Saturday’s Top 25 basketball: Texas Tech makes history
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.
No. 1 Villanova 78, (at) St. John’s 71: Donte DiVincenzo hit six 3-pointers and scored 25 points to help Villanova silence a rowdy crowd and hold off upset-minded St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.
Shamorie 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.
The Wildcats (16-1, 4-1) were flawless from the free-throw line over the final minute to avoid the startling upset. Mikal Bridges had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Villanova. The Wildcats went 13-for-30 on 3-point range.
No. 5 Purdue 81, (at) Minnesota 47: 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.
Jordan Murphy had 10 points and four rebounds for the Gophers (13-6, 2-4), who have lost all three games since center Reggie Lynch was suspended and small forward Amir Coffey was sidelined by a shoulder injury. This was the second-largest margin of defeat at home in program history, behind only a 90-51 loss to No. 1 UCLA on Dec. 20, 1968.
No. 5 Wichita State 72, (at) Tulsa 69: 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. He missed the front end of a one-and-one with 4.9 seconds left, Junior Etou rebounded and passed back to Taplin, whose 3-point try rimmed out.
Taplin scored 26 points. Markis McDuffie added 10 points and nine rebounds for Wichita State (15-2, 5-0 American Athletic Conference). Henderson had 14 points for Tulsa (10-8, 3-3).
(At) No. 7 Duke 89, Wake Forest 71: 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.
Bryant Crawford scored 21 points and Keyshawn Woods had 15 to lead Wake Forest (8-9, 1-4), which hasn’t won at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 21 years.
(At) No. 9 Oklahoma 102, No. 16 TCU 97, OT: 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.
(At) No. 10 Xavier 92, No. 25 Creighton 70: 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. They pulled ahead by 27 points midway through the second half.
The Bluejays (14-3, 4-2) gave up a season high in points and took their most lopsided loss.
(At) No. 11 Arizona State 77, Oregon State 75: 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).
Arizona State prevailed despite an off night from point guard Tra Holder. The Pac-12’s leading scorer at 20.9 points per game made 1 of 9 shots for four points.
Tres Tinkle scored 18 for Oregon State but missed a 3-pointer that would have won the game at the buzzer.
(At) No. 12 Kansas 73, Kansas State 72: 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.
Dean Wade had 22 points to lead Kansas State (12-5, 2-3).
(At) No. 13 Seton Hall 74, Georgetown 61: 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.
The Hoyas (12-5, 2-4) were led by Marcus Derrickson, who scored 18 points while Jahvon Blair and Jessie Govan scored 11 points each.
No. 14 Cincinnati 78, (at) South Florida 55: 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. The victory was the eighth straight for Cincinnati, which shot 70 percent while outscoring the Bulls 43-22 in the second half.
USF (7-11, 0-5) has lost six in a row, remaining winless in the AAC, where it has been beaten by an average of nearly 25 points per game. Payton Banks led the Bulls with 22 points.
No. 15 Gonzaga 75, (at) San Francisco 65: Johnathan Williams scored 17 points and Josh Perkins added 16 to lead Gonzaga to 18th straight road victory in the West Coast Conference.
The Bulldogs (16-3, 6-0) got a rare test in conference play after winning their first five games by at least 29 points. But they were up to the task with help from two key blocked shots late by Rei Hachimura.
Souley Boum scored 22 points and Frankie Ferrari added 18 for the Dons (10-9, 2-4). San Francisco has lost 14 straight games against ranked opponents since beating Gonzaga at home 66-65 on Feb. 12, 2012.
(At) No. 17 Arizona 90, Oregon 83: 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.
Elijah Brown scored 25 points and MiKyle McIntosh had 20 for the Ducks (12-6, 2-3).
(At) No. 19 Clemson 72, No. 18 Miami 63: 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.
Clemson made a season-high 12 3-pointers.
Anthony Lawrence II and Lonnie Walker IV had 16 points each for Miami (13-3, 2-2).
No. 20 North Carolina 69, (at) Notre Dame 68: 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).
Gibbs dribbled downcourt and got off an errant shot but got a rebound which spun out at the buzzer.
No. 21 Kentucky 74, (at) Vanderbilt 67: 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). Wenyon Gabriel added a tip-in, and Hamadou Diallo knocked down a 3-pointer for a 10-2 run clinching the victory.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Kentucky with 22 points. Knox finished with 17.
Jeff Roberson led Vanderbilt (6-11, 1-4) with 20 points.
No. 22 Auburn 76, (at) Mississippi State 68: 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.
Quinndary Weatherspoon had 14 points for Mississippi State (13-4, 1-3).
(At) No. 23 Florida State 101, Syracuse 90, 2OT: 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.
Phil Cofer added 16 points for Florida State (13-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), which played without leading scorer and rebounder Terance Mann, who missed the game due to a concussion.
Battle, who had five points at halftime, led the Orange (12-6, 1-4) with 37 points,
(At) No. 24 Tennessee 75, Texas A&M 62: 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. Barnes improved his head coaching record to 647-353.
After being ranked fifth in the nation at the start of SEC play, Texas A&M (11-6, 0-5) hasn’t won since.