OSU holds off Badgers, 59-58

GENARO C. ARMAS AP Sports Writer Published:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Lenzelle Smith Jr. whiffed on a layup, fell to the floor and Ohio State thought another tight game was about to slip away.

But behind Aaron Craft, the Buckeyes finished strong. The senior scored all seven of his points in the final 4 minutes, LaQuinton Ross added 13 for the game and No. 24 Ohio State held on after a turnover with 8 seconds left for a 59-58 win Saturday over No. 14 Wisconsin.

Sam Dekker missed a 3 at the buzzer for Wisconsin, which suffered a third straight home loss in a bruising back-and-forth affair with the Buckeyes (17-5, 4-5 Big Ten).

After a humbling loss in Columbus in overtime earlier in the week to Penn State, coach Thad Matta's team escaped intact this time.

"I thought we had better composure. I thought we had a better pace about us," than in the loss to the Nittany Lions, Matta said. "I thought we executed better down the stretch."

Smith's slip-up was a huge exception. He got the ball in transition after Traevon Jackson missed a free throw, then was accidentally bumped to the floor by teammate Amir Williams after getting his own offensive rebound.

"You wouldn't expect anything less with what we've gone through this year, right? That's kind of how our year has gone," Craft said.

The Badgers (17-5, 4-5) set up for Jackson, who has had his moments hitting game-winning shots. Ohio State was prepared, and Wisconsin settled for a decent second option in Dekker before he missed the 3.

Another tight loss averted.

"Going through it last game helped us a lot today," Craft said. "Everyone had a look in their eye in the timeout, and we didn't want that to happen again."

Freshman Nigel Hayes had 17 points for the Badgers, which is free-falling down the Big Ten standings following a fifth loss in six games after a school-record 16-0 start.

"In this league against good teams you have to play the full 40 minutes. Every possession." said guard Josh Gasser (seven points, six rebounds). "Sometimes you just have to make a play or two. ... They just made one more than we did."

Ohio State was in a similar spot coming into the afternoon after losing five of six following a 15-0 start.

Matta sought more toughness from his team after the loss to Penn State, and the coach's tough love seemed to pay off at Kohl Center.

"There were a lot of times where we beat ourselves gambling on defense or rushing a shot on offense or not winning on screens," Craft said. "Those were things that we wanted to sharpen up."

No. 2 SYRACUSE 91, No. 17 DUKE 89

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Jerami Grant scored eight points in overtime to finish with a career-high 24 and Jim Boeheim's No. 2 Syracuse stayed unbeaten, topping Mike Krzyzewski's No. 17 Duke 91-89 in a matchup of the two winningest coaches in Division I history.

C.J. Fair scored a career-best 28 as Syracuse (21-0, 8-0 ACC) set a school record for consecutive wins to start a season.

Jabari Parker had 15 points and nine rebounds before fouling out in regulation for Duke (17-5, 6-3).

No. 3 FLORIDA 69, TEXAS A&M 36

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Michael Frazier II scored 21 points, Dorian Finney-Smith added 11 and No. 3 Florida overwhelmed Texas A&M, 69-36.

The Gators (19-2, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) pushed their winning streak to 13 games and extended a school record for consecutive home wins to 27.

No. 4 WICHITA ST. 81, EVANSVILLE 67

WICHITA, Kan. -- Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker scored 14 points apiece, and fourth-ranked Wichita State withstood an early barrage by Evansville before cruising to an 81-67 victory that kept it among the nation's three unbeaten teams.

Cleanthony Early had 13 points and Tekele Cotton added 12 for the Shockers (23-0, 10-0 Missouri Valley), who haven't lost since last year's surprising run to the Final Four.

No. 5 SDSU 65, COLORADO ST. 56

SAN DIEGO -- Coach Steve Fisher won his 300th game at San Diego State when Xavier Thames scored 24 points and Winston Shepard 17 to lead the No. 5 Aztecs over Colorado State 65-56.

The Aztecs (19-1, 8-0 Mountain West) won their 18th straight game and are 8-0 in conference play for the first time in the program's 93-year history.

No. 25 TEXAS 81, No. 6 KANSAS 69

AUSTIN, Texas -- Isaiah Taylor scored 23 points, Jonathan Holmes had 22 and No. 25 Texas rolled over No. 6 Kansas 81-69 for its sixth consecutive victory.

Texas, which lost its top four scorers from last year's 16-18 squad, has been the surprise of the Big 12. The Longhorns have four consecutive wins over Top 25 opponents and now sit in second place after dominating a team that had been playing as well as anyone in the country in recent weeks.

The Longhorns (17-4, 6-2) thumped the Jayhawks (16-5, 7-1) with suffocating defense that held the Big 12's best shooting team to 39 percent from the floor. Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins, who averaged 24 points over the previous three games, scored seven before fouling out late.

GEORGETOWN 64, No. 7 MSU 60

NEW YORK -- Markel Starks scored 16 points and Georgetown ended a five-game losing streak with a 64-60 victory over short-handed and seventh-ranked Michigan State at Madison Square Garden.

Jabril Trawick came up with two big plays late for the Hoyas (12-9) in the late-season nonconference game that was part of the New York area's celebration of Sunday's Super Bowl.

Michigan State (19-3) played without injured frontcourt players Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson and the Spartans had a tough time shooting.

BAYLOR 76, No. 8 OKLAHOMA ST. 70

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Brady Heslip scored a season-high 20 points to help Baylor beat No. 8 Oklahoma State 76-70 and end a five-game losing streak.

Rico Gathers scored 14 points, Gary Franklin scored all 11 of his points in the second half and Cory Jefferson had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Baylor (14-7, 2-6 Big 12), which greatly improved its fading NCAA tournament hopes. The Bears had scored fewer than 70 points in four straight games, but shot 52 percent from the field and outrebounded the Cowboys 32-26.

Markel Brown scored 24 points and made 6 of 8 3-pointers, Le'Bryan Nash scored 19 points for Oklahoma State (16-5, 4-4).

No. 9 VILLANOVA 90, TEMPLE 74

PHILADELPHIA -- James Bell scored 19 points to lead No. 9 Villanova to a 90-74 win over Temple.

The win earned Villanova (19-2) a perfect 4-0 record in Big 5 play and its 22nd Big 5 championship in program history.

Will Cummings scored 24 points to lead Temple (6-14).

No. 11 KENTUCKY 84, MISSOURI 79

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Aaron Harrison scored 21 points and James Young added 20 to help No. 11 Kentucky beat Missouri, 84-79.

The Wildcats (16-5, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) kept their poise one game after calling a player-only meeting to discuss the team's issues away from home. Andrew Harrison's 3-pointer just 1:42 into the matchup gave the team a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

No. 15 IOWA 81, ILLINOIS 74

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Gabriel Olaseni had 15 points and 12 rebounds and No. 15 Iowa overcame Illinois' furious comeback to pull out an 81-74 victory.

The Hawkeyes (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) led by 21 points just over 12 minutes into the game and were battering the Illini with their bench and Big Ten-best rebounding.

Illinois (13-9, 2-7) fought its way back and took a 62-61 lead on a 3-pointer by Tracy Abrams with 10:18 left in the game.

No. 16 IOWA STATE 81,

No. 23 OKLAHOMA 75

AMES, Iowa -- Sophomore Georges Niang scored a career-high 27 points and No. 16 Iowa State held off 23rd-ranked Oklahoma 81-75 for just its second win in six games.

Melvin Ejim had 22 points with 16 rebounds for his 28th double-double as the Cyclones (16-4, 4-4 Big 12) moved back to .500 in the Big 12.

Oklahoma had pulled within three points when Niang buried a 3 to put Iowa Stata ahead 76-70 with 55.5 second left.

Buddy Hield scored a career-high 30 points for Oklahoma (17-5, 6-3), which saw its winning streak snapped at four games. The Sooners lost despite outrebounding Iowa State 46-33.

No. 19 ST. LOUIS 87, G. MASON 81 OT

ST. LOUIS -- Rob Loe scored 10 of his career high 23 points in overtime to help No. 19 Saint Louis edge George Mason, 87-81.

Saint Louis (20-2, 7-0 Atlantic 10) has reeled off 14 victories in a row, the sixth-longest active winning streak in the country. The winning streak ties the school record.

SAINT JOSEPH 73, No. 21 UMASS 68

PHILADELPHIA -- Halil Kanacevic scored 18 points and Saint Joseph's broke away from a late tie to beat No. 21 Massachusetts, 73-68.

Kanacevic added six rebounds and five assists. Ronald Roberts scored 17 and DeAndre Bembry had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks (15-6, 5-2 Atlantic 10), who have won 11 of 13.

Derrick Gordon scored 21 and Chaz Williams finished with 16 points and 10 assists for the Minutemen (17-4, 4-3). UMass has lost three of four, with all three losses coming on the road.

SMU 87, No. 22 MEMPHIS 72

DALLAS -- Nic Moore had 14 points with 10 assists, and keyed a game-turning run to start the second half, and SMU stayed undefeated at home by beating No. 22 Memphis, 87-72.

The Tigers (16-5, 6-3 American Athletic) lost a conference road game for the first time in two years.

Moore had an assist on Markus Kennedy's tiebreaking layup right after halftime. Moore then added 3-pointers in the 10-2 spurt in just over 2 minutes that put SMU (17-5, 6-3) ahead to stay and in control. Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown's Mustangs pushed the lead to 56-36 with 7:11 left when Sterling Brown made consecutive 3-pointers.

BIG TEN

NORTHWESTERN 55, MINNESOTA 54

MINNEAPOLIS -- Drew Crawford scored 17 points and JerShon Cobb pitched in 15 points to help Northwestern win its third game in a row on the road, 55-54 over Minnesota.

Tre Demps had 11 points for the Wildcats (12-11, 5-5 Big Ten), who moved into fourth place in the conference with their fifth victory in their last seven games.

The Gophers (15-7, 4-5) had the ball at the end, but DeAndre Mathieu's layup was short and Mo Walker's putback was off, too, before the final buzzer went off. Walker scored 14 points and Austin Hollins had 13 points, six rebounds and three steals, but the Gophers went 3 for 14 from 3-point range, 5 for 9 from the free-throw line and missed multiple short shots down the stretch.

MAC

OHIO 95, TOLEDO 90 OT

ATHENS -- Maurice Ndour scored 28 points and Stevie Taylor added 23 as Ohio edged Toledo 95-90 in overtime.

Ndour's dunk with 1:06 left gave Ohio (16-5, 6-2 Mid-American) a 91-90 lead. On Toledo's next possession, Taylor forced a turnover with a five-second call and hit a shot at the other end to open a 93-90 lead.

Julius Brown, who led Toledo (18-3, 6-2) with 28 points, missed a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left and Taylor secured the win with a fast-break layup.

Nick Kellogg had a ball knocked out of bounds off his leg with 16 seconds left and Ohio leading 83-81, setting up an opportunity for Toledo. Brown's jumper with 10 seconds left tied it, and Taylor's buzzer-beater attempt missed.

J.D. Weatherspoon added 16 points for Toledo. Jonathan Williams had 14 points and Justin Drummond 12 while Napoleon grad Jordan Lauf had three points in the loss.

KENT STATE 60, AKRON 57

KENT -- Darren Goodson scored 12 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer, as Kent State edged Akron, 60-57.

Goodson scored the last eight points of the game for Kent State (12-9, 3-5 Mid-American) and banked in a deep 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left to down Akron (14-7, 6-2).

MIAMI (OH) 65, E. MICHIGAN 61

OXFORD -- Will Felder, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds, hit a go-ahead jumper with 25 seconds left to lift Miami (Ohio) past Eastern Michigan, 65-61.

The RedHawks (9-10, 5-3 Mid-American) shot 43.1 percent from the field. Will Sullivan finished with 19 points and Geovonie McKnight had 10.

Ray Lee paced Eastern Michigan (12-9, 4-4) with 18 points and Karrington Ward had 16 with seven boards.

W. MICHIGAN 75, C. MICHIGAN 72

KALMAZOO, Mich. -- David Brown scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Western Michigan handed Central Michigan its eighth-straight conference loss with a 75-72 victory.

Shayne Whittington added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Broncos (12-8, 5-3 MAC). Connar Tava scored 10 points and Tucker Haymond and Austin Richie each had eight.

N. ILLINOIS 67, BALL STATE 65 OT

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Aaric Armstead scored 14 points and Jordan Threloff added 13 as Northern Illinois edged Ball State 67-65 in overtime.

Travon Baker made 1 of 2 free throws with 17 seconds left to put Northern Illinois up 67-65, and Chris Bond's shot with 3 seconds remaining missed as the Huskies (9-11, 3-5 Mid-American) held on.

Ball State (4-15, 1-7) led by 15 in the first half and 10 in the second half before the Huskies came back.

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