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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11, 2017 The Morning Dish No Comments

The 2017-18 season is here at last. It has been long-awaited, and opening night always has an interesting mix of games that should be (and end up being) blowouts as well as good, tough matchups. And as usual, we had some blowouts and some surprises, along with some dandies.

With all of that out of the way, the best thing to do is just roll right through the most notable games on the evening.

Duke got a double-double from Marvin Bagley III (25 points, 10 rebounds) as they rolled over CAA contender Elon 97-68.

Kentucky trailed by nine at the half to Utah Valley, but got it together to take home a 73-63 win.

North Carolina had what looked like a tough one to start the season, but they jumped out to a 14-point halftime lead en route to an 86-69 win over Northern Iowa behind 26 points and 10 rebounds from Luke Maye, one of last season’s heroes.

One of the perceived better matchups of the day was just that for about a half. In the A8rmed Forces Classic, Texas A&M pulled away from West Virginia in the second half, turning a five-point halftime lead into an 88-65 romp behind a big night from Armon Gilder (23 points, nine rebounds, seven assists).

Northwestern got a pretty good push from Loyola (Md.), as the Greyhounds rallied in the second half to make it a ballgame before succumbing 79-75 as Scottie Lindsey had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats.

Without heralded freshman Collin Sexton, Alabama got 20 points from Dazon Ingram to beat Memphis 82-70 in the first game of the Veterans Classic. Navy took down Pittsburgh 71-62 in the nightcap.

A hip injury cut Michael Porter Jr.’s debut short, but Missouri nonetheless handled former conference rival Iowa State 74-59.

Stanford needs Reid Travis to be healthy, and he demonstrated that as he had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Cardinal over Cal Poly 78-62.

Dayton got a tough battle from Ball State, one of the favorites in the MAC, as they needed a last-second basket to knock them off 78-77 to win Anthony Grant’s debut.

Belmont headed west and almost took down Washington in Mike Hopkins’ debut, but the Huskies used a big second half to win 86-82 behind 32 points from Jaylen Nowell.

Two solid mid-major programs, Bucknell and Monmouth, played one of the best games of the night in a game that was as good as we could have expected. The host Hawks pulled out a 79-78 win, getting two Micah Seaborn free throws in the final seconds before forcing the Bison into a tough shot to try to win. Seaborn finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Zach Thomas had a big night for Bucknell in the loss with 31 points and 16 rebounds.

In another good one among mid-majors, Albany edged Iona 69-67, holding off a rally from 11 down by the Gaels.

In West Hartford, nearby rivals Central Connecticut and Hartford played a dandy that took overtime, with the host Hawks pulling out an 85-84 win.

The surprises start with Indiana losing handily to Indiana State 90-69 in Archie Miller’s debut. He is the first Indiana head coach to lose his debut since 1924. The Hoosiers trailed 54-33 at halftime, so it started early, and the Sycamores hit 17 three-pointers.

This isn’t as much of a surprise as some may think, but Georgia Southern went to Wake Forest and came away with an 85-83 win over the Demon Deacons. The Eagles should contend in the Sun Belt, while the Demon Deacons may take a step back this year from key personnel losses.

A mild surprise is that a pretty good UNC Asheville team went to Rhode Island and was blown out 84-60. The expectation was that this would be a little more of a ballgame, but this is a good sign for Atlantic 10 favorite Rhode Island.

Lamar went to Tulsa and beat the Golden Hurricane 74-67, getting 23 points and eight rebounds from Nick Garth.

Niagara surprised Atlantic 10 contender St. Bonaventure 77-75 in Olean behind 23 points from Kahlil Dukes.

Side Dishes

UCLA survived a slugfest with Georgia Tech in Shanghai by a 63-60 margin in the last game of the night. But the big news surrounds the three Bruins who were arrested while the team was in town, and those three not only did not play Friday night, but are not heading back to the U.S. with the team. LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley could remain in China for a week or two according to an ESPN report.

Georgia Southern suspended B.J. Gladden indefinitely on Friday for a violation of team rules. The senior forward is a key reserve, so while they don’t have him it will be a hit to their depth.

Canisius will be without Jibreel Faulkner for the first 16 games of the season as a suspension from the NCAA. The suspension is the result of a violation while at a prior institution, which Canisius was made aware of by way of a call from the NCAA in August. The junior forward will still practice with the team in the interim, and he will be eligible to play on January 7, 2018 at Siena.

Tonight’s Menu

It’s a light day, especially in the way of TV games since college football will dominate the landscape.

  • In an intriguing early matchup, Illinois State visits FGCU at 1 p.m.
  • Notre Dame heads to Chicago to visit DePaul at 4 p.m.
  • After giving Kentucky a bit of a scare on Friday night, Utah Valley visits Duke at 7 p.m.
  • A good matchup in the evening is Northeast Conference contender Saint Francis U visiting Saint Mary’s at 8 p.m.

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