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Buckeyes turn back Kentucky's rally

NEW YORK — The lead kept shrinking. Ohio State was playing No. 4 Kentucky at a neutral site, but it sure didn't sound that way.

The Buckeyes, who led by 16 with 11:26 left, saw it trimmed to three and appeared destined to be another team unable to hold off the Wildcats.

Not this time.

Ohio State, with all eight of its players scoring between six and 14, held off the furious rally for a 74-67 victory Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic at Barclays Center.

"Just poise under pressure," Ohio State forward Marc Loving said. "JaQuan (Lyle) and A.J. (Harris) really ran the show, and we have to follow those guys. They handled the pressure the majority of the time."

The Buckeyes (6-5) took a 37-25 halftime lead over the Wildcats (9-2). The crowd of 16,311, almost all in blue, got louder as the rally went on.

"Just playing a team the caliber of Kentucky, everybody thinks you're going to lose the game except for the guys in the locker room," Loving said. "So just having that bond together and that tight knit group, made us be able to pull this victory out."

Utes give Duke payback

NEW YORK — Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said the Utes weren't fixated on avenging the Sweet 16 loss to Duke in March.

That doesn't mean the Utes weren't savoring their 77-75 upset of No. 7 Duke at Madison Square Garden.

Kyle Kuzma scored 21 to lead Utah (9-2), and Jakob Poeltl had 19 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out with 31 seconds left in overtime.

"It's a very emotional win," Poeltl said. "It's just a great feeling."

Luke Kennard had 24 points for the Blue Devils (9-2).

NO. 1 MICH. ST. 78, N'EASTERN 58: Denzel Valentine scored 17 for the visiting Spartans (12-0), who trailed by five midway through the first half before recovering.

NO. 2 KANSAS 88, MONTANA 46: Perry Ellis had 18 points and nine rebounds, and the host Jayhawks (9-1) won their eighth straight.

NO. 3 OKLA. 87, CREIGHTON 74: Buddy Hield scored a career-high 33 for the host Sooners (8-0), who have won their past seven by double digits.

N. IOWA 81, NO. 5 IOWA ST. 79: Wes Washpun scored a career-high 28 with 11 assists as the Panthers stunned the Cyclones (9-1) in Des Moines. Northern Iowa also upset then-No. 1 North Carolina 71-67 at home last month.

NO. 6 MARYLAND 82, PRINCETON 61: Jake Layman scored a season-high 19 and Robert Carter fueled a second-half surge for the Terrapins (10-1) in Baltimore.

NO. 8 UVA 86, NO. 12 VILLANOVA 75: Anthony Gill had 22 points to help the Cavaliers (9-1) beat the Wildcats (8-2) for their eighth straight victory.

NO. 17 BUTLER 74, NO. 9 PURDUE 68: Roosevelt Jones had 19 points, and the host Bulldogs (9-1) won their sixth straight game and handed the Boilermakers (11-1) their first loss.

NO. 10 XAVIER 85, AUBURN 61: Jalen Reynolds had a season-high 18 points as Xavier's front line dominated, helping the host Musketeers (11-0) to the best start in school history.

NO. 11 UNC 89, NO. 22 UCLA 76: Brice Johnson scored 27 to set a career high for a second straight game, and the Tar Heels (9-2) beat the Bruins (8-4) in the CBS Sports Classic.

NO. 14 PROVIDENCE 73, RIDER 65: Ben Bentil had 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead the host Friars (11-1) in their second straight game without star Kris Dunn, who has a stomach virus.

NO. 15 MIAMI 85, CHARLESTON 63: Ja'Quan Newton scored a career-high 20 off the bench for the host Hurricanes (9-1). Canyon Barry, son of former Miami great and Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry, scored 20 for the Cougars with his dad attending.

NO. 24 TEXAS A&M 80, NO. 16 BAYLOR 61: Jalen Jones and Danuel House scored 17 each for the host Aggies (9-2), who scored 14 of the game's first 16, led 51-30 at halftime and cruised past the Bears (8-2).

NO. 19 LOUISVILLE 78, W. KY. 56: Quentin Snider scored 16 to lead the host Cardinals (9-1), who lost center Mangok Mathiang to a broken left foot that will sideline him 6-8 weeks.

NO. 21 GW 87, ST. PETER'S 74: Tyler Cavanaugh scored 18 for the Colonials (10-1) in their home nonconference finale.

NO. 23 CINCINNATI 69, VCU 63: Troy Caupain and Farad Cobb had 15 points each for the visiting Bearcats (10-2).

INDIANA 80, N. DAME 73: Troy Williams had 18 points and 10 rebounds and made several clutch plays as the Hoosiers (9-3) rallied in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.

DETROIT 95, UCF 89: Chris Jenkins scored a career-high 26, and the host Titans shot 51.7 percent from the field to beat the Knights (5-4).

ECKERD 106, EASTERN N. MEXICO 87: Jerrick Stevenson had 20 points as the host Tritons (11-1) tied a program record with their 11th straight win at the Tampa Classic.

TIFFIN 103, TAMPA 99, 2OT: Freshman Pat Bacon had a career-high 31 points for the Spartans (3-7) at the Tampa Classic.

MARYVILLE (MO.) 104, SAINT LEO 87: Carter Belling had 17 points for the Lions (7-5), who gave up 14 3-pointers in the Maryville Classic in St. Louis.

Buckeyes turn back Kentucky's rally 12/19/15 [Last modified: Saturday, December 19, 2015 11:30pm]
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