NCAA tournaments at a glance
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Hamlet lifts North Texas past Middle Tennessee 76-56
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Javion Hamlet had 21 points and 11 assists as West Division No. 3 seed North Texas routed the East Division’s sixth-seeded Middle Tennessee 76-56 on Wednesday night in the Conference USA tournament second round.
North Texas will face second-seeded Old Dominion in a Thursday quarterfinal.
Thomas Bell added 19 points and James Reese had 15 for North Texas (14-9).
Jordan Davis and Jalen Jordan scored 12 points apiece for Middle Tennessee (5-18), which advanced after FIU forfeited the first-round matchup due to COVID protocols and contact tracing. DeAndre Dishman had 10 points for the Blue Raiders.
Lamar beats Houston Baptist 62-52 in Southland tourney
KATY, Texas (AP) — Davion Buster registered 18 points as sixth-seeded Lamar got past No. 10 seed Houston Baptist 62-52 on Wednesday night in the second round of the Southland Conference tournament.
The Cardinals will move on to face No. 3 seed Sam Houston State in a Thursday quarterfinal.
Kasen Harrison added 14 points and eight rebounds for Lamar (9-17).
Pedro Castro scored a career-high 24 points plus eight rebounds and five steals for the Huskies (6-19). Zach Iyeyemi had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Bacot, UNC beat Notre Dame 101-59, advance to ACC semis
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Big men Armando Bacot and freshmen Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler each had a double-double and North Carolina dominated inside in its 101-59 win over Notre Dame on Wednesday night at the ACC tournament.
No. 6 seed UNC (17-9) plays third-seeded Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals Thursday.
Bacot, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Kessler added 16 points and a career-best 12 rebounds and Sharpe had 14 points, 10 boards, and a career-high six assists. Kessler added eight blocks, the most by a UNC freshman in program history and an ACC tourney single-game record.
Sharpe made three baskets in a 49-second span to make it 9-5 and the Tar Heels led the rest of the way. A 9-0 run pushed the lead into double figures for good midway through the first half and North Carolina scored 22 consecutive points during a 52-4 run that made it 101-51 with 2:65 remaining.
Prentiss Hubb and Nate Laszewski scored 13 points apiece for No. 11 seed Notre Dame (11-15).
North Carolina shot 51% from the field and had its highest-scoring game since the 2018-19 season when the Tar Heels topped the 100-point plateau six times.
UNC outrebounded the Fighting Irish 54-31, scored 25 second-chance points off 27 offensive rebounds, and outscored Notre Dame 56-20 inside. The Tar Heels finished with a season-high 12 blocks.
Williams dominates inside as Duke rolls to ACC quarters
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Freshman Mark Williams set season highs with 23 points and 19 rebounds for his second double-double, Matthew Hurt added 20 points, and No. 10 seed Duke eased by seventh-seeded Louisville 70-56 on Wednesday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Williams is just the third Duke player over the last 25 seasons with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a conference tournament game, joining Marvin Bagley III and Shelden Williams, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Williams’ 19 rebounds were also the most by a freshman in ACC tournament history.
Duke opened the second half on its second sizable run of the game, scoring 17 of the first 22 points over a span of six minutes to extend its lead to 47-34. Jeremy Roach had two of the Blue Devils’ three 3-pointers during the stretch.
Louisville got within eight points three times in the final 10 minutes but could not get any closer as Williams took over the paint, scoring 10 of his points in the final 11:03.
Duke (13-11) plays No. 15 Florida State, the second-seed, on Thursday in their first matchup of the season after the Jan. 2 game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Seminoles program.
Duke played Louisville twice in the regular season, losing twice as Williams did not play in the first meeting and Hurt’s career-high 37 points in the second game weren’t enough.
Roach, DJ Steward, and Wendell Moore Jr. each added nine points for Duke, which didn’t have any bench points. Williams was 9 of 14 from the field and Hurt scored 20-plus for the 11th time this season.
David Johnson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Louisville (13-7), and Carlik Jones added 13 points. Louisville started by making just 2-of-13 shots and finished the game at 30.6%.
Each team had a double-digit run in the first half, but both shot under 39% from the field.
Hurt had eight points in a first-round rout of Boston College on Tuesday, and he topped that on a three-point play with 5:36 left in the first half against the Cardinals to help spark a 12-0 run for a 27-13 lead.
Louisville scored the next 16 points — after its dry spell of five minutes, 11 seconds — with five points each from Jones and Johnson, and Hurt closed the first half-scoring to give Duke a 30-29 lead.
DePaul clocks Providence advancing to Big East quarterfinals
NEW YORK (AP) — Javon Freeman-Liberty and Charlie Moore each scored 21 points and DePaul surprised Providence 70-62 in a Big East Conference tournament first-round game Wednesday night.
DePaul advances to the quarterfinals to face No. 3 seed Connecticut on Thursday.
As the No. 11 seed pulling up the rear of the conference during the regular season, DePaul (5-13) entered the tournament having lost nine of its last 10.
No. 6 seed Providence (13-13) was searching for the sweep of DePaul having beaten it twice during the regular season.
The Friars led 36-35 at halftime before DePaul used a 12-4 run for a seven-point lead within the first 4 1/2 minutes after the break. Jared Bynum’s jumper capped a 13-6 Providence run to knot it at 53-all with 8:04 left. Freeman-Liberty responded with a jump shot and DePaul led the rest of the way.
Nate Watson scored 18 points for Providence and Noah Horchler 17. David Duke, who went into the game averaging 17.2 points for the Friars, finished shooting 2 for 9 from the floor and scored seven points.
Despite the fact DePaul missed 10 foul shots (16 for 26) Providence missed 14 (15 for 29).
DePaul now is 4-12 all-time in Big East postseason play with a second-round appearance in 2009 and a quarterfinal appearance in 2014. Last year, the Blue Demons were poised to play in the quarterfinals after a first-round win over Xavier before the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.
Fairfield upsets No. 2 seed Monmouth 79-60 in MAAC tourney
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Taj Benning had a career-high 24 points plus 12 rebounds as No. 7 seed Fairfield upset second-seeded Monmouth 79-60 in the quarterfinals of the Metro Atlantic Conference Tourney on Wednesday night.
Jake Wojcik had 12 points for Fairfield (9-16). Caleb Green added 12 points. Supreme Cook had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Stags play third-seeded Saint Peter’s or No. 11 seed Rider in the semifinals Friday.
Both teams set season records for scoring during the game. Fairfield scored 41 first-half points, a season-high for Fairfield, while the 26 points in the second half for Monmouth were the fewest of the season for Monmouth.
Melik Martin had 12 points for the Hawks (12-8).
Olivari scores 23, Rice tops Marshall 72-68 in C-USA tourney
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Quincy Olivari scored 23 points as Rice upended Marshall 72-68 in the Conference USA Conference Tourney second round on Wednesday night.
Rice was seeded sixth in the west division, Marshall third in the east. The Owls advance to a Thursday quarterfinal against UAB, second seed in the west.
Max Fiedler had 15 points and nine rebounds for Rice (15-12). Cameron Sheffield added 10 points.
Jarrod West had 19 points, seven assists, and six rebounds for the Thundering Herd (15-7). Mikel Beyers added 17 points and eight rebounds. Taevion Kinsey and Jannson Williams each scored 11 points.
Pippen Jr., Vanderbilt beat Texas A&M 79-68 in SEC tourney
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Scotty Pippen Jr. went 15 for 15 from the free-throw line and finished with 22 points, D.J. Harvey scored 17 and Vanderbilt beat Texas A&M 79-68 on Wednesday night for the Commodores first Southeastern Conference tournament win in four years.
No. 12 seed Vanderbilt (8-15) snapped a four-game skid against the Aggies although the teams didn’t play in the regular season after both scheduled matchups were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Second-year coach Jerry Stackhouse got his first conference tourney win and the Commordores’ first since beating Texas A&M 66-41 in 2017.
Pippen, a first-team all-SEC selection, shot just 3-of-17 from the field but tied his career-high for free throws made and added six assists, four rebounds, and three steals.
Emanuel Miller led No. 13 seed Texas A&M (8-10) with 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. The rest of the Aggies combined to make 16 of 50 from the field.
Pippen, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, hit a 3-pointer, made a pair of free throws, and then took a steal near midcourt for a dunk in a 77-second span to spark a 15-3 run that made it 17-7 and his three-point play with 16:17 to play gave the Commodores a 45-32 lead.
Texas A&M scored the next 13 points to tie it about four minutes later. But Myles Stute answered with a 3 and Vanderbilt led the rest of the way.
The Commodores, who hit 12 3-pointers and outscored the Aggies 21-7 from the foul line, play fifth-seeded Florida in Thursday’s second round.
Pippen’s dad, six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen, was in attendance. Bridgestone Arena was limited to 20% capacity (3,400) due to local COVID-19 restrictions.
Pitino, Iona beat top-seeded Siena 55-52 in MAAC tourney
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Berrick Jean-Louis registered 13 points and five steals as No. 9 seed Iona beat top-seeded Siena 55-52 in the quarterfinals of the Metro Atlantic Conference tournament on Wednesday.
Asante Gist had 16 points, including two free throws with four seconds left for a six-point lead, for Iona (10-5). Isaiah Ross added 14 points and seven rebounds, and Dylan van Eyck had eight rebounds.
Nelly Junior Joseph, who was second on the Gaels in scoring coming into the matchup with 12 points per game, was held to two points with eight rebounds.
Jackson Stormo had 14 points and three blocks for the Saints (12-5). Jalen Pickett added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Harris sinks game-winning FTs, Butler ousts Xavier in OT
NEW YORK (AP) — Chuck Harris was clutch for Butler, drilling a straightaway 3-pointer and then sinking the game-winning free throws with three seconds left in overtime as the tenth-seeded Bulldogs ousted Xavier 70-69 in the Big East tournament on Wednesday night.
The win moves Butler (10-14) into a quarterfinal against second-seeded and No. 17-ranked Creighton on Thursday. The teams split their regular-season games.
Xavier (13-8), the tournament seventh seed, shot the lights out in the first half, making 17 of 29 shots (59%) and building a 40-26 halftime lead.
Harris, who was 0-of-6 shooting by halftime, came alive with an early 3-pointer in the second half as Butler began a long climb back into the game. Bryce Golden added 20 points, with 12 in the second half, and Bryce Nze 19.
Dwon Odom and Zach Freemantle led Xavier with 14 points each, a career-high for Odom. Paul Scruggs and Colby Jones added 10 each.
Scruggs made two free throws to lift Xavier into a 69-68 lead with 18 seconds left in overtime. He had gone scoreless from 7:33 of the first half until the first minute of overtime.
Harris made a 3 to put Butler ahead 62-59, its first lead since 9-7. Bo Hodges added another 3 and it was 65-61. Counting a pair of free throws to force overtime at 59-59, Harris scored 10 of Butler’s last 13 points.
For a nine-minute span of the second half, Butler outscored Xavier 18-7. The Musketeers missed 12 of 15 shots in that stretch.
Nze, despite being listed as questionable to play because of an ankle injury, scored 13 of Butler’s 26 points in the first half.
He made 7 of 9 shots including a career-high 4-of-4 shooting from behind the 3-point arc as Butler closed to 52-45 with 7:38 remaining, His last two 3s pulled Butler to 50-40 and then 52-45.
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