Florida State avenges 2011 Sweet Sixteen loss, cruises past VCU 85-67
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Ian Miller scored 22 points and Devon Bookert added 18 to help No. 18 Florida State cruise past No. 10 VCU 85-67 on Thursday night at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The Seminoles (4-0) have scored at least 80 points in each of their games. Montay Brandon added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Treveon Graham had 14 points to lead the Rams (3-1), who were denied their first 4-0 start since the 1993-94 season.
Florida State lost in overtime to Virginia Commonwealth in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2011 NCAA tournament. There would be no repeat this time as the Seminoles took control late in the first half and then used an 11-0 spurt to open the second half.
VCU also came in averaging more than 80 points per game and it made for a pace that was rapid from the outset.
The Seminoles played with more control, though, and got a dunk off a set inbounds play just before halftime, then kept that momentum coming out of the locker room. They led by 26 at one point.
Florida State led by 12 at the break, holding VCU to just 2 of 11 from the 3-point line and 10 of 33 shooting from the field.
The Seminoles had 13 first-half turnovers, but got 14 points from its starting front court to help keep the Rams out of transition.
VCU's full-court pressure did force FSU into mistakes, but its poor shooting kept them from capitalizing much.
MADISON, Wis. -- Ben Brust scored 19 points to lead six Wisconsin players in double figures as the No. 12 Badgers beat Bowling Green 88-64 on Thursday night.
Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker added 14 apiece for Wisconsin (5-0). Traevon Jackson had 13, Josh Gasser 11 and Bronson Koenig 10.
Spencer Parker led Bowling Green (1-2) with 17 points, and Jehvon Clarke added 15.
Wisconsin took control a little more than midway through the first half. With the Badgers up 23-22, Dekker started a 16-4 run by converting a three-point play and then Wisconsin began to hit from outside. Jackson, Brust and Duje Dukan each made a 3-pointer during the spurt.
Brust added another before the half was over, and Wisconsin went into the break up 44-28.
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Kevin Pangos had 27 points and Drew Barham added 17 to lead No. 13 Gonzaga past Washington State 90-74 on Thursday night.
Pangos shot 8 of 13 from the field, including 5 of 8 on 3-pointers, as Gonzaga (4-0) scored at least 90 for the third time this season.
Freshman guard Ike Iroegbu had 20 points to lead cold-shooting Washington State (2-1). DaVonte Lacy added 14.
Washington State was held to 44 percent shooting by Gonzaga, which shot 55 percent. The Bulldogs had 20 assists and outrebounded the Cougars 35-30.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Nik Stauskas finished with 23 points, Caris LeVert had 20 and No. 14 Michigan made a tournament-record 14 3-pointers in beating a scrappy Long Beach State 85-61 Thursday in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Michigan led by 18 in the first half, before their lead was trimmed to 10 with nine minutes to play.
But it was able to hold on thanks to the long-range jumpers. Stauskas and LeVert had four apiece.
The win also sets up a potential rematch on Friday with No. 10 VCU, who the Wolverines beat in last year's NCAA tournament. VCU was paired with Florida State in the Tip-Off's final game Thursday night.
A.J. Spencer and Mike Caffey each had 12 points to lead Long Beach State, which lost its fourth consecutive game.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Patric Young scored 16 points, one of six Florida players in double figures, and the No. 16 Gators beat Middle Tennessee 79-59 Thursday night.
The Gators won their 19th consecutive game at home, this one thanks to a dominant start to the second half.
Florida (4-1) came out of the locker room and outscored the Blue Raiders 18-6 in the first five and a half minutes. DeVon Walker got the run started with a 3-pointer, and then the Gators went inside.
Young had a dunk, and Jacob Kurtz and Dorian Finney-Smith followed with three-point plays. Leading scorer Casey Prather, who played just 4 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, made two free throws and also added a three-point play. In between, he found Michael Frazier II on the break for a layup.
Florida used the spurt to turn a single-digit lead into a 20-point game, and coach Billy Donovan's team coasted from there.
Neiko Hunter led Middle Tennessee (4-1) with 14 points. Jaqawn Raymond (13) and Eric Wortham (11) also finished in double figures.
Finney-Smith scored 14 points for the Gators. Frazier (13), Prather (11), Will Yeguete (10) and Walker (10) also reached double figures.
The Gators won their 20th consecutive game against non-conference opponents. The latest one was notable because they did it without a true point guard.
NEW YORK -- Ryan Boatwright made two big free throws with 7.9 seconds to play and blocked a 3-point attempt at the buzzer, and No. 18 Connecticut beat Boston College 72-70 on Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
DeAndre Daniels had 23 points to lead the Huskies (5-0), who play the winner of the Washington-Indiana game for the title on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Shabazz Napier had 20 points for Connecticut, which led most of the way. He made his first seven free throws but missed the second of two with 30 seconds left, leaving the Huskies ahead 69-67.
Olivier Hanlan of Boston College (1-4) missed a drive and the 6-foot Boatwright was fouled grabbing the rebound. He made two free throws with 7.9 seconds remaining to make it 71-67.
Hanlan, who finished with 19 points, hit a 3 with 3 seconds left to make it a one-point game.
Napier made one of two free throws with 2.3 seconds to go, and the Eagles' chance to win ended when Boatwright blocked Lonnie Jackson's 3-point attempt a few feet inside midcourt.
Both teams had impressive games at the free throw line. The Huskies were 25 of 29, with Napier going 8 for 10. Ryan Anderson, who had 22 points, was 11 of 11 as the Eagles finished 24 of 25 from the line.
Boston College spread the court against the taller Huskies and went 8 of 25 on 3-pointers. The Huskies were 3 of 14 from beyond the arc but they committed just three turnovers.
The last time these schools met, both were members of the Big East Conference. Now, neither is.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Cleveland Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 39.5 seconds left in the second overtime to give No. 19 New Mexico the lead for good in a wild 97-94 victory against UAB at the Charleston Classic on Thursday.
The Lobos (3-0) forced overtime on Kendall Williams' desperation 3 as time ran out to tie it 75-all. Then Alex Kirk hit a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left in the first overtime as New Mexico dug its way out of an 86-81 hole for another period.
The Blazers (3-1) weren't through after Thomas' long-range bucket put them down 95-92. Chad Frazier hit two foul shots to cut the lead a point. After Williams' turnover, Frazier drove the lane for what appeared to be a go-ahead basket.
But Frazier's shot missed and Obij Aget grabbed the ball with 18 seconds left and the Lobos held on. They'll play Massachusetts here on Friday.
MILWAUKEE -- Chris Otule and Todd Mayo each scored 16 points to help No. 25 Marquette withstand a scare from New Hampshire in a 58-53 victory on Thursday night.
Jamil Wilson added nine points, three steals and two blocks for the Golden Eagles (3-1), who shot just 32.7 percent (17 of 52) from the floor - including 13.6 percent (3 for 22) from 3-point range.
Patrick Konan had 14 points and 10 rebounds for New Hampshire (2-2). Chris Pelcher, the reigning America East player of the week, managed only six points and fouled out with 9:41 left.
It was the first meeting between the schools and the first game for Marquette since shooting 18.9 percent on Saturday in a 52-35 loss to Ohio State that snapped the Golden Eagles' home winning streak at 27 games - the longest active streak in the country at the time.