College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 16, 2013
Eighteen of the nation's top 25 teams hit the hardwoods on Saturday. All but one game pitted ranked vs. unranked, that being the Big East battle won by #18 Marquette, besting #16 Pittsburgh, 69-59, tying the Golden Eagles for first place in the conference with Syracuse and Georgetown at 9-3.
Notre Dame (21) was one of the few ranked teams to suffer defeat, running into a buzz-saw at Providence, where Vincent Council scored just seven points for the Friars, but dished 11 assists and snatched the same number of rebounds in the 71-54 rout.
Another losing effort was seen at Tennessee, where the Volunteers whalloped #25 Kentucky, 88-58. At 17-8 (8-4, SEC) and without flashy frosh, Nerlens Noel, for the rest of the season, the Wildcats are in deep trouble.
#1 Indiana powered past Purdue, 83-55, but #2 Duke took it on the chin at the Verizon Center as the Maryland Terrapins - despite 26 turnovers - upset them, 83-81. It was the final meeting between the two schools as ACC participants, Maryland moving over to the Big Ten next season. Mason Plumlee was held completely in check by the Terrapins' seven-footer, Alex Len, who scored 19 points and grabbed nine boards while limiting Plumlee to season lows in points (4) and rebounds (3).
The performance of the day, however, came in a losing effort by Air Force, the Falcons coming up just short in an 86-83 defeat by #22 Colorado State. Michael Lyons, a 6'5" senior guard, pumped in a career-high 45 points on 17-for-25 shooting, making seven of 13 from three-point range and five of eight from the foul line. Lyons also chipped in a couple of rebounds and a pair of assists.
Lyons' effort was the most scored by a Mountain West player this season, the most ever by a Falcon in a conference game and just five short of the school record of 50, set by Bob Beckel in 1959.
Colorado State's win left them 1/2 game behind conference-leading New Mexico with an 8-2 record. The Lobos (9-2) kept their edge with a 60-50 win over Boise State.