Gonzaga poised to take top spot
SPOKANE, Wash. — Elias Harris had 20 points and nine rebounds as No. 2 Gonzaga beat Portland 81-52 on Saturday to stake a claim to its first No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press’ Top 25.
Kelly Olynyk added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Gonzaga (29-2, 16-0 West Coast), which had already clinched the West Coast Conference regular season title and the top seed in next weekend’s tournament. Gary Bell Jr. added 14 points.
Gonzaga, winner of 12 consecutive games since a last-second loss at Butler, has escaped the losses that have afflicted other teams at or near the top of the poll in recent weeks. That included a loss by top-ranked Indiana to Minnesota earlier this week that opened the door for the Bulldogs.
Derrick Rodgers scored 10 points for Portland (11-20, 4-12), which has lost 18 straight to Gonzaga dating to 2003.
No. 1 INDIANA 73,
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Cody Zeller overcame a sluggish start to score 22 points, and Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell added a career-high 19 as Indiana got past Iowa.
The Hoosiers (25-4, 13-3 Big Ten) rebounded from this week’s loss to Minnesota. But it was no typical night for Indiana’s shooters, who were 38.9 percent from the field and didn’t hit a 3-pointer until the final minute.
But Indiana played defense and took care of the ball.
Iowa (18-11, 7-9) committed 14 of its 19 turnovers in the first half and shot just 38.2 percent from the field. Roy Devyn Marble scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half to lead Iowa, while Aaron White had 14.
No. 3 DUKE 79,
No. 5 MIAMI 76
DURHAM, N.C. — Duke’s Ryan Kelly scored a career-high 36 points in his return from a foot injury that had sidelined him since January.
Kelly was 10 of 14 from the field — including 7 of 9 from 3-point range— for the Blue Devils (25-4, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who avenged a blowout road loss in January by grinding out a tough win in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Quinn Cook added 15 points as Duke built a 10-point lead with about 2 minutes left then held off a frantic rally by Miami.
Shane Larkin scored 25 points to lead the Hurricanes (23-5, 14-2), who missed two 3s in the final seconds to tie it. Larkin came up short on the first over Kelly.
Durand Scott ran down the rebound and fired a pass to the left corner to Rion Brown, whose final 3 clanged off the rim as the horn sounded.
No. 6 KANSAS 91,
WEST VIRGINIA 65
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Ben McLemore scored a Kansas freshman-record 36 points, and Jeff Withey came within one block of a triple-double.
McLemore, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, went to the bench with a little more than 5 minutes left after hitting 12 of 15 shots from the field, including 5 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. He had seven rebounds and four assists.
Withey’s nine blocks ran his Big 12-and Kansas-career record to 281. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Jayhawks (25-4, 13-3 Big 12).
No. 7 GEORGETOWN 64,
WASHINGTON — Taking over the game after Georgetown trailed early in the second half, Otto Porter Jr. finished with 28 points and eight rebounds, leading the Hoyas past Rutgers for their 11th consecutive victory.
Porter made only six field goals but went 15 of 18 at the line, the most made free throws by a Georgetown player since Mike Sweetney’s 16 on April 1, 2003.
The Hoyas improved to 23-4 overall and 13-3 in the Big East, which they lead with two games left before the conference tournament.
Rutgers (13-14, 4-12), which has never beaten a top-10 team on the road, has lost 10 of its last 11 games. But it led 33-29 with under 17 minutes remaining.
No. 8 FLORIDA 64,
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Casey Prather had 10 points and nine rebounds, most of them in the second half, and Florida rallied from an eight-point deficit.
The Gators used a 15-0 run late in the second half — fueled by Prather — to pull away from the Crimson Tide and remain unbeaten at home.
Erik Murphy led Florida (23-5, 13-3 Southeastern Conference) with 15 points. Kenny Boynton added 13, and Scottie Wilbekin chipped in 11.
Trevor Releford led the Tide (19-10, 11-5) with 12 points. Trevor Lacey and Nick Jacobs added 11 points apiece.
No. 10 LOUISVILLE 58,
No. 12 SYRACUSE 53
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Luke Hancock hit a 3-pointer from the corner to break a tie with 50 seconds left for Louisville, which lost to Syracuse earlier this season.
It was the third straight loss for Syracuse (22-7, 10-6 Big East).
Louisville (24-5, 12-4) snapped a three-game losing streak against Syracuse, and the Cardinals did it before a stunned crowd of 31,173.
Russ Smith led Louisville with 18 points, Hancock had 12, all on 3s, and Gorgui Dieng finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
No. 11 ARIZONA 69
LOS ANGELES — Shabazz Muhammad grabbed a defensive rebound, got fouled and made both free throws with 9 seconds remaining, helping UCLA hang on for a victory over Arizona that moved the Bruins into a first-place tie with idle Oregon in the Pac-12.
The star freshman finished with 18 points as UCLA fans chanted “One more year” in reference to Muhammad’s likely early departure for the NBA draft.
Kyle Anderson added 17 points, Larry Drew II had 14 points and nine assists in the senior’s final home game for the Bruins, and David Wear had nine points and 10 rebounds.
No. 13 KANSAS STATE 64,
WACO, Texas — Rodney McGruder hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and Kansas State pulled out a victory after a failed desperation inbound pass gave the Wildcats one more chance.
Instead of settling for overtime after K-State’s Shane Southwell missed badly with 1 second left, the Bears (17-12, 8-8 Big 12) brought seldom-used Jacob Neubert off the bench to try a length-of-the-court inbound pass.
But the ball went out of bounds without being touched, so the Wildcats got it under their own basket with the second still on the clock.
After a timeout, Angel Rodriguez inbounded to McGruder on the right wing.
McGruder had 18 points to lead Kansas State (24-5, 13-3), which won its fifth straight to maintain a share of the Big 12 lead with sixth-ranked Kansas with two regular season games left.
No. 14 NEW MEXICO 53,
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Alex Kirk had 15 points and nine rebounds, and New Mexico clinched the Mountain West Conference regular season title.
The Lobos (25-4, 12-2 MWC) went 21-for-27 from the free throw line in winning or sharing the title for fifth time in the last six seasons. Cameron Bairstow contributed 13 points and nine rebounds, and Kendall Williams had six assists for the Lobos.
Riley Grabau scored 14 points for the Cowboys (18-11, 4-11).
No. 15 OKLAHOMA ST. 78,
STILLWATER, Okla. — Markel Brown scored 18 points, LeBryan Nash added 16, and Oklahoma State corralled Texas star Myck Kabongo.
A showcase of two of the Big 12’s marquee point guards ended up being a sloppy one, with Kabongo committing a career-high seven turnovers while the Cowboys’ Marcus Smart had five.
Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4 Big 12) took advantage of two of Kabongo’s turnovers to score the final eight points of the first half and start an 18-2 run that carried beyond halftime. By the time it was over, the Cowboys were firmly in front at 47-33 after Nash drove through traffic for a right-handed slam.
No. 18 SAINT LOUIS 66,
GEORGE WASHINGTON 58
WASHINGTON — Dwayne Evans scored 22 points, and Kwamain Mitchell added 18 as Saint Louis won its 11th straight game, holding off George Washington.
With two games remaining in the regular season, Saint Louis (23-5, 12-2 Atlantic 10) holds a one-game lead over Virginia Commonwealth (23-6, 11-3), which routed No. 20 Butler 84-52 on Saturday.
Reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Kevin Larsen led George Washington with 14 points. The Colonials (12-15, 6-8) have lost three straight and five of six.
No. 19 MEMPHIS 76,
CENTRAL FLORIDA 67
ORLANDO, Fla. — Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford both scored 19 points, and Memphis claimed its eighth Conference USA championship.
Adonis Thomas added 12 points for the Tigers (25-4, 14-0 CUSA), who gave coach Josh Pastner his 100th career win, all at Memphis.
Keith Clanton had 29 points and six rebounds for UCF (19-10, 8-6). Kasey Wilson added 11 points, and Isaiah Sykes had 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
No. 20 BUTLER 52
RICHMOND, Va. — Troy Daniels scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half, and VCU’s full-court pressure overwhelmed Butler from the outset.
In a much anticipated rematch of their unlikely meeting in the national semifinals in Houston in 2011, the Rams (23-6, 11-3 Atlantic 10) dominated, forcing 14 turnovers in the first half, one more than Butler’s average for a game, and converted them into 24 points on their way to a 45-21 lead.
No. 22 MARQUETTE 72,
No. 21 NOTRE DAME 64
MILWAUKEE — Jamil Wilson tied his career-high with 19 points, and Chris Otule added a season-high 16 on 8-of-8 shooting as Marquette won its 25th consecutive home game.
Wilson scored 17 points in the second half, including seven down the stretch, for the Golden Eagles (21-7, 12-4 Big East). His two free throws were the final points in the game.
Jerian Grant scored 21 points, and Eric Atkins added 16 for Notre Dame (22-7, 10-6).
No. 25 La. TECH 88,
SAN JOSE STATE 61
RUSTON, La. — Raheem Appleby scored 16 points, and Louisiana Tech extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games, clinching at least a share of its first Western Athletic Conference championship with a victory over San Jose State.
Alex Hamilton and Jaron Johnson added 13 points apiece for the Bulldogs (26-3, 16-0 WAC).
Xavier Jones led San Jose State (9-18, 3-13) with 14 points, while D.J. Brown and Chris Cunningham each had 10.
Louisiana Tech hit seven 3-pointers in the first half and used a 16-4 run to go ahead 29-12 en route to a 45-26 halftime lead. The Bulldogs held San Jose State to 33 percent shooting from the field in the opening 20 minutes and forced 12 turnovers.