The Associated Press | February 16, 2014 Top 25: Syracuse ekes out another win Share No. 1 Syracuse beats NC State 56-55SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Rakeem Christmas had a key steal to set up C.J. Fair's winning layup with 6.7 seconds left, helping No. 1 Syracuse edge NC State 56-55 on Saturday night to remain unbeaten.Christmas had 14 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks as Syracuse earned its 10th single-digit win despite shooting 35.2 percent. Jerami Grant had 12 points and 14 rebounds and Fair had 11 points on 5 of 16 shooting.T.J. Warren had 23 points for NC State.No. 3 Florida rallies past No. 14 Kentucky 69-59LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Scottie Wilbekin scored 23 points including five critical free throws down the stretch as No. 3 Florida rallied for a tense 69-59 victory against No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday night in a marquee showdown of the Southeastern Conference's top two teams.The Gators tied a school record with their 17th consecutive win, and their first at Rupp Arena since 2007.Trailing 45-38 with 11:12 remaining, the veteran Gators (23-2, 2-0) didn't flinch and outscored the young Wildcats (19-6, 9-3) 31-14 after that by putting the ball in the hands of their best players such as Wilbekin, who got to the line and finished 11 of 12 including two technical free throws with 8:14 left.Casey Prather scored 24 points on 8 of 9 shooting, while Patric Young added 10 with the help of two three-point plays during a 13-3 spurt that put Florida ahead for good.Andrew Harrison scored 20 points for Kentucky.Shepard leads No. 5 SDSU to 64-56 win against FalconsSAN DIEGO -- Winston Shepard scored 14 of his 16 points in the final 7 minutes, 14 seconds and the No. 5 San Diego State Aztecs bounced back from their first loss since mid-November to beat Air Force 64-56 on Saturday night.After the Falcons closed to 54-50 with 2:28 to go, Shepard converted a three-point play and hit two more free throws to give SDSU some breathing room.Shepard also keyed a 9-0 run earlier in the second half with a 3-pointer, a slam dunk following a steal by Xavier Thames and two free throws.Thames and Dwayne Polee II each scored 13 points for SDSU (22-2, 11-1 Mountain West), which had its 20-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night at Wyoming. It was SDSU's first loss since a 69-60 home defeat to Arizona on Nov. 14. Josh Davis had 10 rebounds.Max Yon scored 20 for Air Force (10-14, 4-9).Ellis scores career-high 32 as No. 7 Kansas beats TCULAWRENCE, Kan. -- Perry Ellis scored a career-high 32 points, Andrew Wiggins added 17 and No. 7 Kansas overcame a sluggish start and a virtuoso performance by TCU's Kyan Anderson in a 95-65 victory Saturday.Ellis also had eight rebounds and five assists, and Wayne Selden Jr. scored 15 points for the Jayhawks (19-6, 10-2 Big 12), who actually trailed by as many as six in the first half.Playing without injured center Joel Embiid and suspended forward Brannen Greene, Kansas still managed to build a 47-40 lead by the break. The Jayhawks then used a 13-1 charge out of the locker room to put away the Horned Frogs (9-15, 0-12) for the sixth time in seven meetings.TCU still has not won since knocking off Texas Southern on Dec. 29.Anderson did all he could, scoring 21 of his 25 points in the first half. Amric Fields added 12 points, but otherwise a team that's been depleted by injuries much of the season wasn't able to hang with the impressive depth of the Jayhawks.Parker, Duke eke out 69-67 win against MarylandDURHAM, N.C. -- Jabari Parker scored 23 points and No. 8 Duke held on to beat Maryland 69-67 on Saturday night.Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon added 11 points each for the Blue Devils (20-5, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). They started a run of four games in eight nights by giving the Terrapins a hard-to-swallow loss in their last scheduled visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium.Duke, the ACC's top 3-point shooting team, was just 5 of 24 from long range and shot 23 percent in the second half but found a way to reach the 20-win mark for the 18th consecutive year.Jake Layman scored 18 points for Maryland (14-12, 6-7) and Dez Wells had all 17 of his points in the second half.Charles Mitchell finished with 12 for the Terrapins, but missed two hook shots in the final 10 seconds that would have given them the lead.Kilpatrick, Jackson lead No. 10 Cincinnati past HoustonCINCINNATI -- Sean Kilpatrick scored 28 points and Justin Jackson overcame foul problems to add 13 points, all in the second half, as No. 10 Cincinnati shook off Houston for a 73-62 win Saturday.Sophomore forward Shaquille Thomas added 11 for the Bearcats (23-3 12-1 American Athletic Conference), who were playing their first game since having a 15-game winning streak snapped with a 76-55 loss at SMU on Feb. 8.Freshman forward Danrad Knowles scored 11 points to lead Houston (12-13, 4-8), which has lost six of its past seven and eight of its past 10 games. Sophomore guard L.J. Rose, sophomore forward Danuel House and junior forward TaShawn Thomas each added 10 for the Cougars.The lead changed hands throughout, the last when Kilpatrick -- who fell one point shy of matching his season high -- gave Cincinnati a 58-57 lead on a driving layup with 6:30 left. Jackson followed with a dunk and Ge'Lawn Guyn added back-to-back 3-pointers as Cincinnati ended the game with an 18-5 run.No. 11 Iowa State staves off Texas Tech rallyAMES, Iowa -- DeAndre Kane had 17 points with nine assists and No. 11 Iowa State beat Texas Tech 70-64 on Saturday after blowing an 18-point lead in the second half.Georges Niang also had 17 points for the Cyclones (19-5, 7-5 Big 12), who survived an impressive rally from the Red Raiders to win for the fourth time in five games.Matt Thomas and Niang hit layups that put Iowa State ahead 67-62 with 1:27 left. Niang's wide-open dunk with 7.2 seconds sealed the win for the Cyclones, who missed 8 of 12 free throws in the second half.Jaye Crockett had 19 of his 23 points in the second half for the Red Raiders (13-12, 5-7), who outrebounded Iowa State 40-30.No. 12 Saint Louis scores 17th consecutive victoryST. LOUIS -- Dwayne Evans had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 12 Saint Louis broke a late tie with seven consecutive points, beating VCU 64-62 for its 17th win in a row Saturday.The Billikens (23-2, 10-0 Atlantic 10) blew a 12-point second-lead before finally putting away VCU (20-6, 8-3) in a matchup of the Atlantic 10's top two teams. Jordair Jett and Rob Loe had 14 points apiece for Saint Louis, which beat VCU for a third consecutive time.Mike McCall Jr. and Jordair Jett drove for layups and Rob Loe hit a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down for a seven-point lead with 36 seconds to go. VCU cut the deficit to three before Loe hit the second of two free throws for a four-point gap with 8 seconds left.Treveon Graham had 16 points and eight rebounds for VCU, which had won seven of eight. Juvonte Reddic had 13 points and Briante Weber had 12 points and nine rebounds.No. 16 Iowa beats Penn State for another Big Ten road winSTATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Melsahn Basabe scored 16 points and No. 16 Iowa pulled away from Penn State 82-70 on Saturday.Roy Devyn Marble added 15, Aaron White 14 and Mike Gesell 13 as the Hawkeyes (19-6, 8-4) won their fourth Big Ten road game of the season. Iowa's three-game road winning streak in the Big Ten is its longest since 1998.Penn State (13-13, 4-9) was led by D.J. Newbill, who scored 22 points, but Tim Frazier was held to 11.The game was tied four times in the second half before Iowa stretched it out with a 14-4 run.Marble, the team's leading scorer at 16.5 points per game coming in, pumped in seven of those and Mike Gesell converted on a 3-pointer from the corner to help the Hawks pull away.Harris, No. 17 Virginia outlast ClemsonCLEMSON, S.C. -- Joe Harris scored 16 points, including a critical 3-pointer with about 3 minutes left, and No. 17 Virginia won its ninth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference game for the first time in 32 years with a 63-58 victory against Clemson on Saturday.The Cavaliers (21-5) moved to 12-1 in ACC play, also for the first time since Ralph Sampson patrolled the middle in the 1981-82 season. Not that it came easily as Virginia's No. 1 defense was matched up against a team in Clemson that ranked second nationally in fewest points allowed.The Tigers (15-9, 6-6) trailed 49-48 on Rod Hall's layup with 3:38 to go. That's when Harris struck for a 3 and Anthony Gill followed with a three-point play for a 55-50 lead.Clemson closed to 59-58 on K.J. McDaniels' 3 with 20.7 seconds left, but Malcolm Brogdon made two foul shots as the Cavaliers held on.McDaniels had 24 points before fouling out in the final seconds. He was Clemson's only player in double figures.Brogdon and Mike Tobey had 14 points each. The 6-foot-10 Tobey was a force underneath, making seven of nine shots. Gill had 12 points for the Cavaliers.Felix leads No. 19 Texas against WVU 88-71AUSTIN, Texas -- Javan Felix scored 18 points and No. 19 Texas used another impressive offensive performance to beat West Virginia 88-71 on Saturday night, a victory that keeps the Longhorns within a game of the lead in the Big 12.Texas (20-5, 9-3) had five players score in double figures and shot better than 60 percent for most of the game.Cameron Ridley scored 17 points and was a force on defense with three of Texas' five blocks, including two in the final minute of the first half. Jonathan Holmes, Texas' leading scorer this season, had 11 in his return after missing a game with a knee injury.Eron Harris scored 21 points for West Virginia (15-11, 7-6), which had surged up the league standings by winning four of five.Napier scores 34 as No. 24 UConn beats No. 20 Memphis in OTHARTFORD, Conn. -- Shabazz Napier scored a career-high 34 points and No. 24 UConn beat No. 20 Memphis 86-81 in overtime Saturday to sweep the season series from the Tigers.Ryan Boatright added 21 points for UConn (20-5, 8-4 American Athletic Conference), including eight in overtime and added six assists.Joe Jackson had 24 points to lead the Tigers (19-6, 8-4). Geron Johnson added 15 points and eight rebounds before fouling out and Chris Crawford had 12.The game was tied at 69 at the end of regulation and UConn opened the extra period on a 7-2 run. But Memphis cut it to 76-74 after a Michael Dixon hit a 3-pointer.Napier responded with one of his five 3-pointers and the Huskies held on.No. 22 Ohio State shuts down Illinois, 48-39CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Aaron Craft scored 14 points and No. 22 Ohio State held Illinois to 28.3 percent shooting on the way to a scrappy 48-39 win on Saturday.Craft picked up two early fouls and spent two long stretches on the bench. But he was still the Buckeyes' best option on a tough offensive night for each team.LaQuinton Ross added nine points for Ohio State (20-6, 7-6 Big Ten), which trailed 23-20 at halftime.Illinois (14-12, 3-10) scored just nine points during the first 15:35 minutes of the second half.Tracy Abrams led Illinois with 13 points. Nnanna Egwu had a career-high 14 rebounds but fouled out late.The Illini have lost 10 of 11.McAdoo's double-double helps North Carolina upset No. 25 PittsburghCHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- James Michael McAdoo had 24 points and 12 rebounds to help North Carolina beat No. 25 Pittsburgh 75-71 on Saturday for its sixth consecutive victory.Marcus Paige added 18 points for the Tar Heels (17-7, 7-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who extended the season's longest winning streak three days after their rivalry game against Duke was postponed due to a winter storm. They shot 48 percent after halftime and led by 12 with about 9 minutes left, but had to fight off a late push from the Panthers (20-6, 8-5).Pitt fought back to within three with the ball in the final 10 seconds. But Lamar Patterson missed a 3-pointer for the tie, and then Talib Zanna missed a putback attempt before Patterson fouled on the rebound with 2.8 seconds left. UNC's Brice Johnson hit his second free throw to make it a two-possession game and clinch the win.