Top 25 basketball: Hoyas upend Boeheim-less Syracuse
Washington — A white piece of tape ran down the back of a black folding chair on the Syracuse sideline Saturday, with the words “COACH” and “BOEHEIM” written in black ink. That seat remained empty throughout the game.
And instead of the suspended Hall of Fame coach yelling at his players or pleading with officials, assistant Mike Hopkins was in charge of the Orange for the first time.
With Jim Boeheim beginning his nine-game NCAA ban, and Hopkins filling in, No. 14 Syracuse lost 79-72 to old rival Georgetown, thanks in large part to senior center Bradley Hayes’ career-high 21 points.
“He’s always with us, at the end of the day. He built us. Built the program,” Hopkins said of Boeheim. “I wanted this one for him tonight.”
Michael Gbinije scored 23 points for Syracuse (6-2), which has dropped two straight games.
The Orange trailed by as many as 21 points against Georgetown (4-3) in the schools’ first meeting since Syracuse left the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference after the 2012-13 season — and Boeheim, as associated with his team as any coach in college basketball, was nowhere to be found.
The game was played two days after the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee upheld the suspension of Boeheim, who will miss six non-conference games and three ACC games. Boeheim will return to coach the Orange against North Carolina on Jan. 9 and cannot be around his team during the suspension.
“We’ll get through it. We’ve been through a lot,” Hopkins said. “Coach Boeheim is one of the greatest people when dealing with adversity. As a coach, coaching my first game, not the ideal situation. I would love to be able to call him and ask him what he thought, as a mentor.”
Other than Hopkins’ role, not much looked different about Syracuse. There was the familiar 2-3 zone, for example, except when some full-court pressure helped trim the deficit as low as six points in the final minute.
“We’re not looking to change anything,” Gbinije said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we were doing before Coach Hop was basically the head coach. We still run the same sets. Same defense. Same players.”
Isaac Copeland scored 14 points, and freshman Marcus Derrickson added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Georgetown. The Hoyas led 36-24 at halftime, and Hayes capped an 11-2 run that made it 47-26 with a three-point play, successfully putting in a follow-up off an offensive rebound on his third try.
“Just dug ourselves too big of a hole,” Hopkins said.
(At) No. 4 Kansas 75, Harvard 69: Frank Mason III scored 21 points and Perry Ellis and Devonte’ Graham each added 12 as Kansas prevailed in a sloppy game.
Freshman reserve Weisner Perez had 15 points, Tommy McCarthy added 11 and Zena Edosomwan had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Crimson (2-6) in their third straight loss.
Midway through the first half, freshman Cheick Diallo pulled up and hit a mid-range jumper to put Kansas up 15-12 and spark a 17-4 run for the Jayhawks. Kansas scored only four points in the final 6 minutes of the first half.
The Jayhawks (6-1) came out of halftime scoring four points in less than 40 seconds, but fell flat offensively after that, going a full 2 minutes without scoring. In that time, Harvard cut Kansas’ lead from 13 to nine, and subsequently got within four after Evan Cummins’ dunk.
(At) No. 7 Duke 82, Buffalo 59: Freshman Brandon Ingram scored 23 points, Grayson Allen finished with 22 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, and Amile Jefferson had 13 points as Duke cruised to victory.
The Blue Devils (8-1) won their sixth straight despite some offensive struggles: Duke never trailed but shot a season-worst 40.7 percent and matched a season low with five 3-pointers.
CJ Massinburg had 17 points and Lamonte Bearden added 10 for Buffalo (4-4), which shot just 33 percent.
(At) No. 10 Virginia 67, William & Mary 52: Anthony Gill and Malcolm Brogdon scored 16 points each to lead Virginia to its sixth straight win.
Darius Thompson added 12 points for the Cavaliers (7-1), who beat William & Mary for the 10th consecutive time.
William & Mary (5-3), which had suffered its first two losses by a total of five points, was led by Daniel Dixon’s 15 points and Omar Prewitt’s 14.
Virginia used a 16-2 run early in the game to open a 22-8 lead, but William & Mary didn’t let the deficit get any bigger. The Tribe was within 32-22 at halftime, and twice got within six points early in the second half. But Gill’s basket made it 42-34 and sparked a 9-2 run for Virginia, and the Cavaliers slowly pulled away.
(At) No. 12 Xavier 95, Western Kentucky 64: Trevon Bluiett matched his career high with 21 points as part of a double-double, leading Xavier over Western Kentucky to extend the Musketeers’ best start in four years.
James Farr also had a career-high 18 points for Xavier (8-0), which used its balance and front-line advantage to hold a comfortable lead most of the way. The Musketeers had a 40-32 edge in rebounds, with Bluiett getting 10 as part of this third career double-double.
Myles Davis added a season-high 16 points, and Xavier finished with five players in double figures and shot 57 percent from the field.
Justin Johnson scored 15 for Western Kentucky (4-4).
No. 19 Arizona 68, (at) No. 13 Gonzaga 63: Gabe York scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half, Allonzo Trier added 14 points and Arizona rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to hand Gonzaga its first non-conference home loss since 2012.
Arizona (7-1) trailed 50-42 after Josh Perkins’ three-point play with 14:42 to play but the Wildcats outscored Gonzaga 26-13 the rest of the way.
Ryan Anderson, held to two points in the first half, scored in the lane with 20 seconds left to clinch the victory for Arizona. Anderson finished with 13 points.
Kyle Wiltjer scored 33 points for Gonzaga (5-2), which lost for the second time in the last eight days.
(At) Arizona State 67, No. 18 Texas A&M 54: Willie Atwood had 15 points to lead Arizona State’s balanced offense and the Sun Devils held off a late charge to beat Texas A&M.
Arizona State (6-2) had some solid wins to start the season and passed its first big test by beating the Aggies, the third ranked non-conference team to play at Wells Fargo Arena in 32 years.
The Sun Devils made 10 3-pointers, but didn’t shoot particularly well, finishing at 36 percent from the floor. Tra Holder added 13 points for Arizona State, which built a 25-point lead early in the second half.
Texas A&M (7-2) shot poorly most of the night (31 percent) before using an extended zone to chip away at the Sun Devils’ lead.
Danuel House had 17 points and Alex Caruso added 15 for the Aggies, who were 6 for 26 from 3-point range.
(At) No. 20 West Virginia 87, Kennesaw State 54: Devin Williams had 26 points and nine rebounds and Jonathan Holton had 17 points and nine rebounds as West Virginia picked up its first win this season as a ranked team.
Williams connected on 11-of-15 shots from the field against Kennesaw State (2-8), which threw several slim defenders against the 6-foot-9, 255-pound junior forward.
Holton finished 5-of-7 from the field, and Daxter Miles Jr. added 18 points for the Mountaineers (7-0).
Kendrick Ray had 23 points and Yonel Brown added 14 for Kennesaw State (2-8).
(At) No. 21 Miami 88, Charlotte 60: Miami raced to a 40-10 lead after 16 minutes and never looked back to hand Charlotte its fourth straight loss.
Ja’Quan Newton led Miami (7-1) with 14 points. Davon Reed added 12, and Tonye Jekiri had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Sheldon McClellan, Miami’s leading scorer this season, did not start because of a nagging lower extremity injury that limited his practice time this week. He had eight points and five assists in 21 minutes off the bench.
Joseph Uchebo had 12 points and nine rebounds for Charlotte (1-7).
(At) No. 22 SMU 98, New Hampshire 44: Keith Frazier finished 6-for-10 from behind the arc and matched his career-high with 23 points, and Shake Milton added 20 points for SMU.
Jaleen Smith led New Hampshire (5-3) with 14 points and six rebounds.
SMU (6-0) led 50-20 at halftime after shooting 60 percent from the field to New Hampshire’s 23.3 percent and closed the game on a 28-3 run over the final nine minutes.
No. 23 Providence 74, (at) Rhode Island 72: Ben Bentil tipped in Kris Dunn’s missed shot at the buzzer to lift Providence over Rhode Island.
Bentil finished with 23 points and eight rebounds to help the Friars (8-1) beat the Rams for the sixth straight time. Rodney Bullock added 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and Dunn had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Jared Terrell led Rhode Island (5-3) with 19 points, including a jumper that tied the game at 72 with seven seconds remaining. Jarvis Garrett added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Hassan Martin had 15 points and eight rebounds.
(At) No. 24 Louisville 111, Grand Canyon 63: Damion Lee matched his season-high with 24 points, Trey Lewis added 16 and Louisville used a 26-3 first-half run to break away from Grand Canyon.
Buoyed by 64 percent shooting in the first half, Louisville (6-1) turned a 12-12 game into a 38-15 lead and poured it on to break 100 points for the first time since Feb. 16, 2014, against Rutgers.
Lee shot 7-of-13 from the field, including four 3-pointers, as Louisville shot over 50 percent (38-of-70) for the sixth time in seven games.
Joshua Braun scored 15 points for Grand Canyon (6-1), which shot 37 percent and was outrebounded 55-20.