|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • No. 2 Shockers improve to 31-0

  • WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita State will carry its pursuit of perfection into the Missouri Valley tournament.
    • email print
      Comment
  • WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita State will carry its pursuit of perfection into the Missouri Valley tournament.
    Cleanthony Early scored 19 points, Ron Baker added 13 and the second-ranked Shockers rolled to a 68-45 victory over Missouri State on Saturday, easily putting away a team that had given them fits this season.
    Relying on the same stubborn defense that carried it on last year's improbable run to the Final Four, Wichita State (31-0, 18-0) became the first team since Saint Joseph's in 2004 to enter its conference tournament unbeaten. The Shockers will have a first-round bye in St. Louis next week.
    Missouri State (19-11, 9-9) had them in trouble when they met Jan. 11 in Springfield, Mo., but the Bears blew a 19-point second-half lead and ultimately lost 72-69 in overtime.
    They never came close to making it a game Saturday, trailing by double-digits in the opening minutes.
    No. 1 Florida 79, LSU 61
    At Gainesville, Fla., Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, and top-ranked Florida used a season-high 13 3-pointers to extend its school-record winning streak to 21 games.
    Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II added 14 points apiece for the Gators, who also won their 31st straight at home.
    No. 12 Virginia 76,No. 4 Syracuse 56
    At Charlottesville, Va., Malcolm Brogdon scored eight of his 19 points during a decisive second-half run and No. 12 Virginia clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
    Akil Mitchell added 12 points and nine rebounds and Mike Tobey and Justin Anderson scored 11 each for the Cavaliers (25-5, 16-1 ACC), who won their only outright ACC regular season title 33 years ago — 1980-81 — when Ralph Sampson was a sophomore. The victory was their 13th in a row and the final buzzer brought hundreds streaming onto the court.
    Oklahoma State 72,No. 5 Kansas 65
    At Stillwater, Okla., Marcus Smart scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half to help Oklahoma State defeat Kansas and give a major boost to the Cowboys' once-fading NCAA tournament hopes.
    Oklahoma State (19-10, 7-9 Big 12) overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half. The Cowboys improved to 3-0 since Smart returned from a three-game suspension for shoving a Texas Tech fan.
    No. 21 Memphis 72,No. 7 Louisville 66
    At Memphis, Tenn., Chris Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Tigers swept the season series from the Cardinals.
    No. 21 Memphis (22-7, 11-5 American Athletic Conference) trailed 65-57 with 4:45 left when Michael Dixon Jr. scored six straight, jumpstarting the Tigers who scored 15 of the final 16 points.
    Xavier 75, No. 9 Creighton 69
    At Cincinnati, Justin Martin had 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds on Saturday, and Xavier led most of the way in front of the largest crowd in the 14-year history of the Musketeers' arena.
    VCU 67, No. 10 Saint Louis 56
    At Richmond, Va., Treveon Graham had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Virginia Commonwealth added a quality win to its NCAA tournament resume by beating Saint Louis.
    Connecticut 51,No. 11 Cincinnati 45
    At Hartford, Conn., Shabazz Napier scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead UConn.
    The Huskies (23-6, 11-5 American Athletic Conference) won despite going without a field goal for the game's final 71/2; minutes.
    No. 13 San Diego State 82,Fresno State 67
    At Fresno, Calif., Xavier Thames scored 19 points and Aqueel Quinn added 17 in San Diego State's victory over Fresno State.
    The Aztecs (24-3, 14-2 Mountain West) shot 60 percent from the field, including 9 of 15 on 3-pointers, to cool off a Fresno State team that had won seven of eight.
    Kansas State 80,No. 15 Iowa State 73
    At Manhattan, Kan., Will Spradling hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:38 left and Kansas State overcame a huge game by Iowa State star Melvin Ejim.
    Shane Southwell had 13 points for the Wildcats (20-9, 10-6 Big 12), who moved into a four-way tie for second place in the conference. Looking for the No. 2 seed in the league tournament, they play at Oklahoma State on Monday and then host Baylor on Saturday to end the regular season.
    No. 16 Michigan 66, Minnesota 56
    At Ann Arbor, Mich., Nik Stauskas scored 21 points and Glenn Robinson III provided an emotional lift with his dunks as Michigan locked up at least a share of the Big Ten title with a victory over Minnesota.
    The Wolverines (21-7, 13-3) didn't arrive at the Crisler Center expecting to have a chance to earn their third banner in three years, but Illinois changed that by upsetting Michigan State in East Lansing.
    South Carolina 72,No. 17 Kentucky 67
    At Columbia, S.C., Brenton Williams scored 24 points for South Carolina, which held on after Kentucky coach John Calipari was ejected midway through the second half.
    South Carolina (11-18, 4-12 Southeastern Conference) hit six of its first eight shots in the second half to go up 48-32 with 14:13 left. Kentucky made a furious charge after Calipari was tossed, but came up short.
    Illinois 53,No. 18 Michigan State 46
    At East Lansing, Mich., Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading Illinois past slumping Michigan State.
    The Fighting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) have three straight victories for the first time since winning four in a row from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4. That successful stretch included a win over then-No. 23 Missouri.
    No. 19 North Carolina 60,Virginia Tech 56
    At Blacksburg, Va., James Michael McAdoo scored 15 points to lead North Carolina to its 11th straight victory.
    McAdoo hit 6 of 9 from the floor for the Tar Heels (22-7, 12-4), who started Atlantic Coast Conference play 1-4 and have not lost since.
    No. 23 SMU 70, UCF 55
    At Dallas, Markus Kennedy scored 18 points, Nic Moore had 11 of his 13 in the second half and SMU took another step toward its first NCAA tournament berth in 21 years.
    Oklahoma 77, No. 24 Texas 65
    At Norman, Okla., Isaiah Cousins scored a career-high 24 points and Oklahoma gained ground in the race for second place in the Big 12.
    Buddy Hield hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Oklahoma (21-8, 10-6), which entered the game in a four-way battle with Texas (21-8, 10-6), Kansas State and Iowa State behind Kansas.
Reader Reaction

      calendar