Dec 16, 2013, 12:24 AM EDT
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 2 Syracuse 68, St. John’s 63
In a matchup of former Big East rivals, it was Syracuse who made the plays late at Madison Square Garden. C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis scored 21 points apiece, with the freshman point guard also racking up six assists, to lead the way for the undefeated Orange. D’Angelo Harrison scored 21 to lead the Red Storm, but a sluggish start and some bad decisions down the stretch proved to be too much to overcome. Even in defeat, there were some positives to be taken from the game for the Red Storm.
1) No. 24 Missouri 66, Western Michigan 60
Jordan Clarkson didn’t have his best night, scoring 12 points on 3-for-8 shooting, but a group effort allowed the Tigers to push their non-conference home win streak to 80 consecutive games. Jabari Brown led four Tigers in double figures with 15 points, and as a team Missouri shot 50% from the field. David Brown led three Broncos in double figures with 18 points. Next up for Missouri is their annual “Braggin’ Rights” game against Illinois on Saturday.
2) No. 10 Villanova 73, La Salle 52
James Bell and JayVaughn Pinkston combined to score just ten points for Villanova but the Wildcats were fine, thanks to 21 points from Darrun Hilliard and a very good defensive effort in the second half. Also of note was the 24 points scored by freshmen Kris Jenkins (13) and Josh Hart (11). The win moves Villanova to 3-0 in Big 5 play.
3) Kansas State 72, Troy 43
Marcus Foster and Will Spradling scored 14 points apiece to lead the way offensively for the Wildcats, but the team’s best work against the Trojans came on the boards. K-State rebounded 43.6% of its missed shots, and the Wildcats also scored 20 points off of 16 Troy turnovers.
1) Devon Collier (Oregon State): 24 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the Beavers’ 98-66 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
2) Pendarvis Williams (Norfolk State): 27 points, four steals and three assists in the Spartans’ 86-82 overtime win at Boston University.
3) Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming): 38 points and 12 rebounds in the Cowboys’ 64-61 loss at Denver.
1) Davidson: Shot 3-for-22 from beyond the arc in their 72-58 home loss to Drexel.
2) Albert Thomas and Casey Walker (Delaware State): Combined to shoot 5-for-27 in the Hornets’ 64-62 loss to Howard.
3) Tyreek Duren and Tyrone Garland (La Salle): Combined to shoot 4-for-18 in their 73-52 loss at No. 10 Villanova.
- Michael Bryson scored 21 points to lead UCSB to a 72-61 win at San Diego. After going scoreless in the first half Alan Williams finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
- USC struggled throughout but thanks to 19 second-half points from Byron Wesley the Trojans hung on to beat Bakersfield, 63-59. And moving forward, keep an eye on freshman forward Nikola Jovanovic. He’s been quite effective of late (14 & 10 vs. Bakersfield), and as he gains physical strength he’ll be a valuable piece for Andy Enfield moving forward.
- Carson Puriefoy scored 15 points off the bench to lead reigning America East regular season champion Stony Brook to a 67-48 win at New Hampshire in the conference opener for both.
- Royce Woolridge accounted for 20 points and four assists in Washington State’s 78-61 win over Pepperdine.
- Chavaughn Lewis led four Marist starters in double figures with 18 points in the Red Foxes’ 69-62 win at College of Charleston. Marist entered the game with an 9-0 record.
- George Beamon scored 23 points and Rhamel Brown added 16 in Manhattan’s 77-72 win at UNCW.
- Billy Garrett Jr. made some key plays in overtime as DePaul held off Chicago State, 77-70. In the game Cleveland Melvin moved into seventh place on DePaul’s all-time scoring list, passing Dallas Comegys.
TOP 25 SCORES
- No. 2 Syracuse 68, St. John’s 63
- No. 10 Villanova 73, La Salle 52
- No. 24 Missouri 66, Western Michigan 60
- NBCSports.com National Player of the Year: Doug McDermott, Creighton 0
- 2014 ACC Tournament Preview: Will a newcomer crash the party in Greensboro? 0
- NBCSports.com National Freshman of the Year: Jabari Parker, Duke 2
- Bracketology: Delaware, Manhattan, Wofford punch tickets 0
- 2014 SEC Tournament Preview: How will Kentucky, bubble teams fair? 0
- Joel Embiid out for Big 12 tournament, ‘longshot’ for NCAA tournament first weekend 1
- 2014 Big 12 Tournament Preview: This is going to be good 1
- Wichita State will head into the NCAA tournament 34-0 as a No. 1 seed (12)
- No. 7 Syracuse falls to Georgia Tech in a shocking home loss (9)
- NBCSports.com’s 2014 College Basketball All-Americans (8)
- Assigned Reading: Dean Smith’s health continues to deteriorate (6)
- No. 1 Florida’s undefeated SEC season not just a by-product of their league (6)