Jan 24, 2013, 1:17 AM EDT
Game of the Day: La Salle 54, No. 9 Butler 53
La Salle’s Ramon Galloway, who had been struggling much of the night, drove down the left side of the lane and hit a layup with 2.7 seconds remaining to give the Explorers the lead. The Bulldogs had one more shot to win it with a half-court heave, but Butler magic came up short Wednesday. Roosevelt Jones’ prayer was off the mark and La Salle secured a huge win against a Top 10 team.
Could the result have been different if Butler had its leading scorer, Rotnei Clarke, who was sitting with a neck injury? Of course. But, regardless, the Explorers got a big conference victory.
Miami dominated Duke nearly from the opening tip. Durand Scott, Shane Larkin, and Kenny Kadji were all too much, spreading out the Duke defense and beating them on the perimeter. The earlier-than-expected return of center Reggie Johnson gave the Hurricanes an emotional boost, though he is still working his way back to full game form.
The Northwestern zone defense disrupted Minnesota all night and, despite a massive +19 advantage on the backboards and 17 offensive rebounds, Minnesota could not get a road win. Trevor Mbakwe had an impressive double-double (see below) but did not get enough touches to help the Gophers down the stretch.
Drake had a 17-point lead at halftime, but Creighton clawed all the way back to take the lead late in the second half. Doug McDermott was suffering from flu-like symptoms, which contributed to him scoring just two points in the second half. Richard Carter had an important 20 points for Drake.
1. Durand Scott, Miami (25 points, 9-of-11 FG, 6 rebounds, 4 assists)
Scott scored 15 of his 25 points in the first half to help Miami get off to a strong start in its eventual 27-point trouncing of No. 1 Duke. At one point in the first half, he pulled from three-point range out near the signature “U” logo near mid-court and knocked the shot down. He was too much for Duke to handle Wednesday night.
2. Tony Snell, New Mexico (23 points, 3-of-5 3pt FG)
Center Alex Kirk had just three points in 21 minutes for the Lobos, meaning that Snell was even more key for New Mexico against a tough Colorado State team. He delivered with 23 big points Wednesday night in a UNM win.
3. Trevor Mbakwe (14 points, 6-of-7 FG, 16 rebounds)
Mbakwe was one of the few bright spots for Minnesota in its loss to Northwestern. With how efficient he was, the Gophers likely should have tried to get him more touches.
1. Seth Curry, Quinn Cook, Tyler Thornton for Duke (Combined 1-of-29 FG, 6 points)
With Ryan Kelly out of the lineup, it’s even more important that this trio steps up. Against Miami, it simply did not happen. Cook was just 1-of-12 from the floor and Curry never found his shooting stroke, going 0-of-10. Off the bench, Thornton struggled with his 0-of-7 mark.
2. Austin Hollins, Minnesota (6 points, 1-of-5 FG, Fouled Out)
Hollins struggled to find his stroke and picked up his fourth foul with 12:01 remaining in the second half. Coach Tubby Smith kept him in the game and he picked up his fifth and final foul just 13 seconds later.
3. Doug McDermott in the 2nd half, Creighton (2 points)
McDermott reportedly vomited at half time due to flu-like symptoms he had been playing with, so it’s not entirely his fault. Without him at full strength, the Bluejays were able to erase a 17-point halftime deficit, but unable to come away with the win.
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