Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday's Shootaround: Upsets abound

Legends Classic

  • Florida 77, Michigan State 74: Florida picks up arguably their biggest win since the 2007 title season as they won a back-and-forth game with the Spartans. Down 69-68 with 1:56 left in the game, Erving Walker hit a deep three from in front of his own bench to give the Gators a lead they would not relinquish. Dan Werner hit two free throws with 17 seconds left and Durrell Summers missed two late threes as the Gators hung on for a well earned win. The story of this game was how out of sync the Spartans looked. They committed 23 turnovers while committing silly fouls down the stretch which allowed to Gators to take control. Erving Walker was just 2-10 from the floor, but he had 7 assists to just 1 turnover. Freshman Kenny Boynton struggled, going 2-12 and 1-9 from deep, but Chandler Parsons (14 points) and Vernon Macklin (10 points, 5 boards) provided a boost off the bench. Kalin Lucas played great for Michigan State, scoring 20 points while hitting numerous big shots.
  • Rutgers 83, UMass 75: Mike Rosario scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half as the Scarlet Knights used a hot shooting first half to open a big lead. UMass rallied from a 22 point deficit early in the second half, with a Ricky Harris three cutting the lead to 79-75 late, but Rutgers was able to seal the game from the line.
76 Classic
  • West Virginia 73, Texas A&M 66: Da'Sean Butler scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half while also adding 5 boards and 5 assists as the Mountaineers used a 12-1 run midway through the second half to pull away. The Aggies got as close as four with a minute left, but were unable to get any closer as WVU hit their free throws down the stretch. The biggest news to come out of this one was that Devin Ebanks, West Virginia's star forward who missed the first three games of the season due to "personal issues", finally suited up. He came in midway through the second half and proceeded to score six straight points, finishing with 14 points and 9 boards in 25 minutes. Donald Sloan and BJ Holmes led A&M with 18 a piece.
  • Clemson 87, Long Beach State 79: Tanner Smith led six Tigers in double figures as Clemson held on against a tough 49ers team. LBSU used a 13-2 run to cut a 12 point Clemson lead one midway through the second half, but the Tigers controlled this one for most of the second have. TJ Robinson (25 points, 15 boards) and Casper Ware (20 points, 10 assists) both played great for the 49ers, but Demontez Stitt (16 and 5 assists) and Trevor Booker (12 points and 7 boards) and company were too much.
  • Portland 61, Minnesota 56: What were we saying about the WCC? Eric Revelo may be coaching his way to the big time as his Pilots effectively mixed defenses, holding Minnesota to 33% shooting and just 16% from deep. TJ Campbell had 23 points to lead Portland while Robin Smeulders added 13 and 6 boards and Nik Raivio had a cold night (9 points on 4-15 shooting) but added 11 rebounds. Minnesota's front court really struggled, and if it wasn't for 19 Portland turnovers and an off-night from deep (8-25), the Gophers might have gotten blown out. A final pitting the Pilots and the Mountaineers will be quite a good game.
  • Butler 69, UCLA 67: The Bruins finally showed up to play Friday night. Too bad it was against a team many believe to be one of the best in the country. UCLA hung around with the Bulldogs by forcing another off-night from Gordon Hayward (3-14) and getting Matt Howard into foul trouble (16 minutes before fouling out). Still, Butler was able to build a 60-52, largely a result of a game-high 21 points from Shelvin Mack, before UCLA came storming back. Jerime Anderson hit a three with 8.6 seconds left to tie the game at 67, but Hayward went the other direction, getting into the lane and drawing a foul with 0.6 seconds left. He hit both free throws for the win. Butler blew a 14 points halftime lead, however. I'm not really sure what to make of the Bulldogs right now. UCLA has too many talented players to play as poorly as they did against Portland all season long, but Butler has yet to put together a complete performance. The Bulldogs will get quite the test against Clemson in the fifth place game.
Old Spice Classic
  • Marquette 79, Michigan 65: Marquette looks like they may make some noise in the Big East. Playing small once again this season, the Golden Eagles out-quicked and out-hustled the Wolverines as they earned a trip to the Old Spice Finals. Michigan used a 12-4 run to start the second half, but Marquette responded with a 10-0 run of their own to open a 58-47 lead that Michigan never came back from. Lazar Hayward (22 points, 9 boards) and Jimmy Butler (17 points, 9 boards) look like they will be one of the better front courts in the Big East. Manny Harris went for 22 points, 8 boards, and 4 assists in the loss.
  • Xavier 80, Creighton 67: Xavier looked like a different team yesterday. I take that back, Jordan Crawford looked like a different player. After shooting his team out of the game on Thursday with a 4-20 performance, Crawford was 8-12 from the floor for 22 points as Xavier completely outplayed the Bluejays, extending their lead to as much as 19. The Musketeers were 9-18 from deep. If it wasn't for Ethan Fragge's 21 point and 5 three's, this one could have been even uglier.
  • Florida State 60, Alabama 51: In a game that rivaled Duke-UConn for ugliness, the Seminoles displayed their defensive prowess, keeping everyone on the Crimson Tide to a subpar game - no one reached double figures. The Noles opened up a lead as big as 13, mainly on the strength of sizzling perimeter shooting, as they were 6-7 from deep in the first half and 9-13 overall. Chris Singleton had 14 and 6 boards to lead FSU while Solomon Alabi added 10 points, 4 boards, and 4 blocks.
  • Baylor 72, Iona 62 OT: LaceDarius Dunn scored 7 of his game-high 17 in the extra session as Baylor avoided the upset against the upstart Gaels. Iona trailed 32-23 at the half, but thanks to some hot shooting from seven footer Jonathon Huffman (four threes), the Gaels were able to work their way back into the game. Baylor is going to be in trouble if they don't figure out how to take advantage of their size and athleticism on the interior. Epke Udoh, Quincy Acy, and Anthony Jones went for 38 points and 28 boards combined, but were less than impressive asserting their dominance when Iona made their run.
Preseason NIT
  • Duke 68, UConn 59: For a full recap, go to our postgame write-up here. But I did want to touch on a couple of things that didn't make the cut. For starters, lets talk about Andre Dawkins. Here is a freshman that thought that he was going to be playing high school ball this season as late as August, but he is turning into Duke's most reliable three point threat and showing a knack for knocking down big shots. And as much flack as Sticks got for his poor performance on the glass, he definitely deserves mention for the defensive performance he had against Kyle Singler. Sticks length really got to the all-american, and he was a huge reason that Singler went 2-12 from the field.
  • Arizona State 71, LSU 52: Down 34-27 at halftime, a completely different Arizona State team showed up for the second half. It started with defense, as the Sun Devils held LSU to a meager 18 points after the break. Derek Glasser and Eric Boateng were dynamite tonight. Glasser looked like he could compete with Nic Wise, Jerome Randle and Isaiah Thomas for 1st team all-Pac-10 as he had 21 points and 6 assists in the win. He torched the Tigers using the pick and roll in the second half. Boateng was a completely different player tonight as he went for 17 and 8 boards, while also adding 3 assists. If ASU can get two freshman — Trent Lockett and Victor Rudd — to play at a consistently high level, this may be a tournament team in a weakened Pac-10 this year.
Other notable scores
  • Utah 60, Illinois 58: Luka Drca scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half as the Utes overcame a 32-16 halftime deficit. Freshman Shawn Glover scored on a runner at the buzzer after the Utes rebounded a Demetri McCamey miss with four seconds left.
  • San Diego 72, Houston 65: Score another win for the WCC. The Toreros advanced to the finals of the Great Alaska Shootout as Clinton Houston scored 21 to lead the way. Brandon Johnson added 13 of his 15 points in the second half.
  • Richmond 63, Mississippi State 62: Richmond jumped out to a quick 13-2 lead, but the Bulldogs responded with some hot three point shooting to take a lead in the second half. After going back and forth for a couple possessions, the Spiders took the lead on a Kevin Anderson jumper with 30 seconds left. Ryan Butler had 19 to lead Richmond.
  • Temple 61, Virginia Tech 50: Lavoy Allen had 18 and 10 to lead the Owls, who used a 19-4 run to close out the first half. Malcolm Delaney scored 28 of his 32 points in the second half as the Hokies got as close as two in the second half. Temple responded with a 16-4 run, and extended their lead to as much as 19.
  • Northwestern 72, Notre Dame 58: The Wildcats 1-3-1 defense wreaked havoc with the Irish offensively, as Notre Dame managed just 32% shooting from the field. John Shurna scored 25 points, and freshman Alex Marcotullio hit two big threes to kill Irish rallies. Gody had 21 and 9 to lead Notre Dame.
  • St. John's 77, Siena 68: DJ Kennedy scored 23 points to lead the Johnnies. Siena got a bucket from Ryan Rossiter, who paced the Saints with 24 and 13 boards, to cut the lead to 52-51, but St. John's responded with a 10-2 run to take a 62-53 lead. Siena never threatened again.
  • Kansas 112, Tennessee Tech 75: Tyshawn Taylor scored 18 to lead five Jayhawks in double figures in a rout. Cole Aldrich had 14 and 10 boards to break out of a mini-slump.
  • Syracuse 85, Columbia 60: The Orange got 26 points from Wesley Johnson and another excellet floor game from Scoop Jardine (8 points, 7 assists, 5 steals). Mookie Jones, who is seemingly considering transferring according to some rumors, hit four straight threes in the second half.
  • Tennessee 86, Charleston 69: A fatigued Tennessee team got 21 points from Scottie Hopson as they needed a late push to put away Charleston.
  • Georgia Tech 85, Mercer 74: Derrick Favors and Mfon Udofia both scored 16 points and Gani Lawal added 15 and 10 as the Yellow Jackets overcame a 40 point outburst from James Florence.
  • Oklahoma State 68, Bradley 57: James Anderson scored 19 points as the Cowboys built up a lead as big as 20 against the Braves.
  • Cornell 78, Toledo 60: Ryan Wittman scored 20 and Jeff Foote added 12 and 12 as the Big Red bounced back from consecutive losses.
  • Iowa State 65, St. Louis 54: Craig Brackins had 16 points to pace the Cyclones, who needed a 13-0 run in the second half to take control of this game.
  • South Florida 78, Florida Atlantic 58: The Bulls got 27 points and 7 boards from Gus Gilchrist in the win.
  • South Carolina 97, Jacksonville 93: The Gamecocks got 34 from Devan Downey, including 17 in the final six minutes, as they held off the Dolphins. It was USC's first game without Dominique Archie, and if it is any indication, the Gamecocks may be hurting defensively.
  • VCU 85, Nevada 76: The Commodores got 17 points, 14 boards, and 5 blocks from Larry Sanders as they blew the one open in the second half, building a lead as big as 20.
  • Missouri 66, Old Dominion 61: The Tigers got 12 points from JT Tiller and 11 from Kim English as they forced 24 Monarch turnovers. Mizzou survived a late run by ODU, who cut a 14 point lead to four late.
  • BYU 87, Weber State 70: The Cougars got 23 and 7 dimes from Jimmer Fredette as the pulled away during the second half.

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