Texas Tech Edges WVU, 72-71
LUBBOCK, Texas — Freshman Zhaire Smith cradled the inbounds pass as the final eight-tenths of a second ticked off the clock and the frenzied Texas Tech fans rushed the court.
The Red Raiders will savor this moment, even if the rough-and-tumble Big 12 is just getting started.
Keenan Evans scored 20 points, Brandone Francis had a career-high 17 and No. 8 Texas Tech won the first-ever Top 10 matchup on its home court, beating second-ranked West Virginia 72-71 on Saturday.
The Mountaineers (15-2, 4-1 Big 12) couldn’t hold an 11-point lead in the final 13 minutes and had their nation-leading 15-game winning streak stopped.
They were the last team in the Big 12 with a perfect league record. Now Texas Tech (15-2, 4-1) is part of a four-way tie atop arguably the nation’s toughest conference — with 13 league games to go.
“I’ve got a great friend who this week told me, ‘Prince today, frog tomorrow,'” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “And for some reason, in the heat of the game — you might think about what I wonder in these moments — I kept on thinking about that.
“I know we’re going to be a frog again at some point. It’s the Big 12. But I want to be a prince one more day.”
Jevon Carter scored 28 points — one off his career high — for West Virginia, which was denied its first 5-0 start in its sixth season in the Big 12. Esa Ahmad added 18 in his season debut following an NCAA academic suspension.
Sagaba Konate had a game-high 11 rebounds, but one of his misses on an ill-advised long jumper signified West Virginia’s game for coach Bob Huggins.
“We just had guys that were really out of character,” Huggins said. “We got our center shooting whatever that was, a 3-point shot from the top of the key. We just did a lot of things out of character from what we normally do.”
Evans hit a lean-in jumper to give the Red Raiders a four-point lead in the final minute. Carter made a 3 for the final margin with less than a second to go, and the Mountaineers couldn’t foul Smith before the buzzer sounded, prompting a wild celebration.
“It was amazing,” Francis said. “It feels good to play in that kind of atmosphere out there. Thanks for having our back throughout the entire game. It was great you had our back.”
It was the first time Texas Tech won a Top 10 matchup. Two of the three in school history were this week, starting with a 75-65 loss to No. 9 Oklahoma on Tuesday.
Smith’s alley-oop dunk from fellow freshman Jarrett Culver sparked a 12-2 run to help the Red Raiders wipe out most of the 11-point deficit. Smith had nine points and eight rebounds.
West Virginia: After struggling in a home win over Baylor earlier this week in the first game with their highest ranking since Jerry West’s senior season in December 1959, the Mountaineers couldn’t keep the raucous crowd out of it when it looked like they were in control.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders may have found another key contributor in Francis, a junior transfer from Florida who sat out last season. His only previous double-digit game was 10 in a 34-point blowout over Savannah State. Francis seemed to relish the moment, staring down his teammates on the bench after each big shot in the second half. He was 5 of 6 from the field.
ZACH SMITH OUT
Beard said senior forward Zach Smith, who didn’t play, has a broken foot and his status for the rest of the season is uncertain. Smith has been a starter and team leader. He averages 6.5 points per game and started the day tied for second on the team at 3.9 rebounds per game.
Ahmad’s impact was immediate after coming off the bench early in the first half. While the numbers weren’t big early, he finished 6 of 12 from the field, hit a couple of 3s and added six rebounds.
No. 1 VILLANOVA 78, ST. JOHN’S 71
NEW YORK (AP) — Donte DiVincenzo hit six 3-pointers and scored 25 points to help No. 1 Villanova silence a rowdy New York crowd and hold off upset-minded St. John’s 78-71 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Shammorie Ponds came close to leading the Red Storm (10-8, 0-6 Big East) to their first win over a No. 1 team in 33 years. Ponds scored a career-high 37 points in front of 17,123 fans at the Garden.
Ponds punished his body as he crashed the lane for tough buckets — going up-and-under and seemingly straight through defenders — over the final 10 minutes that cut it to 69-65 with 1:18 left.
MICHIGAN 82, No. 4 MICHIGAN STATE 72
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Moritz Wagner scored a career-high 27 points for Michigan.
The Wolverines (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten) have won eight of nine games overall and two straight against their rivals.
No. 5 PURDUE 81, MINNESOTA 47
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Vincent Edwards scored 25 points in 29 minutes on 9-for-14 shooting for Purdue in its 13th consecutive victory.
Isaac Haas pitched in 14 points and five rebounds for Purdue (17-2, 6-0), which produced its best Big Ten start since going 8-0 to begin conference play in the 1989-90 season.
No. 5 WICHITA STATE 72, TULSA 69
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Landry Shamet and backcourt mate Conner Frankamp each scored 16 points and Wichita State held off Tulsa.
Shamet made the first of two free throws with 8 seconds left for a three-point edge. After Shamet missed his second shot, the Shockers fouled Sterling Taplin.
No. 7 DUKE 89, WAKE FOREST 71
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Marvin Bagley III had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Duke, which was without Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski due to a virus.
With longtime assistant Jeff Capel in charge, the short-handed and illness-ravaged Blue Devils (15-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their second straight and moved their conference record over .500 for the first time this season.
No. 9 OKLAHOMA 102, No. 16 TCU 97, OT
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Trae Young scored 29 of his 43 points after halftime for Oklahoma, which won in overtime.
Young, the freshman who leads the nation in scoring and assists, also had 11 rebounds and seven assists. Brady Manek added 22 points for the Sooners (14-2, 4-1 Big 12), who made a school-record 19 3-pointers.
Jaylen Fisher had a career-high 22 points and Vlad Brodziansky added 21 for TCU (13-4, 1-4), which lost its second overtime game of the week.
No. 10 XAVIER 92, No. 25 CREIGHTON 70
CINCINNATI (AP) — Trevon Bluiett emerged from his shooting slump with 24 pointsa and Kaiser Gates responded to getting dropped from the starting lineup by scoring 16, as Xavier recovered from back-to-back road losses.
The Musketeers (16-3, 4-2 Big East) shook up their starting lineup and got back in form after losses to Providence and No. 1 Villanova.
No. 11 ARIZONA ST. 77, OREGON ST. 75
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Shannon Evans scored seven of his 22 points in a late 10-0 run for Arizona State.
Cody Justice added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Sun Devils (14-3, 2-3 Pac-12), who were coming off an upset home loss to Oregon on Thursday night.
Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 21 for the Beavers (10-7, 2-3), including five 3s (in 10 attempts).
No. 12 KANSAS 73, KANSAS STATE 72
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Devonte Graham had 23 points, and Malik Newman hit the go-ahead foul shots with 15 seconds left for Kansas.
Udoka Azubuike added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Jayhawks (14-3, 4-1 Big 12), who beat their Interstate 70 rival for the sixth straight time and 12th in a row at Allen Fieldhouse.
No. 13 SETON HALL 74, GEORGETOWN 61
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Desi Rodriguez and Myles Powell each scored 19 points to lead Seton Hall.
The Pirates (15-3, 4-1 Big East), who remained undefeated at home (11-0), received 11 points and 13 rebounds from Angel Delgado.
No. 14 CINCINNATI 78, SOUTH FLORIDA 55
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jarron Cumberland scored 18 points and Cincinnati shrugged off a slow start.
Jacob Evans III had 16 points and Kyle Washington added 14 to help the Bearcats (15-2, 4-0) remain unbeaten in American Athletic Conference play.
No. 17 ARIZONA 90, OREGON 83
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Allonzo Trier scored 25 points and Deandre Ayton added 24 for Arizona.
Arizona (14-4, 4-1 Pac-12) scored eight straight points to go up 84-77 with 72 seconds left. The Wildcats shot 53 percent from the field.
No. 19 CLEMSON 72, No. 18 MIAMI 63
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Donte Grantham had 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Mark Donnal had 12 points, including two critical second-half 3s, for Clemson.
The Tigers (15-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) continued their best start in nine seasons and bounced back from their first ACC defeat that snapped a 10-game win streak at North Carolina State on Thursday night.
No. 20 NORTH CAROLINA 69, NOTRE DAME 68
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Joel Berry II hit two free throws with 7.1 seconds left as North Carolina earned its first Atlantic Coast Conference road victory of the season.
Berry finished with 15 points while Luke Maye had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (14-4, 3-2). Sophomore point guard T.J. Gibbs got a game-high 19 points and six assists for the Irish (13-5, 3-2).
No. 21 KENTUCKY 74, VANDERBILT 67
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kevin Knox scored five straight points to put Kentucky ahead to stay.
With the score tied at 59, Knox hit a jumper with 3:48 left and hit the free throw that put Kentucky ahead for good. He added a layup on the next possession for the Wildcats (14-3, 4-1 Southeastern Conference).
No. 22 AUBURN 76, MISSISSIPPI STATE 68
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Bryce Brown scored 23 points and Mustapha Heron and Desean Murray both added 14 for Auburn.
Auburn (16-1, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) won its 14th straight game despite trailing by 13 points early in the second half. It’s the program’s longest winning streak since the 1999-2000 season, when the Tigers also won 14 in a row.
No. 23 FLORIDA STATE 101, SYRACUSE 90, 2OT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Briain Angola scored 24 points, including five in the second overtime, and Christ Koumadje added a career-high 23 for Florida State.
Tied at 82 at the end of the first overtime, the Seminoles scored the first six points of the second extra session to take control. Two free throws by Tyus Battle cut FSU’s lead to 88-84 but it scored nine of the next 11 points to put it out of reach.
No. 24 TENNESSEE 75, TEXAS A&M 62
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jordan Bowden scored 15 points as Tennessee handed Texas A&M its fifth consecutive loss.
Kyle Alexander had 14 points, Admiral Schofield scored 12 and Jordan Bone added 10 as Tennessee (12-4, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) won its third straight in Volunteers coach Rick Barnes’ 1,000th career game.