Saturday, January 11, 2014

Billy Baron Scores Career-High 38 to Lead Canisius over Rider in 2OT

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, January 10, 2014

There were no Top 25 teams in action Friday night, and, only seven games played in all of division 1, but that didn't deter Billy Baron from putting on an offensive show, scoring a career-high 38 points to lead the Canisius Golden Griffins to a 91-94, double overtime win over the Rider Broncs.

The nation's sixth-leading scorer at 22.7 points per game, Baron got his team into overtime by scoring the final four points in regulation, then kept the Griffins' hopes alive with a three-point play with 12 seconds left in the first overtime, and scored 11 of Canisius' 13 points in the second overtime, including a pair of three-pointers, the last of which broke a 91-91 tie with one second left, for the win.

Baron was 11-for-19 from the field, including 4-for-10 from beyond the arc. He canned 12 of 13 free throws and had seven rebounds, helping the Golden Griffins to a share of first place in the MAAC, along with Manhattan, Iona and Quinnipiac, all at 4-1.

Rider fell a game back, at 3-2, along with Sienna. The Golden Griffins next host Monmouth on Sunday, January 12.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Freshman Jordan Mathews Scores Career-High 32 Points as Cal Dunks Ducks, 96-83

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 10, 2014

Just a few days ago, #17 Oregon was undefeated (13-0) and had a conference win already in the books, but after losing their first game of the season Sunday at Colorado, the Cal Bears came into Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon and dunked the Ducks, 96-83, as the PAC-12 begins to look like a deep and crowded conference.

All five Cal starters scored in double figures, led by freshman guard, Jordan Mathews, who pumped in an amazing 32 points. In 38 minutes of floor time, Mathews was 10-14 from the field, hitting three of four threes, and 9-for-9 from the foul line. He had five rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Mathews, who scored just two points in Cal's 69-62 win over Stanford this past Thursday, has been coming off the bench and starting occasionally in his freshman year. His previous high was 22 points in a loss to UC Santa Barbara.

Cal improved to 11-4 with the win and is 2-0 in the conference. The Bears took a 46-42 lead into half time, but fell behind, 52-49, five minutes into the second half. The game remained tight until Mathews hit a three-pointer with 4:59 left, putting the Bears up 79-74, and Cal outscored Oregon, 17-9 in the final five minutes for the win.

Cal out-shot Oregon, 53% to 41% and won the battle on the boards, 36-30. The Bears also shared the ball well, with 21 assists, 11 by point guard, Justin Cobbs.

The Golden Bears are 1/2 game behind PAC-12 co-leaders Arizona and Colorado, both 3-0, and play their third straight road game, Saturday, at Oregon State.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Kentucky Cruises By Mississippi State on James Young's 26 Points and 10 Rebounds

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kentucky is loaded with talented freshmen. Getting them to play together as a cohesive unit is the goal of coach John Calipari, whose task becomes much easier when freshman guard, James Young, steps up and scores 26 points, snatches 10 rebounds, dishes five assists and makes a couple of steals, as he did Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.

Young's efforts propelled the Wildcats to a 85-63 blowout of visiting Mississippi State in their initial SEC game of the season.

Not particularly shapr from beyond the arc, Young hit just three of 10 three-pointers, but was 5-for-8 on two-point shots and dumped in seven of nine from the foul line, matching his career high and notching his second straight double-double.

Mississippi State led at the half, 40-37, but the Wildcats went on a 17-7 out of the break to take over the game and run away for the win. The Bulldogs dropped to 10-4; Kentucky improved to 11-3 overall.

The Wildcats embark on a two game road trip next, heading to Vanderbilt on the 11th and Arkansas on the 14th. Both the Commodores and Razorbacks are 0-1 in SEC play.

Around the Top 25, #4 Wisconsin used a first half, 20-point run to bury #23 Illinois, 95-70; #6 Wichita State matched the Badgers at 16-0 with a 66-47 win over Illinois State; #11 Oklahoma State topped Texas, 87-74; and, #8 Villanova cruised past Seton Hall, 83-67, the Wildcats improving to 14-1, their only loss to Syracuse.

#13 San Diego State held on for a 69-66 win over Boise State, but #21 Missouri was not as fortunate, losing to Georgia, 70-64, in overtime.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

DeAndre Kane Pours in 30 as Iowa State Douses Baylor, 87-72

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Iowa State set a school record with its 14th straight win as the Cyclones whipped Baylor, 87-72, in Big 12 action Tuesday night.

Ranked #9 in the latest AP poll, Iowa State took a two-point lead (40-38) into half time, but found themselves behind by two points early in the second half, 42-40. A 12-5 run by the Cyclones, in which DeAndre Kane scored six straight points, gave Iowa State the lead for good with 15 minutes left to play, eventually leading by as many as 21 points.

Kane, a fifth-year senior transfer from Marshall, led all scorers with 30 points, adding eight rebounds, nine assists and five steals, helping the Cyclones run away from the Bears in the second half. Averaging 16.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists, Kane is one of the best all-around players in the collegiate ranks and a huge reason the Cyclones are 14-0. He has scored in double figures in 12 of 14 games and has five double-doubles. His 30 points was a season high.

The win gave home-standing Iowa State a 2-0 mark in the Big 12, while handing the 12-2 Bears a loss in their first conference game of the season.

Elsewhere in the Top 25 ranks, #2 Syracuse improved to 15-0 with a 72-52 victory at Virginia Tech, #5 Michigan State had to go to overtime at home to take down #3 Ohio State, 72-68, Rodney Hood scored 27 points to lead #16 Duke to a 79-57 win over Georgia Tech, and #25 Kansas State topped TCU, 64-47.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Z. Mason Lifts Chattanooga over Citadel with 26 Second Half Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 6, 2014

Saddled with two early fouls, Z. Mason got off to a slow start, but his second half outburst carried the Mocs to an 82-78 victory at the Citadel.

Mason, Chattanooga's leading scorer and rebounder, hit just two of nine shots and ended the first half with four points, well below his 19.1 ppg average. His poor shooting and lack of scoring helped Citadel to a 42-34 lead at the break.

The second half would prove to be a different story, as Mason, a 6'6" senior forward, led the Mocs back, scoring 26 of his 30 points in the final 20 minutes, also wiping the glass with abandon for a game-high 14 boards.

After his horribly slow start, in the second half, Mason was 8-for-12 from the field with a pair of threes. He also hit eight of nine from the foul line and finished the game with two assists, two steals and three blocked shots. It was Mason's fifth straight double-double and sixth of the season.

After tying the game at 60-all midway through the half, the Mocs and the Citadel exchanged leads, with Chattanooga finally going up for good at 79-78 on a Casey Jones jumper with 50 seconds left to play. A Greg Pryor free throw and two more by Mason with time running down sealed the deal, helping the Mocs even their record at 8-8 and remain tied with Western Carolina at 2-0 in the Southern Conference.

The Mocs return home on January 9, hosting the Samford Bulldogs (6-11, 0-2).

Monday, January 06, 2014

Led by Kyle Anderson, UCLA Routs USC, 107-73

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 5, 2014

Opening their PAC-12 schedule at home against their cross-town rivals, USC, the UCLA Bruins sent a statement to the rest of the conference with a runaway, 107-73 home win over the Trojans.

The Bruins were led by prodigious, 6'9" sophomore, Kyle Anderson, who led the Bruins in points, assists and rebounds, registering a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. His five assists were matched by USC's Julian Jacobs.

Though he misfired on both attempts from three-point range, Anderson was 10-for-14 from the field, adding three points from the foul line. Anderson didn't start scoring until nearly five minutes into the game, but his jumper at 15:23 in the first half put the Bruins up 11-2, and they never looked back.

USC made a game of it for the first ten minutes of the first half, cutting the Bruins' lead to three points midway through, at 21-18, but UCLA went on a 18-5 run over the next five minutes, Anderson pitching in eight points. By half time, the Bruins led 56-34, and didn't let up, even though they emptied their bench in the second half, outscoring USC, 51-39, cruising to the win.

With their initial conference win tucked away, the Bruins expect a challenge when they next hold court at Pauley Pavilion, hosting top-ranked Arizona on Thursday, January 9 at 6:00 pm PT.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Notre Dame Stuns #7 Duke, 79-77, Behind 19 Points, 11 Assists from Eric Atkins

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 4, 2014

Duke's Rodney Hood scored a game-high 27 points and Quinn Cook added 22, but Eric Atkins led Notre Dame with 19 points and 11 assists as the Fighting Irish knocked off #7 Duke, Saturday at South Bend, Indiana.

The game was the first for Notre Dame as a member of the ACC, the conference long dominated by the Blue Devils and Tar Heels of North Carolina, and the Irish proved worthy, taking the lead at 65-64 with 5:31 left on an Atkins free throw and clinging to the slim lead down the stretch for the 79-77 victory.

The Irish led by as many as six points in the late stages of the game, but Duke continued to claw back, cutting the lead to one on several occasions, but with 1:23 left, Atkins scored on a layup to put Notre Dame ahead, 74-71, and, after a pair of Quinn Cook free throws, assisted on a jumper by Garrick Sherman, again putting the Irish up by three.

Atkins, a 6'2" senior guard from Columbia, MD, played 38 minutes for the Irish, hitting seven of 13 shots from the field and five of eight from the foul line. More important than his scoring was his deft ball-handling, as he assisted on 11 Notre Dame baskets.

Normally, it's Duke which shares the ball better, but Atkins helped Notre Dame lead the Blue Devils in assists, 18-8. The Irish defense was also central to the win, blocking six Duke shots and out-rebounding the visitors, 39-30. Notre Dame also out-shot Duke, 53-41%.

Duke fell to 11-3 while Notre Dame improved to 10-4. The Irish continue ACC play with a visit from NC State on Tuesday, January 7.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Mount St. Mary's Rips Norfolk State Behind 31 Points from Julian Norfleet

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, January 3, 2014

Julian Norfleet scored a career-high 31 points to lead Mount St. Mary's to a 104-84 victory at Norfolk State.

The win was just the fourth of the season for the Mountaineers, against nine losses and their first road win in nine tries.

Just over four minutes into the game, Norfleet made the first of his four three-pointers to break an 11-all tie. The Mountaineers led the rest of the game, opening a 59-37 bulge by half time. Norfleet accounted for 15 points in the first half and knocked down another 16 in the second half as the Mountaineers cruised.

Norfleet, a 6'2" senior, was 11-for-13, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. He knocked down five of eight free throws and also had the presence to dish out 10 assists, snag three rebounds and make four steals.

Mount St. Mary's non-conference record of 4-9 may be misleading for the team from the Northeast Conference (NEC) which went 11-7 in the NEC last season and lost a chance to go to the NCAA tournament when they dropped the conference tourney final to LIU-Brooklyn, 91-70.

With the bulk of their games the season on the road, the Mountaineers played a heady schedule with losses at some tough venues, including West Virginia, BYU, Villanova, Michigan State, Penn State and Texas Tech. The team looks forward to starting conference play, which begins with their next game, at Farleigh Dickenson, January 9.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Pepperdine Makes Waves in WCC with Forward Brendan Lane

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Waves of Pepperdine University will attempt to make a splash in the West Coast Conference this season, already tied for first place with Gonzaga at 3-0 after ripping Santa Clara Thursday night, 70-61.

With their fourth win a in row, the Waves improved to 10-5 on the season, thanks in large part to the addition of senior Brendan Lane, a graduate transfer who spent three years at UCLA, missing all of last season, uniting with Pepperdine as a starting forward.

Lane has been a force inside and filled up the stat sheets against Santa Clara, leading the charge by tying his career high with 26 points and adding 17 rebounds, also a personal, single game best. Lane was 10-for-15 from the floor and hit six of eight free throws. He also had two assists, four blocked shots and a steal.

Pepperdine led 38-33 at the half and were up by as many as nine points, but led 60-59 with four minutes left in the game. The Waves finished on a 10-2 run to close out the Broncos, who are 8-8 overall and 1-2 in the WCC.

Looking ahead, the Waves host Gonzaga - currently ranked #24 - on January 16 and play at the Bulldogs on February 13.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Willis Hall Goes for 26 Points and 21 Rebounds as Charlotte Downs Davidson

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Willis Hall played all 40 minutes, and made every one of them worthwhile, as he and his fellow Charleston Cougars visited Davidson and handed the Wildcats a 76-64 defeat.

Hall, who has shown a propensity to dominate in the paint, had an absolutely monster game, scoring 26 points and wiping the boards for 21 rebounds, both career highs for the 6'6" senior from Charlotte, NC. It was his fourth double-double of the season.

4-10 Davidson, suffering from a lack of beef inside, had no method to counter or slow down Hall, who was 10-for-14 from the field and 5-for-8 at the foul line. 15 of his 18 rebounds were on the offensive end, providing putback and additional opportunities for his teammates.

The Cougars were hot from the field, hitting 61% of their shots while holding Davidson shooters to just 39%. Charleston also out-rebounded the Wildcats, 39-27, thanks largely to the relentless activity on the boards by Hall.

Winners of three of their last four, Charleston evened their record at 7-7. They face Howard University at home on January 4th, prior to the start of conference play in the Colonial Athletic against James Madison, January 7.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Ohio State Improves to 14-0 Behind LaQuinton Ross' 25 Points and 12 Rebounds

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ohio State ended 2013 with a perfect 14-0 record and started their Big Ten campaign with a 78-69 win over Purdue Tuesday afternoon.

With time winding down on the year, the Buckeyes traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana to quiet the 13,000+ partisan crowd, dropping the Boilermakers to 10-4 on the season.

Junior forward LaQuinton Ross had his best game of the season, scoring 25 points to go with 12 rebounds, his third straight double-double and fourth of the year. Ross set a career-high in scoring, hitting eight of 17 from the field and nine of 11 from the charity stripe. Five of his 12 rebounds were of the offensive variety, though despite his work on the boards, the Buckeyes were badly out-rebounded by Purdue, 46-37. Center A.J. Hammonds accounted for 16 of Purdue's rebounds, to go with his 18 points, which paced the Boilermakers.

The Buckeyes are ranked #3 in the latest AP poll, behind Arizona and Syracuse. The win was just their second on the road this season. On November 16, Ohio State trampled Marquette, 52-35.

Ohio State hosts Nebraska on January 4th. On the 7th, they travel to play at #5 Michigan State.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

10-3 Hawaii Rolls Past Norfolk State, 77-66, as Christian Standhardinger Scores 29

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 30, 2013

One wouldn't normally expect the Hawaii Warriors to be competitive in the Big West conference, but, then again, one wouldn't expect them to have a 6'9" senior from Munich, Germany patrolling the paint.

Scoring 50 points in the second half, Hawaii improved to 10-3 this season, rolling past visiting Norfolk State, 77-66, as Christian Standhardinger scored 29 points on 8-for-12 shooting and 12-for-14 from the foul line.

Standhardinger, who played as an underclassman at Nebraska but didn't see much playing time, came to Hawaii as a junior and put in an average of 30 minutes per game, scoring 15.8 with 7.9 rebounds per game last season. This year's numbers are similar (18.4, 7.2) and the Warriors are off to a solid start in pre-conference play.

With eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and three steals, Standhardinger did it all in his 36 minutes of floor time, even making his only three-point attempt of the game, coming to within two points of his career-best. He scored 31 in a 94-84 win over Chaminade earlier this month.

Trailing at the half, 28-27, and two minutes into the second half, 32-30, the Warriors took the lead on back-to-back threes by Garrett Nevels and Brandon Spearman, eventually expanding their advantage to 13 on Standhardinger's three-pointer with just over five minutes left in the game.

Down the stretch, the big man took over, scoring 11 of Hawaii's final 11 points.

The Warriors have one more out-of-conference game, January 4, against Nebraska-Omaha, before starting Big West games, opeing on the road at Cal Poly on January 9.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Antoine Mason's Career-High 39 Leads Niagara over Brown, 68-63

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 29, 2013

Antoine Mason, the nation's leading scorer, at 29.1 points pr game, scored more than half of his team's points as the Niagara Purple Eagles topped the Brown Bears, 68-65.

On the court for 36 minutes, Mason hit 11 of 25 shots, making three of five from three-point land, and hit 14 of 17 free throws for a career-high 39 points.

A see-saw battle in the opening minutes, Niagara took the lead for good on a Mason layup with 6:50 left in the first half, as part of a run of 14 straight points by the 6'3" junior from Queens, NY.

Mason also contributed heartily on the defensive end, snatching six steals and helping out with a pair of boards. Niagara led by as many as 17 points during the second half, but the Bears battled back to within three points with a minute remaining, but Mason's final jumper with 20 seconds left put the Purple eagles up by five, making Sean McGonagill's two-pointer at the buzzer inconsequential.

Niagara won for the third time in its last four games after a horrendous 1-8 start. Last season the Purple Eagles lost to Sienna in the second round of the MEAC tournament and were eliminated by Maryland, 86-70, by Maryland, in the opening round of the NIT.

The 4-9 Purple eagles are already 1-1 in conference, and begin their MEAC schedule in earnest with a pair of road games at Rider College on January 2nd. and Iona on January 4.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Keith Appling Scores 27 as #5 Michigan State Rolls to 11-1

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 28, 2013

Michigan State head coach, Tom Izzo, emptied the bench in the second half and 12 different players scored as the Spartans rolled New Orleans, 101-48, Sunday afternoon in East Lansing.

Four of five starters for Michigan State scored in double figures, including point guard, Keith Appling, who was the game's high-scorer with 27 points. Appling, the 6'1" senior from Detroit, was 7-for-10 from the field, made all four of his three-point attempts and was 9-for-12 from the foul line, mixing in eight assists, five rebounds and a steal before taking a seat on the bench for the final six minutes of the game.

The Spartans improved to 11-1 on the season, their only loss a December 4 setback to North Carolina. With their non-conference schedule complete, Michigan State opens Big Ten play at Penn State on December 31.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stephen Maxwell, Josh Greene Score 28 Each in Cal State Northridge Victory

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 27, 2013

The Matadors of Cal State Northridge employed the inside power of Stephen Maxwell and the outside sharp-shooting of Josh Greene to fend off the invaders from Morgan State, improving to 7-1 at home with an 86-80 triumph.

Both players scored a game-high 28 points, but went at it with entirely difference approaches. Maxwell, a 6'7' junior, made 11 of 16 shots from close range and was 6-for-10 from the foul line for his scoring, adding 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the year, breaking his personal best in scoring by one point.

Greene, a senior guard, did his damage from the perimeter, knocking down five of six from three-point range, going 8-for-10 overall and nailing seven of eight from the foul line. Greene's deft touch was augmented by his solid all-around play, with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. His scoring was a season high. Last season he set a personal best with 37 points in a win over Hawaii.

Out of the Big West, the Matadors are 8-5 in non-conference games. They begin conference play January 9th when they host Cal State Davis.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Buffalo Bulls Romp Behind Javon McCrea's 25 Points, 14 Rebounds

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 23, 2013

The Buffalo Bulls football team fared relatively well in the Mid-American conference this season. How well their basketball team does rests largely on the broad shoulders of senior forward Javon McCrea, a 6'7" force from Newark, NY.

Just prior to the holiday break, McCrea had another marvelous performance, scoring 25 points with 14 rebounds, as the Bulls trashed the Binghamtom Bearcats, 87-57. These kinds of games are becoming something of the norm for McCrea, who registered 11 double-doubles as a junior and already has five under his belt this season.

In 29 minutes, McCrea was 8-for-15 from the floor and 9-for-13 from the foul line. Perhaps more impressive was his rebounding, which included seven each on the offensive and defensive ends. For good measure, McCrea added four assists, three steals and three blocks, in what was likely his most dominant performance this season. He scored 31 points with 14 rebounds in a 92-81 loss to Niagara in November.

Not the only scorer on the court, McCrea was aided by Joshua Freelove's five three-pointers and 19 points, and 18 points from fellow forward, Will Regan.

The Bulls improved to 5-1 at home with the win and 5-4 overall. Their next appearance will be on December 29, at Drexel. After a January 3 home game against South Dakota State, the Bulls open their MAC campaign January 8, hosting Northern Illinois.

Monday, December 23, 2013

41 Points by Georgia State Sophomore R.J. Hunter Buries UTSA, 99-68

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 22, 2013

Georgia State got its first win on the road and evened its record at 6-6 as sophomore guard, R.J. Hunter bombed away from deep, burying 12 three-pointers en route to a mammoth, 99-68 victory over UTSA (3-8).

Hunter made 12 of 19 from outside the arc and was 14-for-21 overall for a career-high 41 points. His first points of the game, three consecutive treys in 51 seconds early in the first half, set the tone for the game, increasing the Panthers' lead from 9-7 to 18-7, and the rout was on. Hunter also scored a three-pointer with two seconds left in the first half, giving him 20 and the Panthers an unassailable 46-28 lead.

Early in the second half, Hunter again scored three straight from long distance. In a span of 1:08, he upped Georgia State's advantage to 67-36. Hunter took just two shots inside the three-point line and made them both. He went to the foul line once, making his only free throw on the night, adding three rebounds, three blocks and a steal for an impressive, 34-minute performance.

The win was Georgia State's third straight following a December 7 loss at Southern Miss. The Panthers travel to East Carolina on December 29 to complete their non-conference schedule, then open Sun Belt play on January 2nd when they host Troy.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Career-High 33 by Michigan State's Adreian Payne Leads Spartans over Longhorns

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 21, 2013

After traveling to Chapel Hill and topping North Carolina, 86-83, this past Wednesday, the 10-1 Texas Longhorns were brimming with confidence in advance of their home game with the #5 Michigan State Spartans.

Even after the first half, with the Longhorns taking a 38-36 lead into the locker room, there was plenty of reason for optimism, but that changed through the second half, as Adreian Payne, who scored Michigan State's first nine points of the game and finished with 14 in the first half, went on a tear, scoring 19 of his game-high 33 points in the second half and the Spartans made 16 of 20 free throws in the final six minutes to run away for the 92-78 victory.

The Spartans broke the game open midway through the second half. Down 52-54, Michigan State went on a 14-2 run capped by a pair of Payne free throws to establish a 66-56 lead with 7:26 left.

Payne was perfect inside the three-point arc, making 10 of 13 shots. His only misses were from the other side of the line, where he was 2-for-5 on three-point attempts. Adding 11 of 12 from the foul line, Payne, a 6'10" senior out of Dayton, Ohio, just missed his fifth double-double of the season, hauling down nine rebounds. He did manage to set a personal high mark with the 33-point outburst, eclipsing his previous best of 29, set just a month ago in a 96-77 win over Virginia Tech.

The result dropped the Longhorns to 10-2, while Michigan State improved to 10-1. Ironically, Michigan State's only loss was to North Carolina, a 79-65 setback. The Spartans are 3-0 on the road this season and have just one more game - at home, against the New Orleans Privateers on December 29 - before opeing Big Ten play at Penn State on New Year's Eve.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Furman Tops Liberty on Steven Croone's 40 Points, 11 Boards

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 20, 2013

For Stephen Croone, a six-foot sophomore guard from Covington, Georgia, it was lights out as he led the Furman Paladins to an 86-83 victory over the Liberty Flames Friday night.

Croone, who scored 30 points in a win over Gardner Webb earlier in the season, set a personal best mark with 40 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including 5-for-7 from three-point range. He cashed in 13 of 21 free throws and nabbed 11 rebounds for his second career double-double and first of this season to go with three assists and a steal.

Furman (5-6) outscored Liberty, 43-32 in the first half, and held off a late rally by the Flames for the win. The Paladins led by as many as 22 points midway through the second half, and were up 77-68 with three minutes to go after a pair of free throws by Croone. Liberty cut the lead to two points with 39 seconds left, but could get no closer as Furman players cashed in their foul shots down the stretch. Furman shot 56% for the game and knocked down 10 of 19 threes, a 53% rate.

The Paladins next take the court on December 28 at Cal, as part of a two-day, West coast trip. They play at UC-Davis on the 30th before returning home to open their Southern conference season at home, hosting the Chattanooga Mocs on January 4.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Jabari Parker Leads Blue Devils to 9th Win, 80-63 over UCLA

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duke freshman, Jabari Parker, is probably the most talked-about player in college basketball this season, and for good reason.

Parker, a 6'8" forward out of Chicago, is part of a talent-laden Blue Devil squad that appears headed to the top of the polls and to the lead position in the expanded ACC. He's scored in double figures in all of his 11 games this season, is averaging 22.1 points and 7.8 rebounds and on Thursday recorded his third double-double in Duke's 80-63 rout of UCLA in a showcase game at Madison Square Garden.

With 23 points, 10 boards and five assists, Parker helped the Blue Devils unknot a 37-all tie at the half and pull away late for the relatively easy victory. Parker played 37 minutes, hit seven of 13 shots, was 4-for-8 from three-point range and made all five of his free throws, scoring 11 points in the first half and 12 in the second twenty minutes. Parker leads the 8th-ranked Blue Devils in both scoring and rebounding.

Duke's 9-2 record includes losses to Arizona and Kansas. Next up for the Blue Devils is a December 29 meeting with Eastern Michigan. They begin conference play on January 4, at Notre Dame.