Feb 18

Black’s career-high 28 pushes Illinois past Nebraska 72-66

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Close games have not gone well for Illinois this season. The Illini have lost nine games by single digits, including three losses in overtime and one at the buzzer against Nebraska on Jan. 15.

But in a rematch Sunday afternoon, the Illini got their revenge in a 72-66 victory over the Cornhuskers, powered by Leron Black.

Black poured in a career-high 28 points and snagged seven rebounds to help Illinois outlast Nebraska. He scored 17 points in 12 minutes in the first half, including a stretch in which he made seven consecutive field goals.

”My teammates were finding me in all the right spots,” Black said. ”I had a lot of open shots. They were looking for me and getting me the ball.”

There were six ties and nine lead changes during the game, but the deciding basket came from Black. He nailed a turnaround, fadeaway jumper with two minutes left that put the Illini ahead by three and brought the State Farm Center crowd to its feet.

On the Illini’s final two possessions Trent Frazier and Mark Smith knocked down four free throws to secure the win.

Illinois (13-15, 3-12 Big Ten) shot 62 percent from the field and made 7 of 9 from behind the arc to outscore Nebraska 43-36 in the first half. But after the break, the Cornhuskers used a 16-4 run to climb back in it for a five-point lead.

The teams traded baskets the rest of the way, but Black proved to be too much. He knocked down 3 of 5 from behind the arc in his second consecutive 20-point performance.

”Huge night from Leron,” coach Brad Underwood said. ”Everyone got to see how (his game) has expanded. He shot a couple off the dribble today, he hit a couple threes. Really pleased with the way he played.”

Frazier and Kipper Nichols were the only other Illini to score in double figures, finishing with 12 points apiece.

Isaac Copeland led the way with 17 points for Nebraska (20-9, 11-5), who lost for the just the second time in its past 10 games.

”We had just kind of gone to sleep (in the first half),” coach Tim Miles. ”We hadn’t practiced that great coming in and we played that way.”

BIG PICTURE

Glynn Watson Jr., Nebraska’s third leading scorer, finished with just three points on 1-of-9 shooting. The loss snapped the Cornhuskers six-game winning streak.

Illinois’ slight win should give Underwood’s young squad some confidence moving forward as it prepares to close out the regular season.

INJURED STARTER

Michael Finke missed his third consecutive game with a concussion. The Illinois forward has started in 25 games this season and is the Illini’s fourth leading scorer at 9.6 points per game.

FRESHMAN HISTORY

Frazier has scored in double-figures in 16 of Illinois’ last 18 games. He’s averaging 12.3 points this year which is the most by an Illini freshman since Dee Brown during the 2002-03 season.

QUOTABLE

”You talk about having pride? You talk about feeling good? That’s everything we have to be about,” Underwood said regarding a loose ball scrum in the second half. ”That was three, four guys on the floor all fighting to win a game. Didn’t care about a little burn from the floor, didn’t care about getting knocked. Tonight I knew we were in good shape when we were to that point because that is selfless. That was the play of the night in my opinion.”

UP NEXT

Nebraska returns home to take on Indiana. The Hoosiers are led by Juwan Morgan, who is ranked eighth in the Big Ten in scoring at 16.6 points per game.

Illinois will hit the road and face Michigan State on Tuesday. The No. 2 Spartans have a 10-game winning streak.

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/blacks-career-high-28-pushes-illinois-past-nebraska-232019561--ncaab.html

Feb 18

Clemons scores 24 of 26 in 2nd half, Campbell beats Liberty

BUIES CREEK, N.C. (AP) — Chris Clemons scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Marcus Burk added 19 points and the pair each made four of Campbell 15 3-pointers in a 79-69 victory over Liberty on Sunday.

Clemons, the nation’s fourth-leading scorer at 24.6 points per game, missed his first four shots and didn’t score from the field until early in the second half. He made eight of his last 11 shots, including 4 of 5 3-pointers to extend his NCAA Division I-leading streak to 76 consecutive double-figure games.

Damontez Oliver came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points on four 3-pointers for Campbell (15-13, 9-7 Big South), which swept in the season series.

Campbell shot 63 percent in the second half and committed a season-low five turnovers.

Ryan Kemrite scored 14 points for Liberty (17-12, 8-8), which lost for just the second time in its last seven games.

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/clemons-scores-24-26-2nd-half-campbell-beats-230022991--ncaab.html

Feb 18

Igbanu leads second-half surge in Tulsa’s 73-61 victory

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Martins Igbanu scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Tulsa beat South Florida 73-61 on Sunday for the Golden Hurricane’s fifth straight victory.

Junior Etou added 11 points and nine rebounds and DaQuan Jeffries and Curran Scott also scored 11 apiece. Tulsa (16-10, 9-5), in fourth place in the American Athletic Conference, outrebounded USF 39-31, including 13-7 on the offensive glass.

David Collins and Stephan Jiggets had three 3-pointers apiece and scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, for the Bulls (8-20, 1-14), who have lost seven in a row. Payton Banks added 11 points and Malik Martin 10.

Tulsa trailed early but ended the half ahead 34-23 after an 8-0 run. The Hurricane opened the second half with a 20-7 run with 12 points from Igbanu and seven from Etou for its largest lead of 24 points, riding the big lead to the win.

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/igbanu-leads-second-half-surge-tulsas-73-61-225402149--ncaab.html

Feb 18

Kennedy opts to end his Ole Miss coaching tenure immediately

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi basketball coach Andy Kennedy says his resignation is now effective immediately, six days after saying he would depart at the end of the season.

”It has become readily apparent to me that my continued presence as the head coach is proving detrimental to these players finishing the season in a fashion that is representative of The Standard for this program that has been clearly established and maintained for over a decade,” Kennedy said Sunday in a university release. ”Therefore, I believe that it is in everyone’s best interest that I exit my role as head coach effective immediately.

”We all know that ”clean breaks” are always best, and I should have realized this last Monday. My apologies.”

Tony Madlock, an assistant on Kennedy’s staff, will serve as Ole Miss’ acting head coach for the rest of the season.

Kennedy said part of the reason he had stepped down last week was to relieve any external pressure the players may have been feeling due to his uncertain job status. Kennedy said he believed those players were still feeling that pressure even after his Monday announcement.

Ole Miss (11-16, 4-10) has lost 75-64 to Arkansas and 79-62 at Mississippi State in its two games since Kennedy announced he’d be stepping down .

”Andy and I spoke this morning, and I fully support his decision to step away today,” athletic director Ross Bjork said. ”While we had hoped to relieve some pressure with last week’s announcement, it simply did not work out that way. Our student-athletes are the most important aspect of our athletics program, and we must always put them in the best position for success, no matter what.”

Kennedy departs with a final record of 245-156 in 12 seasons at Ole Miss. He owns the school record for career victories. Ole Miss had nine 20-win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances during his tenure

His 401 games at Ole Miss are the 10th-highest total by one coach at one school in SEC history.

Kennedy owns an overall record of 266-169 in 13 seasons. He was interim head coach at Cincinnati in 2005-06 before taking over Ole Miss’ program.

More AP college basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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Feb 18

Tilghman saves Monmouth in 93-89 3OT thriller over Siena

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Austin Tilghman scored 24 points and sank four free throws at the end of the third overtime to lift Monmouth over Siena 93-89 on Sunday.

Jordan Horn’s jump shot tied it at 89 with six seconds left before Tilghman was fouled and made two fouls shots. Tilghman stole the inbounds pass with 1.2 seconds left and was fouled again.

Christian Bentley converted a 3-point play with 19 seconds to go in the second overtime to pull Siena to 85-83, and after a Manny Camper steal, Horn made two foul shots to tie it. Tilghman’s half-court shot at the buzzer hit the back iron to send it to a third overtime.

In the first OT, Monmouth’s Ray Salnave sank a pair of foul shots to tie it at 74 with six seconds left and Ahsante Shivers missed a 3-point attempt as time expired.

Tilghman made 12 of 18 free throws as Monmouth’s (10-18, 6-10 Metro Atlantic Athletic) was 29 of 40.

Khalil Richard led Siena (8-21, 4-12) with 23 points. The Saints turned it over 21 times.

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/tilghman-saves-monmouth-93-89-3ot-thriller-over-223159717--ncaab.html

Feb 18

Iroegbu leads Stony Brook past New Hampshire 72-63

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — UC Iroegbu hit three 3-pointers and scored 17 points and Stony Brook defeated New Hampshire 72-63 on Sunday to split the season series and join the Wildcats in fifth place in the America East Conference.
Junior Saintel added 1…

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/iroegbu-leads-stony-brook-past-hampshire-72-63-222746058--ncaab.html

Feb 18

High Point beats Gardner-Webb 66-65

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Jordan Whitehead scored 12 points and High Point beat Gardner-Webb 66-65 on Sunday.

Ricky Madison made High Point’s final field goal of the game at the 5:20 mark for a 63-58 lead. Jaheam Cornwall scored the last points of the game with 40 seconds to go and he was off on a shot at the buzzer after a High Point turnover.

Whitehead’s fellow starters – Denny Slay, Brandonn Kamga and Jahaad Proctor – each scored nine points for High Point (13-14, 8-8 Big South), which is tied for fifth in the standings. The Panthers were just 2 of 13 from distance but made 18 of 23 free throws.

DJ Laster scored 17 points, Liam O’Reilly had 16 points and eight rebounds and Cornwall chipped in 10 for Gardner-Webb (12-17, 7-9).

Gardner-Webb tied it at 46 but the Panthers scored eight straight with 3s from Luke Vargo and Kamga.

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Feb 18

UMass Lowell seals it at foul line to beat Binghamton 74-69

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Jahad Thomas scored 22 points and UMass Lowell scored its last 10 points from the foul line and beat Binghamton 74-69 on Sunday.

UMass Lowell (10-16, 4-9 America East) shot 10 of 12 from the free throw line in the final 1:48 – 5 of 6 by Obadiah Noel – to keep Binghamton at bay. Binghamton’s first score, a layup by Thomas Bruce, marked the Bearcats’ only lead.

Connor Bennett’s 3-point play broke a 9-all tie and started an 11-2 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers by Noel and Matt Harris. Noel’s 3 with 4:05 before halftime made it 30-20 before Binghamton went on a 7-0 run before intermission.

Thomas started the second half with 10-straight Lowell points and the River Hawks slowly pulled away. They finished 24 of 33 from the foul line.

J.C. Show led Binghamton (11-17, 2-11), which was 7 of 11 from the line, with 15 points.

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/umass-lowell-seals-foul-line-beat-binghamton-74-220852443--ncaab.html

Feb 18

UConn beats ECU 84-80 despite Fleming’s triple-double

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Connecticut put together one of its best offensive performances of the season. The Huskies needed it, because East Carolina’s Isaac Fleming came up with another triple-double.

UConn beat the Pirates 84-80 on Sunday despite the do-it-all ECU guard.

Jalen Adams scored 26 points, Terry Larrier added 20 points and Christian Vital finished with 16 to help the Huskies (13-14, 6-8 American Athletic Conference) snap a two-game losing streak. They shot 58.2 percent and hit 13 3-pointers – both season highs – in their highest-scoring performance since a double-overtime, 90-88 loss to Tulsa on Jan. 3.

”We made shots. We’ve just got to get better defensively, and we’ve got to rebound the ball better,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said.

Only twice has an ECU player finished with a triple-double – and both belong to Fleming in the past month. He finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Pirates (10-15, 4-10).

”It shows that he’s getting better as a player,” ECU interim coach Michael Perry said. ”He’s an interesting kid because he’s got a lot of moxie, as you can see on the floor. Just getting him to harness that and put that energy in the right areas. … As he begins to do that, you’re going to see a better overall basketball game, and it’s happening for him.”

Shawn Williams added 26 points, and his deep 3-pointer – his seventh of the game – pulled ECU to 82-80 with 15.6 seconds left.

Adams hit two free throws with 14.7 seconds remaining, and after B.J. Tyson left a layup short with about six seconds remaining, Tyler Polley grabbed the defensive rebound that effectively sealed it.

BIG PICTURE

Connecticut: The Huskies’ offense certainly found its groove, lighting it up from long range against an East Carolina team that entered as the league’s third-best at defending the arc. Now the challenge is stringing a few of these performances together and finding a way to salvage the year once postseason play begins.

East Carolina: Fleming and Williams once again proved themselves as a pair of solid building blocks for the Pirates’ next permanent coach, with Perry finishing up the season after Jeff Lebo stepped down in November. Fleming also had a triple-double Feb. 3 against Memphis and Williams has been the team’s top scorer in conference play.

KEY STAT

The Huskies also matched a season high with 18 assists, and Antwoine Anderson led the way with seven. ”We’ve been looking for that all year, and you’ve got to make shots to do that,” Ollie said. ”We wrote on the board: ‘Selfless.’ Selfless is giving up a good shot for a great shot.”

LONG RANGE

Both teams set season highs from 3-point range, with each team hitting 13. East Carolina entered as the AAC’s worst team from 3-point range but made its first five attempts from beyond the arc. The teams combined to take 10 straight 3s to open the game.

UP NEXT

Connecticut: The Huskies hit the road for a Thursday night rematch with No. 5 Cincinnati, which beat UConn 65-57 on Feb. 3.

East Carolina: The Pirates play host to SMU on Wednesday night.

For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/uconn-beats-ecu-84-80-despite-flemings-triple-220851126--ncaab.html

Feb 18

Rider edges Canisius 83-82 for its 10th straight victory

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (AP) — Dimencio Vaughn scored 22 points with nine rebounds and Jordan Allen added three 3-pointers and 19 points as Rider defeated Canisius 83-82 on Sunday in a matchup of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s top teams.

Canisius’ Isaiah Reese scored the final points on a 3 with 1:13 to go and the Golden Griffins regained possession with 49 seconds. Allen stole a pass with just over 30 seconds left and Rider seemingly had the game in hand but Stevie Jordan threw the ball out of bounds with 14.6 left. Reese took the ball upcourt, had the ball knocked away by Jordan, recovered the ball but had a clumsy layup attempt blocked by Devin Eke as time ran out.

The Broncs (21-7, 14-2) have the nation’s second-longest win streak at 10 behind Grambling’s 11 and a one-game lead over Canisius (19-10, 13-3) with two conference games left.

Jermaine Crumpton scored 24 points, going over 1,500 for his career, and Reese 23 with 12 rebounds for Canisius, which had a six-game win streak ended.

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/rider-edges-canisius-83-82-10th-straight-victory-220336833--ncaab.html