NCAA BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Ohio State scores unlikley win
Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored seven of his nine points in the final 33 seconds and No. 3 Ohio State rallied from an eight-point deficit with 1:54 to play to beat Notre Dame 64-61 on Saturday night in the BlackRock Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The Buckeyes (12-0), who had a woeful second half from the field, closed the game on a 14-3 run and Smith was the key to the closing spurt.
Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring to give the Fighting Irish (8-4) a seemingly comfortable 58-50 lead with 1:54 to play. But the Buckeyes turned up the defensive intensity and they converted consecutive steals into a 58-56 deficit with 40 seconds to go.
No. 5 MICHIGAN STATE 92, TEXAS 78: Adreian Payne scored a career-high 32 points and Michigan State dominated the final 11 minutes of a victory over Texas. The Spartans (10-1) led for only 56 seconds in the first half as Texas (10-2) controlled the game early. Michigan State used a 9-2 run to take a 52-50 lead about halfway through the second half. Following two quick buckets by Jonathan Holmes, six Spartans scored during a 14-2 run that put the game away.
No. 6 LOUISVILLE 85, FIU 56: Russ Smith scored 18 points, Wayne Blackshear added 13 and Louisville won its sixth straight, easing past FIU. Smith had 12 in the first half for the Cardinals (11-1), who never trailed and were rarely threatened, outside of a couple brief early stretches where the game was tight. Tymell Murphy scored 16 points and former Louisville player Rakeen Buckles added 13 for FIU (8-5).
No. 8 VILLANOVA 88, RIDER 67: Freshman Josh Hart came off the bench to score 19 points and Villanova stayed perfect with a rout of Rider. One of 12 unbeaten teams remaining in Division I, the Wildcats (11-0) are off to their best start since the 1961-62 team won its first 12. JayVaughn Pinkston added 14 points for Villanova. Anthony Myles, Rider’s top scorer had 22 points. Jimmie Taylor added 15 points for Rider (5-5) .
No. 14 NORTH CAROLINA 97, DAVIDSON 85, OT: Marcus Paige scored 11 of his 17 points in overtime to help North Carolina hold off Davidson. Paige missed his first six shots and didn’t score until the 8:17 mark of the second half, but took over late to help the Tar Heels (8-3). J.P. Tokoto posted career-highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead North Carolina. Brian Sullivan had a career-high 33 points with seven 3-pointers for the Wildcats (4-8).
No. 15 MEMPHIS 77, SE MISSOURI STATE 65: Shaq Goodwin scored 20 points, Joe Jackson added 16 and Memphis pulled away for a win over Southeast Missouri State. Goodwin made 10 of 12 shots and had eight rebounds as the Tigers (8-2) recovered from Tuesday night’s 77-75 loss to No. 16 Florida at Madison Square Garden. Geron Johnson finished with 10 points for Memphis. Tyler Stone led the Redhawks (7-4) with 23 points.
No. 16 FLORIDA 66, FRESNO STATE 49: Will Yeguete led a strong rebounding effort by the Florida Gators, who pulled away in the second half to beat Fresno State in the Orange Bowl Classic. Yeguete had five offensive rebounds and a season-high 10 total for the Gators, who had a 47-24 advantage on the boards, by far their largest this season. Florida won easily despite shooting only 42 percent. Casey Prather scored 16 points for the Gators (9-2).
No. 18 KANSAS 86, GEORGETOWN 64: Tarik Black came off the bench to score 17 points, Joel Embiid also had 17 and Kansas bludgeoned Georgetown in the Hoyas’ first visit to Allen Fieldhouse. Andrew Wiggins added 12 points and Naadir Tharpe had 10 for the Jayhawks (8-3), who proved once more why the Phog is such a hostile venue. Kansas pushed its non-conference home winning streak to 67 games by pounding one of the nation’s premier programs. Markel Starks scored 19 points and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 12 to lead the Hoyas (7-3).
NO. 19 KENTUCKY 93, BELMONT 80: Julius Randle scored a career-high 29 points and led a second-half rally that pushed Kentucky past stubborn Belmont. A week after a season-worst performance in a loss at North Carolina, the 6-foot-9 freshman forward made all eight shots from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds. .
KANSAS STATE 72, No. 21 GONZAGA 62: Thomas Gipson scored eight of his 14 points in the game’s decisive minutes and freshman Marcus Foster also had 14 points as Kansas State outlasted Gonzaga. Wesley Iwundu scored 13 points for the Wildcats (8-3) while Shane Southwell had 11. Kevin Pangos had 14 points for Gonzaga (10-2) while reserve Drew Barham added 13 and David Stockton and Przemek Karnowski both scored 10.
FLORIDA STATE 60, No. 22 UMASS 55: Florida State scored the game’s final six points, including two free throws by Ian Miller with 1:06 left that put the Seminoles (8-3) ahead, and they handed Massachusetts (10-1) its first defeat of the season in the Orange Bowl Classic. Aaron Thomas scored 18 points for Florida State and was voted the game’s most valuable player. His two free throws with 2 seconds left sealed the victory.
ILLINOIS 65, No. 23 MISSOURI 64: Tracy Abrams scored a season-best 22 points and made two free throws with 4.6 seconds to lift Illinois over Missouri in the annual Braggin’ Rights game. Rayvonte Rice added 14 points for Illinois (10-2), which snapped a four-game losing streak in the 33rd renewal of the annual neutral-court matchup. Jordan Clarkson had 25 points and Earnest Ross added 13 for Missouri (10-1), which had been the lone unbeaten school in the SEC.