Saturday, December 6, 2014

Full Highlights of UK Signee Skal Labissiere at Marshall County Hoop Fest

Kentucky signee Skal Labissiere of Reach Your Dreams Prep Academy scored 32 points against national-powerhouse Oak Hill Academy last night at the Marshall County Hoop Fest.

At times Labissiere was double (and even triple) teamed.

Labissiere was 13-for-20 from the field including 2-for-3 from the three-point line. He also finished with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots.

Here are highlights:

Highlights from Kentucky's Win Over Texas

Check out the highlights from Kentucky's win over No. 6 Texas:

Big Men, Defense Lead Kentucky Past No. 6 Texas

(1) Kentucky 63
(6) Texas 51

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Willie Cauley-Stein had season highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds and made several defensive plays to key Kentucky's 18-2 run to open the second half, helping the top-ranked Wildcats beat No. 6 Texas 63-51 on Friday night in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Normally playing on the first of Kentucky's two talented platoons, Cauley-Stein began alongside fellow 7-footer Dakari Johnson and 6-10 Trey Lyles on the second squad and the big trio sparked the Wildcats' game-changing 8-minute sequence after a 26-all halftime tie.

They combined for the spurt's first 10 points before Cauley-Stein's tip-in provided a 44-28 lead with 11:20 remaining. That gave Kentucky (8-0) the cushion to hold off the stubborn Longhorns (7-1), who regrouped to close to 56-51 with 1:44 left before Cauley-Stein added a free throw and dunk.

Cauley-Stein's rebounding was a big boost for Kentucky, which was outrebounded 42-31 by Texas. Johnson finished with 11 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 10.

Jonathan Holmes scored 14 points and Demarcus Holland 10 for Texas, which shot just 30 percent in falling to 0-8 against the No. 1 team.

Things were nonetheless tense in a game featuring a number of subplots, including Kentucky guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison seeking big performances against their home state's marquee school. That didn't happen as the 6-6 twins combined for just seven points on 3-for-17 shooting, but Andrew Harrison hit a big 3-pointer with 2:47 left for a 56-47 lead that proved critical.

The Wildcats came away with another signature win following last month's 72-40 drubbing of then-No. 5 Kansas in Indianapolis. But beating the athletic and physical Longhorns required a lot of tweaks to Kentucky's platoons.

Complete Recap

Box score (click to enlarge):

Skal Labissiere Talks Kentucky, BBN and More at Marshall County Hoop Fest

Kentucky commit Skal Labissiere talks Kentucky, UK fans and more with Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate-Messenger at the Marshall County Hoop Fest:

Friday, December 5, 2014

UAB Knocks Off Morehead State, Storms the Court to Protest

UAB 58
Morehead State 48

Final from Birmingham, Alabama

Game recap by MSU:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The UAB men's basketball team held Morehead State to 34 percent from the field and used a 28-20 advantage in paint points to register a 58-48 non-conference victory on Thursday evening at Bartow Arena.

The Blazers, who snap a three-game skid, improve to 3-5 overall and 3-2 at home. The Eagles, who have dropped both contests this week, slip to 4-6 overall and 1-4 on the road. It was the first meeting between the two schools in men's hoops.

Morehead State was limited to just 18-of-53 from the floor, including 9-of-31 (29 percent) in the second half. UAB, meanwhile, was able to knock down 21-of-54 (39 percent) for the night, including 11-of-25 (44 percent) after intermission.

"Our defense has played very well this season, but our offensive efficiency continues to be poor," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "I'm disappointed with all of the turnovers and our lack of offensive execution tonight. We will go back to the drawing board and get better."

Senior C.J. Washington paced the Blazers with 14 points, on 6-of-10 from the field, to go along with seven rebounds. Sophomore Tyler Madison added 11 points, while no other UAB player reached double figures. Two Blazers had four assists apiece and three steals.

Senior Angelo Warner led the Eagles with 13 points, while sophomore Corban Collins tossed in 10 and junior Brent Arrington managed seven. Junior Lyonell Gaines pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds, which marked his best effort in an MSU uniform.

Morehead State committed 21 turnovers, which UAB turned into 17 points. The Blazers were tagged with 16 miscues, which the Eagles converted into 13 points. UAB posted a 6-0 advantage in fast-break points and 15-8 scoring edge off the bench.

Complete Recap

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sore Loser Alert! Stay Classy Portland State

I know, I know...there's been a lot of Portland news on the site lately. I promise the site isn't becoming allwestcoasthoops.

But, I did watch Portland three times in Nashville and wanted to see how they did in their rivalry game against Portland State this week.

What I found, was a very poor display of sportsmanship by Portland State.

Portland led 83-69 with the final seconds ticking away. Rather than shaking hands and accepting defeat, a Portland State player opted to run the old "fake handshake" trick...which led to a meaningless bucket at the buzzer (I'm assuming this didn't change the money on the gambling line. If it did, well, you be the judge.):

Stay classy Portland State...

Thomas More College Opens PAC Play with a Win at Waynesburg

Thomas More College 84
Waynesburg University 74

Final from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania

Game recap by TMC:

(WAYNESBURG, Pa.) – Senior forward Drew Mumford (Louisville, Ky./Christian Academy) scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Thomas More College men's basketball team to an 84-74 win over Waynesburg University tonight (Wednesday, December 3, 2014) in both teams' Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) opener at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

With the win, the Saints improve 3-4 overall and 1-0 in the PAC. With the loss, the Yellow Jackets fall to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in the PAC.

Thomas More jumped out to a 6-1 lead when Mumford made a lay-up with 17:36 to play in the first half. Waynesburg answered with a 10-4 run to take an 11-10 lead with 15:18 to play in the half when BJ Durham made a lay-up. The Saints responded with a 19-11 run capped by a lay-up by sophomore guard/forward Nate McGovney (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) to take a 29-22 lead with 6:25 to play in the opening half. The Yellow Jackets closed out the half on a 17-5 run to take a 39-34 lead at halftime.

Waynesburg opened the second half on an 8-3 run to increase the lead to 47-37 with 17:27 to play in the game when Jacob Fleege made a three-pointer. Undaunted, the Saints answered with a 36-12 run capped by a Mumford lay-up with 4:54 to play in the game to give Thomas More a 73-59 lead. Waynesburg used a 12-6 run to cut the lead to 79-71 with 1:00 to play when Thomas Ellis made a three-pointer. That would be as close as the Yellow Jackets would come as Thomas More closed out the game on a 5-3 run for the 84-74 victory.

Mumford was joined in double-figure scoring by three other Saints as McGovney and freshman guard Daniel Williams (Louisville, Ky./Jeffersontown) each had 16 points and senior guard Jalen Clark (Frankfort, Ky./Western Hills) finished with 13 points. Clark just missed a double-double as he led the team on the boards with nine rebounds, while sophomore guard Drew Mays (Union, Ky./Ryle) led the team in assists with five. Mumford and McGovney led the team in steals with three each.

Thomas More returns to action on Saturday (December 6) when it hosts Westminster College at 3 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center.

Five Lopsided Games Last Night; High School Scores for December 3, 2014

There were five high school games in Kentucky last night and all were decided by 18 or more points.

Here's a look at the scores:

Augusta 79 vs. Silver Grove 53
Morgan County 86 at Bath County 65
Scott 85 vs. Pendleton County 67
Southern 93 at Evangel Christian 46
Williamstown 86 vs. Covington Latin 54

4th Annual Legacy Nissan Classic Tips Friday; Features Skal Labissiere, Other High Level Prospects

The 4th Annual Legacy Nissan Classic gets underway tomorrow evening at North Laurel High School and last through Sunday.

The event features many top national and state teams and players, including University of Kentucky commit Skal Labissiere and Reach Your Dream Prep.

Tickets will be $8 Friday, $10 Saturday, $8 Sunday or $20 pass for the entire weekend (12 games total).

Here's a look at the schedule for the weekend and notable players to keep an eye on:

4th Annual Legacy Nissan Classic

Friday, December 5

Game 1 North Laurel (Girls) vs. Bell County (Girls) 5:30pm
Game 2 South Laurel vs. Madison Southern 7:00pm
Game 3 North Laurel vs. Owensboro Apollo 8:30pm

Saturday, December 6

Game 4 South Laurel vs. Dixie Heights 12:30 pm
Game 5 Southwestern vs. Perry Central 2:00 pm
Game 6 Madison Central vs. Owensboro Apollo 3:30 pm
Game 7 Lafayette vs. North Laurel 5:00 pm
Game 8 Scott County vs. Warren Central 6:30 pm
Game 9 Mt. Zion Academy vs. St. Louis Christian 8:00 pm
Game 10 RYD Prep School vs. Wesley Christian 9:30pm

Sunday, December 7

Game 11 22 Feet Academy vs. Mt. Zion Academy 2:00pm
Game 12 St. Louis Christian vs. Sound Doctrine 4:00 pm

Division 1 offers/Commit List

- Maci Morris Bell County(Girls) 2015 6’0 Guard Committed to University of Kentucky

- Skal Labissiere RYD Prep, TN 2015 6’11 Power Forward #3 Ranked Player by; Committed to University of Kentucky

- Terrance Baker RYD Prep, TN 2015 6’2 Guard Holds offer from Wichita State

- Sedee Keita 22’Academy, SC 2016 6’9 Forward #34 Ranked Player by ESPN
Holds offers from- UMass, Iowa St., Tulsa, VCU, Rutgers, Villanova, Memphis, Syracuse, Temple

- Jojo Anderson 22’ Academy, SC 2015 6’3 Guard Holds offer from Texas A & M

- D’angelo Hunter Mt. Zion Academy, NC 2015 6’7 Forward Committed to Morehead State

- Eli Wright Apollo 2016 6’5 Guard #34Ranked Shooting Guard Holds offers from- Oklahoma St., Purdue, Miss. St, Alabama, Wake Forrest, WKU, Indiana, Tennessee, VA Tech, Wright St., Murray St., Middle TN, Kansas State, Clemson

- Braxton Beverly Perry Central 2016 5’11 Guard #22 Ranked PG by Holds offers from- WKU, NKU, Samford, Marshall, Cleveland St., Miami (OH), Appalachian State

- Peyton Broughton North Laurel 2017 6’4 Guard #3 Ranked KY Player(2017) by Holds offers-WKU, Samford, Miami (OH), Wright State

- Calvin Anderson St. Louis Christian 2015 6’4 Guard Holds offers- Citadel, New Hampshire, Illinois State

- Anthony Pratt St. Louis Christian 2015 6’7 Forward Holds offers- UT Chattanooga, IN State, UAB, New Hampshire, SIE, Southern Miss, Citadel

- Aboubacar Diallo St. Louis Christian 2015 6’10 Forward Holds offers- Illinois State, Southern Illinois Carbondale, ORU, Tulane

- Mamadou Kamara St. Louis Christian 2015 7’0 Center Holds offers- Oklahoma, Tulane, Southern Illinois Edwardsville, Tulsa, Texas A&M, Creighton, San Houston State

- Godwin Boahen St. Louis Christian 2016 5’10 PG Holds offers- New Mexico State, Tulane, St. Louis, UMass, St. Bonaventure

- Nickiel Alexander-Walker St. Louis Christian 2016 6’5 Guard Holds offers- New Mexico State

- Shawntrez Davis Sound Doctrine Christian 2015 6’8 Forward #21 Ranked PF in class by ESPN Holds offers from- Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Purdue, Xavier, Utah, Oklahoma St., Georgia St.

- John Carlos Reyes Sound Doctrine Christian 2015 6’8 Forward Holds offers from- Kennesaw State, Tennessee, Tulsa, Charlotte, Georgia, Middle Tennessee, Georgia, Houston

- Kolbe Caldwell Warren Central 2015 6’3 Guard Holds offers from- Winthrop, Coppin State, Austin Peay

Other Featured Players

- Kayla Bruner North Laurel 5’11 Guard 2016 #6 Ranked Player 13th Region-Catspause

- Madison Sheppard North Laurel 5’ 8 Guard 2018

- Hannah Lawson North Laurel 5’9 Guard 2018

- Bayley Rice North Laurel 6’8 Center 2018 #4 Ranked Player KY(2018)Class by

- Bryson Asher North Laurel 6’7 Forward 2017 #14 Ranked Player KY(2017)Class by

- Kyle Jeffers North Laurel 6’6 Forward 2016

- Tanner Kidwell Madison Southern 6’0 Guard 2016 #28RankedKY2016 by Nextuprecruits

- Cameron Thomas Madison Central 6’3 Guard 2016 #6 Ranked Player 11th Region-Catspause

- Sam Jones Madison Central 6’5 Forward 2015 #8 Ranked Player 11th Region-Catspause

- Jared Savage Warren Central 6’4 Guard 2015 #3 Ranked Player 4th Region-Catspause

- Caleb Coomer Apollo 6’5 Forward2015 #10 Ranked Player 3rd Region-Catspause

- Ben Moss Apollo 5’8 Guard 2016 #35RankedKY2016 by Nextuprecruits

- Austin Schreck Dixie Heights 2015 #8 Ranked Player 9th Region-Catspause

- Adam Isaacs Southwestern 5’9 Guard 2015 #10 Ranked Player 12th Region-Catspause

- Dylan Gaskins Southwestern 6’5 Center 2015

- Hines Jones Scott County 6’1 Guard 2015

- Jared Grubb South Laurel 5’10 Guard 2017

- Kaleb Taylor South Laurel 6’7 Center 2016

- Damon Tobler Perry Central 6’3 Forward 2017 #7 Ranked Player 14th Region-Catspause

- Luis Camara 22’ Academy 6’6 PG 2015 Top Ranked player Portugal Club Team

- Abraham Onyebuchi Wesley Christian 6’7 Forward 2015

- Pepper Ben Wesley Christian 6’9 Guard 2015

- MJ Lex Wesley Christian Guard 2015

- Enis Memic St. Louis Christian 6’9 Forward 2015 U18 Bosnian National Team All League

- Franklin Agunnane St. Louis Christian 6’9 Forward 2018 Top 25 National Prospect in Class

Coaches Expected to Attend:

- Samford (Scott Padgett), Western Kentucky, Wright State, IUPUI, Oklahoma State (Travis Ford), Ohio State, Arkansas State, Tennessee (assistants), Clemson (Brad Brownell), Pikeville (Kelly Wells), Kentucky

NKU's Tayler Persons Named Atlantic Sun Newcomer of the Week

Northern Kentucky's Tayler Persons was named Atlantic Sun Conference Newcomer of the Week earlier this week.

Here is a release from NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky University's Tayler Persons has been named the Atlantic Sun men's basketball Newcomer of the Week as announced by the conference office.

Persons, a freshman guard, poured in a team- and career-high 23 points to lead Northern Kentucky to a 79-74 win at Idaho on Saturday. His performance was highly efficient, converting on 7-of-9 field goal attempts and 9-of-10 free throws. He added two rebounds, assists and steals and one blocked shot in the winning effort.

The Kokomo, Indiana (Kokomo HS), native, also scored seven points and hauled in seven rebounds in NKU's road loss to Eastern Washington, which was coming off a win at Indiana.

The Norse have benefited greatly from Persons' play during the first three weeks of the season. He leads NKU in scoring (10.7 ppg), rebounds (4.8 rpg), assists (3.3 apg) and steals (1.3 spg). Persons is also shooting 47.9 percent from the floor and 72.0 percent from the line.

Complete Release

Matt Norlander of CBS Sports: "Duke can be the best team in the country"

Before the season starter, Matt Norlander of CBS Sports picked Duke to win the national championship in 2014-15.

After Duke knocked off Wisconsin in Madison last night, Norlander had some justification for his preseason pick.

Norlander believes Duke can be the best team in the nation if freshman point guard Tyus Jones continues to play like he did at Wisconsin.

Here is an excerpt:

Duke looked so good people finally started to come around to my side (I picked Duke to win the whole thing, back in October). Coach K's kids shot 65 percent from the floor. Had 1.33 points per possession. Against a veteran Bo Ryan team, on the road, with as much talent as Wisconsin has? It's remarkable. All told, I'm not sure Krzyzewski could count, say, 20 wins in the regular season he'll be more proud of.

The freshmen trio: terrific again. Tyus Jones had 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and one turnover. If he's going to continue to play at this level, yes, Duke can be the best team in the country. The Jahlil Okafor-Frank Kaminsky matchup wasn't as good as we'd hoped. Okafor finished with 13 points and six rebounds; Kaminsky had 17 and nine.

Complete Article

Northern Kentucky Plays Poorly in Loss to UT Martin

UT Martin 71
Northern Kentucky 55

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky

Game recap by NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Tayler Persons poured in a game-high 15 points for the Northern Kentucky University men's basketball team in a 71-55 setback to UT Martin at The Bank of Kentucky Center on Wednesday night.

Persons was one of three Norse players in double figures. Tyler White added 12 points and Chad Jackson chipped in 10, as NKU fell to 3-4 on the season in advance of Sunday's showdown against No. 16/17 West Virginia.

Marshun Newell and Alex Anderson each had 15 points to lead UT Martin (4-2) while Newell grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to claim a double-double. Deville Smith added in 14 points for the Skyhawks, who shot 52.9 percent (27-of-51) on the game.

"I felt like tonight we got out of the gate and we were okay, but what you saw late in the first half is how we practiced," said head coach Dave Bezold of his team's performance. "We really struggled in practice with energy and sharpness, and that's my responsibility. I don't want to take anything away from UT Martin, though, they're really talented. They have great balance, point guards who can make plays and post guys who can rebound and score."

The game started with the teams trading baskets early, as NKU held a 9-8 lead before Jalen Billups picked up his second foul at the 15:32 mark. UT Martin took advantage of NKU's big man being on the bench, posting a 14-0 run to give the Skyhawks a 32-16 lead with 2:16 left in the half. NKU battled back, as Persons and Daniel Camps scored six-straight points for NKU to cut the UT Martin lead to 10 points at halftime, 32-22.

Complete Recap

Red Hot Valparaiso Uses Late Run to Put Away Eastern Kentucky

Valparaiso 72
Eastern Kentucky 66

Final from Richmond, Kentucky

Game recap by EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky had a two-point lead midway through the second half but visiting Valparaiso used a 22-4 run in the latter stages of the contest to pull away for a 72-66 victory Wednesday night in McBrayer Arena.

Senior Timmy Knipp led the Colonels (4-2) with a season-high 16 points and five rebounds. Fellow senior Corey Walden added 13 tallies and five boards.

Alec Peters paced Valpo (8-1) with 21 points, thanks to making a career-high seven three-pointers and shooting 87.5 percent (7-of-8) from behind the arc.

Eastern Kentucky held a 45-43 lead with 12:37 remaining following Knipp's fourth three-pointer. However, the Colonels went cold after that shot and only made one field goal in the ensuing nine-plus minutes.

Valparaiso took the lead for good when a Vashil Fernandez tip-in made the score 47-45 with 10:28 left. Peters hit two of his seven trifectas during that stretch as the Crusaders began to pull away. A Tevonn Walker jumper gave Valpo its largest lead of the game with 3:20 remaining, 65-49.

Valparaiso began the game on fire, hitting six of its first seven three-point attempts, to build a 23-11 cushion. The Colonels slowly battled back and took the lead, 28-27, on a Jaylen Babb-Harrison transition lay-up. The Crusaders scored the final five points of the first half to take a 32-30 lead into intermission.

There were two ties and 10 lead changes early in the second half before the Crusaders put together the pivotal 22-4 run.

Valparaiso shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the floor in the final 20 minutes, including 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from three-point range.

Eastern Kentucky is back in action this Sunday, Dec. 7 at No. 1 Kentucky. The game, which is being televised by the SEC Network, is set to tip at 6 p.m.

Complete Recap

John Wall Shimmies After Nailing Four-Point Play on Kobe Bryant

Watch as former Kentucky star John Wall shimmies after nailing a three-pointing and getting fouled by Kobe Bryant:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2014 Marshall County Hoop Fest Tips Off Tomorrow; Event is Loaded with Top Teams and Recruits

The 2014 Marshall County Hoop Fest gets underway tomorrow evening at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky.

This year's event is loaded with nationally-ranked teams and top-level recruits.

Kentucky teams in the event:

- Lincoln County
- Owensboro
- Marshall County
- Graves County
- McCracken County
- Hopkinsville

Here are some of the top players in the event:

- Skal Labisssiere (Reach Your Dream Prep)
- Carlton Bragg (Villa Angela-St. Joseph)
- Thomas Bryant (Huntington Prep)
- Miles Bridges (Huntington Prep)
- Cheick Diallo (Our Savior)
- Aric Holman (Owensboro)
- Malik Newman (Callaway)
- Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep)
- Derrick Jones (Archbishop Carroll)
- Mario Kegler (Arlington Country Day)
- JaQualis Matlock (Hopkinsville)
- Dwayne Bacon (Oak Hill)
- Daniel Giddens (Oak Hill)
- Braxton Blackwell (Christ Presbyterian)
- Timmy Taylor (Lincoln County)
- Jacob Conway (Lincoln County)

Coaches who are likely to attend (per a good source):

- Kentucky, John Calipari and/or assistants (Thursday and Saturday)
- Auburn, Bruce Pearl and/or assistants (Saturday, both sessions)
- Louisville, Rick Pitino and/or assistants
- Kansas, Bill Self and/or assistants
- Florida International
- Also hearing rumors that Indiana's Tom Crean will be in attendance

Here is the updated schedule:

Marshall County Hoop Fest

(All times Central)

Thursday, Dec. 4

Session 1

4 p.m. – Marshall County vs. Massac (Ill.) girls
5:30 p.m. – Marshall County vs. Dyersburg (Tenn.)
7 p.m. – Sunrise Christian (Kan.) vs. Orangeville Prep (Can.)
8:30 p.m. – Graves County vs. Massac (Ill.)

Friday, Dec. 5

Session 2

4 p.m. – Sunrise Christian (Kan.) vs. Quality Ed (N.C.)
5:30 p.m. – Arlington Country Day (Fla.) vs. Carlisle School (Va.)
7 p.m. – Callaway (Miss.) vs. Archbishop Carroll (Pa.)
8:30 p.m. – Huntington Prep (W.Va.) vs. Arsenal Tech (Ind.)
10 p.m. – Oak Hill (Va.) vs. Reach Your Dream Prep (Tenn.)

Saturday, Dec. 6

Session 3

8:30 a.m. – White Station (Tenn.) vs. Arsenal Tech (Ind.)
10 a.m. – Marshall County vs. Madisonville North Hopkins girls
11:30 a.m. – Marshall County vs. Owensboro
1 p.m. – Hopkinsville vs. Lausanne (Tenn.)
2:30 p.m. – McCracken County vs. Lincoln County

Session 4

4:30 p.m. – Christ Presbyterian (Tenn.) vs. La Lumiere (Ind.)
6 p.m. – Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio)
7:30 p.m. – Oak Hill (Va.) vs. Our Savior (N.Y.)
9 p.m. – Orangeville Prep (Can.) vs. Callaway (Miss.)
10:30 p.m. – Huntington Prep (W.Va.) vs. Arlington Country Day (Fla.)

More Info on the Event

Hoop Fest Site

Tales from Previous Visits to the Hoop Fest

All-session passes for this year’s event are available for $35. Single-session passes are $15. Call the Marshall County AD’s office at (270) 527-6714 for tickets.

Ballard Moves to 2-0 and Other High School Scores for December 2, 2014

10 games that stood out:

Henry Clay 79 Holmes 67:

Isaiah Tisdale led Henry Clay with 33 points. Holmes was led by Rod Avery with 16 points and 10 rebounds. James "Beetle" Bolden added 13 points, 5 boards and 5 assists.

Bryan Station 73 Rowan County 62:

The Defenders grab a tough early season road win over one of the favorites to win the 16th Region.

Ballard 69 Seneca 58:

The Bruins move to 2-0 ahead of a tough weekend tournament in Florida. Jalen Perry led the way with 23 points.

June Buchanan 48 Wolfe County 46:

Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Elisha Justice earned his first head coaching win.

Montgomery County 84 at Bracken County 63:

Like Justice, new head man Matt Daniel gets his first win at the Montgomery County helm.

Sheldon Clark 65 Cordia 57:

Dylan James poured in 27 points to lead the Cardinals and send an early message that the 15th Region is going to be a battle for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Lewis County 65 Ashland 52

Lewis County place four players in double figures to earn a solid opening win. Remember when Ashland was feared throughout the 16th Region?

Taylor County 100 Washington County 50

I have no stats on this one but I imagine it goes something like this...Quentin Goodin, Quentin Goodin and Quentin Goodin.

Louisville Trinity 77 Jeffersonville (IN) 38

The No. 1 team in the state opened with an easy win. Ray Spalding finished with 14 points in limited minutes.

Lincoln County 65 Lafayette 52

Jacob Conway led Lincoln County with 24 points. He and senior point guard Timmy Taylor were too much for the Generals.

Other scores from around the state:

Adair County 54 at Cumberland County 43
Augusta 67 at Robertson County 46
Bardstown 86 vs. Marion County 81 
Barren County 60 at Green County 45
Beth Haven 72 vs. Walden 63
Bethlehem 65 at Hart County 56
Betsy Layne 61 vs. Pike County Central 46
Breckinridge County 72 vs. Edmonson County 63        
Buckhorn 75 vs. Owsley County 53
Bullitt Central 60 at Thomas Nelson 36
Burgin 71 at Kentucky School For The Deaf 40
Butler 73 vs. Southern 57
Carlisle County 63 vs. St. Mary 58
Central Hardin 64 vs. Nelson County 48
Clay County 76 vs. Oneida Baptist Institute 64
Clinton County 79 vs. Casey County 65
Collins 63 at Gallatin County 58
Conner 79 at Ludlow 65
Cooper 69 at Walton-Verona 47
Corbin 71 at Jackson County 65
Daviess County 93 vs. Madisonville-North Hopkins 62
Doss 62 vs. Pleasure Ridge Park 61
DuPont Manual 80 vs. Christian Academy-Louisville 52
East Ridge 66 vs. Grundy (VA) 31
Eastern 74 at Shawnee 66
Eminence 84 vs. Williamstown 68
Evangel Christian 81 at Heritage Academy 51
Evansville Harrison (IN) 86 at Henderson County 80
Fairdale 61 at Jeffersontown 59 F/OT
Frederick Fraize 79 at Trinity (Whitesville) 71
George Rogers Clark 69 at Nicholas County 24
Grant County 72 vs. Ryle 45
Grayson County 44 vs. Holy Cross (Louisville) 29
Hancock County 62 vs. McLean County 53
Harlan 75 at Thomas Walker (VA) 65
Harlan County 69 vs. Letcher County Central 52
Harrison County 64 vs. St. Patrick 48        
Henry County 55 vs. North Bullitt 48 F/OT
Holy Cross (Covington) 54 vs. Boone County 50
Hopkins County Central 70 vs. Christian County 56
Hopkinsville 82 vs. Greenwood 45
Iroquois 59 vs. Valley 45
Johnson Central 69 at Greenup County 56    
Lawrence County 94 vs. East Carter 59
Lexington Catholic 78 at Fleming County 52 
Lloyd Memorial 71 vs. Carroll County 61  
Lynn Camp 87 at Red Bird 58
Lyon County 60 vs. Union County 54
Madison Central 69 vs. Madison Southern 48
Magoffin County 75 vs. Allen Central 70
Marshall County 57 vs. Ballard Memorial 51
Menifee County 60 vs. Jackson City 57
Monroe County 66 vs. Franklin-Simpson 50        
Muhlenberg County 52 vs. Russellville 36
Murray 89 vs. Fulton City 56
Newport Central Catholic 62 at Dixie Heights 30
North Hardin 73 vs. Ohio County 50
North Laurel 76 at Rockcastle County 63
Owen County 70 vs. Western Hills 56
Owensboro Catholic 66 at South Spencer, IN 59
Paducah Tilghman 82 at Fulton County 38
Perry County Central 99 at Breathitt County 71
Phelps 66 at Piarist School 57
Powell County 81 vs. Bath County 49
Pulaski County 83 at East Jessamine 62
Sayre 66 vs. Bourbon County 58
Scott 77 vs. Calvary Christian 14
Shelby County 70 vs. Mercer County 62       
Somerset 87 at McCreary Central 70
South Floyd 55 vs. Paintsville 54
South Warren 63 at Allen County-Scottsville 48
Southwestern 78 vs. Danville 61
St. Henry 61 vs. Bishop Brossart 53
St. Xavier 69 at Central 64
Tates Creek 60 vs. Franklin County 39
Trigg County 80 at Dawson Springs 35    
Warren East 68 at Metcalfe County 55
Webster County 70 vs. Todd County Central 36
West Carter 73 at Fairview 69
West Jessamine 85 vs. Paris 81
Western 98 at Atherton 85
Whitefield Academy 55 vs. Louisville Collegiate 41
Whitley County 56 at Bell County 40
Woodford County 55 at Paul Laurence Dunbar 44

Owen County's Carson Williams Has Big Night in Front of Coaches from Western Kentucky and Ohio

Owen County star Carson Williams had a big night last night with 28 points, 18 rebounds and 8 blocked shots in a 70-56 win over Western Hills.

Coaches from Western Kentucky University and Ohio University were in attendance to watch the Class of 2016 forward.

Centre College Knocks Off Asbury; Coach Greg Mason Earns 300th Career Win

Centre College 74
Asbury University 61

Final from Danville, Kentucky

Game recap by CC:

The Centre men's basketball team pulled away late to give head coach Greg Mason his 300th career win in a 74-61 victory over Asbury on Tuesday in Alumni Gymnasium.

With the win, Mason improves his career record to 300-111 early into his 16th season, and his winning percentage of .730 ranks in the top 10 of Division III coaches. Coming into the game as reigning Southern Athletic Association Player of the Week and off a career-high 38-point effort, Josh Karsner (Frankfort, Ky.) led the Colonels again with 27 points, while Blake Scinta (Louisville, Ky.) added 18. Tyler Smith led Asbury with 12 points, with Jordan Gilbert chipping in 11.

It was a back and forth game most of the way with six ties, 16 lead changes, and neither team holding a lead of more than six points until Centre finally pulled away with a 20-2 run. The Eagles led as late as the 12:22 mark in the second half, and were still within two points at 53-51 with just over nine minutes to play when Centre made its move.

Bryan Repishti (Louisville, Ky.) started the surge with a 3-pointer at the 9:04 mark, while Karsner connected twice from outside and scored 10 points in the run. By the time the dust had settled, Centre had held Asbury without a field goal for more than eight minutes, and the Colonels had pushed the lead out to 73-53 with just 1:11 to play.

After Centre scored the first six points of the game, Asbury stormed back on an 11-2 run and led for much of the first half. The Eagles reached their biggest lead of the game at six points on three separate occasions in the first half, including a 38-32 halftime lead. Centre scored the first six points of the second half, and the game would go back and forth until the Colonels' final run.

Complete Recap

Head Coach Greg Mason Earns Career Win No. 300

Congratulations to Centre College head coach Greg Mason for earning his 300th career win last night.

Mason is now 300-111 overall with a winning percentage of .730, which ranks in the top 10 of Division III coaches. He is in his 16th season.

Three Cats and Two Cards on Watch List for Naismith Trophy

The top 50 watch list for the 2014-15 Naismith Trophy has been release by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein, Aaron Harrison and Karl Towns are on the list.

Also representing the Bluegrass state are Louisville's Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier.

The Naismith Trophy is given annually to college basketball's top player.

Naismith Trophy Men’s 50 Watch List

Name Class Position School Conference
Cliff Alexander Fr. F Kansas Big 12
Brandon Ashley Jr. F Arizona Pac-12
Ron Baker RS Jr. G Wichita State Missouri Valley
Ryan Boatright Sr. G Connecticut American Athletic
Malcolm Brogdon RS Jr. G Virginia ACC
Willie Cauley-Stein Jr. F Kentucky SEC
Branden Dawson Sr. G-F Michigan State Big Ten
Sam Dekker Jr. F Wisconsin Big Ten
Perry Ellis Jr. F Kansas Big 12
Yogi Ferrell Jr. G Indiana Big Ten
Marcus Foster Soph. G Kansas State Big 12
Michael Frazier II Jr. G Florida SEC
Treveon Graham Sr. G-F VCU Atlantic 10
Jerian Grant Sr. G Notre Dame ACC
Olivier Hanlan Jr. G Boston College ACC
Montrezl Harrell Jr. F Louisville ACC
Aaron Harrison Soph. G Kentucky SEC
Tyler Haws Sr. G BYU West Coast
Buddy Hield Jr. G Oklahoma Big 12
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Soph. F Arizona Pac-12
R.J. Hunter Jr. G Georgia State Sun Belt
Stanley Johnson Fr. G Arizona Pac-12
Tyus Jones Fr. G Duke ACC
Frank Kaminsky Sr. F Wisconsin Big Ten
Caris LeVert Jr. G Michigan Big Ten
Jordan Mickey Soph. F LSU SEC
Nic Moore RS Jr. G SMU American Athletic
Georges Niang Jr. F Iowa State Big 12
Jahlil Okafor Fr. C Duke ACC
Marcus Paige Jr. G North Carolina ACC
Kevin Pangos Sr. G Gonzaga West Coast
Terran Petteway Jr. F Nebraska Big Ten
Chasson Randle Sr. G Stanford Pac-12
Terry Rozier Soph. G Louisville ACC
D'Angelo Russell Fr. G Ohio State Big Ten
Wesley Saunders Sr. G-F Harvard Ivy League
Wayne Selden Jr. Soph. G Kansas Big 12
Winston Shepard Jr. F San Diego State Mountain West
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera Jr. G Georgetown Big East
Juwan Staten Sr. G West Virginia Big 12
Keifer Sykes Sr. G Green Bay Horizon League
Isaiah Taylor Soph. G Texas Big 12
Karl-Anthony Towns Fr. F Kentucky SEC
Myles Turner Fr. F Texas Big 12
Fred VanVleet Jr. G Wichita State Missouri Valley
Rashad Vaughn Fr. G UNLV Mountain West
Alan Williams Sr. C UC Santa Barbara Big West
Justise Winslow Fr. F Duke ACC
Delon Wright Sr. G Utah Pac-12
Joseph Young RS Sr. G Oregon Pac-12

Press Release from Atlanta Tipoff Club

Georgetown's Deondre McWhorter Named Mid-South Conference Player of the Week

Georgetown College's Deondre McWhorter was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

McWhorter averaged 24.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game last week in three wins.

Here is a release from the MSC:

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Georgetown (Ky.) junior Deondre McWhorter is the Mid-South Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, conference officials announced on Monday.

The weekly award is the first of the season for McWhorter.

McWhorter averaged a double-double -- 24.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game -- last week while helping the Tigers to three wins.

The Louisville, Ky., forward recorded the first of three double-doubles during the week with 23 points and 12 rebounds during a 100-76 win over Indiana-Southeast.

During the first day of the 21st Annual Central Bank Jim Reid Classic hosted by Georgetown, McWhorter scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Tigers' 87-48 win over Carlow (Pa.).

On Saturday, McWhorter had a career day. He scored 36 points -- a new career high -- and hauled in 16 rebounds in a 92-73 win over Southern-New Orleans (La.). With his 36th point, McWhorter reached the 1,000-point plateau.

The 36 points are the second-most points scored in the Mid-South in a game this season.

McWhorter closed the week shooting 72.1 percent (31-of-43) from the field. He also averaged two blocks per outing.

McWhorter leads the Mid-South in rebounding (11.0) and double-doubles (6). He is second in field goal percentage (62.2) and blocks per game (2.4) and fifth in scoring (19.4). Nationally, McWhorter is fourth in rebounding and seventh in blocks.

No. 8-ranked Georgetown improves to 8-2 overall, including 2-2 in the Mid-South. The Tigers travel to Life (Ga.) on Thursday and to the Central State (Ohio) Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

The next MSC Men's Basketball Player of the Week will be announced on Monday, Dec. 8.

Peters, Valparaiso Win Challenge in Music City; Murray State Finishes Third

Sophomore Alec Peters turned in an MVP performance to lead the Valparaiso Crusaders to the championship of the Challenge in Music City over the weekend.

Valparaiso (7-1) won all three games in the event and secured the championship with a convincing 70-55 victory over Portland.

The Crusaders won their three games by an average margin of 23.3 points.

Peters averaged 18.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game during the weekend. He was named Most Valuable Player following the championship game win over Portland.

Game Results:

Day 1

Valparaiso 66 Drake 46

Valparaiso came out firing in the second half and rolled to an easy 66-46 win over Drake (1-4)

Darien Walker scored 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting to lead Valpo (5-1). Keith Carter chipped in 15 points. Alec Peters added 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds.

The Crusaders led 29-21 at the half but opened the second half with a 12-2 run and never looked back.

Jordan Daniels came off the bench to lead Drake with 18 points. Gary Reynolds, Jr. finished with 8 points.

Portland 64 Murray State 61

Murray State suffered a tough 64-61 defeat to the Portland Pilots Friday on day one of the Challenge In Music City.

Kevin Bailey scored a game-high 23 points for Portland. Thomas van der Mars put in a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Bobby Sharp came off the bench to tally 13 points.

Cameron Payne had 18 points to lead Murray State. T.J. Sapp added 13 and Jeffery Moss chipped in 11. Jarvis Williams had 7 rebounds against Portland's tall front line.

Day 2

Portland 71 Drake 59

Portland jumped out to a 24-11 lead and never looked back as they cruised to a 71-59 win over Drake.

Senior big man Thomas van der Mars led the Pilots with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Alec Wintering finished with 9 points and 8 assists. Kevin Bailey and Volodymyr Gerun chipped in 8 points each.

Drake's Gary Ricks, Jr. scored a game-high 23 points. He was 9-for-12 from the field, including 5-for-6 from long range. Jordan Daniels scored 12 points off the Bulldogs' bench.

Valparaiso 93 Murray State 58

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers dropped a 93-58 defeat at the Challenge In Music City Saturday to the Valparaiso Crusaders in Nashville, Tennessee at Municipal Auditorium.

MSU (2-4) finishes their stay at the CIMC Sunday when they face the Drake Bulldogs at 3:30 p.m. The first game of the final day tips at 1 p.m. with the Crusaders (6-1) against Portland.

Jeffery Moss led MSU with 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, while Cameron Payne added 11 points and three assists. Jonathan Fairell led MSU on the boards with seven rebounds.

In the first half, MSU trailed 26-20 at the 7:30 mark when they responded with a run of their own to take a 30-28 lead at 5:02. MSU's 10-2 run was keyed by a Wayne Langston hook shot and a pair of baskets from Moss. MSU took their only lead of the game with 5:02 left on a Moss floater. However, the Crusaders ended the half on a 21-11 run and a 43-37 lead,

Things got worse for the Racers when Valparaiso started the second half with a 12-3 run.

MSU cut the Valpo lead to 15 on a bucket by Jarvis Williams at the 13:38 mark, but never got any closer.

The Racers stayed with the hot-shooting Valpo in the first half going 13-of-28 for 46 percent. But in the second half the Racers cooled to 36 percent on 20-of-55 shots, while Valpo stayed hot at 70 percent on 17-of-24 shots.

The Racers and Crusaders have met in three straight seasons. Valparaiso won at MSU in 2012 and on their home court in 2013 before today's neutral court game.

Day 3

Valparaiso 70 Portland 55

Coach Bryce Drew's Crusaders wrapped up the event championship with an impressive 70-55 win over Portland.

Valpo was in control from the start and the game was never in doubt.

Alec Peters paced the Crusaders with 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Darien Walker added 13 points. Vashil Fernandez pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

D'Marques Tyson came off the Portland bench to lead all scorers with 25 points. He was 6-for-8 from the three-point line.

Murray State 68 Drake 59

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers came away with 68-59 win over the Drake Bulldogs in the final game of the Challenge In Music City in Nashville, Tennessee at Municipal Auditorium.

The win pushed the Racers to 3-4 and allowed them to win one of the three they played this weekend. MSU dropped losses to Portland and Valparaiso Friday and Saturday. MSU finished in third place in the four team event.

Jarvis Williams led the Racers with 20 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season and the Racers got 14 points off the bench from Justin Seymour.

The first half was a tight race with four ties and a large lead of only four points. The Racers scored their first seven points from five Drake turnovers and took a 19-18 lead when Seymour scored at the 8:45 mark, but MSU trailed the rest of the half although by only a point at the break 36-35.

The last tie of the game came when the score was 46-46 with 10:34 remaining.

MSU finally got some momentum with a 10-0 run with a pair of 3-point baskets from T.J. Sapp and buckets from Williams and Seymour for a 56-48 lead with 5:43 left.

The Racers put the game away with a pair of free throws each from Williams and Jonathan Fairell and one amazing play. With one second left on the shot clock, Jeffery Moss threw a long alley-oop pass to Williams who scored for a 62-53 MSU lead with 2:11 left.

Final Standings:

1. Valparaiso (3-0)
2. Portland (2-1)
3. Murray State (1-2)
4. Drake (0-3)

All Tournament Team:

- Alec Peters (Valparaiso) MVP
- Darien Walker (Valparaiso)
- Volodymyr Gerun (Portland)
- Cameron Payne (Murray State)
- Gary Ricks, Jr. (Drake)


- Valpo lists Peters as a 6-foot-9 forward: my eyes tell me that he is maybe 6-foot-6. His game is still incredible, but he isn't 6-foot-9.

- That being said, Peters is really, really good: I'll have more on Peters soon. He is a very good all-around player who is averaging 19.3 points per game this season.

- Valparaiso is coached by Bryce Drew: yes, that Bryce Drew. Remember when he nailed the buzzer-beater in the 1998 NCAA tournament to give Valpo a stunning upset over Ole Miss?

- Valparaiso travels to Eastern Kentucky University Wednesday night: if the Crusaders continue to play like they played in Nashville, it will be a difficult game for the Colonels to win.

- NBA scouts were at the event: I noticed Larry Harris (Golden State Warriors) and Trent Redden (Cleveland Cavaliers) sitting courtside. I'm told the scouts were primarily checking out Murray State point guard Cameron Payne.

- Murray State isn't playing their best basketball at the moment: The Racers are struggling defensively and are having trouble knocking down shots. They got a much needed win over Drake on Sunday and I'm positive that Coach Prohm will have them playing much better come conference time.

- There was some interesting music during the event: it wasn't bad, but it was interesting. At one point, the music went from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to Hell's Bell's (AC/DC) to Yeah! (Lil Jon). Now that's a playlist...

- The parking garage that is near Municipal Auditorium is really a bunch of crap: the first night of the tournament, I paid $5 to park until midnight. Days 2 and 3, I was forced to pay $15 each day. Those days forced me to pay $15 for 12 hours of parking. That would be a great deal if I needed to park for 12 hours. Unfortunately, I only need to park for 4 1/2 to 5 hours. It would have been nice to pay for what I needed.

- Attendance was very low: as expected with many early-season tournaments, attendance was lacking. Obviously Portland and Drake were never going to have many fans due to distance. Valpo had a decent cheering section. As always, Murray State travels pretty well to Nashville. Tickets to the event were $22 per day (2 games). In my opinion, that is a little high for mid-major basketball on a neutral court. If I were a fan, I'd go $10-15 per day but definitely not over $20. Just think...a family of 4 is a smooth $88 per day. That's a little steep.

- Diet Dr. Pepper was $4 per 20 oz. bottle at Municipal Auditorium: I seriously paid $4 for a 20 oz. bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper the first day of the event. I saw one guy drop $26 for a couple of drinks, a couple of hot dogs, some chips and a candy bar. Add that $26 to your $15 in parking and $88 in tickets and I think you see how the attendance formula works out.

- I broke the arena rules...twice: after dropping $4 for a soda, I quoted the raven..."nevermore." Now that the event is over, I'll go ahead and say that I may or may not have smuggled 6 drinks and 4 snacks into the arena during the last 2 days of the event. Allegedly.

- All-in-all, it was a very solid mid-major event: I had a great time in Nashville and watching 3 days of solid mid-major basketball. I came away impressed with Valpo and the job that Coach Drew is doing there. I looking forward to following their progress this season. As I mentioned, Murray State isn't playing great yet, but they have all the pieces needed to win the OVC once again.

- Special shout out to Murray State Assistant AD David Winder: Dave did an incredible job with the event and couldn't have been any nicer to media members and scouts.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

High School Basketball is Underway in Kentucky

Kentucky high school basketball officially got underway last night with games around the state.

Several scores that stood out from opening night were Ballard's 97-72 win over Scott County and Knott County Central's 79-26 demolition of Magoffin County.

Bullitt East earned a nice 78-64 win over North Oldham.

Here are scores:

Anderson County 71 vs. Garrard County 41
Ballard 97 at Scott County 72
Bath County 86 vs. Lee County 79
Boyle County 65 vs. Burgin 23
Bullitt East 78 at North Oldham 64
Casey County 88 vs. Marion County 74 F/OT
Caverna 66 at Fort Knox 20
Corbin 85 vs. Pineville 63
Holy Cross (Covington) 77 at Simon Kenton 69
Holy Cross (Louisville) 59 at Meade County 50
Jenkins 62 vs. Bell County 49
Kentucky Country Day 97 at Portland Christian 67
Knott County Central 79 at Magoffin County 26
Leslie County 86 vs. Riverside Christian 26
Logan County 68 vs. Warren East 58
Oldham County 82 at DeSales 71
Oneida Baptist Institute 50 at Owsley County 44
Paintsville 80 vs. Russell 57
Shelby Valley 81 vs. South Floyd 54
South Warren 93 vs. Glasgow 49
Trimble County 71 vs. Walden 45
Waggener 74 vs. Spencer County 58

Union College Drops to No. 21 in New NAIA DII Coaches' Top 25 Poll

Union College has dropped five spots to No. 21 in the new NAIA DII Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

Indiana Wesleyan remains No. 1 in the new poll. Midland (Neb.) is No. 2, while College of Idaho and Davenport (Mich) are tied at No. 3. Northwood (Fla.) rounds out the top 5.

2014 – 15 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll - (Dec. 2)

1 1 Indiana Wesleyan (13) 9-0 343
2 T2 Midland (Neb.) 10-1 330
T3 7 College of Idaho 11-1 312
T3 4 Davenport (Mich.) 8-1 312
5 5 Northwood (Fla.) 3-0 308
6 10 Bethel (Ind.) 9-1 279
7 13 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 8-0 277
8 6 Bellevue (Neb.) 7-2 271
9 15 Saint Francis (Ind.) 9-1 251
10 25 Concordia (Ore.) 8-1 235
T11 12 Morningside (Iowa) 7-1 227
T11 14 St. Ambrose (Iowa) 7-2 227
13 T2 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 6-4 193
14 11 Cornerstone (Mich.) 7-3 188
T15 NR Thomas (Ga.) 9-0 187
T15 RV Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 9-0 187
T15 17 Southern Oregon 9-1 187
18 18 William Penn (Iowa) 9-3 125
19 23 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 5-2 119
20 RV Indiana East 8-2 117
T21 RV Huntington (Ind.) 9-1 109
T21 16 Union (Ky.) 7-2 109
23 9 Southeastern (Fla.) 2-1 81
24 NR Bethany (Kan.) 5-2 73
25 RV Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 5-3 57

Others receiving votes: Northwest (Wash.) 53; Warner (Fla.) 52; College of the Ozarks (Mo.) 48; Grace (Ind.) 47; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 42; Robert Morris (Ill.) 33; Bryan (Tenn.) 31; Saint Mary (Kan.) 8; Jamestown (N.D.) 8; Dordt (Iowa) 5; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 4; St. Francis (Ill.) 3; Aquinas (Mich.) 3.

Berea College Dismantles Boyce College

Berea College 111
Boyce College 54

Final from Berea, Kentucky

Game recap by Berea:

With a flick of the wrist from the free-throw line, Jalen Simmons' first part of a one-and-one gave the Berea College Mountaineers an even 100 points in their game with Boyce College. BC won 111-54 in an absolutely dominate performance, as five players scored double digits.

The Mountaineers led the Bulldogs in every statistical category except fouls committed and turnovers. The numbers that jumped off the stat page was the shooting percentages that Blue Crew demonstrated. At half-time with a lead of 58-25, the Mountaineers had shot an astonishing 78% from the field and were perfect behind the 3-point line; ending the game shoot 64.7%

A 33 point lead might make some teams relax, but Coach John Hemenway had the Mountaineers focused and hungry for more in the second stanza. There were thunderous dunks by Bilal Young, brilliant passing from Anthony Myrks and Seth Beckham as they combined for 11 assists, and blocked shots from Ethan Harris and Young. Hemenway continued to employ his own version of the "platoon system" as every player but one received double digit minutes of playing time.

Offensively, Aaron Ponder led the way with 20 points going 8-9 from the field and 4-5 from behind the arc. Richard Parker tallied 17 points including a perfect 5-5 from long distance. Dominique Garmon added 15 points going 7-8 from the floor. Myrks chipped in with 13 points, while London Moore recorded 10 points. Ethan Harris and Garmon led the way on the boards, collecting six misses each.

BC will look to maintain their momentum on Tuesday when they host Bryan College at 7:00 pm at the Seabury Center.

Milligan Upsets No. 16 Union College in AAC Battle

Milligan 70
(16) Union 69

Final from Barbourville, Kentucky

Game recap by UC:

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College forward Deante Johnson (SR/Cincinnati, Ohio) scored a game-high 25 points, but it wasn't enough, as a last second shot rattled out, giving visiting Milligan (Tenn.) a 70-69 victory in Appalachian Athletic Conference men's basketball action on Monday night at Robsion Arena.

With the loss, Union fell to 7-3 overall, 3-1 in the AAC, while Milligan improved to 9-1, 4-0 in the AAC with the victory.

In the first half, Union opened up a big lead to start for the second straight contest, going up 9-0 quickly on the Buffaloes in the first two minutes of regulation. But, unlike when the Bulldogs took the big lead early at Tennessee Wesleyan last Tuesday, the Buffaloes gradually chipped away at the lead.

Things came to a head in the half with five minutes left, where after a DeAntray Stevens (JR/Cincinnati, Ohio) three-pointer, Union went up by six points, 31-25. Here, Milligan went on a run to end the half, taking their first lead of the evening with two minutes left (33-32).

A three at the buzzer by the Buffaloes ended the run, as Milligan went into intermission up 38-35 over Union.

To begin the second half, Union quickly tied the game back up at 40-40. But, Milligan grabbed the lead back quickly, and seemingly kept it for the majority of the period. Throughout the half, the Bulldogs cut the Buffaloes lead to both two points and a single point on numerous occasions, only to see Milligan score to increase the lead.

With four minutes left, and Milligan leading 64-58, Union made one last push. A 9-2 run over the next three minutes of play finally gave the Bulldogs the lead back, capped off by a Stevens jumper with 1:07 left that gave Union their first lead since the opening half at 67-66.

But, Milligan came right back down and took the lead back after nailing a pair of free throws at 68-67. On Union's next possession, Johnson was fouled, and knocked down two free throws of his own to give Union the lead back at 69-68 with 37 seconds left.

Complete Recap

Anthony Davis on the Cover of Sports Illustrated This Week

Former University of Kentucky star Anthony Davis is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week.

This is Davis' first time on the cover as an NBA player.

Morehead State Struggles Against ETSU Zone, Falls at Home

East Tennessee State 63
Morehead State 59

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Senior Jalen Riley and junior Lester Wilson combined for 39 points, while the East Tennessee State men's basketball team overcame a slow start to post a 63-59 non-conference win over Morehead State on Monday evening at Johnson Arena.

The Southern Conference Buccaneers improve to 4-1 overall and 2-1 on the road, while the Ohio Valley Conference Eagles slip to 4-5 overall and 2-1 at home. ETSU snaps a four-game skid in the all-time series, but MSU still holds a 28-25 head-to-head advantage.

"Give East Tennessee State credit," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "I thought we had been playing pretty well against zone defenses, but theirs gave us trouble tonight. We were without our starting point guard (due to injury) and never got in a groove on the offensive end."

Riley tallied a game-high 21 points off the bench, while Wilson added 18 and senior Rashawn Rembert contributed 10. Riley made just 5-of-16 from the field, but canned 9-of-12 from the free-throw stripe. Wilson drilled 6-of-10 overall, including 5-of-7 from long range.

The game featured eight ties and 15 lead changes. East Tennessee State hit 66 percent (25-of-38) from the free-throw line. Morehead State made 72 percent (13-of-18) from the same spot, but the Buccaneers were +12 on makes and +20 on attempts.

"We fouled too much tonight," Woods said. "We need to do a better job of moving our feet and not our hands. It's hard to win when the opponent makes more free throws than you attempt. That's something we will continue to work on as we move along."

East Tennessee State opened the contest with a field-goal drought of 9:10. The Buccaneers converted just 25 percent (6-of-24) from the floor before intermission, but knocked down 50 percent (9-of-18) in the second half to finish at 36 percent (15-of-42).

Morehead State led for more than 21 minutes, while East Tennessee State was in the driver's seat for less than 13. The Eagles opened up a six-point advantage with 9:58 remaining, but the Buccaneers manufactured a late 13-4 run to secure the victory.

Senior Angelo Warner paced Morehead State with 13 points, while sophomore Corban Collins and junior Lyonell Gaines netted 12 apiece. Collins pulled down a game-best seven rebounds, while Warner was credited with a game-high five assists.

Complete Recap

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's Going to Be a Long December...Schedule for the Week

November is in the rearview as we head in December basketball around the Bluegrass State.

Here's a look at the schedule for this week:

Monday, December 1

7:00 p.m. East Tennessee State at Morehead State University
7:00 p.m. Boyce College at Berea College
7:30 p.m. Milligan at Union College*
8:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at Wilberforce University

Tuesday, December 2

7:00 p.m. Bryan College at Berea College
7:30 p.m. Asbury Univeristy at Centre College
8:00 p.m. Alice Lloyd College at Kentucky Christian University
9:30 p.m. Ohio State at University of Louisville

Wednesday, December 3

7:00 p.m. Valparaiso at Eastern Kentucky University
7:00 p.m. UT Martin at Northern Kentucky University
7:30 p.m. Thomas More College at Waynesburg*
7:30 p.m. Union College at Point*
7:30 p.m. Transylvania University at Mt. St. Joseph*
8:00 p.m. Bowling Green State at Western Kentucky University
8:00 p.m. Bethel at Murray State University

Thursday, December 4

7:30 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Ohio Valley*
7:30 p.m. Georgetown College at Life University*
8:00 p.m. Morehead State University at UAB
8:00 p.m. Spalding University at Greenville College*
8:00 p.m. University of the Cumberlands at University of Pikeville*
8:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at Cumberland University*
9:00 p.m. Campbellsville University at Lindsey Wilson College*

Friday, December 5

4:00 p.m. Berea College vs. Tennessee Temple (at Asbury University)
6:00 p.m. Kentucky Christian University at Taylor University
7:00 p.m. Florida International at University of Louisville
7:00 p.m. Texas at University of Kentucky (SEC/Big 12 Challenge)
7:00 p.m. Brescia University vs. Ohio Christian (at Taylor University)
8:00 p.m. Morthland College at Asbury University

Saturday, December 6

2:00 p.m. Georgetown College vs. Wilberforce (at Central State)
2:00 p.m. Oakland at Morehead State University
2:00 p.m. Berea College vs. Morthland College (at Asbury University)
3:00 p.m. Spalding University at Macmurray College*
3:00 p.m. IU Southeast at Alice Lloyd College*
3:00 p.m. Westminster at Thomas More College*
3:00 p.m. Transylvania University at Rose-Hulman*
4:00 p.m. University of the Cumberlands at West Virginia Tech
4:00 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Salem International*
5:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at Lindsey Wilson College*
5:00 p.m. Campbellsville University at Cumberland University*
6:00 p.m. Tennessee Temple at Asbury University
6:30 p.m. Western Kentucky University at Murray State University
TBA Kentucky Christian University vs. TBA (at Taylor University)
TBA Brescia University vs. TBA (at Taylor University)

Sunday, December 7

2:00 p.m. Union College at Alice Lloyd College
6:00 p.m. West Virginia at Northern Kentucky University
6:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at University of Kentucky
6:00 p.m. Georgetown College at Central State

* Conference Game

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino Earns Career Win No. 700

I have been on the road and haven't had a chance to say it yet, but congratulations to Louisville head coach Rick Pitino for earning his 700th career win last week.

Pitino and the Cardinals obtained the milestone with a low-scoring 45-33 victory over Cleveland State.

Here's a recap of the win from UL:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - LOUISVILLE coach Rick Pitino's latest milestone victory featured more drama than he would have liked.

What's important is that his Cardinals won with the trademark tough defense that helped make Pitino a Hall of Famer. Montrezl Harrell had 15 points and 13 rebounds and No. 6 LOUISVILLE beat Cleveland State 45-33 on Wednesday night for Pitino's 700th college victory.

One of five active Hall of Fame coaches and among four in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pitino is 700-245 overall in 30 seasons at Hawaii, Boston University, Providence, Kentucky and LOUISVILLE. He is 346-117 in 14 seasons with the Cardinals.

"I hope I'm as lucky to (win) 800, because I remember it as if it was yesterday," said the 62-year-old Pitino, who watched a video montage of significant wins after the victory. "I don't think there's as much significance personally for me, but the significance I take away is that senior class last year, how many games they won. I was the beneficiary today."

Chris Jones added 11 points, and freshman Chinanu Onuaku blocked seven shots for the Cardinals (5-0), who rejected 11 overall and needed that defense to put away the determined Vikings two nights after beating Savannah State by 61 points.

Cold shooting, missed free throws and no bench points by LOUISVILLE allowed Cleveland State (2-3) to stay close throughout and trail just 33-29 with 12 minutes remaining.

Complete Recap

Kenneth Faried Dunks So Hard He Makes Nate Robinson Lose His Mind

Check out this video of former Morehead State star Kenneth Faried throwing down an incredible dunk...and Denver teammate Nate Robinson losing his mind on the bench:

No. 5 Bellarmine Continues to Roll with Win Over IU East

(5) Bellarmine 100
IU East 83

Final from Evansville, Indiana

Game recap by BU:

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Playing its fourth game in seven days, the No. 5 Bellarmine University Knights showed no let up at the offensive end of the floor putting up 100 points to turn away the Indiana University East Red Wolves 100-83 in the Bill Joergens Memorial Classic at University of Southern Indiana's Physical Activities Center.

Bolstered by a big second half from senior Chris Whitehead, the Knights took a close game at half and gradually pulled away pushing the lead to as many as 19. Whitehead finished with a Bellarmine career high of 24 points, 18 of those after halftime.

Five Knights scored in double figures with Josh Sewell tying his career high with 18; Rusty Troutman added 17, and Jake Thelen and George Suggs tossed in 12 and 11 respectively.

"This was as difficult a stretch as you could go through," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport about his team's tough schedule. "But the reason for that is if experience is truly a great teacher then we'll move forward from this experience. To go where we want to go we're going to have to play in these types of scenarios."

"They really responded," Davenport said of his team. "We shot well, we just didn't defend." The 10th year coach went on to point out, "Tuesday night we play a team that plays the Princeton office on one day's rest. Last night we play a team that shoots 35 threes, and tonight we play a team that all they do is drive to the rim. So we had to defend every type of basketball. I'm really proud of them."

Both teams posted impressive shooting numbers, combining to make 68 of 119 shots. The Knights hit on 57.4 percent and the Red Wolves were very close at 56.9 percent. Bellarmine won the battle of the backboards 32-25 and dished out two more assists on the night.

Similar to last night's game against Cedarville, Bellarmine got off to a bit of a slow start, falling behind 10-4 just 3:05 into the contest. The Knights didn't trail for long, however, and took their first lead at the 14:08 mark on a layup by Sewell.

Bellarmine would go on to build a 10-point first half advantage, but then hit a scoring drought, going without a field goal for a six and half minute stretch. The Red Wolves took advantage with an 11-0 run to re-take the lead. However, the Knights scored the half's final four points to go into the locker room with a 43-39 lead.

After the break, the closest IU East could get was three points in the early going. Josh Derksen nailed back to back threes to give Bellarmine a double digit lead again at the17:13 mark, and the Red Wolves never seriously threatened after that.

The Knights improve to 6-0 on the season. IU East falls to 8-4, although in the official NAIA record books the Red Wolves remain 8-2 because their game tonight and their loss last night to USI will go down officially as exhibitions.

Complete Recap

Providence Coach Ed Cooley Doesn't Want to Talk About Kentucky

Providence head coach doesn't have much to say about the Kentucky Wildcats. He was asked about the Wildcats following yesterday's game and he quickly answered that he is only concerned about his team:

UK's Cauley-Stein, Harrison and Poythress Talk About Win Over Providence

Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison and Alex Poythress talk about the win over Providence:

Kentucky Wesleyan Comes Up Short to Truman State in KWC Holiday Tournament Championship

Truman State 70
Kentucky Wesleyan 65

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky

Game recap by KWC:

The Kentucky Wesleyan College men's basketball team continued to struggle with its defense as the Panthers fell 70-65 to Truman State in the KWC Holiday Tournament title game on Saturday at the Sportscenter.

KWC (4-3) shot 51 percent from the floor but allowed the Bulldogs (3-2) to shoot near 53 percent from the field -- including 60 percent during the first half.

Seth Jackson led Truman State with a season-high 29 points on six-of-seven shooting. He also shot one-for-one from long range and 16-of-18 from the free throw line. Reed Mells and Kyle Kanaskie added 11 points each.

""It just astonishes me that the guys that have been here and guys that have talent can come out here and be inconsistent," second-year KWC coach Happy Osborne said of his squad's effort. "You've got to be ready to play. Defensively, we were awful in the first half."

Though the Panthers finished with a 30-18 rebounding advantage for the game, they gave up six more turnovers (13-7) than the Bulldogs. Truman State was also the aggressor for most of the contest, shooting 24-of-32 from the charity stripe while KWC was just nine-of-14.

It's just disappointing," Osborne continued. "You go outrebound somebody by 12, they shoot 18 more free throws than we do at home. We didn't move our feet. This is a team that's got to crowd. This was a tremendous opportunity for us."

The Panthers were led by Ken-Jah Bosley's 24 points on nine-of-16 shooting. Marcus Fillyaw and Patrick Neel chippede in 11 points apiece.

"We've got guys that give tremendous effort," Osborne said. "It's got to be about us all the time. Part of that is what you learn along the way. I's a disappointing kiss to a good team. They were picked second in the GLVC, but it's a team that I think we can beat. Of course I think we should win them all."

Complete Recap

All- KWC Holiday Tournament All-Team

Most Outstanding Player--Seth Jackson, Truman State
Ryan Sabin, Grand Valley State
Ifeanyichukwu Ude, KWC
Ken-Jah Bosley, KWC
Reed Mells, Truman State
Kyle Kanaskie, Truman State

John Calipari Discusses the Win Over Providence and More

Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks to the media following Sunday's win over Providence:

Highlights from Kentucky's Win Over Providence

Check out the highlights from Kentucky's 58-38 win over Providence:

Kentucky Cruises Past Providence in Defensive Showdown

(1) Kentucky 58
Providence 38

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky post players Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns each had 11 points and six rebounds, and the top-ranked Wildcats opened the second half with an 18-7 run to pull away for a 58-38 rout of Providence on Sunday.

Leading 26-22 at halftime, the Wildcats' two platoons combined to limit the Friars to 2 of 12 shooting early in the second half.

Providence made just 4 of 24 second-half attempts (17 percent) and 11 of 39 overall (28 percent).

Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Alex Poythress, Tyler Ulis and Dakari Johnson each added six points in a balanced effort by Kentucky (7-0), which shot 45 percent from the field.

Carson Desrosiers and Tyler Harris each had 10 points for the Friars, whose zone and athleticism built several small first-half leads and kept them close.

But Providence missed its final five first-half shots and was cold in the second. LaDontae Henton, the team's leading scorer coming, was 1 of 8 from the field and finished with just three points.

Kentucky has passed the first in a series of tough non-conference tests in a month. That continues Friday against seventh-ranked Texas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Providence gave away a lot in length and depth to the Wildcats but gave no ground in the first half in forcing tweaks to the platoons.

The return of Kris Dunn (six points) from a one-game absence with ankle injuries bolstered the Friars' defense, which caused Kentucky to work deeper into the shot clock and look harder for inside passing lanes.

Complete Recap

Team Notes:

• Providence was limited to 28.2 percent from the field.
• After making seven of their first 10 field goal attempts to start the game, the Friars made just four of 29 the rest of the way.
• Kentucky has held all seven opponents under 40 percent shooting, including four games under 30 percent.
• Coming into the game averaging 24.3 points per game, LaDontae Henton of Providence was held to three points today.
• Kentucky won turnovers 18-7, leading to a 21-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
• UK won the second half 32-16. This marked the seventh half of the season that an opponent has scored fewer than 20 points.
• Kentucky had a season-high 12 steals, including four by Andrew Harrison, most by a Wildcat this season.
• UK won rebounding 33-29 today and has outrebounded all seven opponents this season.
• UK won bench points 18-9 and has won bench points every game this season.
• Kentucky is now 44-0 under Coach Calipari when holding the opponent to 55 or fewer points.

Player Notes

• Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein shared game-high scoring honors with 11 points each. It was Towns’ second-consecutive game in double figures and Cauley-Stein’s third double- figure game of the season.
• Towns and Cauley-Stein also tied a pair of Friars for top rebounder with six each.
• Aaron and Andrew Harrison each contributed six points and four assists. Andrew’s four steals are most by a Wildcat this season.
• Tyler Ulis had six points, three steals and three offensive rebounds. In their postgame remarks, both coaches mentioned Ulis for having a disruptive presence in the game.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

Sunday, November 30, 2014

UK's Dakari Johnson and Tyler Ulis Preview Providence

Kentucky's Dakari Johnson and Tyler Ulis preview today's game against Providence and more:

Morehead State Nets Largest Win in School History Over Kentucky Christian

Morehead State 121
Kentucky Christian 49

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- The Morehead State men's basketball team established 30 career highs and led from start to finish in a 121-49 victory over Kentucky Christian on Saturday afternoon at Johnson Arena. The 72-point win was MSU's largest in the program's 86 seasons of existence.

The Eagles, who compete in the Ohio Valley Conference, improve to 4-4 overall and 2-0 at home. The Knights, who play in the Mid-South Conference, slip to 1-7 overall and 1-4 on the road. MSU moves to 7-0 all-time versus KCU and wins its 46th straight game against NAIA opponents.

Morehead State's point total was its largest since scoring 123 against Kentucky Christian during the 2005-06 campaign. The previous school record for margin of victory was 68 against Centre (Ky.) during the 1955-56 season.

Senior Angelo Warner led the Eagles with 20 points, on 9-of-10 from the field, in just 15 minutes. Junior Lyonell Gaines (19), senior Karam Mashour (14), freshman Miguel Dicent (14), junior Jared Ravenscraft (9) and junior Marcus Fuggins (5) all tallied career highs in scoring for MSU.

Morehead State drilled 64 percent (49-of-77) from the field, while limiting Kentucky Christian to 38 percent (19-of-50). The Eagles also knocked down 50 percent (10-of-20) from three-point range. MSU raced out to an 18-0 advantage with 15:11 to play before intermission and never trailed.

"I was impressed with the energy our starters showed, especially in the first five minutes," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "We established a big lead early in the game, and that gave us an opportunity to get everyone some playing time. I could not have scripted today's effort any better."

Seven Eagles notched personal bests in assists, while seven grabbed the distinction in steals.

Warner and junior Brent Arrington posted five helpers apiece, while Arrington collected seven takeaways in just 21 minutes and Warner recorded six. Gaines, Dicent and freshman Marquel Willis notched four assists each, while sophomore Corban Collins contributed four steals for MSU.

Complete Recap

Former Berea College Assistant Leads Embry-Riddle to Win in Homecoming Game

Embry-Riddle 66
Berea College 54

Final from Berea, Kentucky

Game recap by BC:

Berea College hosted its annual Homecoming festivities earlier this month, but today's men's basketball tilt between the Eagles of Embry-Riddle University and the Berea College Mountaineers was a homecoming in its own right. The ERU head coach is Steve Ridder and is a Class of 1981 alumnus and former Mountaineer assistant coach. Today was his first game at Berea College since he departed in the early 80's and was played on the court that bears the name of his former coach, boss and more importantly mentor, Roland Wierwille.

Ridder's Eagles are a big and physical team and came into the game with a 7-0 record. The Mountaineers were up for the challenge as the two team battled to a near stalemate through the first half. ERU took a lead of 31-30 to the locker room after both teams' defensive pressure resulted in a mutual 30% shooting percentage from the floor and 50% from behind the 3-point line.

The Eagles would come out strong in the second stanza scoring the first six points, all in the paint, before Aaron Ponder ended the run with a jump shot. From there BC would retake the lead on a Bilal Young low post jumper of his own to make the score 44-43. After a Ridder timeout, the Eagles would again turn to their low post game and what ensued was a 9-2 run and more importantly the consumption of over five minutes off the clock, that left the only final score in doubt.

Berea College was once again led by Richard Parker who scored 12 points, while London Moore tossed in 10. Moore would also lead the Mountaineers in rebounding with eight.

The Blue Crew will be back in action on Monday when they host Boyce College of Louisville at 7:00 pm at the Seabury Center.

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