No. 18 UConn holds off Maryland 78-77
NEW YORK -- Shabazz Napier scored 18 points, Niels Giffey had 13 and No. 18 Connecticut survived Maryland's second-half surge in a 78-77 victory on Friday night.
The Huskies nearly blew all of a 17-point lead during the final minutes at Barclays Center in the season opener for both teams.
Maryland's Nick Faust scored five consecutive points on a layup and 3-pointer to bring the Terps within two with 2:28 left.
Tyler Olander drilled a 3 for UConn with two minutes left to make it 78-73. Napier was whistled for his fifth foul and Dez Wells made two free throws to cut it to 78-75. Wells hit a jumper out of a Maryland timeout and it was a one-point game.
UConn twice missed the front end of 1-and-1s but Maryland misfired from the floor on two potential go-ahead shots.
No. 1 Kentucky routs North Carolina-Asheville, 89-57
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Julius Randle scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half to lead five Kentucky players in double figures and help the top-ranked Wildcats' highly touted freshman class debut successfully with an 89-57 season-opening rout of North Carolina-Asheville on Friday night.
Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward considered the best of Kentucky's six high school All-American recruits in an eight-man group some are calling the best ever, also grabbed 15 rebounds.
Reserve sophomore forward Alex Poythress added 10 points and 13 rebounds. Reserve Marcus Lee added 17 points, James Young had 11 and Aaron Harrison 10 as Kentucky's freshmen helped the Wildcats overcome a ragged start.
Kentucky shot 17 of 30 in the second half to finish 28 of 59 (47.5 percent).
Will Weeks' 19 points led UNC-Asheville, which debuted Nick McDevitt as the Bulldogs' head coach.
No. 2 Michigan State beats McNeese State 98-56
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Gary Harris scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half and finished with a career-high 10 rebounds, helping No. 2 Michigan State build a big lead at halftime and go on to rout McNeese State 98-56 on Friday night in a tuneup for the Spartans' next game against top-ranked Kentucky.
Michigan State (1-0) scored 10 consecutive points after trailing 13-12 early in the game and opened the second half with an 11-0 run to take a 63-25 lead.
Ledrick Eackles and Jamaya Burr led the Cowboys (0-1) with 11 points each.
The Spartans kept multiple starters in the game until there were five minutes left, when Branden Dawson made a second consecutive dunk. They will face much tougher competition on Tuesday in Chicago against Kentucky.
Parker, Hood lead No. 4 Duke past Davidson 111-77
DURHAM, N.C. -- Jabari Parker scored 22 points in his debut for No. 4 Duke, and the Blue Devils routed Davidson 111-77 in their opener Friday night.
Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood added 22 points in his first game with the Blue Devils.
The Atlantic Coast Conference favorites shot 70.4 percent -- just the sixth time in school history that Duke was better than 70 percent for a game.
They effectively ended this one after a first half in which they shot 71 percent, held the Wildcats to one offensive rebound and scored 59 points -- more than they had in any half in 2012-13.
Quinn Cook had 21 points, Rasheed Sulaimon added 20 and Amile Jefferson finished with 10 in Duke's highest-scoring opener since rolling up 121 points on North Carolina Central in 2007.
Southern Conference preseason player of the year De'Mon Brooks led Davidson with 24 points.
Wiggins leads No. 5 Jayhawks to 80-63 win against ULM
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points in his highly anticipated debut, leading No. 5 Kansas to a sluggish 80-63 victory against Louisiana-Monroe in its season opener Friday night.
Andrew White III and Perry Ellis added 12 points each for the youthful Jayhawks, who won't have a whole lot of time for all their newcomers to work out the kinks. Kansas, which is replacing all five starters from last season, plays No. 4 Duke on Tuesday night in Chicago.
Marvin Williams had 19 points and six rebounds for the Warhawks, who sure didn't look like a team that won just four games last season. They trailed 47-41 early in the second half before the quicker, more physical Jayhawks finally went on a 15-5 run to seize control.
Michigan raises banner, beats Massachusetts-Lowell 69-42
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Glenn Robinson III scored 15 points and No. 7 Michigan pulled away in the second half to beat Division I newcomer Massachusetts-Lowell 69-42 Friday night.
Michigan (1-0) raised its Final Four banner from last season before the game, but the River Hawks (0-1) actually led by two early in the second half. The Wolverines took control by scoring the game's next 21 points, and that was the end of the upset bid.
Michigan was without star big man Mitch McGary, who missed the game because of a lingering back problem.
The Wolverines looked out of sorts for a while in their first game after the departures of national player of the year Trey Burke and fellow guard Tim Hardaway Jr. Both left for the NBA after last season.
Cooney has 27; No. 8 Syracuse beats Cornell 82-60
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Trevor Cooney had seven 3-pointers and 27 points, both career highs, and No. 8 Syracuse beat pesky Cornell 82-60 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Syracuse, playing its first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, leads the all-time series against Cornell 88-31 and has won 34 consecutive against the Big Red.
It was the first game between the teams in three years, but the Big Red, 5-68 all-time against teams ranked in the top 25, was up for the challenge, building a lead that ballooned to as many as 14 in the first half behind sharpshooting Nolan Cressler.
Syracuse turned the tables with an 18-5 run early in the second to take control. Cooney scored eight points in the surge and nabbed two steals, finishing the second with a court-long dash and two-handed dunk to put the Orange up 60-48 with 11:38 to go and they steadily pulled away.
Nash, Forte help No. 8 Oklahoma St top Mississippi Valley State 117-62
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Le'Bryan Nash had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead five scorers in double figures for No. 8 Oklahoma State as the Cowboys opened their season with a 117-62 rout of Mississippi Valley State on Friday night.
Phil Forte had 22 points, shooting 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and OSU went 12 of 21 from beyond the arc. Markel Brown and Brian Williams scored 14 apiece. Marcus Smart, the preseason Big 12 player of the year, had 11.
DeAngelo Priar scored 19 points and Anthony McDonald 16 to lead the Delta Devils.
The Cowboys, who went 24-9 last season and reached the NCAA tournament, outscored MVSU 34-10 during the final 9:07 of the first half to lead 63-29 at the break. Smart's driving layup put the Cowboys up 100-47 with 7:02 remaining.
There were 59 personal fouls called in the game and 79 combined free-throw attempts.
No. 10 Florida holds on for 77-69 win against UNF
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Billy Donovan warned anyone who would listen in the preseason.
Now he has some proof.
Casey Prather scored a career-high 28 points, Michael Frazier II added 19 and No. 10 Florida held on the beat North Florida 77-69 in the season opener Friday.
The short-handed Gators won their 23rd consecutive opener -- a much-needed tuneup before playing at 20th-ranked Wisconsin on Tuesday night.
The Osprey, who hit nine of their final 15 3-pointers, made it a seven-point game with 19.2 seconds remaining. But the Gators closed it out from the free-throw line, where Florida finished 27 of 32.
Prather was the key contributor from start to finish. He hit 10 of 15 shots and made 8 of 11 free throws. His previous career high was 14. He had 23 last week in an exhibition game against Florida Southern.
No. 12 Tar Heels beat Oakland 84-61
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- J.P. Tokoto scored a career-high 13 points in his first start, helping No. 12 North Carolina beat Oakland 84-61 on Friday night despite missing two key players.
James Michael McAdoo had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Tar Heels (1-0), who played without leading scorer P.J. Hairston and senior guard Leslie McDonald. Marcus Paige added 14 points and hit four 3-pointers, leading a dominating first-half performance that had UNC in control all night.
The Tar Heels ran off a 17-2 run to take a 19-point lead less than 9 minutes in, then nearly doubled that margin to 37 by halftime by shooting 74 percent (23 for 31) in their opening blitz.
Travis Bader scored 18 for the Golden Grizzlies (0-1), who couldn't match the Tar Heels' early energy and shot just 21 percent (6 for 29) in the opening half as UNC blew the game open.
Oakland never recovered, a rough start in a difficult first month that will include games against No. 2 Michigan State, No. 15 Gonzaga and No. 22 UCLA.
No. 14 VCU routs Illinois St. 96-58
RICHMOND, Va. -- Juvonte Reddic had 13 points and eight rebounds and No. 14 VCU used a 33-7 first-half run to take command on its way to a 96-58 victory against Illinois State on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
The Rams, ranked to start the season for the first time in program history, led 9-4 when Reddic started the suspense-ending blitz with a dunk off a feed from Rob Brandenburg. The burst included 3-pointers from five Rams, including three in a span of just 47 seconds by Melvin Johnson.
Transfer Terrance Shannon and Treveon Graham led the Rams with 14 points each.
The Redbirds, with 10 new players and only two on the roster with any Division I experience, looked very much like a team still getting familiar with each other. They committed a 10-second violation on their first possession, missed 15 of their first 16 shots and trailed 48-12 after 17 minutes.
Zach Lofton led Illinois State with 12 points.
Gardner leads No. 17 Marquette past Southern
MILWAUKEE -- Davante Gardner scored 25 points to help No. 17 Marquette beat Southern 63-56 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Gardner, a senior forward and Marquette's leading returning scorer and the top sixth man in the Big East last season, was 5 of 7 from the field and made 15 of 20 free throws. He was a point off his career high of 26 points set last season against Syracuse.
Todd Mayo added 20 points for Marquette. The Golden Eagles won their 26th consecutive home game, the second-longest current streak in the NCAA. Marquette also won its opener for the 13th year in a row.
Malcolm Miller led Southern with 14 points, and Tre Lynch and YonDarius Johnson each had 11.
No. 19 Oregon beats Georgetown 82-75
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea -- Joseph Young had 24 points and five rebounds as No. 19 Oregon beat Georgetown 82-75 on Saturday in a season opener played at a U.S. Army base in South Korea.
Young, who made all 12 of his free-throw attempts, and Jason Calliste, who scored 16 points and made all 11 of his free throws, led Oregon to a win before hundreds of soldiers at Camp Humphreys, a U.S. Army base south of Seoul, the country's capital.
Georgetown center Joshua Smith scored 25 points but only had four rebounds for the Hoyas, who closed within four points with a minute left. But Georgetown missed key free throws in the closing minutes, while Oregon hit its free throws.
Georgetown was outrebounded 40-32 and was just 1 of 15 from 3-point range.
No. 20 Wisconsin opens season with win
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Josh Gasser, who missed last season with a knee injury, scored 19 points and No. 20 Wisconsin opened the season with an 86-75 victory against St. John's on Friday night.
The Badgers, who had five players score in double figures, never trailed and took control with an early 11-2 run and then went 11 of 23 from 3-point range.
The game was played in the 3,250-seat Sanford Pentagon.
Sam Dekker had 16 points for Wisconsin, which opened away from home for the first time in eight years.
D'Angelo Harrison had 27 points for the Red Storm and JaKarr Sampson added 21 points and seven rebounds. St. John's was outscored 33-6 from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin led by as many as 18 points in the first half. St. John's got within 58-54 with about 8 minutes left before the Badgers hit consecutive 3-pointers in a span of 22 seconds.
Grant leads No. 21 Irish over Miami (Ohio) 74-62
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Jerian Grant scored a career-high 26 points to lead No. 21 Notre Dame to a 74-62 win against Miami (Ohio) in the season opener for both squads on Friday night.
Notre Dame jumped out to a big lead early, going up 21-6 midway through the first half on a baseline jumper by sophomore forward Zach Auguste.
But Miami kept the game competitive by playing tight man-to-man defense and hustling for rebounds and loose balls.
Sophomore guard Reggie Johnson led the Redhawks with 22 points. His jumper with 3:39 left in the first half cut the Irish lead to 32-27. After Notre Dame regained some momentum, Johnson's 3 with 36 seconds left in the half cut the lead to 39-32 at the break.
Grant was 5 of 8 from 3-point range.
No. 22 UCLA beats Drexel in Alford's debut
LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Adams scored 16 points and No. 22 UCLA held off Drexel 72-67 Friday night in Steve Alford's debut as coach of the Bruins.
Zach LaVine and David Wear added 14 points each, and Kyle Anderson had 12 points, 12 rebounds and tied his career high with seven assists for the Bruins, who let an early 13-point lead dwindle to one with 2:19 to play.
Frantz Massenat scored 20 points, Damion Lee added 17 points and Dartaye Ruffin had 13 rebounds for the Dragons, who traveled cross-country from Philadelphia to play a game that started at midnight EST.
There were plenty of empty seats for Alford's first game since taking over from Ben Howland, fired in March after a 10-year run that included three consecutive Final Four appearances.
Gill and No. 24 Virginia beat James Madison 61-41
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Anthony Gill scored 13 points in his Virginia debut and the 24th-ranked Cavaliers held James Madison scoreless for nearly seven minutes in the first half on the way to a 61-41 victory on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Mike Tobey added 10 points and Malcolm Brogdon had nine for the Cavaliers. Virginia got only five points from first-team all-ACC guard Joe Harris, but a pair of sophomores led the way.
Gill, a transfer from South Carolina, shot 5 for 5 from the field. Brogdon, who missed last season following foot surgery, hit a trio of 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes as UVA built a 19-point cushion.
Tom Vodanovich had 11 points and four rebounds for the Dukes. Ron Curry added nine points, four assists and four rebounds, but JMU could not keep pace from the opening tip.