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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 16, 2015

January 15, 2015 The Morning Dish No Comments
hoopguy-cyan

Wednesday night had its share of storylines, but chief among them: overtime.

One overtime, two OTs, three, take your pick. The night had them all. There were a total of seven games with extra sessions on Wednesday, a night that was marked by close competition in general. Of the beefy schedule of 68 Division I games played, 40 of them were decided by single digits. Ten more fell in the 10-13 point range for margin of victory, which means there weren’t many snoozers this evening.

(One notable exception: Colorado State pummeled Nevada 98-42, leading the Wolf Pack 55-12 at halftime. Ouch)

A quick recap of the games that went an extra frame or more:

  • Five of the games went one extra period. Most notably, Boston College fended off a second half comeback by Harvard for a 64-57 OT win. Also: St. Peter’s knocked off MAAC leader Monmouth 62-61, Indiana State remained a stunning undefeated in the MVC with a 71-70 win over Illinois State, Army edged Holy Cross 72-70 on Dylan Cox’s layup with two seconds left in overtime, and Delaware topped Towson 67-64.
  • Western Michigan and Ball State went two overtimes, with the Broncos finally emerging for a 95-93 win. David Brown scored a career-high 35 points for WMU, and Connor Tava tipped in the winning basket as the buzzer sounded.
  • In the granddaddy of them all Wednesday, Central Florida finally dispensed of Tulane 103-100 in triple overtime. B.J. Taylor scored a career-best 33 in the game and 11 of UCF’s 12 points in the third overtime period.

Wednesday’s results:

  • First off, one of the best offensive performances of the year, maybe this decade, came from Central Michigan. The Chippewas shot 68.6% from the field, including an incredible 19 of 27 (70.4%) from three-point range in a 105-77 blowout of Miami (Ohio). CMU’s Josh Kozinski and John Simons alone combined to make 11 of 12 from deep. Keno Davis is turning things around in Mount Pleasant.
  • North Carolina held off North Carolina State 81-79, as the Wolfpack just missed completing a home sweep over four days of their Research Triangle rivals.
  • Baylor led much of the way before Iowa State rallied, and the Bears needed late heroics from Kenny Chery, who provided a jumper with 4.7 seconds left for a 74-73 win over the Cyclones.
  • Rutgers is playing with more confidence, as it took a late rally for Maryland to beat the Scarlet Knights 73-65.
  • Wichita State continues to cruise in the MVC, taking out Southern Illinois 67-55. Darius Carter scored a career-high 25.
  • SMU rallied for a big, big win, coming out on top of Temple 60-55. Markus Kennedy is starting to round back into form-21 points in this one in a return to his native Philadelphia.
  • St. John’s got a much, much needed Big East win, going to Providence and coming out with an 83-70 victory. Also in the Big East, Villanova handled Xavier with ease, 88-75.
  • Dayton continued to roll, stopping La Salle 61-50. Also in the Atlantic 10, Davidson went on the road and won at Massachusetts 71-63. The Wildcats continue to impress in their freshman year in the conference.
  • LSU picked up a good road win at Mississippi, 75-71. Bruce Hornsby’s son Keith had 20 of his 23 points in the second half.
  • The CAA now has tri-leaders. Northeastern handed Hofstra its first conference loss, winning 91-83 in Boston, while William & Mary rallied in furious fashion, coming back from down 44-24 at halftime to defeat UNC-Wilmington 76-72.
  • Out west, Stanford defeated California 69-59. The Cardinal continue to cruise along, while Cal has officially squandered its outstanding start and is in trouble now, at 11-7 overall and 1-4 in the Pac-12 with four straight losses.
  • San Diego State spoiled Wyoming’s first game as a ranked team since the great Fennis Dembo played there in 1988, winning in Laramie 60-52. Big win for the Aztecs, whose bench outscored the Cowboys 24-0.

Side Dishes:

  • Notre Dame rallied for a 62-59 road win at Georgia Tech and did so without key frontcourt man Zach Auguste. The junior forward did not play in order to attend to an academic matter, according to multiple reports. Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey insisted Auguste was not suspended, but the length of his absence has not been announced. A situation to stay tuned on, as he is a very important player for Notre Dame’s frontcourt.
  • James Madison dismissed guard Andre Nation, as announced by coach Matt Brady on Wednesday. A sad end to a career at JMU for a player who had a lot of promise. Nation was JMU’s leading scorer last year at 15.4 points per game and played a key role as a freshman on the Dukes’ 2013 NCAA Tournament team with 38 points in two tourney games, including 24 against top-seeded Indiana, but he was suspended for 15 games at the start of last season and five at the start of this year.

Tonight’s Menu: A busy schedule, but one seemingly with a knack of matching teams with good records against teams without.

Cincinnati at Memphis (7 p.m. EST, ESPN2)  The Tigers have been playing better but are still a long, long way from NCAA Tournament consideration, making this an important one for the Bearcats.
Gonzaga at Pepperdine 
The Waves are coming in the WCC. They may not be quite ready to challenge the Bulldogs for the league title, but they have the defense to pull the upset here.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia Southern 
GSU is about one of the quietest 10-3 teams you’ve ever seen, but the Eagles can announce their candidacy for the Sun Belt crown with a win here.
Belmont at Murray State (9 p.m. EST, ESPNU)  The OVC’s signature programs right now, and their one meeting last year was one of the most entertaining games of the season. Racers are on fire, with an 11-game win streak, while the Bruins are looking for consistency.
Oregon State at Washington 
The Huskies-four straight losses-need to get back on track, but the Beavers won’t be as accommodating for that as they might’ve been in the past.
Eastern Illinois at Eastern Kentucky 
Very quietly, Jay Spoonhour-son of former beloved SW Missouri State, Saint Louis and UNLV coach Charlie Spoonhour-has EIU at 10-6 and on a 7-game win streak.

Have a terrific Thursday.

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