Night Court: Jabari Brown gives Missouri key bubble win
Missouri got a must-win over Arkansas, St. John's avoided a loss, while Wisconsin won its third in a row.
Here’s everything you need to know from college basketball’s Thursday …
Game of the Day: Missouri beats Arkansas on Jabari Brown’s bucket with 12.2 seconds left.
Both Missouri and Arkansas needed a win on Thursday. Missouri had lost three in a row to drop right to the NCAA tournament cutline, while Arkansas had won two in a row to keep its at-large hopes alive. But it was Missouri who made the plays down the stretch to get the win. Jabari Brown drove the lane for a runner with 12.2 seconds left, giving Missouri an 86-85 win. A late drought let Arkansas back into the game, but Brown (25 points) and Jordan Clarkson (27 points) wouldn't let Missouri lose.
Back at 5-6 in the SEC, Missouri now has a stretch of very winnable games in the SEC. Up next is a home game against Tennessee, followed by another home contest against Vanderbilt. The Tigers can't afford to lose either game. After another loss on the road, Arkansas is in serious trouble. The Razorbacks get LSU and South Carolina at home next, but they need to get hot in a hurry.
What else we’ll be talking about in the morning: Wisconsin outlasts Minnesota for third win in a row.
Wisconsin seems to have righted the ship somewhat. The Badgers have now won three in a row after dropping five of six, and are 7-5 in the Big Ten. On Thursday, they overcame a slow start to knock off Minnesota, 78-70. Ben Brust was 4-for-4 from 3-point range and finished with 20 points, while Frank Kaminsky went for 17 points. Nigel Hayes was a key piece off the bench once again, notching 15 points for his fourth straight double-figure game. Minnesota stayed in the game with the 3-pointer, but the Golden Gophers couldn't get dribble-penetration and inside production like they did in the first meeting between the two teams.
Looking forward, Wisconsin now has a chance to make a statement and get back in the national discussion -- or fall back to .500 in the league. The Badgers head to Michigan and Iowa in their next two games. On the other side, Minnesota is in bubble trouble. The Gophers have lost four of five, and play Northwestern on the road this weekend.
That’s a good win: Big second half gives UCLA a 18-point win over Colorado.
Colorado came out with a purpose on Thursday, getting good first-half efforts from Josh Scott and Askia Booker and going into halftime with a four-point lead at UCLA. That didn't last, though, as UCLA scored 56 points in the second half en route to a 92-74 victory. Kyle Anderson was fantastic, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists, while Jordan Adams (17 points) led four other players in double-figures. The win means UCLA stays within two games of Arizona in the Pac-12 standings, although the two teams don't play again this season. Colorado had won three in a row before Thursday, and the Buffaloes can't afford another loss at USC this weekend.
And that's a bad loss: BYU took a brutal bubble loss on Thursday night, falling at Pacific. The Cougars had won nine of their last 11, and now have to face Saint Mary's and Gonzaga in their next two games. BYU was squarely on the cutline of the NCAA tournament heading into the game; and this certainly is a big hit for them. Moreover, they now have five sub-100 losses. BYU needs the next two games.
St. John's saves its season: Winning six of its last seven, including Sunday's win over Creighton, had put St. John's within striking distance of the bubble. However, a loss at Seton Hall on Thursday would have essentially ruined all the good will they had build over the past few weeks. Down by four in the final minutes, the Red Storm came back to win, 68-67, on Chris Obekpa's free throw with 1.6 seconds left. D'Angelo Harrison had 12 points, while Rysheed Jordan went for 10 points and made a terrific pass to Obekpa that led to the winning foul shot. The Red Storm face Georgetown this weekend in a monster bubble battle in the Big East.
Players with impact
- Monster double-double for Eastern Illinois big man Sherman Blanford: 32 points, 18 rebounds. Austin Peay’s Ed Dyson countered with 24 points and 11 rebounds – and the win.
- UNC-Asheville freshman Andrew Rowsey has been putting up some big numbers this season, and he went for 41 points on Thursday.
- East Tennessee State had a nice win over Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday, led by Rashawn Rembert’s 31 points and six 3-pointers.
- Impressive all-around line for UL-Lafayette's Elfrid Payton: 23 points, 10 rebounds, six assists.
Numbers to figure
20: Stephen F. Austin has now won 20 straight games -- the third-longest winning streak in the country.
1998: That's the last time St. John's won at Seton Hall, prior to Thursday. Felipe Lopez led the way with 19 points.
34: Missouri was 34-for-38 from the free-throw line – it was the most free throws by the Tigers since March 14, 2002, when they hit 34 against Miami.
3-23: That’s Mike Anderson’s record in road games since arriving at Arkansas.
1: That’s how many seasons Creighton has had with fewer than 20 wins since 1998.
Other outcomes of note:
- No. 9 Michigan State had a slow start, but 20 points and 14 rebounds from Adreian Payne helped lead the Spartans to an 85-70 win over Northwestern. Keith Appling and Branden Dawson are still out.
- Doug McDermott’s 3-pointer with 47.8 seconds left gave Creighton a lead against Butler, and the Bluejays hung on for the 68-63 victory. The Bulldogs used 5-foot-11 Alex Barlow on McDermott late in the game, and it helped Butler stay in the game. But McDermott’s 26 points were too much.
- Gonzaga had a few bumpy spots on Thursday, but the Bulldogs cruised down the stretch for a 15-point win against Pepperdine. Kevin Pangos and David Stockton each had 18 points as Gonzaga improved to 12-1 in the WCC.
- Saint Mary's took care of San Diego. The Gaels have BYU this weekend in a must-win for both teams.
- That's three wins in a row for Utah, which won at USC on Thursday night. The Utes are back to .500 in the Pac-12. Delon Wright had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
- Green Bay remained atop the Horizon with a victory over Youngstown State. Alec Brown had 24 points.
- Michael Bryson's putback at the buzzer gave UC-Santa Barbara the one-point win over Long Beach State.
- Robert Morris moved to 10-1 in the NEC with a road win at St. Francis (Pa.). Karvel Anderson went for 28 points.
- Radford’s win over UNC-Asheville meant the Highlanders are in a tie for first in the North Division of the Big South.
- North Dakota State leads the Summit League after beating Western Illinois, 56-52.
- Murray State and Belmont both won, so they are both still 10-2 in the Ohio Valley.
- Florida Gulf Coast dropped a tough one at East Tennessee State, 89-81.
- Some interesting Conference-USA results, as both UTEP (to Florida Atlantic) and Southern Miss (to UAB) went down. UTEP and Southern Miss were tied for first heading into the day.
-- Boston College dropped to 6-18 on the season with a 74-71 loss at Georgia Tech. Marcus Hunt hit a 3-pointer while getting fouled with 0.7 seconds left to give the Yellow Jackets the win.
-- There were numerous games postponed on Thursday:
- Louisville at Temple
- SMU at Rutgers
- Charleston Southern at High Point
- Bryant at Mount St. Mary’s
- Central Connecticut State at St. Francis (N.Y.)
- Wagner at Fairleigh Dickinson
- LIU Brooklyn at Sacred Heart
- Northern Kentucky at Kennesaw State
- Lipscomb at Mercer
- Stetson at USC Upstate
- Texas State at Georgia State
- Western Carolina at Chattanooga
-- Thursday was the 20th anniversary of the infamous John Chaney-John Calipari postgame scuffle.
-- News 12 Brooklyn reported that St. Francis (N.Y.) had suspended four players following the arrests of two of them.
-- Texas A&M freshman Davonte Fitzgerald is out for the season with a knee injury.
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