College Basketball Roundup: No. 2 Spartans hold off No. 1 Wildcats
No. 2 MICHIGAN ST. 78 No. 1 KENTUCKY 74
CHICAGO — With Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Adreian Payne all scoring in double figures for No. 2 Michigan State, Keith Dawson came up with the biggest basket, tipping in a miss with less than six seconds left to give the Spartans a 78-74 victory over top-ranked Kentucky on Tuesday night.
James Young missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Spartans erupted in delight, with Harris holding up his index finger.
No. 1, indeed.
It was the earliest meeting of 1 vs. 2, and the first since 2008, and the matchup did not disappoint for many who see it as a sneak preview of the Final Four. Julius Randle had 23 of his 27 points in the second half, as the Wildcats (2-1) erased a 13-point deficit. But they couldn’t overcome their troubles at the free throw line, going a dismal 20 of 36.
No. 3 LOUISVILLE 97 HOFSTRA 69
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Russ Smith scored 21 of his game-high 30 points in the first half and No. 3 Louisville made 12 3-pointers to set the tone for a 97-69 rout of Hofstra on Tuesday night.
The senior guard shot 12 of 22 from the field including 5 of 12 from beyond the arc. Wayne Blackshear made three straight 3s for nine points to help Louisville break the game open with a 26-2 second-half run. Luke Hancock returned from an Achilles injury to hit a couple from long range as well as the Cardinals finished 12 of 31 from deep.
Louisville (2-0) shot 35 of 68 overall (51.5 percent), a big improvement from its 38-percent effort in a season-opening win over the College of Charleston.
Nesmith led Hofstra (1-2) with 24 points.
No. 7 MICHIGAN 93 S.C. STATE 59
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Caris LeVert made his first five 3-point attempts, and No. 7 Michigan had a terrific night from beyond the arc, breezing to a 93-59 victory over South Carolina State on Tuesday night.
LeVert finished with 24 points, going 6 of 7 from long distance. Nik Stauskas added 23 points – he was 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Both sophomores set career highs in scoring.
The Wolverines (2-0) were again without star big man Mitch McGary, who has been out with a back problem.
Jordan Smith scored 19 points for South Carolina State (1-2).
No. 8 OKLAHOMA ST. 93 UTAH VALLEY 40
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Phil Forte scored 19 points to lead six double-figure scorers, and No. 8 Oklahoma State cruised past Utah Valley 93-40 on Tuesday night.
The Cowboys (2-0) hit 10 of 18 from 3-point range in the first half and 14 of 33 from beyond the arc for the game. Forte, who had 22 points in a reserve role in the opener, and Marcus Smart, who had 14 points, five rebounds and four assists, combined to hit 8 of 17 from 3-point range.
After draining 4 of 7 from beyond 3-point line against Mississippi Valley State last Friday, Forte, a sophomore guard, was 4 of 8 on Tuesday.
Freshman Stevie Clark was 3 of 4 from 3-point range, finished 16 points and had six assists.
Le’Bryan Nash (11), Brian Williams (10) and Markel Brown (10) also scored in double figures for the Cowboys.
Keawe Enos and Hayes Garrity both had eight points for Utah Valley (2-1).
No. 9 SYRACUSE 89 FORDHAM 74
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — C.J. Fair scored a career-high 26 points, Jerami Grant added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 9 Syracuse beat Fordham 89-74 on Tuesday night.
Syracuse, which started the season with a so-so 82-60 win over Cornell on Friday night after trailing by 14 points late in the first half, left little doubt about the outcome of this one. The Orange had the game in hand by halftime, leading by 25 behind 15 points from Fair as the Syracuse defense clamped down from the opening tip.
Grant, who missed Syracuse’s season opener due to a violation of NCAA rules regarding summer-league play, was sharp, hitting 6 of 12 shots and nabbing three steals. Freshman point guard Tyler Ennis had a solid game after scoring his first collegiate basket on a driving layup on the game’s first possession. He finished with 16 points, five assists, no turnovers and four of the Orange’s 15 steals.
No. 10 OHIO STATE 79 OHIO 69
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Aaron Craft scored 17 points – including eight free throws down the stretch – to help No. 10 Ohio State hold off neighboring rival Ohio 79-69 on Tuesday night.
Amir Williams had a career-high 14 points, reserve Sam Thompson had 12 and LaQuinton Ross added 10 for the Buckeyes (2-0).
Ohio State built a 12-point halftime lead and never trailed in a game with little continuity due to the constant whistles calling the new contact rules. Ohio State was 37 of 50 at the line. Stevie Taylor and Nick Kellogg each had 21 points for Ohio (1-1), down by as many as 17 before cutting the gap to five points with 4 minutes left.
The teams, just 75 miles apart, hadn’t met on the court in 19 years. There were a combined 55 fouls called and five Bobcats fouled out.
No. 14 VCU 59 No. 25 VIRGINIA 56
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Treveon Graham scored 22 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds to play, and No. 14 VCU beat No. 25 Virginia 59-56 on Tuesday night in front a sellout crowd at John Paul Jones Arena.
The Rams (2-0) trailed for almost all of the final 10 minutes until Graham’s steal and baseline jumper gave them a 56-55 lead with 1:18 left.
Malcolm Brogdon then hit just the second of two free throws with 9.7 seconds left for the Cavaliers (1-1), tying the game before the Rams called time out and set up the final play.
Rob Brandenburg brought the ball up, went around a screen and fired a pass back to Graham, who shot from the left side of the arc and swished it through for just the sixth 3-pointer of the game.
Joe Harris led Virginia with 18 points, but he missed two free throws with 3:58 to play and Virginia trying to extend a 53-49 lead. The Cavaliers scored just three points in the last 4:57.
No. 17 MARQUETTE 114 GRAMBLING STATE 71
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chris Otule scored 17 points and Steve Taylor added 16 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 17 Marquette roll over Grambling State 114-71 on Tuesday night.
The last time Marquette (2-0) reached the century mark came in a 102-77 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 21, 2010.
Deonte Burton added 14 points, JuJuan Johnson 12 and Jamil Thomas, Juan Anderson and Jake Thomas each a had 11 for Marquette.
The Golden Eagles took command early and led by as much as 23 in the first half as Otule scored 13 points and Davante Gardner and Burton each added 10 for a 52-35 lead. Then Thomas hit consecutive 3s and added a layup to spark a 12-0 run that opened the second half and sealed the win.
Chandler Thomas scored 26 points and A’Torri Shine added 17 for Grambling State (0-2), which has lost 30 straight games.