.

Derrick Walton, Michigan: A Wolverine had a triple-double for the second straight game as Walton tallied 10 points, 13 boards and 11 assists.

Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga: Sabonis had 36 points and 16 boards — and Kyle Wiltjer added 24 points — as the Zags barely hung on to beat a scrappy Tennessee team in Seattle, 86-79.

STRUGGLED

Grayson Allen and Derryck Thornton Jr., Duke: While fellow guard Grayson Allen (3-for-18) was dealing with the flu, Thornton shot 2-for-13 from the field in the Blue Devils’ two-point loss to Utah.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown: Smith-Rivera scored seven points as Georgetown lost to UNC Asheville, shooting 2-for-11 from the field.

Taurean Waller-Prince, Baylor: The Bears just didn’t show up ready to play at Texas A&M, falling behind by as much as 28 points in an 80-61 loss. Waller-Prince was the biggest culprit, as he had five points on 1-for-7 shooting before a meaningless three at the buzzer.

OTHER TOP 25 RESULTS

  • No. 1 Michigan State played its first true road game of the season as they beat Northeastern 78-58.
  • No. 2 Kansas rolled to an 88-46 win over Montana in Lawrence. Perry Ellis led four Jayhawks in double figures with 18 points to go along with nine rebounds.
  • Jake Layman led the way with 19 points as No. 6 Maryland beat Princeton by 21.
  • Another blowout win for No. 10 Xavier as they ran past Auburn at home. Jalen Reynolds led five double-figure scorers with 18 points.
  • No. 13 Arizona knocked off UNLV. Raphielle Johnson was there to write about it.
  • Playing without Kris Dunn, No. 14 Providence survived Rider, 73-65, thanks to double-doubles from Jalen Lindsey, Ben Bentil and Rodney Bullock.
  • JaQuan Newton scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench as No. 15 Miami beat Charleston 85-63.
  • No. 19 Louisville earned a win over Western Kentucky as Quentin Snider had 16 points and Damion Lee and Trey Lewis added 15 points each. However, the Cardinals lost Mangok Mathiang to a broken left foot.
  • No. 21 George Washington moved to 11-1 on the year with an 87-74 home win over Saint Peter’s.
  • No. 23 Cincinnati picked up a solid road win, beating VCU 69-63 in Richmond. Troy Caupain and Farad Cobb scored 15 points apiece to lead the way for the Bearcats.

NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Syracuse picked up an easy win over Cornell as Tyler Roberson had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Georgia earned a win over in-state rival Georgia Tech as J.J. Frazier had 35 points on the afternoon.
  • Seton Hall picked up an 80-76 overtime win over Wichita State in Newark.
  • Georgetown suffered another loss at home, this time falling 79-73 to UNC Asheville. Dylan Smith scored 19 off the bench for the Bulldogs.
  • Indiana closed its game on a 17-2 run, beating Notre Dame 80-73 at the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.
  • Tre Demps scored 18 points and Aaron Falzon hit two big shots in overtime as Northwestern outlasted DePaul 78-70.
  • Ben Simmons accounted for 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and Craig Victor scored 13 in his LSU debut as the Tigers rolled to a 100-77 win over Oral Roberts.
  • Florida State erased a 12-point halftime deficit to beat Florida Atlantic 64-59. Dwayne Bacon led the way for the Seminoles with a game-high 23 points.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith had 16 points and nine boards as the Gators knocked off Oklahoma State, 72-70.

First-half struggles doom No. 4 Kentucky against Ohio State

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One week after they were blown out at UConn on national television, Ohio State wasn’t given much of a chance to compete with No. 4 Kentucky much less win the game. But games are played for a reason, and Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn the Buckeyes outplayed the Wildcats and won by the final score of 74-67.

Once again Kentucky got off to a slow start offensively, and outside of freshman guard Jamal Murray the Wildcats struggled to get much going against Ohio State. Murray scored 33 points on the day, shooting 12-for-23 from the field and 7-for-9 from three in his best performance of the season. Ohio State didn’t have an answer for Murray, but the good news for the Buckeyes was that the other key Wildcats struggled and a 20-7 first half run gave them the cushion they needed to pull off the upset.

Tyler Ulis shot 4-for-12 from the field and Isaiah Briscoe made just one of his eight field goal attempts, and given the inconsistency of Kentucky’s front court John Calipari can’t afford to have his guards struggle to put points on the board. As a team the Wildcats shot 30.5 percent in the first half, and overall they struggled mightily inside of the arc. Kentucky shot 9-for-19 from three with the aforementioned Murray being the biggest reason why, but it’s tough to win games when shooting just over 36 percent from two.

Part of that can be placed upon penetrating guards taking challenged shots. But another issue is the play of the Kentucky big men, and outside of Marcus Lee they’ve struggled to find positive answers.

How can Calipari get what he needs from his big men? It goes without saying that Skal Labissiere has much further to go in his development than anyone imagined before the season began. The freshman finished Saturday’s game with two points and five rebounds, shooting 1-for-7 from the field and being rendered ineffective by the Buckeyes.

Lee has been Kentucky’s most consistent front court player and that was once again the case against Ohio State, as he tallied 12 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes before fouling out. But he needs help. With Labissiere being where he is development-wise and Alex Poythress still struggling to play with the aggressiveness and athleticism his coach is demanding of him, the Wildcats will continue to have issues moving forward if strides aren’t made.

Ohio State was the more aggressive team from the start, and outside of some turnover issues in the second half as Kentucky fought back to within three points Thad Matta’s team played well. Keita Bates-Diop scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Marc Loving added 12 and nine boards. There’s still a lot of room for this team to grow, and Saturday’s win is a highly valuable confidence booster for the young Buckeyes.

That being said, it’s hard not to return the focus to a team viewed as the clear favorites in the SEC and a national title contender. Ulis and Briscoe will have better afternoons. But if Kentucky is to be a major player nationally this season they’ll need more from their front court options, most notably Poythress. None of Kentucky’s big men have to be “20 and ten” players, but they’ve got to play with more aggression and consistency than they have in many of the Wildcats’ games to this point if this group is reach its goals.