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Saturday's Top 25: Lattin’s tip lifts Oklahoma past West Virginia

Cliff Blunt
Associated Press

Norman, Okla. — Khadeem Lattin made the most of his second chance, and now the Oklahoma Sooners could be on the verge of a No. 1 ranking.

Twelve days after Lattin missed a free throw that could have beaten Kansas in a game the Sooners eventually lost in triple overtime, his tip-in with one second remaining Saturday gave No. 2 Oklahoma a 70-68 victory over No. 11 West Virginia.

“It was kind of a redemption game for me,” Lattin said.

With the score tied at 68, Oklahoma’s Jordan Woodard drove hard to the hoop and missed, but Lattin’s man moved over to help, leaving him available for the tip-in.

“Getting to tip it in was great, but we all contributed to that win, and it was just my time at that moment to tip it in, I guess,” Lattin said.

Buddy Hield scored 17 points, Jordan Woodard had 13 and Ryan Spangler added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Sooners (15-1, 4-1 Big 12).

Oklahoma is in position to move to No. 1 in the AP poll since top-ranked Kansas lost to West Virginia on Tuesday. It would be the Sooners’ first No. 1 ranking since March 1990.

“It’s not something our guys focus on or think about every day, necessarily, or even have conversations about,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “But they’re fans, we all are, and it’s great, but it’s all about getting better tomorrow. The leadership of this group, the senior group, Jordan and those guys know that whatever is today is OK, but it’s nothing in terms of what we have to keep doing in Big 12 play in terms of getting better to keep challenging the opposition that lies ahead.”

There’s no time to relax or savor the win. The Sooners play at No. 17 Iowa State on Monday.

Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin, right, celebrates with teammate Christian James (3) after Oklahoma defeated West Virginia  Saturday.

“That’s the way the league is, and why it’s so special,” Kruger said. “That’s why these guys are here — they like that challenge, they like that competition. Iowa State’s great…. and it’s a quick turnaround for sure.”

The Sooners won despite shooting a season-low 33.3 percent.

Jaysean Paige scored 18 points for West Virginia (15-2, 4-1), which was coming off the big win over Kansas. The Mountaineers were trying to become first team to beat No. 1 and No. 2 in consecutive game since Kansas beat North Carolina and Memphis in the 2008 Final Four.

West Virginia entered the day alone in first place in the Big 12. They might have remained there had they shot better than 13 for 22 from the free throw line. The Mountaineers turned the ball over 16 times.

“What kills us is when we go to the free throw line and can’t make free throws,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “You can’t shoot 50 percent from the free throw line, and you can’t turn it over the way we turned it over.”

Woodard grabbed an offensive rebound to set up Hield for a 3-pointer that gave the Sooners a 34-32 lead late in the first half. Hield blocked Jevon Carter’s shot at the buzzer, and the teams were tied at 34 at the break.

A 3-pointer by Hield put the Sooners up 39-34 in the opening minutes of the second half. Oklahoma’s Isaiah Cousins was called for a flagrant foul with 15:11 remaining. Paige made two free throws to put the Mountaineers up 42-41, and Daxter Miles, Jr. scored on the inbounds pass to make it a three-point lead for West Virginia.

The Mountaineers expanded their lead to seven before the Sooners bounced back. Two free throws by Spangler gave Oklahoma the lead, and a 3-pointer by Woodard put the Sooners up 55-51 with about 9 minutes to play. The Sooners led 65-58 with 4:32 remaining before West Virginia rallied.

More Top 25

(At) No. 1 Kansas 70, TCU 63: Wayne Selden Jr. scored 11 points, Carlton Bragg and Cheick Diallo provided a boost off the bench, and No. 1 Kansas slogged past TCU.

Bragg had 10 points, as did Perry Ellis and Devonte Graham. Diallo had nine points and nine rebounds to help the Jayhawks (15-2, 4-1 Big 12) bounce back from a loss at West Virginia.

Michael Williams had 13 points and Brandon Parrish and Chauncey Collins each scored 11 for the Horned Frogs (9-8, 1-4).

(At) No. 5 North Carolina 67, North Carolina State 55: Kennedy Meeks scored 18 of his 23 points after halftime to help North Carolina (16-2) pull away. North Carolina State (10-8, 0-5) is off to its worst start in ACC play since going 0-8 in 1996-97 under former coach Herb Sendek.

No. 6 Villanova 55, (at) Georgetown 50: Josh Hart had 15 points and 12 rebounds as Villanova (16-2, 6-0) posted its 21st consecutive Big East victory. Georgetown (11-7, 4-2) was the last conference team to beat Villanova, on Jan. 19, 2015.

No. 7 Xavier 74, (at) Marquette 66: Trevon Bluiett had 18 points and Xavier used a 21-0 burst in the first half to seize control.  James Farr had 16 points and a career-high 19 rebounds while Edmond Sumner, returning from a concussion, added 15 points for the Musketeers (16-1, 4-1 Big East).

Freshman Henry Ellenson led Marquette (12-6, 2-4) with 20 points.

(At) Clemson 76, No. 8 Miami 65: Jaron Blossomgame scored 25 and Clemson (12-6, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) defeated a third straight ranked opponent for the first time in program history. The Tigers  have won five in a row overall, including a victory at Syracuse and home wins over No. 21 Louisville, No. 9 Duke and Miami.

Davon Reed scored 17 for Miami (13-3, 2-2).

Notre Dame 95, (at) No. 9 Duke 91: Bonzie Colson scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Notre Dame (12-5, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). Demetrius Jackson added 24 points and Steve Vasturia finished with 22 as the Fighting Irish beat Duke for the fourth time in five tries.

Freshman Luke Kennard had 30 points and Brandon Ingram added 25 for Duke  (14-4, 3-2), who have lost two straight for the first time this season.

Seton Hall 81, (at) No. 12 Providence 72:  Khadeem Carrington went 12 for 12 at the free throw line and scored 22 points to lead Seton Hall (13-4, 3-2 Big East). Ben Bentil paced Providence (15-3, 3-2) with 21 points.

(At) Auburn 75, No. 14 Kentucky 70: Kareem Canty scored 26 points, including two free throws with 20 seconds left that helped Auburn (8-8, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) ends its 18-game losing streak to Kentucky. Jamal Murray scored 20 points for the Wildcats (13-4, 3-2).

No. 15 Texas A&M 79, (at) Georgia 45: Jalen Jones, Alex Caruso and Danuel House all scored 12 points and Texas A&M (15-2, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) won its eighth straight game. Yaten Maten finished with 11 points for Georgia (9-6, 2-3).

No. 17 Iowa State 76, (at) Kansas State 63: Monte Morris scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and Iowa State (13-4, 2-3 Big 12) ended a two-game skid. Justin Edwards scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Kansas State (11-6, 1-4).

(At) No. 19 South Carolina 81, Missouri 72: Sindarius Thornwell scored 22 points for South Carolina (16-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference). Wes Clark led Missouri (8-9, 1-3) with a career-best 26 points and eight assists.

(At) No. 20 Pittsburgh 84, Boston College 61: Jamel Artis scored 22 points and Pittsburgh recovered from a forgettable loss at No. 21 Louisville. Michael Young had 13 points  for the Panthers (15-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Cameron Johnson scored a career-high 20 points off the bench for Pitt, which shut down the Eagles (7-10, 0-4) in the second half.

(At) No. 23 Butler 78, St. John’s 58: Kellen Dunham scored 24 points and Butler sent St. John’s (7-12, 0-6) to its school-record ninth straight loss.

The Bulldogs (13-4, 2-3 Big East) ended a two-game skid on an emotional day that included a pregame tribute to former center Andrew Smith and a halftime speech from his widow, Samantha. The 25-year-old Smith died Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer.

Dunham is one of two players on Butler’s roster who played with Smith.

(At) No. 25 Gonzaga 88, San Diego 52: Kyle Wiltjer scored 25 points and Gonzaga beat San Diego..

Domantas Sabonis added 14 points and 15 rebounds to help Gonzaga (14-4, 6-1 West Coast) rebound from a loss to BYU on Thursday night. Ryan Edwards scored 10 points.

Duda Sanadze had 21 points for San Diego (6-11, 1-5). The Toreros lost to Gonzaga for the 36th time in the past 39 games.