Author: Dr. Saturday - NCAAF - Yahoo Sports

Duke’s Bagley to miss 4th game with knee sprain

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke says Marvin Bagley III will miss his fourth straight game with a knee sprain.

Team spokesman Mike DeGeorge announced Bagley’s status about three hours before tipoff of Wednesday night’s game against Louisville.

Bagley leads the Atlantic Coast Conference with averages of 21.2 points and 11.4 rebounds. He was hurt in the first half of the loss to North Carolina on Feb. 8.

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No. 13 Kansas hosts No. 20 WVU in Big 12 clash

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Only five games remain in Big 12 play, Kansas does not lead the conference race and yet the No. 13 Jayhawks have the potential to ascend to a point they are a tough out as a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.

“You can see that the ceiling is still pretty high if we can get everybody on the same page and playing well,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.

“I mean, my thoughts have always been the same. We got a chance to be in every game. We got a chance to win every game. Why should we settle for anything less than that? The reality is, I think there’s potential to play a lot better than we have in the last two or three weeks.”

Still, the Jayhawks (20-6) certified their 29th consecutive 20-win season (an NCAA record) and at 9-4 in the Big 12 remain a game behind conference leader Texas Tech. Third-place West Virginia (19-7, 8-5) carries a No. 20 ranking into Allen Fieldhouse for a 6 p.m. clash Saturday.

To emphasize the point, Self referenced the stat line from the Jayhawks’ last game, an 83-77 victory Tuesday at Iowa State. Kansas’ two top scorers, senior guards Devonte’ Graham (17.5 ppg.) and Svi Mykhailiuk (15.6), combined to go 6 of 26 from the field.

Although Graham went 3 of 16 in the win at Iowa State, do not underestimate his importance as an authoritative leader who has logged nine complete games (40 minutes) in a row. He averages 7.2 assists against 2.7 turnovers.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been around a team where a guy gets less help,” Self said. “I’m not putting down anybody. From talking, from ownership, from coaching others, he is doing it all. … This is Devonte’s personality that’s basically getting us through the intangible things.”

Kansas needed many of those intangibles to beat West Virginia at home a year ago. The Jayhawks rallied from a 14-point deficit inside the final three minutes of regulation before winning 84-80 in overtime.

A rally earlier this season in Morgantown was not quite as frantic, though Kansas trailed by 12 with fewer than nine minutes remaining and used a 28-11 closeout to beat West Virginia 71-66 as Graham and Mykhailiuk combined for 20 points in the last eight minutes.

West Virginia is coming off an 82-66 rout of TCU, holding the Horned Frogs to 19 points below their season scoring average. Senior guard Jevon Carter, who averages a team-high 16.9 points, remains one of the country’s top defenders and needs one more steal to reach 300 for his career.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins alternated several reserves after seeing the Mountaineers fatigue during a stretch in which they lost six of nine before the TCU win.

“We don’t shoot it great and we pass it below average so we’ve got to play hard and make things happen with our defense,” Huggins said. “We’ve got to make it really hard on people and we’ve got to make people want the game to be over with because they’re tired of us chasing them around. We are what we are.”

TCU-West Virginia Preview

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Upset Saturday in the Big 12 saw four of the league’s top five teams lose. No. 20 West Virginia must shake the sting of blowing a late six-point lead at home against Oklahoma State.

The Mountaineers’ defense unraveled during the 88-85 loss, allowing 16 points over the final 2:50. Those vulnerabilities must be shored up as they prepare to face the conference’s most efficient offensive team, TCU, on Monday night.

The Horned Frogs (17-8, 5-7 Big 12) are an NCAA bubble team backed by solid metrics — 24th in RPI, 22nd in Ken Pom — yet probably needing at least eight league wins to feel good about an at-large bid.

“(The NCAA talk) is always going to be in the back of your head. With social media, TV, you see it everywhere,” said guard Desmond Bane. “We’re just going to be focused on West Virginia and the quick turnaround to be ready and get it done Monday.”

TCU dominated Texas 87-71 on Saturday by shooting 54 percent and committing only six turnovers.

“Then you throw in 11 offensive rebounds, and that’s about as efficient as an offense can be,” said coach Jamie Dixon.

Cueing the nation’s No. 5-rated offense according to KenPom, 6-foot-10 forward Vladimir Brodziansky scored 25 points and Kouat Noi sank four 3-pointers on his way to 18 points.

But TCU has not beaten a ranked team on the road since the 1997-98 season, and on Monday expects to encounter an ornery opponent. West Virginia (18-7, 7-5) missed its chance to make a jump in the Big 12 standings and instead fell two games off the pace.

“I feel like the winner (of) this league is going to have four or five losses,” said West Virginia forward Esa Ahmad. “We just can’t lose any more.”

Three weeks ago in Fort Worth, after TCU beat West Virginia for the first time in 12 tries, students lifted Dixon onto their shoulders. That signature victory featured the Mountaineers going nearly 10 minutes without a basket, a rare stretch of pesky guarding by the Frogs, who Ken Pom rates only 128th defensively.

It seems as if Dixon has accepted that his team must score in the mid-70s to have a chance, especially with point guard Jaylen Fisher lost to a season-ending knee injury.

“It’s still not good enough, but we know what our deficiencies are,” he said. “You have seven guys, and there’s never been a good defensive team playing seven guys. We play 40, 40 and 38 minutes on the perimeter (vs. Texas), so you’re not going to be as good as you need to be defensively.”

Opposing coach Bob Huggins isn’t sure from game to game whether “Press Virginia” is a lethal weapon or a liability. Despite being ranked sixth nationally in forced turnovers (18.2) and 10th in steals (8.7), the Mountaineers repeatedly have backed off into a 1-3-1 zone when the defensive gambles led to easy buckets and foul problems.

Nothing worked toward the end of their most recent loss, when Oklahoma State scored on seven of its final eight possessions.

That squandered a career-high 33-point performance by Jevon Carter, the team’s top producer at 17.2 points and 6.7 assists per game. On the interior, West Virginia aims to get Sagaba Konate (10.5 points a game) and Ahmad (10.7 points) more involved.

TCU counters with Brodziansky (15.6 points), forward Kenrich Willams (13.7 points) and Bane (12.0 points) on one of the country’s top 3-point shooting lineups — better than 41 percent.

Louisiana-Monroe wins again in OT, beats Georgia St. 90-82

ATLANTA (AP) — Sam McDaniel had 23 points and 12 rebounds as Louisiana-Monroe won its second overtime game in three days, upsetting Georgia State 90-82 on Saturday afternoon.

McDaniel drained his fifth trey of the night to give Louisiana-Monroe a 76-73 lead with 31 seconds left in regulation right before he fouled out. D’Marcus Simonds answered with a layup and free throw to send it to overtime.

Michael Ertel took over in the extra period where he scored eight of his 21 points as the Warhawks outscored the Panthers 14-6. Travis Munnings finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.

ULM (11-12, 5-7 Sun Belt) beat Georgia Southern 66-64 in overtime on Thursday.

Georgia State, winners of 10 straight, including in a 106-92 thumping of Sun Belt Conference leader Louisiana on Thursday, battled back after trailing 60-44 early in the second half.

Simonds totaled a career-best 39 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers (19-7, 10-3).

Couple files sexual assault lawsuit vs Georgia Tech coach

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Tucson-area couple has filed a lawsuit against Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner, claiming sexual assault and sexual battery by the former University of Arizona standout.

Tucson TV station KOLD reports the suit was filed Thursday in Pima County Superior Court by former Georgia Tech booster Ron Bell and his girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley.

Last month, Pastner filed a defamation lawsuit against Bell and Pendley, saying the Oro Valley couple was trying to defame and blackmail him by accusing him of breaking NCAA rules.

The countersuit claims Pastner sexually assaulted Pendley in February 2016 when he was head coach at Memphis.

In a statement, Pastner’s attorney Scott Tompsett called the latest suit ”false and malicious” and says his client never acted improperly with Pendley.

Pastner said after Tech’s 77-54 loss at Louisville Thursday night that he was ”an absolute victim in this whole deal.”

The coach added, ”It’s unfortunate, but I’ll deal with it. All my wife and I try to do is be compassionate to people and that’s life, so you live and learn.

”But unequivocally, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero truth to any of those disgusting, bogus allegations. It’s disgusting,” before saying ”zero” 11 more times.

Pastner played at Arizona from 1996-2000 and was a Wildcats assistant coach from 2002-08 before being hired by Memphis in 2009.

Louisville’s Adel out vs. Georgia Tech with injured ankle

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville scoring leader Deng Adel will not play Thursday night in an Atlantic Coast Conference game against Georgia Tech because of an ankle injury.

The 6-foot-7 junior forward/guard, who averages 15.5 points and 5.1 rebounds, sustained the injury during Monday night in a loss to Syracuse and will be evaluated daily. Freshman guard Darius Perry will start in Adel’s place as the Cardinals (16-8, 6-5) try to end a three-game losing streak.

Junior forward Ray Spalding, who hurt his ankle against Florida State but came off the bench to post 18 points and nine rebounds against the Orange, is expected to play for Louisville.

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Coming off big win, St. John’s challenges Villanova

PHILADELPHIA — Forward Omari Spellman is one of the most seasoned freshmen in the country and it is paying huge dividends for top-ranked Villanova.

Spellman could not compete in games last season because of an NCAA rule regarding his high school graduation period. Yet Spellman got into condition and spent time with his teammates last season, and he has started to flourish this season.

In Sunday’s 92-76 win over Seton Hall, Spellman poured in 26 points, one shy of his career high. Spellman will look to build on that momentum when the Wildcats (22-1, 9-1 Big East) continue a four-game homestand with a battle against St. John’s (11-13, 0-11) on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

“Last year helped him a lot even though he was injured. He was able to spend a lot of time around the program,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “He was able to get in shape and do a lot of conditioning while injured, which makes him different than any other freshman. He got on a diet and has become so much more intelligent in basketball knowledge, which has made him a great player.”

Spellman was 9 of 12 from the field, including 6 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc against the Pirates.

“I think it says a lot about my teammates and how good they are,” Spellman said of being open. “You have to worry about everybody and sometimes they (the opposing team) pick me to try and beat them.”

Spellman added 11 rebounds while Jalen Brunson scored 21 points and Mikal Bridges added 17.

If Spellman continues to produce at this rate, the Wildcats will continue to thrive, even without injured guard Phil Booth.

“It’s his demeanor,” Brunson said of Spellman. “He’s doing a great job of expanding all the things he can do. He doesn’t care about the stats or the spotlight, he’s just playing as hard as he can for us.”

St. John’s hasn’t defeated Villanova since Feb. 26, 2011, in an 81-68 victory.

However, in their most recent game, the Red Storm stunned then-No. 4 Duke 81-77 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Blue Devils dropped to No. 9 after the loss.

St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds scored 33 points in its first win over a top-five opponent since 2011. Ponds added seven rebounds, four steals and three assists.

Bashir Ahmed scored 19 points and Tariq Owens contributed 17 for the Red Storm.

St. John’s coach Chris Mullin pointed to his team’s defensive effort as the biggest key in the victory. It will need to be terrific once again against the Wildcats.

“It’s what we’ve been waiting for,” Mullin told reporters after the Duke game. “I thought we did a better job of scoring off our defense. Our defense has been able to get stops and force turnovers, but we haven’t capitalized in transition. That’s something that I think we should be really good at and we did a good job last game and even better today. I thought we got stops, got the ball up the floor, and saw what’s out there.”

St. John’s fell to Villanova 78-71 on Jan. 13, a game in which Ponds poured in a career-best 37 points.

UCSB stays undefeated at home, beats CSU Northridge 75-51

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Leland King II had 25 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to help UC Santa Barbara remain tied atop the Big West Conference with a 75-51 win over CSU Northridge on Saturday night.

The victory improved the Gauchos’ home record to 11-0, their best ever start to a season. Their overall record of 18-5 is their best overall start since the 1988-89 team did the same. In conference they are tied with UC Davis at 7-2.

UCSB first pulled away with an 8-2 run to end the first half with a 32-25 lead. The Gauchos then kept CSU Northridge (5-18, 2-7) at bay until going on a 19-1 run to lead 68-44.

Max Heidegger added four 3-pointers and 14 points, Marcus Jackson scored 12 and Ami Lakoju 10 for UC Santa Barbara.

Tavrion Dawson had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Lyrik Shreiner scored 10 for the Matadors.