CINCINNATI Cashmere Wright (6'0''-G-90) s buzzer-beating jump shot lifted No. 17/16 University of Cincinnati (7-0) to a 58-56 win over Alabama (6-1) Saturday at Fifth Third Arena.
With six seconds left and the score tied at 56-56, Wright took an inbounds from pass from Titus Rubles and dribbled three-quarters the length of the floor all the way to the left baseline and hit a step-back fade-away jumper over Alabama 7-footer Moussa Gueye (7'0''-C-88) as the game clock expired.
Wright, who finished the game with eight points, and Sean Kilpatrick, who totaled a team-best 13 points, each toppled the 1,000-career point total. The only other time a pair of Bearcats reached 1,000 career points in the same game was Danny Fortson and Darnell Burton on Feb. 29, 1996 against Memphis.
JaQuon Parker (6'3''-G-90) also tallied 13 points while hauling in a team-high six rebounds. Rubles was the third Bearcat to reach double digits with 10 points off the bench.
The Bearcats scored the first seven points of the game, capped by a Wright fast-break reverse layup at the 17:03 mark that gave him his 1,000th-career point.
A 6-0 UC run capped off by a Rubles steal and fast-break layup put the Bearcats in front 17-4 at 11:30 mark of first half, at which point the Crimson Tide had more turnovers (eight) than shots from the field (seven).
Alabama guard Trevor Lacy scored seven points during a 12-2 Crimson Tide run that cut Cincinnatis lead to 19-16 with 6:11 remaining in the first half.
With 3:53 left in the first half, Kilpatrick made a pair of free throws for his 1,000th career point, which increased UCs lead to 27-20.
Cheikh Mbodjs layup with 3:20 left in the first marked six straight points for the Bearcats and gave them a 29-20 lead.
Crimson Tide point guard Trevor Relefords 3-pointer at the buzzer made the score 33-27 Bearcats at the half.
Rubles and Mbodj led the Bearcats with eight first-half points.
Cincinnati forced 16 Alabama turnovers, including 10 in the first half, which resulted in 16 points and a 33-27 halftime lead.
Alabama went on a 9-4 run to start the second half and took its first lead, 38-37, at the 14:16 mark on a jumper by Lacy, who led all scorers with 16 points.
After UC led the entire first half and the first 5:44 of the second half, the Bearcats and Crimson Tide had eight lead changes and five ties in the final minutes of the game.
After grabbing four offensive rebounds on one trip down the floor, a Kilpatrick layup gave the Bearcats a short-lived 43-40 lead before Releford made a 3-point play to tie the score with 11:28 left.
After a Releford layup gave Alabama a two-point lead, Kilpatrick quickly made a fast-break layup while getting fouled tied score 56-56 with 41.4 seconds left.
After Kilpatricks potential go-ahead free-throw was off target, Alabama called a timeout with 30.7 seconds left in the game and 25 ticks remaining on the shot clock. Following the timeout, Teleford left the clock run down before driving to his left and attempting a layup that was swatted away by junior forward Justin Jackson, which was recovered by the Bearcats, who called a timeout and set up Wrights game-winner.
Cincinnati's next game is Thursday at 7 p.m. against Arkansas-Little Rock at Fifth Third Arena. The contest will be televised live on FOX Sports Ohio. Courtesy of: http://www.gobearcats.com
Milwaukee, WI - Oakland departed its campus just north of Detroit last week for a regular season-ending two-game trip to Wisconsin knowing it would need some luck to return home as champions of the Horizon League. Trailing Valparaiso by a game, the Golden Grizzlies pretty much knew they would have to sweep Green Bay and Milwaukee and hope for a Valparaiso loss in one of its last two regular season games. Oakland defeated Green Bay on Friday night, and as its game in Milwaukee restarted a... [read more]
Milwaukee, WI - Oakland departed its campus just north of Detroit last week for a regular season-ending two-game trip to Wisconsin knowing it would need some luck to return home as champions of the Horizon League. Trailing Valparaiso by a game, the Golden Grizzlies pretty much knew they would have to sweep Green Bay and Milwaukee and hope for a Valparaiso loss in one of its last two regular season games.
Oakland defeated Green Bay on Friday night, and as its game in Milwaukee restarted after half time, word trickled out that Valparaiso had just lost to Northern Kentucky. An Oakland victory would improve its record to 14-4 and lift the Golden Grizzlies into a tie with Valparaiso for the Horizon League Championship.
Behind the torrid shooting of redshirt senior Sherron Dorsey-Walker (6'4''-G), who connected on eight of eleven three-point shots on his way to scoring a game-high 28 points, Oakland pulled away from a 39-39 halftime tie to defeat the Panthers 86-75 to claim a share of the conference title. 'It feels really good,' said a proud Oakland Coach Greg Kampe. 'I've always believed good things happen to good people especially if those people are will to do the extra work and believe in themselves.'
Dorsey-Walker, a transfer from Iowa State, started the game like he might just shoot the Golden Grizzlies past the Panthers all by himself. He staked Oakland to a 6-0 lead connecting on a catch-and-shoot three-point shot from the corner and another off the dribble from above the top of the key. Milwaukee did not have an answer for the 6-4 Dorsey-Walker as he finished the half with 18 points on six of seven shooting from behind the arc.
'We were double teaming the post and they were able to get the ball out,' said Milwaukee Coach LaVall Jordan. 'We didn't have great communication on our rotations. He (Dorsey-Walker) has the size where he can shoot even if we were there on the close.'
'He (Dorsey-Walker) didn't break a sweat tonight,' said Kampe. 'Sharron has always done the extra work. I had a good feeling he would come through because he deserved it.'
Jordan can hardly be blamed devising a defensive approach designed to take away Oakland's interior scoring while taking his chances on the Golden Grizzlies' shooting from distance. Oakland two most prolific shooters from behind the arc, Dorsey-Walker and redshirt junior Martez Walker, entered the game shooting a combined 32 percent from distance, below average by NCAA division one standards.
But in addition to Dorsey-Walker's hot shooting, Walker had his long-distance shooting game going as well making four of seven three-point shots. A transfer from Texas, Walker finished second on the Oakland scoring list with 21 points. 'It's hard when we put ourselves in a hole that big (in the second half),' said Milwaukee's Brock Stull, whose 21 points led the Panthers in scoring. 'Every time we got a little closer, they'd make a shot and ruin the momentum we had.'
Kampe relied heavily on his starters on Sunday with each averaging over 32 minutes of playing time. But when he went to his bench in the second half, he received a huge lift from sophomore Xavier Hill-Mais, a 6-7, 250 pound big from Greensboro, North Carolina. A back-to-the-basket post player, Hill-Mais went to work shortly upon his insertion into the game at the 15 minute mark of the second half. In between a short shot in the paint, the right-hand dominant Hill-Mais connected on jump hooks with first his left hand and then his right hand.
'That was a big momentum swing when Hill-Mais made those three baskets right in a row,' said Jordan.
Although their numbers did not stand out the way Dorsey-Walker and Walker's did, Oakland got what it needed from its two starting bigs, 6-7 redshirt junior Jalen Hayes and 6-8 freshman Isaiah Brock. Both are run-and-jump post players who fit in well with Oakland's fast-paced attack. Entering the game as Oakland's second leading scorer, Hayes finished with 12 points and used short jump hook shots in the paint with his dominant hand (left) for the majority of his five field goals. Brock fell just short of a double-double scoring eight points and collecting nine rebounds. Two of his three baskets came running the floor and cleaning up his teammates' misses in transition.
Even as Oakland and Valparaiso enter the Horizon League Tournament with identical 14-4 records, Oakland earned the top seed based on its two regular season wins against Valparaiso. 'Since we beat them (Valparaiso) twice, we get the automatic bid to the NIT (National Invitational Tournament),' said Kampe. 'We don't want to go to the NIT, but it's a nice consolation prize.'
Kampe was reflective in his post-game thoughts recalling the time five years ago when Oakland made the jump from the Summit to the Horizon League. 'We had our way in the Summit and if we had stayed in that league, we would have been in the (NCAA) tournament a few more times than we've been in it,' said Kampe. 'Our president asked me if we were going to make the move, can we win? I said 'yes,' but it's not going to be easy. I promised less than five years and this was out last chance to fulfill that promise. It's emotional for me to come through on that promise.'
So it's on to the conference tournament for both schools to be held at the Joe Lewis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, in downtown Detroit, Michigan from March 3-7. Milwaukee takes on Detroit-Mercy on March 3 while Oakland gets started on March 4 against the winner of the March 3 match-up between Cleveland State and Youngstown State.
In years past, the regular season league champion, Oakland in this case, would have hosted the conference tournament in its own gym. 'It could have been at the O'rena (Oakland's home gym), but I'm glad it's a neutral site,' said Kampe. 'This league needs to wrap its arms around Joe Lewis Arena. It's great for the kids and teams. I just hope we're around for all four days of it.'
Milwaukee heads to Detroit dragging a nine-game losing streak with it. But Milwaukee senior Cody Wichmann sounded upbeat as his team started its preparation for Detroit. 'Anything can happen in the tournament,' said Wichmann. 'No one gave us much of a chance in my freshman year, and we ran the table and won it. It's a possession by possession game from here on out. As coach told us, we've played every team tough at one point this year, and that gives us hope.'
Tempe, AZ - The USC Trojans made costly mistakes as Arizona State came from behind in an 83-82 victory. Kodi Justice(6'5''-G) poured in 22 points to lead the Sun Devils to the win. Both teams traded baskets the entire first half. Arizona State caught fire from behind the arc. Arizona State's Justice, who averages just 8 ppg scored 12 points in the first half. He scored nine of his points in the first five minutes and all of his points came from behind the arc. The Sun Devils shot 62.5 pe... [read more]
Tempe, AZ - The USC Trojans made costly mistakes as Arizona State came from behind in an 83-82 victory. Kodi Justice (6'5''-G) poured in 22 points to lead the Sun Devils to the win.
Both teams traded baskets the entire first half. Arizona State caught fire from behind the arc. Arizona State's Justice, who averages just 8 ppg scored 12 points in the first half. He scored nine of his points in the first five minutes and all of his points came from behind the arc. The Sun Devils shot 62.5 percent from 3 and 53.1 percent from the field. Tra Holder, the Sun Devils second leading scorer at 17 ppg, scored 12 points as well. Obinna Oleka pitched in nine points. Andre Adams was the surprise of the first half. Adams who hadn't seen much time all year came off the bench and scored five points and grabbed five rebounds. For the Trojans they had balanced scoring across the board. Their leading scorer Bennie Boatwright (14.9 ppg) led the way for the Trojans with 10 points. Elijah Stewart also pitched in 10 points. USC shot 69.2 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from behind the arc. Chimezie Metu (14.3 ppg) scored nine points in the first half. Metu hit a half court buzzer beater at the end of the half to give the Trojans a 48-47 lead going into halftime.
The Trojans and Sun Devils started off a little slow to start the second half, but it didn't take long for either team to pick it up. Justice picked up where he left off knocking down a deep three and getting into the lane to score. Oleka had a big second half finishing the game with 18 points and 10 rebounds. When you thought ASU was going to pull away, the Trojans came back . Boatwright caught fire in the second half bringing out his full arsenal, getting it done it the paint and from behind the arc. He finished the game with 22 points and five rebounds, shooting 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Metu was a beast on the boards grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 14 points to finish out the game. The Trojans shot 44.8 percent from the field in the second half.
The Sun Devils who rely so much on the 3-point shot all season, only shot 25 percent from behind the arc and 39.4 percent from the field in the second half. As the game winded down it seem like all USC had to do was take care of the ball and knock in some free throws. ASU put together a comeback down by six, getting a big layup from Holder to cut the lead to four. ASU had to foul on the inbound pass to force USC to make free throws. Elijah Stewart went to the line for a 1-and-1, and missed the first free throw with 22 seconds left in the game. ASU then got a big three from Justice with 14 seconds left to play to cut USC's lead to 82-81. USC's Boatwright then turned the ball over on the inbound pass and Holder drove to the basket and got fouled with 6.9 seconds left in the game. He made both free throws giving the Sun Devils an 83-82 lead. USC got a good last look from behind the arc, but the shot was no good. Holder finished the game with 18 points and six assists.
The Sun Devils improve to 14-16 on the year and 7-10 in conference play. They take on their rivals, the Arizona Wildcats in Tempe on March 4th. The Wildcats won the previous matchup between the two. As for USC, they fall to 21-8 and 8-8 in conference play. They take on the Washington State Cougars in Los Angeles on March 1st.
Ft. Collins, CO - Although Colorado State had the lead over San Diego State for only two minutes in the game, Emmanuel Omogbo(6'8''-F-95)'s 3-pointer with four seconds to play gave the Rams a 56-55 win. The loss drops the Aztecs to 16-12 on the season and 9-7 in MW conference play while CSU improves to 20-9 and leading-tying 12-4 mark. The Rams swept the season series over San Diego State who were selected to repeat as regular-season champions. The Aztecs returned three starters from las... [read more]
Ft. Collins, CO - Although Colorado State had the lead over San Diego State for only two minutes in the game, Emmanuel Omogbo (6'8''-F-95)'s 3-pointer with four seconds to play gave the Rams a 56-55 win. The loss drops the Aztecs to 16-12 on the season and 9-7 in MW conference play while CSU improves to 20-9 and leading-tying 12-4 mark.
The Rams swept the season series over San Diego State who were selected to repeat as regular-season champions. The Aztecs returned three starters from last year's team. Colorado State has now won nine of their last ten games although utilizing only seven players.
San Diego State's leading player is junior 6-4 guard Trey Kell, the team leader in assists (78), free throw percent (.765) and minutes (31.8 mpg) while ranking second in scoring (13.9 ppg). 6-5 senior guard Dakarai Allen scores at 8.7 ppg, on 53 percent from the field and leads the defensively with 36 steals on the season. But it is 6-10 junior forward Malik Pope that catches attention shooting with range on 34 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and scoring 10.1 points to go with 5.7 rebounds per game.
6-4 senior guard Gian Clavell is Colorado State's leading scorer (18.9 ppg) and rebounds at 6.3 rpg, while 6-8 senior forward Omogbo averages a double-double at 14.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
CSU trailed by as many as 13 with Omogbo in early foul trouble and Clavell going 0-of-7 from the three-point arc, but chipped away with transition buckets and unforced Aztec turnovers leading to fast break basketball. Just as in their previous meeting, when senior forward Omogbo hit a key 3-pointer to tie the game, this time he hit the game-winner.
The Rams only hit 32 percent of FG shots, but were a +8 in rebounding margin and shot twice as many free throws as the Aztecs, both important stats for winning. San Diego State finished at 36 percent on its field goal attempts and were led by Allen's 12 points and eight rebounds. San Diego State is now 2-9 this season in games decided by eight points or less. Prior to this season, the Aztecs were 50-22 in games decided by six points or less or in overtime. One of those losses was a 78-77 decision to Colorado State on Jan. 28.
San Diego State's Allen was impressive on defense and was a major factor in CSU's poor shooting night. He leads the team in steals and fills the stat line each game with the senior leadership in the knowing the value of team roles. Allen is vocal and anticipates very well. His shot selection is excellent and he is fundamentally solid (block-outs, crisp passing, etc.). We expect at the next level Allen will look to increase his shooting range and getting to the rim in order to create more offense. All the physical tools and great attitude are there.
Clavell led Colorado State and all scorers with 18 despite being 2-for-15 from the 3-point line. He plays hard and refuses to be denied. He is a good defender and had some key steals in the Ram final run. Clavell gets excellent height on his jump shot and is smooth shooting off the dribble or pass. Although his shot was off for this game, it was evident that the Rams need him to score for team success. Physically he is very solid and deceptively quick. He is capable of high energy for extended minutes. An overlooked aspect of Clavell's game is his defense. He picks up the other team's best perimeter player and doesn't give up an easy basket.
Earlier in the season, CSU's Omogbo displayed the typical power forward skills of tough defense and high energy rebounding while offensively working to help the guards score by setting screens and kicking the ball out from the low post. But perhaps the Ram's emergence can be tied to Omogbo's ability to score. He possesses a nice 'turn and face' game with the ability to hit the mid-range jumper or put the ball down and drive past a defender. He no longer relies on offensive rebounds for points but now puts pressure on the defense to be aware of him. Omogbo moves well without the ball and 'competes' at both ends of the court, which is not a skill seen every day.
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