Friday's college basketball: Miller leads balanced Detroit Mercy victory over Northern Kentucky

Associated Press

Detroit — Justin Miller dominated inside with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, led four players into double figures and Detroit Mercy topped defending Horizon League champ Northern Kentucky 66-58 on Friday night.

Antoine Davis added 17 points and six rebounds for Detroit (3-12, 1-1). Marquis Moore matched a season high with 12 points, Chris Brandon had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Titans. Detroit owned a 41-30 edge on the boards and scored 23 points off 15 NKU turnovers.

Ohio State forward Kaleb Wesson, center, goes up to shoot between Wisconsin forwards Tyler Wahl, left, and Micah Potter.

Adham Eleeda scored 14 points for the Norse (9-6, 1-2). Trevon Faulkner added 13 points, Jalen Tate 11. The Norse trailed by as many as 16 in the second half before Eleeda hit a pair of 3-pointers that sparked a rally that made it a 61-56 game late.

Tyler Sharpe, who was second on the Norse in scoring heading into the matchup with 16 points per game, was held to only 5 points (2 of 10).

Detroit plays Wright St. at home on Sunday. Northern Kentucky takes on Oakland on the road on Sunday.

More state men

Wright State 96, (at) Oakland 69: Bill Wampler had 21 points and Jaylon Hall had 16 points for Wright State (13-3, 3-0 Horizon League), which earned its sixth straight win. Tanner Holden added 13 points. Cole Gentry had 13 points and seven assists for the visitors.

Wright State put up 53 first-half points, a season best for the team.

Tray Maddox Jr. had 14 points for the Golden Grizzlies (6-9, 1-1). Xavier Hill-Mais added 14 points. Brad Brechting had 13 points.

Wright State matches up against Detroit on the road on Sunday. Oakland plays Northern Kentucky at home on Sunday.

Big Ten

Wisconsin 61, (at) No. 5 Ohio State 57: Nate Reuver’s jumper finally wrested the lead away from Ohio State with 1:54 left, and the Wisconsin forward hit four free throws in the last 14 seconds to seal a road upset.

Reuvers scored 17 points and keyed the late rally in a 61-57 win on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd that opened the grueling Big Ten stretch for both teams.

“I think we’ve just gotten a lot better since November,” Reuvers said. “As coach (Greg) Gard has said, we’ve matured a lot more. You can especially see that in the defensive end of the floor. I think we did a really good job hitting the offensive glass, too. That was huge, especially down the stretch.”

Ohio State (11-3, 1-2), a 7 1/2-point favorite, lost a second straight game. The Buckeyes got a terrific performance from Kaleb Wesson, who had 22 points and 13 rebounds. But Wesson missed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left that would have tied the score at 57. After that, Ohio State had to start fouling.

“We were looking for the best shot and my teammates found me,” Wesson said of the critical miss. “We thought that was our best shot of that possession.”

Both teams started slowly and struggled from the field throughout. Wisconsin missed its first five shots and finished at 38% from the field, and Ohio State shot 40%.

Wisconsin led by four at halftime of a sloppy, slow game, but Ohio State ripped off back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second half to start a 13-2 run. Wisconsin tied it at 47 with 6:51 to play but wouldn’t grab the lead until Reuvers took charge late.

Kobe King, who added 13 points for Wisconsin (9-5, 2-1), said his team would not have been able to stay with Ohio State a month ago in a one- or two-possession game.

“They’re one of the best teams in the country, and we watched their games,” King said. “They came out 7-0 and another run at halftime, and just knowing we could fight back and claw back and make it more of a dogfight rather than let them get into rhythm.”

Ohio State became the second top-5 team in the AP Top 25 to lose this week after No. 4 Oregon fell at Colorado on Thursday night.

Rutgers 79, (at) Nebraska 62: Rutgers found out shortly before its game against Nebraska that it would be without team leader Geo Baker. The Scarlet Knights didn’t miss a beat.

Caleb McConnell started in Baker’s place, made all eight of his shots from the field and scored a season-high 20 points to lead Rutgers to its fifth straight win.

“Losing one of our leaders due to an injury, I just knew I had to step up big coming into this game,” McConnell said. “I try to control my team taking on his role. Just controlling the pace of the game and controlling my team and making sure our team gets a good shot.”

Baker, the Scarlet Knights’ No. 2 scorer and a veteran presence on a young team, is out indefinitely with a left thumb injury sustained in practice. McConnell, who typically starts when the Knights go with a four-guard lineup, took Baker’s spot at the point as Rutgers opened with three guards, a forward and center.

“I found out at the last minute that Geo wasn’t going to play,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. “Caleb stepped up, Paul Mulcahy, Jacob Young, they all stepped up. You have to do a little bit more. Hard to replace a guy. I feel bad for Geo. He’s worked tremendously hard and is having a great season. These are the obstacles you have to have go through on the journey of a season.”

McConnell finished with season highs for points, matched his career high with five assists and played 34 minutes, his most ever.

The Knights (11-3, 2-1) won for the first time in five games in Lincoln, and the 17-point margin was their largest in a road game since a 62-39 win over Pittsburgh in January 2012. It was their win away from home this season.

“Always good to win on the road, especially in the best league in the country,” McConnell said.

The 6-foot-11, 255-pound Myles Johnson matched career highs with 18 points and 14 rebounds, Young had 16 points, and Ron Harper Jr. added 11 points and a career-high tying 10 rebounds.

Haanif Cheatham had 16 points to lead Nebraska (6-8, 1-2), which shot 32 percent. Cam Mack had 11 points.

Rutgers used an 18-1 run in the middle of the first half to turn a 15-10 deficit into a 28-16 lead. The Huskers went nearly eight minutes without a field goal – Dachon Burke hit the side of the backboard with an attempt – before reeling off seven straight points to get within four points.

The Knights outscored the Huskers 13-4 the rest of the half, with McConnell making a jumper just ahead of the buzzer to make it 41-28. The lead grew to 22 points midway through the second half.

Rutgers held a 48-31 rebounding advantage. Its dominance in the paint was best illustrated by a five-shot sequence when Akwasi Yeboah was off with a 3-pointer and Johnson missed three times from under the basket, got his rebound each time and then scored on his fourth chance.

“It’s the most physical team we’ve played to this point,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We talked a lot about that leading into this one and how important it was to keep them out of the paint. Too often we allowed them to get into the paint. We had no chance of getting Johnson off the glass. Just too big and too physical in there.”