Thursday night was another light, finals week-inspired schedule of games. Among the headlines of the night: reserves making their mark.
- Mississippi looked like it was headed towards another frustrating home loss, falling down 17 in the first half against Coastal Carolina, but the Rebels rebounded for a 71-68 escape. Ladarius White scored a game-high 27 points off the pine including six three-pointers for Ole Miss, which survived after the Chanticleers made eight first half three-pointers of their own.
- Seton Hall did exactly what it needed to at South Florida, never letting the Bulls in the game in an impressive 89-69 road victory. The Pirates shot 53.8% and hit 11 of 20 three-point tries, and Angel Delgado scored 16 off the bench to lead SHU.
- Oregon State is starting to turn a few heads. The Beavers pummeled DePaul 90-59, led by Victor Robbins scoring a career-high 27 points off the bench. Oregon State also is getting terrific play from Gary Payton II, while the Blue Demons have now squandered nearly all of their good will from a good start to the season.
- Andrew Drone had 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to lead the Rice Owls to a 72-61 win over NAIA member St. Thomas (Texas).
- Also, Jeremiah Williams of Canisius scored nine points, but his final two were most important as his jumper with 11 seconds left in overtime gave the Golden Griffins an eventual 60-59 win over Stony Brook.
- Duke defeated Connecticut 64-54 in the game of the night. Tyus Jones scored 22 and all five Blue Devil starters were in double figures. Ryan Boatright scored 22 for the Huskies, but just doesn’t have enough help right now.
- Virginia eased past Cleveland State 70-54, using its usual formula of terrific defense with patient and productive offense. UVA shot 50% and committed just six turnovers.
- For the second straight night, a SWAC team pulled off a major surprise. Jackson State followed up Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s win over Houston on Wednesday by blowing out Southern Mississippi 66-46.
- Yale’s got yet another solid win after going to Vermont’s Patrick Gymnasium and coming out with a 57-56 win. Matt Townsend scored the game-winner with five seconds left.
- If you can’t win a game in regulation, holding an opponent scoreless in overtime is a pretty good way to almost guarantee victory. Evansville defeated Ohio U. 81-69 in overtime, outscoring the Bobcats 12-0 in the extra frame. The Purple Aces are now 8-2.
- Louisville forward Akoy Agau is transferring. Agau had played in just three games this year and did not score a point.
- Michigan State’s Branden Dawson was hurt late in the Spartans’ win over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday, and yesterday MSU announced that Dawson will miss at least the next two games. Those games are against Texas Southern and The Citadel. It is hoped he can return in time for the Spartans Big 10 opener against Maryland on Dec. 30.
St. Mary’s at St. John’s (7 p.m. EST, FS1) The Gaels really could use this one after frittering one away earlier this week against Northern Arizona. Given that they won at Creighton less than a week ago, they’re capable of getting this one too.
Arizona at Texas-El Paso (11 p.m. EST, FS1) Some are making noise about an upset possibility here. UTEP can do it, but the Miners have to cut down the turnovers. Great matchup, these two teams should play more frequently.
Eastern Washington at California EWU was blown out earlier this week by Sam Houston State and will be looking for a bounce back. Cal doesn’t dazzle-with the possible exception of Tyrone Wallace-but is just really solid and tough.
Clemson at South Carolina In-state rivalry game that is always notable, even when neither is exactly a national contender.
Colorado State at Denver Tricky road game against an in-state rival for the Rams.
Have an outstanding Friday.