Saturday, January 16, 2016

Rick Pitino Interested in UNLV Job?

According to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Louisville's Rick Pitino is interested in the head coaching job at UNLV.

Here is an excerpt:

First and foremost, a source with connections to Pitino insists he is interested in the job, 15 years after his brief flirtation with Las Vegas. He went to Louisville in March 2001 and has not looked back — until now.

The time might be right for Pitino, 63, to make a move. He has survived well-publicized scandals and fought to escape the shadow of Kentucky coach John Calipari. Pitino coached the Cardinals to an NCAA championship in 2013, adding to his national title with the Wildcats in 1996, so what more is left for him to achieve?

He could be the king of Vegas and revive a program that has enjoyed few high times since late coach Jerry Tarkanian was forced out in 1992. If Pitino is looking for a challenge, and also in need of a city with basketball bloodlines and bright lights, this is it.

The Rebels have essentially bottomed out, missing the postseason the past two years and failing to win an NCAA Tournament game since 2008. The inability to compete for a Mountain West title spelled doom for Dave Rice, who was fired Sunday in the middle of his fifth season.

If Rice and his staff proved something, it's that elite recruits will flock to UNLV. Pitino would have no problems with recruiting.

One of Pitino's longtime friends in the coaching profession is Lon Kruger, who led the Rebels from 2004 to 2011. Kruger is the only post-Tarkanian coach to win an NCAA game at UNLV, where he reached the Sweet 16 and went 30-7 in the 2006-07 season.

Complete Article

Morgan County's Jordan Perry Scores 3,000th Point

Morgan County's Jordan Perry scored his 3,000th career point last night in a 48-27 win over East Carter.

The senior guard is the 31st boys' player in KHSAA history and the 3rd within the 16th region to hit the milestone.

Morehead State Comes Up Short at Eastern Illinois

Eastern Illinois 84
Morehead State 82 F/OT

Final from Charleston, Illinois

Game recap by MSU:

CHARLESTON, Ill. - Junior guard Corban Collins scored a career-high 28 points, but it wasn't enough as the Morehead State men's basketball team fell in overtime at Eastern Illinois, 84-82.

It was the second straight overtime game for the Eagles, following an overtime victory over SIU Edwardsville on Thursday night.

The loss moves Morehead State to 9-8 on the year and 3-2 in OVC play. EIU improves to 6-12 overall and 3-3 in league play.

"We didn't make plays down the stretch and defensively we didn't play very disciplined when we needed to," said head coach Sean Woods. "All we had to do was play solid and we were totally in control, but we allowed them to hit some threes and that really turned the momentum."

The Eagles built a 46-38 lead at halftime after shooting an impressive 57 percent. They then extended that lead to as much as 13 points at the start of the second half.

But, EIU would not allow Morehead State to pull away. They rallied back from the 13-point deficit to get it back to two points and then after MSU built the lead back up to 11 points, they battled back again.

With under two minutes to go, the Morehead State lead was eight, but the Panthers scored six straight to trim the lead to 72-70. After junior forward Treshaad Williams knocked down one of two free throws, freshman guard Casey Teson drained a three from the corner to force overtime.

EIU scored the first three points in overtime, giving them their first lead since the 10-minute mark of the first half. The Eagles answered with five straight points, courtesy of Collins and senior guard Brent Arrington, to give them back the lead, 78-76, with 1:37 to go. Two possessions later, sophomore guard Cornell Johnston drained a three from the top of the key, giving the Panthers an 80-78 lead.

The Eagles got two chances on the other end, but shots by Arrington and senior forward Anthony Elechi didn't go and EIU's junior guard Demetrius McReynolds knocked down four straight free throws to seal the victory for the Panthers.

Morehead State was outrebounded, 37-36, and Eastern Illinois controlled the inside, scoring 39 points in the paint to MSU's 20.

Complete Recap

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cinmeon Bowers Says Auburn's Guards Are Better Than Kentucky's Guards

Auburn's Cinmeon Bowers seems pretty confident heading into Saturday's game vs. Kentucky.

"I believe our guards are better than their guards," Bowers told the media this week.

He wasn't finished there.

“We confident about Kentucky now,” Bowers said. “This ain’t like last year. This isn’t the same Kentucky. They’re beatable. If we play with energy, play smart and finish on the offensive end, then we can beat this Kentucky. We know that.”

Here is an excerpt:

Despite being in a current three-game Southeastern Conference losing streak, Auburn forward Cinmeon Bowers has already seen Kentucky on television this season and described them as ‘beatable’.

Minutes removed from a frustrating 75-57 loss at Vanderbilt Tuesday night, Bowers, who got Bowers his seventh double-double of the season, said in the tunnel of Memorial Gymnasium that the Tigers (7-8, 1-3 in SEC) don’t look at defeating this version of Kentucky as the same impossible task as last year’s squad that won its first 38 games and made it to the Final Four. Auburn will face No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Auburn Arena in front of a national television audience on ESPN.

“We confident about Kentucky now,” Bowers said after posting a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds) in 32 minutes against Vanderbilt. “This ain’t like last year. This isn’t the same Kentucky. They’re beatable. If we play with energy, play smart and finish on the offensive end, then we can beat this Kentucky. We know that.”

Read More

Bowers added that Auburn's guards are better than Kentucky's guards:

Morehead State Survives Overtime Battle at SIU Edwardsville

Morehead State 70
SIU Edwardsville 67 F/OT

Final from Edwardsville, Illinois

Game recap by MSU:

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - The Morehead State men's basketball team battled back from a 17-point first half deficit and received 18 second half points from senior forward Anthony Elechi to down SIUE in overtime, 70-67.

With the win, they move to 9-7 overall and 3-1 in OVC play. The Cougars fall to 3-14 and remain winless in league play at 0-5.

"I tip my hat off to SIUE, but I really tip my hat off to our team for finding a way to win in an adverse situation on the road," said head coach Sean Woods.

The Cougars jumped out to an early 22-5 lead courtesy of the hot shooting of junior guard Burak Eslik, who scored 20 of SIUE's first 22 points. He knocked down his first seven three-point attempts and scored 28 of the Cougars' 35 first half points.

With two starters, junior guard Corban Collins and senior forward Anthony Elechi, on the bench for most of the first half with two fouls, the Eagles chipped away at the early lead courtesy of the play of freshman forward Lamontray Harris. Harris reeled off seven straight points at one point and had a career-high 12 points in the first half.

The Eagles trimmed the lead to five at halftime, at 35-30.

To start the second half, Morehead State scored the first five points and took their first lead since 2-0 at 39-37 on a hook shot by junior forward DeJuan Marrero.

The two teams then battled back-and-forth the rest of the way and MSU had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Elechi's shot fell off the rim and the Eagles and Cougars went to overtime knotted at 62.

Elechi, who had 12 points in the second half after failing to score in the first, remained hot in overtime, scoring the Eagles' first six points. He knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:53 remaining, giving MSU the lead at 68-67.

Freshman guard Malik Maitland then knocked down a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds left to build the lead to three points and the Eagles got a stop on the defensive end to seal the victory at 70-67.

After playing just two minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, Elechi controlled the game throughout the second half and overtime. He finished with a career-high 18 points, knocking down 7-of-12 shots, and was 4-of-7 from the free throw line.

"I really got on him (Elechi) at halftime because we need him on the court and he played just two minutes in the first half because of foul trouble," said Woods. "I told him, you're the most dominating big man in the league and you have to play better than that. In the second half, he settled down, we went to him, and he delivered."

Maitland also played a key role down the stretch. He finished with a career-high 11 points, dished out two assists, but most importantly went 6-of-7 from the free throw line after missing his first attempt.

Complete Recap

Murray, Ulis and Wiltjer on Midseason Top 25 List for Wooden Award

Kentucky's Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis are on the Midseason Top 25 list for the John R. Wooden Award.

Former Kentucky forward Kyle Wiltjer, who is finishing up his career at Gonzaga, also made the top 25.

Murray and LSU's Ben Simmons are the only freshmen on the list.

Here's a look:

Name School Conference Height Class Position
Grayson Allen Duke ACC 6-5 Soph. G
Ryan Anderson Arizona Pac-12 6-9 Sr. F
Malcolm Brogdon# Virginia ACC 6-5 Sr. G
Kris Dunn Providence Big East 6-4 Jr. G
Perry Ellis Kansas Big 12 6-8 Sr. F
Kay Felder Oakland Horizon 5-9 Jr. G
Daniel Hamilton Connecticut The American 6-7 Soph. G/F
Buddy Hield Oklahoma Big 12 6-4 Sr. G
Brice Johnson North Carolina ACC 6-10 Sr. F
Damion Lee Louisville ACC 6-6 Sr. G
Caris LeVert Michigan Big Ten 6-7 Sr. G
Nic Moore SMU The American 5-9 Sr. G
Jamal Murray Kentucky SEC 6-4 Fr. G
Georges Niang Iowa State Big 12 6-8 Sr. F
Marcus Paige North Carolina ACC 6-2 Sr. G
Gary Payton II Oregon State Pac-12 6-3 Sr. G
Jakob Poeltl Utah Pac-12 7-0 Soph. F
Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga WCC 6-11 Soph. F
Wayne Selden Jr. Kansas Big 12 6-5 Jr. G
Ben Simmons LSU SEC 6-10 Fr. F
Melo Trimble Maryland Big Ten 6-3 Soph. G
Tyler Ulis Kentucky SEC 5-9 Soph. G
Jarrod Uthoff Iowa Big Ten 6-9 Sr. F
Denzel Valentine Michigan State Big Ten 6-5 Sr. G
Kyle Wiltjer# Gonzaga WCC 6-10 Sr. F

#indicates player selected as 2014-15 Wooden Award All-American

Full Release

EKU Comes Up Short at Eastern Illinois Despite Career Night from Nick Mayo

Eastern Illinois 97
Eastern Kentucky 85

Final from Charleston, Illinois

Game recap by EKU:

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Freshman Nick Mayo poured in a career-high 23 points, but the Eastern Kentucky University men's basketball team fell to the Eastern Illinois Panthers, 97-85, on Thursday night at Lantz Arena.

Mayo finished with 23 points and four rebounds, eclipsing his previous high of 21 notched against Thomas More on November 25. The freshman – who came in sixth in the OVC in field goal percentage (58.2) – shot 75 percent for the game, going 9-of-12.

Sophomore Paul Jackson also posted a career-high in points (14) to go along with seven assists. Junior Jaylen Babb-Harrison came off the bench to score 13 points, all in the second half.

Senior Jarelle Reischel finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists, despite being in foul trouble for most of the game. After picking up his third foul with 4:27 to play in the first half, Reischel got whistled for his fourth less than two minutes into the second half.

EKU shot 55 percent (32-of-58) from the field on the night, its best shooting percentage in a losing effort this season.

Demetrius McReynolds led the way for the Panthers, scoring 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The Colonels shot a blistering 63 percent (17-of-27) from the field in the first half, but trailed by 11 at halftime, 55-44, due mostly to EIU hitting nine three-pointers.

The Panthers finished with 11 three-pointers on the night.

The Colonels started the second half on a 12-6 run to cut the deficit to five, 61-56, on a Javontae Hawkins dunk, but that was as close as they would get.

The Colonels return to action on Saturday at SIUE. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Transylvania Knocks Off Franklin for Third Consecutive Conference Win

Transylvania 94
Franklin 85

Final from Franklin, Indiana

Game recap by TU:

FRANKLIN, Ind.—Transylvania University's men's basketball team picked up their third consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory on Wednesday night, knocking off the Franklin College Grizzlies 94-85. The Pioneers benefited from an explosive night from forward Parker Stansberry, who dropped 25 points on 50 percent (8-16) shooting.

The Pioneers led wire-to-wire in the contest, with only one tie in the game. After Stansberry scored on the opening possession for Transy, Franklin knotted the score on their next possession. Guard Alex Jones scored the next basket for the Pioneers at the 18:35 mark in the first half, giving Transylvania a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game.

Stansberry did the bulk of his damage in the opening period, scoring 14 points for Transy. After baskets by Jones and guard Cooper Theobald, Stansberry scored seven of the next 11 points for Transy, helping the Pioneers run out to a 20-13 lead with 10:54 to play in the half.

Franklin would close the gap to four over the next minute of game play but two Stansberry free throws, a layup from forward Robert Dence and a three-pointer from guard Tristan Burgess helped Transylvania stretch their lead to 31-24 just past the 7:30 mark.

Leading 37-32 with 5:20 in the half, Transylvania went on a 13-5 run to end the period, started by two free throws from guard Lowell Gordon and capped by a jumper from Jones with three seconds to play. The basket gave the Pioneers a 50-38 lead heading into the locker room.

Out of the intermission, the ball was in Jones' and Stansberry's hands offensively, as the duo combined to score the first 13 points of the second half. Jones knocked down a jumper and layup on Transylvania's first two possessions of the half before Stansberry scored nine straight for the Pioneers to give them a 63-46 lead at the 15:40 mark.

Complete Recap

NCAA Changes NBA Draft Deadline for College Players

College basketball underclassmen will now have more time to make an informed decision on entering the NBA Draft.

The NCAA has extended the final NBA Draft decision deadline to 10 days after the conclusion of the NBA draft combine.

The new rule will allow underclassmen to declare for the draft, participate in the combine and have additional workouts with their college coaches. The athletes will then have 10 days after the combine to make a final decision entering the draft or returning to college.

Here are more details from the NCAA:

Starting this year, a men’s basketball student-athlete must remove his name from the NBA draft list 10 days after the conclusion of the NBA draft combine. This past year, the combine was held May 13-17.

Also, students can enter the NBA draft multiple times without jeopardizing eligibility and may participate in the combine and one tryout per NBA team, per year.

The NBA will invite a select number of draft-eligible players to the combine, which will provide a good indicator of an underclassman’s draft potential. Following the combine, the NBA will provide specific feedback. Students can also work out for one NBA team to provide additional assessments.

A student invited to the combine will be allowed to work out with his college coaches from the time he receives his invitation until he withdraws from the draft. Workouts will be kept to the in-season limit of four hours a day for up to 20 hours per week.

Usually in late April and May, men’s basketball student-athletes are limited to eight hours per week of skill instruction, conditioning and film review, not to exceed two hours of skill instruction. Practice is prohibited surrounding final exams.

The Council added the practice piece to the proposal in September in order to encourage students to stay on campus and complete their academic coursework for the semester while giving them access to top-level coaching. Also, Council members believe that students who remain on campus are less likely to receive improper benefits from agents that could result in eligibility issues if the student decides to return to school.

McDavis noted that the limit on the number of students invited to the NBA-sponsored combine will likely encourage many uninvited students to return to school, particularly when paired with the new flexibility.

“I am of the belief that a student-athlete who does not receive an invite to the draft or an invite to work out with a team will make the smart decision to return back to college to continue to grow as a player,” he said. “However, should they receive an invite, they will have an opportunity to compete against draft-potential competition and receive feedback on their performance. Either way, they have an opportunity to make an educated decision that is best for them and their family. That is why this is so important.”

Complete Release

Thomas More Dismantles Geneva, Improves to 6-1 in Conference Play

Thomas More 115
Geneva 57

Final from Crestview Hills, Kentucky

Game recap by TMC:

(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The Thomas More College men's basketball shot 63.3 percent from behind the arc as it made 19 three-pointer tonight (Wednesday, January 13, 2016) in a 115-57 victory over Geneva College in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

With the win, the Saints improve to 9-5 overall and 6-1 in the PAC. With the loss, the Golden Tornadoes fall to 1-13 overall and 1-6 in the PAC.

Thomas More took an early 14-6 lead when sophomore guard Daniel Williams (Louisville, Ky./Jeffersontown) made a three-pointer with 15:31 to play in the first half. Geneva answered with a 5-2 run to cut the lead to 16-11 when David Oliver made jumper with 12:57 to play in the opening half. The Saints closed out the half on a 49-15 run to lead 65-26 at halftime when sophomore guard Michael Griffin (Crestwood, Ky./South Oldham) made a three-pointer with 35 seconds to play in the half.

The Saints out-scored Geneva in the second half 50-31 as they cruised to the 115-57 victory.

Six Saints reached double-figure scoring as junior forward/center Simon Clifford (Louisville, Ky./DuPont Manual) scored a game-high 17 points, Williams added 16 points, Griffin finished with 14 points and freshman guard Ryne Callahan (Morehead, Ky./Rowan County), junior guard Sawyer Pauly (Crescent Springs, Ky./Covington Catholic) and freshman guard Jaeger Pracht (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) each finished with 10 points each. Clifford led the team on the boards with seven rebounds, while sophomore guard Corey Howard (Gahanna, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) led the team in assists with six and Williams led the team in steals with three.

Thomas More returns to action on Saturday (January 16) when it travels to Latrobe, Pennsylvania to play Saint Vincent College at 4:30 p.m. inside the Carey Center.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pike County Board of Education Issues Bans, Suspensions for Several Involved in Fight

The Pike County Board of Education has issued several bans and suspensions to those involved in a fight during a middle school game last week.

According to reports, the board has suspended Belfry middle school coach Bobby Varney II and assistant coach Thomas Varney from coaching.

Additionally, Thomas Varney has been banned from attending any district sanctioned athletic events for the remainder of this school year.

WYMT also reports that several spectators and referees received a district-wide ban from athletic events.

Read More

Missouri Vacates Entire 2013-14 Men's Basketball Season Due to Major NCAA Violations

The University of Missouri has reported major NCAA violations within its men’s basketball program. As a result, the school has self-imposed serious penalties, including forfeiting the 2013-14 season.

The violations occurred under head coach Frank Haith, who is currently coaching at Tulsa.

Here’s a release from the school:

For the past nineteen months, the University of Missouri has worked collaboratively with the NCAA enforcement staff to review potential violations in its men's basketball program. In December 2013, the NCAA enforcement staff received information regarding potential violations involving a then men's basketball student-athlete. A verbal notice of inquiry was provided to the institution on April 14, 2014.

Through the collaborative investigation, it has become evident violations of NCAA bylaws occurred dating back to 2011. There are four levels of violations in the NCAA enforcement process, ranging from Level I and Level II, considered major infractions, to Level III and Level IV, which are secondary in nature. The violations based on supporting evidence which both the university and the NCAA agree occurred, include:

•Level I - A donor (Representative #1) to MU Athletics provided impermissible benefits to three men's basketball student-athletes and one prospective men's basketball student-athlete from 2013-2014. The impermissible benefits included compensating student-athletes for work-not-performed at a business through a summer internship program. Through the internship program, the donor also provided other impermissible inducements and extra benefits including housing, cash in the amount of $520, local transportation, iPads, meals and arranged for the use of a local gym for the student-athletes, all in violation of NCAA bylaws.
•Level II – A second donor (Representative #2) was discovered to have provided impermissible benefits to 11 student-athletes and three members of one student-athlete's family from 2011-2014. The benefits included providing student-athletes with a "friends & family" reduced rate at a hotel as well as meals and a ride on a recreational boat. A Missouri men's basketball student-manager also provided transportation for multiple student-athletes to the hotel from the Missouri campus, all in violation of NCAA bylaws.
•Level II – Because the University of Missouri did not fully vet the summer internship employment opportunity and follow-up to request documentation at the conclusion of the 2013 and 2014 internships with Representative #1, the institution was cited with a failure to adequately monitor the internship program.
•Level III – A former associate head men's basketball coach assisted in the relocation of a prospective student-athlete by providing the phone number of the prospect's mother to a donor (Representative #2) to arrange for rental housing. The family paid a market rate for the rental. However, the actions of the former associate head coach are in violation of NCAA bylaws.
•Level III – Representative #1 had multiple impermissible recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete and paid for a meal for a non-scholastic coach, in violation of NCAA bylaws.

Once NCAA violations were substantiated in this process, the university took action to hold student-athletes, staff and donors who were involved accountable. Those actions are:

•Restitution and withholding from competition for impermissible benefits received by student-athletes was imposed as necessary.
•The former associate head men's basketball coach was prohibited from off-campus recruiting for a period of three months while the review process was underway.
•The university permanently disassociated Representative #1, prohibiting him from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university.
•The university disassociated Representative #2 for a period of two years, prohibiting him from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university.
•The university vacated all wins from the 2013-14 season.
•The university will pay the NCAA a fine in the prescribed amount of $5,000.
•The university self-imposed the loss of one men's basketball scholarship in 2015-16 and an additional scholarship loss to be incurred no later than the 2017-18 season.
•The university placed restrictions on the recruiting activities of the men's basketball staff during the years of 2014-15 through 2016-17.
•The university imposed a one-year postseason ban for the 2015-16 men's basketball season, which prohibits the team from participating in the 2016 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, and any other postseason competition sanctioned by the NCAA. As such, the university will not receive any revenues from the 2016 SEC or NCAA men's basketball tournaments.

Complete Release

Statements from Interim Chancellor Hank Foley, Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades, and Head Men's Basketball Coach Kim Anderson.

Chancellor Hank Foley

"The University of Missouri has high expectations for every member of our community, including our faculty, staff and students, and those same expectations are applied to those who support our endeavors. It is clear from our collaborative investigation with the NCAA that a former member of our athletics staff and members of our donor community violated NCAA bylaws and we take those actions seriously. We have an obligation to adhere to all NCAA and SEC rules as a member institution and we will continue to improve our education and oversight to ensure that we compete with integrity."

Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades

"We have already taken many proactive steps to address concerns, including appropriate self-imposed sanctions. We will win at Mizzou and do so with integrity and class. I am satisfied the University fully cooperated with the NCAA and will continue to do so. We must do better and we will. Our working relationship with the current men's basketball staff is strong and I am confident in their commitment to upholding our standards and values for Mizzou Athletics."

Head Men's Basketball Coach Kim Anderson

"We are obviously very disappointed that the actions of a few individuals have put our program in this situation. However, I am appreciative to Mack Rhoades and our staff for their guidance and support throughout this process. I hurt for our kids more than anything and for our only senior Ryan Rosburg in particular, but I am confident we will overcome this and be stronger as a team and as a staff because of it. We are committed to representing this great university and state with honor and integrity and that's what we are going to do."

Mack Rhoades will join Kim Anderson at his regularly scheduled media availability Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Mizzou Arena press room. Rhoades and Anderson will provide brief comments regarding today's announcement. However, per NCAA bylaws, neither Rhoades nor Anderson are not permitted to discuss details of the NCAA review until the completion of the process.

John Calipari Was Not Happy After Last Night's Game

John Calipari sarcastically said he did two backflips after last night's win over Mississippi State, but he was clearly frustrated after the game.

Check out his postgame comments:

Frontcourt Continues to Struggle but Kentucky Survives Big Mississippi State Comeback

(14) Kentucky 80
Mississippi State 74

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

No. 14 Kentucky survived a big second half run from Mississippi State to earn an 80-74 Southeastern Conference win at Rupp Arena Tuesday night.

Kentucky (13-3, 3-1 SEC) took a 53-33 lead on a Skal Labissiere dunk with 14:29 to go in the game. From there, Mississippi State methodically trimmed the lead and eventually cut it to 74-71 with 1:14 to go.

Alex Poythress and Tyler Ulis scored Kentucky's final 6 points at the free throw line in the final minute to preserve the win.

Jamal Murray led the Wildcats with 22 points. Ulis finished with 21 points and 5 assists. Isaiah Briscoe added 14 points and 5 assists.

Kentucky's big men struggled for the most part. Poythress finished with 6 points and 8 boards. Marcus Lee had 2 points and 9 rebounds. Skal Labissiere managed 5 points and 4 rebounds off the bench.

John Calipari seemed to have a message for a few guys after the game.

"When we have guys no show us, we have to figure how to play and win," Calipari said. "Give them (MSU) credit. They didn't stop playing. If they had not turned the ball over (in the first half), they probably would have beat us."

Craig Sword led Mississippi State (7-8, 0-3) with 20 points. Malik Newman finished with 14.

Kentucky returns to action Saturday with a road game at Auburn.

Box score (click to enlarge):

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ben Howland Press Conference Following Loss at Kentucky

Check out what Ben Howland had to say following tonight's loss at Kentucky:

Tyler Ulis Talks About Kentucky's Inconsistent Play

Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis talked about his team's inconsistent play after tonight's win over Mississippi State.

Ulis was asked what it's like to play with guys who "don't bring it" every night. Ulis admitted that it's frustrating when some guys give maximum effort while others "just choose to come out and not play that day."

Check out his comments:

New Video Shows Much Uglier Side to Pike County Middle School Game Brawl

New footage has surfaced of the brawl a middle school basketball game in Pike County last week

The video shows the entirety of the situation and includes some shocking details.

The game was between Belfry and Phelps.

Check out the video:

New video footage has surfaced of the brawl at a middle school basketball game in Pike County last week, and it appears to shed some light on what may have led to the fight. It also appears to show the role a county elected official may have had in the incident. Early Tuesday afternoon, the Pike County School District honored an open records request filed by EKB News for video footage taken at the game. Until now, only cell phone video footage showing portions of the incident has been broadcast. The new footage obtained by EKB News shows the fight in its entirety, as well as the roles played in the incident by several people, including a Pike County magistrate. Pike County Board of Education Attorney Neal Smith told EKB News Tuesday afternoon that disciplinary action is forthcoming against those involved in the fight, but he declined to name exactly who would be subject to disciplinary measures. He said the video shows numerous people, mostly adults, displaying behavior that will not be tolerated at events sanctioned by the school district. We’ll continue to bring you updates on this developing story as more details emerge. EKB News Reporter Chris Anderson has been following this situation, and he has this report.
Posted by EKB News on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New video footage has surfaced of the brawl at a middle school basketball game in Pike County last week, and it appears to shed some light on what may have led to the fight. It also appears to show the role a county elected official may have had in the incident. Early Tuesday afternoon, the Pike County School District honored an open records request filed by EKB News for video footage taken at the... game. Until now, only cell phone video footage showing portions of the incident has been broadcast. The new footage obtained by EKB News shows the fight in its entirety, as well as the roles played in the incident by several people, including a Pike County magistrate. Pike County Board of Education Attorney Neal Smith told EKB News Tuesday afternoon that disciplinary action is forthcoming against those involved in the fight, but he declined to name exactly who would be subject to disciplinary measures. He said the video shows numerous people, mostly adults, displaying behavior that will not be tolerated at events sanctioned by the school district. We’ll continue to bring you updates on this developing story as more details emerge. EKB News Reporter Chris Anderson has been following this situation, and he has this report.

Woodchopper Watch: Will Tai Wynyard Play Tonight?

With Mississippi State coming to Lexington tonight, the question on the minds of many Kentucky fans is simple: will Tai Wynyard play tonight?

According to the UK coaching staff, Wynyard is just now getting into basketball shape and he's been pushing the other big men in practice.

John Calipari says Wynyard can help the Wildcats this season.

Here's an excerpt from the Courier-Journal:

That does not, however, mean John Calipari plans to redshirt Wynyard.

“I don’t think so. We haven’t talked about it. I think he’s going to be able to help our team,” the coach said. “He’s just now getting in shape. You gotta understand, he’s only been here a couple weeks now, and I’m still trying to work Skal (Labissiere) into where he needs to be, which means I can’t just take those minutes and give them to Tai.

“But he’s practicing hard. He’s doing some great stuff. There are times we look at each other like, ‘We just gotta put him in.’”

Here's what assistant coach John Robic said about Wynyard:

“It was a whirlwind for him,” assistant coach John Robic said. “But he hit the ground running. He’s working hard. He’s getting better. He’s getting in better shape. He’s a physical presence, and it’s helping us in practice a lot. He’s been able to push our other big guys to a physical limit.

“He has made us a better screening team because of what he does. He sets terrific screens. Our players like it because it’s getting them open.”

Read More

Will the Woodchopper play tonight vs. Mississippi State?

My money is on yes.

Kentucky Wesleyan's Jordan Jacks Named G-MAC Athlete of the Week

Kentucky Wesleyan's Jordan Jacks was named Great Midwest Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week on Monday.

Here are details from KWC:

GREENWOOD, Ind. (Jan. 11, 2016) — Kentucky Wesleyan junior guard Jordan Jacks was named the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Athlete of the Week for 2015-16 on Monday.

Jacks, a 6-foot-5, 191-pound, junior from Douglasville, Ga. (Chapel Hill HS) with his offensive and defensive presences strong on the court, was at it again as the Panthers made their mark on the road to begin the G-MAC schedule.

Jacks averaged a double-double in the past week with averaging 13.5 points a game and 10.5 rebounds. He had five overall assists, averaging 2.5 per game.

KWC defeated Cedarville on the Yellow Jackets home court with Jacks scoring 18 points to secure a victory for the Panthers.

Jacks went 9-for-13 on the field increasing his field goal percentage to over 70 percent for the weekend. He was also very active on the boards, with four offensive rebounds and seven defensive.

KWC had a winning record this past week going 2-0 against Cedarville and Oakland City. The Panthers have won four consecutive games improving their record to 13-2 after this week as they won their conference opener.

Jacks and the Panther team defeated Oakland City which was 8-0 prior to the contest. Jacks had nine points -- one point shy of a double-double -- but was aggressive on defense ending with 10 rebounds for the game.

In 15 games this season, Jacks ranks second in the G-MAC in rebounding (9.0). He ranks second in offensive rebounds averaging 2.9 a game.

Jacks holds the 11th spot in scoring (14.5), is third in field-goal percentage (.543), and 15th in free throw percentage (.589).

This marks the second honoree for the Panthers. Ken-Jah Bosley earned the honor on Nov. 16. Names Kelly Wells NAIA National Coach of the Week named University of Pikeville's Kelly Wells national coach of the week on Monday.

Here are details from UPIKE:

PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- College basketball coaching news website named the University of Pikeville's Kelly Wells its NAIA Coach of the Week on Monday.

Weekly winners are eligible to be named National Coach of the Year, which will be announced at the conclusion of the season.

Wells led the Bears to three wins last week to improve to 16-1 overall and 3-1 in the Mid-South Conference. UPIKE began the week with a 75-58 non-conference win at Ave Maria (Fla.) before an impressive 98-63 rout of conference foe and 15th-ranked Lindsey Wilson.

The Bears capped off the week with another conference win, defeating Cumberland (Tenn.) 86-78 in a game they trailed by one at the half. It was only the fourth time in 17 games this season that the Bears did not go into the break with the lead.

Now in his 10th season with the school, Wells has put together a 223-85 record, including one national championship, two MSC Regular-Season titles and one MSC Tournament championship.

University of the Cumberlands' Tre Boutilier Named MSC Player of the Week

University of the Cumberlands senior Tre Boutilier was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

Here is a release from UC:

The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men's Basketball team is off to a great start to the 2nd half of their season, winning their first three games in 2016 by an average of 37 points per game. With two of those wins coming this past week in Mid-South Conference (MSC) play, the Patriots have surged to a tie for first place in the conference. One player's effort has caught the eye of the conference and he was rewarded with a weekly honor.

Senior forward Tre Boutilier (North Preston, Canada) was named the MSC Men's Basketball Player of the Week, conference officials announced on Monday. It is the second weekly award for the Patriots this season with D'Lando Carter winning the award back on December 14th. It is also the first weekly award of the season for Boutilier as well as the first for his career.

Boutilier led the Patriots to a pair of conference victories last week against the Bulldogs of Cumberland University and the NAIA #15 ranked Blue Raiders of Lindsey Wilson College. He led UC with 15 points and 8 rebounds in the Patriots' 88-44 routing of Cumberland (TN). He shot 70% from the field (7-10) while adding 3 assists and a block.

In the 15 point upset over #15 Lindsey Wilson on Saturday, Boutilier posted a double-double with a team-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. He also went 5-6 from the floor and an impressive 11-14 from the charity stripe in the 71-56 win.

Tre currently ranks 5th in the MSC with 7.4 rebounds per game. His four double-doubles on the season are also 5th most in the conference.

Photo: UC Athletics

It's Winter in Kentucky but the College Basketball Action is Hot; Schedule for the Week

Winter has finally settled in across Kentucky but the college basketball action will be hot around the state.

Here's a complete schedule for the week:

Monday, January 11

No Games

Tuesday, January 12

4:00 p.m. IU Southeast at Alice Lloyd College*
7:00 p.m. Mississippi State at University of Kentucky*
7:00 p.m. Boyce College at Kentucky Christian University*
7:30 p.m. Asbury University at Cincinnati Christian*

Wednesday, January 13

7:30 p.m. Geneva at Thomas More College*
7:30 p.m. Transylvania University at Franklin*
7:30 p.m. Union College at Truett-McConnell*
8:00 p.m. Macmurray College at Spalding University*
8:00 p.m. Berea College at Cincinnati Clermont

Thursday, January 14

7:00 p.m. Youngstown State at Northern Kentucky University*
7:30 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Alderson Broaddus*
8:00 p.m. Truman State at Bellarmine University*
8:00 p.m. Brescia Univeristy at Cincinnati Christian*
8:00 p.m. University of the Cumberlands at Campbellsville University*
8:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at St. Catharine College*
8:00 p.m. Lindsey Wilson College at Shawnee State*
8:00 p.m. Cumberland at Georgetown College*
8:30 p.m. Kentucky State University at Stillman College*
9:00 p.m. Murray State University at Belmont*
9:00 p.m. Western Kentucky University at Rice*
9:00 p.m. Pittsburgh at University of Louisville*
9:00 p.m. Morehead State University at SIU Edwardsville*
9:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at Eastern Illinois*

Friday, January 15

7:00 p.m. Kentucky Christian Univeristy at Crown College*

Saturday, January 16

2:00 p.m. Hiwassee College at Berea College
2:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at SIU Edwardsville*
3:00 p.m. Transylvania University at Manchester*
3:00 p.m. Brescia University at IU Southeast*
3:00 p.m. Webster University at Spalding University*
3:15 p.m. Quincy at Bellarmine University*
4:00 p.m. University of Kentucky at Auburn*
4:00 p.m. Centre College at Sewanee*
4:00 p.m. IU Kokomo at Asbury University*
4:00 p.m. Kentucky Christian University at Johnson University*
4:00 p.m. Lindsey Wilson College at Georgetown College*
4:00 p.m. University of the Cumberlands at St. Catharine College*
4:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at Campbellsville*
4:00 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Davis & Elkins*
4:00 p.m. Kentucky State University at Miles College*
4:15 p.m. Morehead State University at Eastern Illinois*
4:30 p.m. Thomas More College at Saint Vincent*
7:00 p.m. Cleveland State at Northern Kentucky University*
8:00 p.m. Western Kentucky University at North Texas*
8:30 p.m. Murray State University at Tennessee State*

Sunday, January 17

No Games

* Conference Game

Monday, January 11, 2016

Kentucky, Louisville Drop in Both Polls Following Losses

Kentucky and Louisville both dropped significantly in the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll this week following losses.

Following a loss at LSU, the Wildcats are down to No. 13 in the coaches poll and No. 14 in the AP Top 25.

The Cardinals are down to No. 20 in the coaches poll and No. 21 in the media rankings following Sunday's loss at Clemson.

Here's a look at both polls:

AP Top 25

1 Kansas (63) 14-1 1,621
2 Oklahoma (1) 13-1 1,551
3 Maryland 15-1 1,472
4 Michigan State (1) 16-1 1,446
5 North Carolina 15-2 1,371
6 Villanova 14-2 1,246
7 Xavier 14-1 1,200
8 Miami (FL) 13-1 1,139
9 Duke 14-2 1,100
10 SMU 15-0 1,040
11 West Virginia 14-1 867 12 Providence 14-2 862 13 Virginia 12-3 818 14 Kentucky 12-3 698 15 Texas A&M 13-2 668 16 Iowa 12-3 656 17 Iowa State 12-3 555 18 Arizona 13-3 537 19 South Carolina 15-0 527 20 Pittsburgh 14-1 334 21 Louisville 13-3 330 22 Baylor 12-3 325 23 Butler 12-4 302 24 Purdue 14-3 145 25 Gonzaga 13-3 101

Others receiving votes: USC 79, Indiana 59, UCLA 21, Utah 10, Texas Tech 10, Saint Mary's 8, Wichita St 7, Valparaiso 6, Oregon 6, Hawaii 4, St Bonaventure 1, Oregon State 1, Akron 1, Dayton 1

USA Today Coaches Poll

1 Kansas (32) 14-1 800
2 Oklahoma 13-1 743
3 Maryland 15-1 742
4 Michigan State 16-1 694
5 North Carolina 15-2 673
6 Duke 14-2 596
7 Villanova 14-2 557
8 Xavier 14-1 555
9 Miami (FL) 13-1 551
10 West Virginia 14-1 477
11 Virginia 12-3 426 12 Providence 14-2 400 13 Kentucky 12-3 393 14 Texas A&M 13-2 383 15 South Carolina 15-0 361 16 Arizona 13-3 337 17 Pittsburgh 14-1 263 18 Iowa State 12-3 253 19 Iowa 12-3 226 20 Louisville 13-3 205 21 Gonzaga 13-3 173 22 Baylor 12-3 156 23 Butler 12-4 147 24 Purdue 14-3 122 25 Indiana 14-3 38

Others receiving votes: Connecticut 34, Oregon 18, USC 16, UCLA 12, George Washington 11, California 9, Houston 5, Dayton 5, Valparaiso 5, Texas Tech 3, Washington 3, Arkansas-Little Rock 2, Cincinnati 2, Saint Mary's 1, Utah 1, Hawaii 1, Boise State 1

Wright State Pulls Away from Northern Kentucky in Second Half

Wright State 60
Northern Kentucky 46

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky

Game recap by NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Northern Kentucky University men's basketball team could not overcome Wright State on Saturday afternoon as it fell, 60-46, in the first-ever home Horizon League contest.

With the loss, NKU dips to 4-10 overall and 0-3 in the Horizon League. Wright State improves to 8-8 overall and 2-1 in League action.

Jalen Billups came just shy of a double-double, posting nine points and nine rebounds. The senior forward recorded his 1,000th-career point, which came on a dunk in the game's opening minutes.

Tyler White, Lavone Holland II and Cole Murray were each tied with eight points apiece. Murray issued a perfect 3-for-3 performance from the field including a pair of triples.

WSU was led by Mark Alstork with 18 points and six boards.

A layup from Billups on the game's first possession got the scoring started as NKU led for all but 39 seconds of the opening period.

A 9-2 Norse run capped off by a Dean Danos triple put NKU up by seven at 11-4. The Raiders then caught up to remain within five points of the Norse before taking a brief 24-23 edge at the 1:46 mark.

NKU used a pair of triples from White and Deontae Cole to fight off the Raiders and put NKU back on top.

The Norse held a 28-27 advantage at the intermission after shooting 63.2 percent (12-of-19) in the first half.

Northern Kentucky struggled to connect upon returning to the floor, with Wright State claiming a 44-32 advantage at the midway point of the period.

Three-straight free throws cut the deficit to single digits with 3:59 on the clock, but the Raiders continued to pull away as the Norse were unable to work around the Wright State defense.

The Norse continue their homestand on Thursday, Jan. 14 when they host Youngstown State at 7 p.m.

Complete Recap

Bellarmine Survives Late Run to Hold Off Rockhurst

Bellarmine 72
Rockhurst 65

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Game recap by BU:

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The No. 7/11 Bellarmine Knights survived a 16-0 run by the homestanding Rockhurst Hawks to pull out a 72-65 victory in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game at Mason-Halpin Field House on Saturday afternoon.

After the Knights had built their biggest lead of the game at 46-31, the Hawks heated up from 3-point land and used the long range shot to fuel a 16-0 run to pull ahead 47-46 with 9:38 remaining in the game.

Bellarmine big man Yasin Kolo finally stemmed the tide for the Knights by canning a trey as BU regained the lead 49-47. But, Rockhurst stayed hot from the outside and answered with a triple of their own on the ensuing possession.

The Hawks increased their lead to three, but the Knights took the lead for good on Adam Eberhard's layup with 6:44 remaining. Interestingly, that would be Bellarmine's final field goal as the Knights secured the victory by connecting on 16 of 20 free throws in the game's final 5:20 as four different Hawks fouled out.

Michael Parrish and Rusty Troutman delivered clutch performances with each canning seven of eight of charity tosses over that span.

"That was a really, really tough game," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport, "and when we get outscored by 21 points from the 3-point line, we are fortunate to come out with a win."

The Hawks connected on nine of their 29 3-pointers while Bellarmine suffered its worst shooting game of the year from behind the arc, making just two of 15.

Davenport added, "Little Mike (Parrish) willed this team to a win tonight," pointing to his late game heroics and determination on both ends of the floor. "Statistically we didn't play a bad game," Davenport said, "and our late game execution was tremendous."

The 11th year head coach also gave credit to Rockhurst and first year coach Drew Diener. "They're much improved, and they're going to be a force down the road," Davenport said.

Troutman led all scorers with 20, and the reigning GLVC Player of the Week just missed a double-double by coming up with nine rebounds. Kolo also just missed a double-double by scoring 10 and hauling in nine boards. Adam Eberhard continued his outstanding play, hitting six of seven from the field and finishing with 15 points—just one shy of his career high.

Complete Recap

Kentucky Wesleyan Opens Conference Play with Win Over Cedarville

Kentucky Wesleyan 88
Cedarville 58

Final from Cedarville, Ohio

Game recap by KWC:

Playing in its first G-MAC tilt of the season, the Kentucky Wesleyan men's basketball team used exceptional first-half offense and a key defensive stretch late to dispatch conference foe Cedarville 88-58 on Saturday in Cedarville, Ohio.

The Panthers (13-2, 1-0 in G-MAC) shot 62 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes to build a commanding 44-27 halftime lead.

Junior guard Ken-Jah Bosley's layup at the 15:58 mark of the first half put KWC ahead 9-8, and the Panthers didn't trail the rest of the way.

Cedarville guard J.C. Faubion's jump shot cut the lead to 24-20 with eight minutes left in the half, but KWC responded with a 20-2 run during the next six minutes to build a substantial lead. Bosley's 3-pointer gave the Panthers its largest lead of the half at 44-22 with 2:20 left in the period.

However, the Yellow Jackets (5-9, 0-2) didn't go away after intermission.

Easton Bazzoli's layup with 12:52 left in the game sparked a 15-3 Cedarville run that cut KWC's lead to single digits (67-58) for the first time in the second half.

From there, though, it was all Panthers.

Bosley and Jordan Jacks combined to score 18 of KWC's 21 points in the final 7:34, and the Panthers held Cedarville scoreless during that stretch to preserve their first conference win of the season.

"It speaks to how important defense is for our team," KWC coach Happy Osborne said. "We can be very, very good defensively if we want to be."

The Panthers forced Cedarville into 17 turnovers, which resulted in 18 points. KWC also held the edge in rebounding (35-27), assists (16-7), second-chance points (12-7) and paint scoring (44-34).

Bosley finished with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and Jacks added 18 points and 11 rebounds for KWC. C.J. Blackwell knocked down 4-of-5 3-point attempts on the way to 14 points, while Devin Langford added nine points. Marcus Fillyaw chipped in six points, six assists and four rebounds.

Complete Recap

John Calipari on NBA Rumors: "I plan on being at Kentucky for a long time"

John Calipari has just responded to reports that he is showing interest in the Brooklyn Nets job.

"I am not negotiating with anybody," Calipari said via social media. "My total focus is on this team and winning the next game."

Check out his full comments:

Calipari is responding to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

According to Wojnaroski, Calipari is asking for a massive 10-year, $120 million contract to coach the Brooklyn Nets or Sacramento Kings.

To this point, Calipari has not silenced the rumors but might have an opportunity to speak on the subject during today’s SEC conference call. Calipari is scheduled to speak on the call at 10:35 a.m.

Here’s an excerpt:

Yormark is pushing Prokhorov to reach back to the Nets’ Jersey roots, dust off a failed ’90s experiment and sell it as something sparkling and new. Twenty years ago, the Nets stunned everyone with a five-year, $15 million contract for the UMass coach. For Calipari to consider the Nets – and, yes, the Sacramento Kings, too – league sources tell Yahoo Sports that the teams have been informed of his asking price: 10 years, $120 million.

When Calipari spoke with minority ownership in Sacramento last spring, he told them that it would take an offer of $11 million-plus a year to get his attention, league sources said. Calipari turned down a 10-year, $80 million-plus offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, because he wouldn’t leave Kentucky with only an incremental raise on what is now an $8 million to $9 million annual package on campus.

Cleveland’s offer has become a baseline for Calipari’s contractual demands: He wants the 10 years and now the $12 million a year that Phil Jackson makes to run the Knicks.

Calipari’s sell will be this: As his old Kentucky stars – DeMarcus Cousins (2018), John Wall (2019) – become free agents, he’ll have the Nets positioned to sign them. His former players have largely kept excellent relationships with him, but there are those close to them who say that most of his ex-stars remain reluctant to committing to 82 games a year of Cal’s abrasive style. It wore out players fast in the 1990s in New Jersey, and Calipari would need to bring a different disposition to the NBA and prove that he’s willing to treat NBA players like men, not teenagers.

Complete Article

Cold-Shooting Louisville Comes Up Short at Clemson

Clemson 66
(16) Louisville 62

Final from Greenville, South Carolina

Game recap by UL:

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- While most Clemson fans are paying attention to the football team playing for the national championship, the Tigers basketball team is suddenly the surprise of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Jaron Blossomgame scored 17 points and Avry Holmes added 16 points to lead Clemson (10-6, 3-1 ACC) to a 66-62 win over No. 16 Louisville on Sunday. The Tigers - picked to finish 12th in the league - had lost 10 in a row to ranked ACC opponents.

But Clemson used its defense and got a little help from foul trouble to beat the Cardinals (13-3, 2-1).

Louisville's leading scorer, Damion Lee, had six points on 2-of-12 shooting, well below his average of 17 points, which ranks fourth in the ACC. Trey Lewis scored 10 points but missed 16 of his 19 shots. Chinanu Onuaku, the Cardinals' best inside player, led his team with 14 points but was out much of the second half with foul trouble.

The Cardinals tried to make up for it with outside shooting. But they missed their first 15 3-point attempts and finished the game shooting 3 of 23 behind the arc, their worst performance by far this season.

''I knew this type of game was going to happen sooner or later. I've been trying to warn our guys about it,'' Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. ''You've got to have your defense every night and we haven't. We got burned because of it.''

Clemson led for the entire second half but had to hang on late. The Tigers were up by 11 with 3:34 to go before Lewis hit Louisville's first 3 of the game.

The Cardinals kept whittling the deficit down, and with Clemson up 64-58, Sidy Djitte fouled Louisville's Jaylen Johnson on a dunk. Johnson missed the free throw, but Quniton Snider got the rebound and the Cardinals made two more free throws to trail 64-62 with 5.5 seconds to go.

Holmes was fouled and sank both foul shots to seal the win.

It doesn't get any easier for Clemson. No. 14 Duke comes to Greenville on Wednesday, the second of five straight games against ranked ACC teams.

Blossomgame hopes Tigers fans out in Arizona check out his team too.

''Hopefully we can carry over after football wins the national championship,'' he said.

Complete Recap

Morehead State Holds of UT Martin

Morehead State 64
UT Martin 58

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Three players scored in double figures, and the Morehead State men's basketball team took a big first-half lead before falling behind and rallying early in the second half to defeat UT Martin 64-58 Saturday at Johnson Arena.

The Eagles, who swept the Ohio Valley Conference weekend at home, improved to 8-7 overall and 2-1 in the league. The Skyhawks saw their seven-game winning streak snapped and fell to 9-8 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

"That team (UTM) is tough, they really battled us. But, I'm so proud of our guys because they fought back," said Head Coach Sean Woods. "We made it interesting because we struggled at the free throw line, but the main thing is we won the game."

Junior guard Corban Collins registered a team-best 13 points, added five assists and nabbed five rebounds. Senior guard Brent Arrington totaled 12 points, a career-high seven assists and a season-best seven rebounds. Freshman forward Lamontray Harris provided a crucial boost off the bench, scoring 10 of his career-high 11 points in the second half while also grabbing a career-best six boards.

MSU shot 40 percent overall (24-of-60) but made only 9-of-20 free throws.

Junior forward Ronnye Beamon also gave his team a spark off the bench, notching nine points and corralling a career-best six rebounds. Morehead State, which leads the OVC in rebounding margin and ranks 14th in the nation in offensive boards, won the rebounding battle, 54-38, while securing 18 on the offensive end. Junior forward DeJuan Marrero and senior front-court man Anthony Elechi each brought down 10 rebounds. The Eagles outscored the Skyhawks 14-4 on second-chance opportunities.

"When Miguel (Dicent) went down, I told our guys that someone has to step up. I'm so proud of Ronnye because he's been struggling a little bit, and Lamontray has been too, but they both stepped up and played so well tonight and came up big time."

Morehead State went into the locker room at the half with a 28-22 lead as both teams struggled offensively. The Eagles shot 34 percent but limited the Skyhawks to just 22 percent shooting.

Early in the opening half, MSU went on a 9-0 run to build a 15-6 lead. UT Martin had a stretch where it went 6:15 without scoring, and the Skyhawks started out the half shooting just 2-of-20.

At 31-30 with 17:33 to go in the game, UTM took its first lead since 2-0. The visitors built as much as a 40-34 cushion with 14:26 left, but Harris ignited a 12-2 run with a jumper, and capped it with a free throw at 9:01 to push the hosts ahead 46-42. MSU never trailed again, going on to lead by six three times.

UTM forward Twymond Howard paced all players with 22 points and 14 rebounds. The visitors made just 6-of-25 three-point attempts, while the Eagles connected on seven triples. MSU limited UTM to 31 percent accuracy overall (20-of-64).

MSU is on the road next weekend at SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois. The road swing begins with a 9 p.m. ET matchup Thursday at SIUE.

Complete Recap

Western Kentucky Earns Much-Needed Overtime Win Over Florida Atlantic

Western Kentucky 86
Florida Atlantic 82 F/OT

Final from Bowling Green, Kentucky

Game recap by WKU:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Justin Johnson scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Aaron Cosby added 17 points, and WKU outlasted Florida Atlantic 86-82 in overtime on Saturday.

Cosby scored five points in overtime for the Hilltoppers (9-7, 1-2 Conference USA), who won at home to avoid their first 0-3 start in conference play since 2010.

Florida Atlantic (2-14, 0-3) led by four with 2:01 left after Jackson Trapp made a pair of free throws, but Johnson hit a jumper and made three free throws to force the extra period.

Johnson made 7 of 9 from the field and was 2 of 2 in overtime.

The Owls have lost nine in a row and are 2-26 in their last 28 conference games.

Adonis Filer led FAU with 14 points, and Ronald Delph and Trapp each added 13.

22 Feet Academy's Justin Miller Picks Up Offer from UT Martin

Former Owensboro High School big man Justin Miller has picked up an offer from UT Martin. 

Miller is now at 22 Feet Academy (SC). 

Dorian Jordan Free Throw Sinks Clark Atlanta; Kentucky State Moves to 6-1 in Conference

Kentucky State 74
Clark Atlanta 73

Final from Frankfort, Kentucky

Game recap by KSU:

FRANKFORT, Ky. – A free throw by Dorian Jordan with 4.3 seconds to play helped lift Kentucky State to a 74-73 win over Clark Atlanta in Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball action on Saturday at the Exum Center.

After the Thorobreds spent most of the game recovering from a slow start, Jordan, who tied for the team lead with 15 points and had a game-high eight assists, found himself at the free throw line with the game tied at 73 and 4.3 seconds left. After making the first free throw, he missed the second, and the Panthers got out on a fast break. Time expired as a Clark player was in the air on what would have been a game winning dunk, allowing Kentucky State to hold on for the win.

Malcolm Smith also finished with 15 points to tie Jordan for the team lead, while Tryston Ford added 11. Clark Atlanta's Derek Harper and Damien Enoch each had 16 points to lead all scorers.

Jordan scored the first basket of the game, but it would be the only lead they would hold in the first half. The game was close throughout, with neither team reaching a double digit lead, but Clark Atlanta closed the first half on an 11-4 run, taking a 43-34 lead to the break after a Harper 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Thorobreds spent much of the second half trying to battle back from that deficit, eventually taking back the lead at 64-63 after a pair of Jordan free throws at the 6:24 mark. The game would be closely contested the rest of the way with four lead changes, three ties, and neither team holding a lead of more than three points down the stretch.

Clark took its last lead when a Lawrance Freeman jumper made the score 73-71 at the 2:30 mark, but Smith was able to make a pair of free throws to tie the game on the next possession. Each team came up empty on its next two possessions, but Jordan was fouled on a drive to the basket with time running out, giving him the opportunity to win the game from the free throw line.

Complete Recap

Highlights: Kentucky Thumps Alabama on the Road

Check out the highlights from Kentucky's win at Alabama Saturday:

Poythress, Lee Come Up Big in Kentucky's Win at Alabama

(9) Kentucky 77
Alabama 61

Final from Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Game recap by UA:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The week didn't start off well for Alex Poythress or his teammates.

He was held to four points in the Wildcats' 85-67 loss at LSU on Tuesday night, despite playing 26 minutes. That bad outing didn't seem to affect his confidence on Saturday when he scored a career-high 25 points and No. 9 Kentucky beat Alabama 77-61 on the road.

Poythress, Lee Deliver Big at Bama

Poythress also had seven rebounds and the Wildcats (12-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) bounced back to avoid losing back-to-back conference games for the first time since March 1, 2014.

"You just have to get that bad taste out of everybody's mouth when you have a difficult game," Poythress said.

After the game Kentucky coach John Calipari said he challenged his team to put the LSU loss in the past. He said his team would have lost again if it played the same way it did Tuesday night.

"If you win on the road, especially against a team that's been playing like this team has been playing, it's a great win," Calipari said. "I told (Alabama coach Avery Johnson) after, `Look Avery, that's as good as we play.'"

The Wildcats held a 16-point lead with just over a minute remaining in the first half, but Alabama (9-5, 0-2) went on an 18-6 run for the next 6 minutes, spanning halftime, to come within four points.

Poythress said the team huddled up and talked about the need to focus when it got close. He said the team knew it was better than they were playing at that point.

"We can't give games away like this," Poythress said. "We have to learn how to bury a team and just consistently, just step on their throat."

The Wildcats scored a quick six points in the next 2 minutes and mostly held a double-digit lead the rest of the game.

Jamal Murray had 21 points and five rebounds and Isaiah Briscoe scored 12 points and also grabbed five rebounds for the Wildcats.

"It's nice that Isaiah will make the shot," Calipari said. "He's capable of doing it. It makes us a different team."

Retin Obasohan led Alabama with 21 points. Arthur Edwards had 11 points and Riley Norris had 10.

Complete Recap

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Seth Davis Drops Kentucky Out of Top 25 on His Ballot

Seth Davis of CBS Sports and has dropped Kentucky out of his top 25 ballot this week.

He has Louisville, which lost today at Clemson, ranked No. 22.

Here's what Davis had to say on Twitter:

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