Monday, March 19, 2018

Cyclones star to sleep well

Towson ends record skid

TOWSON, Md. — Erique Gumbs learned a valuable lesson last week after Towson coach Pat Skerry tried to inspire his team that had lost an NCAA-record 41 straight, showing it Muhammad Ali's famous "rope-a-dope" match against George Foreman.

"It just showed that you can take a lot of hits, but you definitely get your turn to swing back," said Gumbs, a sophomore forward, who scored 11 in Towson's 66-61 win over UNC Wilmington on Saturday. "We may get beat down, but we always knew that we had the ability to fight. We finally got to throw our punch (Saturday)."

The Tigers (1-22, 1-10 CAA) had lost in 10 states during their losing streak and had not scored more than 62 in any game this season.

AMES, Iowa — Royce White has been so bad from the free-throw line lately that his struggles have literally turned into nightmares.

A few hours after waking up from a dream in which he couldn't hit anything from the line, White sank the two biggest freebies of his career to give Iowa State a landmark win for coach Fred Hoiberg.

White had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Cyclones upset fifth-ranked Kansas 72-64 on Saturday, snapping the Jayhawks' winning streak at 10 games.

White, a versatile big man who entered shooting 39 percent from the line in Big 12 games, hit two that rattled in to put Iowa State up 64-59 with 1:47 left.

Kansas then threw the ball away, and Chris Babb sank a backbreaking 3-pointer to give the Cyclones an eight-point lead with 55.6 seconds left.

"I woke up (Saturday) morning dreaming about missing free throws. So I was in the gym this morning and shot free throws trying to get it right," White said. "Teammates keep encouraging me and telling me, 'You can make free throws.' "

Tyshawn Taylor led five players in double figures with 16 points and 10 assists for Kansas (17-4, 7-1 Big 12), which hadn't lost since Dec. 19 against Davidson.

Big 12 player of the year favorite Thomas Robinson had 13 points, but he committed five turnovers, and the Jayhawks were outrebounded 36-23.

"I thought we got stops, but I didn't think we cleaned up," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "How many times did they miss a shot and the ball go off of us and us not secure or whatever?" Obviously, we didn't do a good last three minutes defensively at all."

Melvin Ejim had 15 points and Scott Christopherson 14 for the Cyclones (15-6, 5-3), who had lost 13 straight to Kansas since 2005.

NO. 1 KENTUCKY 74, LSU 50: Terrence Jones highlighted a 27-point performance with a 13-0 run on his own, and the visiting Wildcats (21-1, 7-0 SEC) pulled away in the second half.

NO. 2 MISSOURI 63, TEXAS TECH 50: Kim English scored 19 in the first half and Marcus Denmon 13 in the second as the host Tigers (19-2, 6-2 Big 12) had just enough to avoid a second straight upset loss.

NO. 3 SYRACUSE 63, W. VA. 61: Brandon Triche had 18 points, including two free throws that broke the final tie with 1:28 left for the host Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East). Coach Jim Boeheim has 878 wins, one shy of tying North Carolina's Dean Smith for third in Division I.

NO. 6 BAYLOR 76, TEXAS 71: Perry Jones III had 22 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, Pierre Jackson hit the go-ahead 3 and the host Bears (19-2, 6-2 Big 12) withstood a second-half rally.

NO. 8 DUKE 83, ST. JOHN'S 76: Mason Plumlee had 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for the host Blue Devils (18-3), who led by 22 with 17 minutes left but shot 30 percent in the second half.

PITT 72, NO. 9 G'TOWN 60: Nasir Robinson scored 23 and hit all nine of his shots from the field for the host Panthers, who never trailed and routed the Hoyas (16-4, 6-3 Big East).

NO. 11 MURRAY ST. 73, E. ILLINOIS 58: Donte Poole and Isaiah Canaan scored 18 each as the host Racers (21-0, 9-0 OVC) remained the only unbeaten team in Division I.

NO. 12 UNLV 65, AIR FORCE 63, OT: Chace Stanback stole a Todd Fletcher pass with two seconds left in overtime to help the visiting Rebels (20-3, 4-1 Mountain West) escape.

COLO. ST. 77, NO. 13 SAN DIEGO ST. 60: Wes Eikmeier had 19 points and Will Bell 17 to help the Rams past the Aztecs (18-3, 4-1 Mountain West) for their first home win over a ranked team in more than eight years.

NO. 15 CREIGHTON 73, BRADLEY 59: Doug McDermott had 24 points, and the host Bluejays (20-2, 9-1 MVC) turned back two comeback attempts before a school-record crowd of 18,436.

NO. 17 MARQUETTE 82, VILLANOVA 78: Darius Johnson-Odom scored 26 to help the visiting Golden Eagles (18-4, 7-2 Big East) rally from an 18-point deficit and win their sixth straight game.

NO. 19 UVA 61, N.C. STATE 60: Mike Scott scored 18 for the visiting Cavaliers (17-3, 4-2 ACC), who shot 60 percent in the first half to take the lead, then turned away a second-half rally.

NO. 21 SAINT MARY'S (CALIF.) 80, BYU 66: Brad Waldow scored 19 and Clint Steindl 16 off the bench to lead the visiting Gaels (21-3, 10-0 West Coast). Randy Bennett coached the game for Saint Mary's with a broken left thumb. After Thursday's win at Loyola Marymount, Bennett opened the locker room door and a white board fell on his thumb.

OKLAHOMA 63, NO. 22 KANSAS ST. 60: Steven Pledger had 30 points, and the visiting Sooners weathered a second-half charge by the Wildcats (15-5, 4-4 Big 12) and some tense moments late to give coach Lon Kruger a victory over his former team.

NO. 24 UCONN: Guard Ryan Boatright was cleared to return to action after a second NCAA investigation this season into his eligibility.


SO. MISS 78, UCF 65: Neil Watson scored 23 and Darnell Dodson 22 as the Golden Eagles ended a 16-game home winning streak of the Knights (15-6, 5-3 C-USA).

ECKERD 58, FLA. TECH 57: Guard Woody Taylor's floater bounced off the back of the rim twice before falling through for the winning shot with 14.8 seconds left for the host Tritons (13-5, 6-3 Sunshine State).

LYNN 68, TAMPA 59: Former Pasco High standout Josh Garcia had 24 points, and the visiting Fighting Knights held off the Spartans (4-15, 0-9 SSC).

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