Wednesday, February 21, 2018

'Cuse fights off Duke in OT thriller

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Coach K said he hoped this game would live up to its billing. It did, and then some.

Jerami Grant scored eight in overtime to finish with a career-high 24 and Jim Boeheim's No. 2 Syracuse stayed unbeaten, topping Mike Krzyzewski's No. 17 Duke 91-89 Saturday in a matchup of the winningest coaches in Division I history.

The Orange withstood a tying 3 in regulation and won before a Carrier Dome record crowd of 35,446.

"It was just a great game," Boeheim said after career victory No. 941. "I don't think I've ever been involved in a better game in here where both teams played at such a high level. Both teams just went after it. We've had a lot of games that have been here that are great. There's never been one as good as this one."

C.J. Fair scored a career-best 28 as Syracuse (21-0, 8-0 ACC) set a school record for consecutive wins to start a season.

"I knew for us to win I would have to contribute offensively," said Fair, who shot 12-of-20. "I was able to not force things once I got going. I felt I was the hot hand, and my teammates kept giving me the ball."

Grant took over in the extra period, slamming home three dunks as Duke was forced to downsize after Jabari Parker and Amile Jefferson fouled out in the final two minutes of regulation.

"They were playing small. We knew we had a lot of mismatches around the court," Grant said. "After I got the first dunk, they just kept feeding me."

Duke's Rasheed Sulaimon beat the buzzer in regulation with an off-balance 3 that tied it at 78. The Blue Devils led 87-84 with 80 seconds left in overtime before Syracuse rallied.

"Both teams played with so much heart," said Krzyzewski, who remained at 973 career wins. "We were scrambling a lot because of our foul trouble and our kids scrambled well. They scrambled well enough to put us in a position to win. … Just a tough loss."

Syracuse students camped out in the bitter cold for nearly two weeks and were part of a crowd that was charged up from the start for the first ACC meeting between the longtime powers. It was Duke's first game against the Orange in the Carrier Dome.

Parker had 15 points and nine rebounds for Duke (17-5, 6-3). The Blue Devils, who had won five in a row, get their chance to avenge the loss in three weeks when the teams meet at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"We just needed one more play, whether it was a rebound or a shot going in," said Andre Dawkins, who scored five in overtime before fouling out in the final minute. "We just needed one play."

NO. 4 WICHITA ST. 81, EVANSVILLE 67: Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker had 14 points each, and the host Shockers (23-0, 10-0 MVC) withstood an early barrage that had them trailing by 15 before cruising.

NO. 5 SAN DIEGO ST. 65, COLO. ST. 56: Coach Steve Fisher won his 300th game for the host Aztecs (19-1, 8-0 Mountain West), who won their 18th straight and are 8-0 in conference play for the first time in the program's 93-year history.

NO. 25 TEXAS 81, NO. 6 KANSAS 69: Isaiah Taylor scored 23 and Jonathan Holmes 22 for the host Longhorns (17-4, 6-2 Big 12), who held the Jayhawks (16-5, 7-1) — the conference's best shooting team — to 39 percent from the floor and won their sixth straight.

G'TOWN 64, NO. 7 MICH. ST. 60: Markel Starks scored 16 for the Hoyas, who ended a five-game skid with an upset of the shorthanded Spartans (19-3) at Madison Square Garden. Michigan State played without injured frontcourt players Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson and shot 21-of-53 from the field (39.6 percent).

BAYLOR 76, NO. 8 OKLA. ST. 70: Brady Heslip scored a season-high 20 to help the visiting Bears end a five-game losing streak with an upset of the Cowboys (16-5, 4-4 Big 12), who lost their second straight.

NO. 9 VILLANOVA 90, TEMPLE 74: James Bell scored 19 for the host Wildcats (19-2), who finished 4-0 in Big 5 play — the five traditional Philadelphia rivals — to win the 22nd Big 5 title in program history.

NO. 11 KENTUCKY 84, MISSOURI 79: Aaron Harrison scored 21 and James Young added 20 for the visiting Wildcats (16-5, 6-2 SEC), who kept their poise one game after calling a players-only meeting to discuss the team's issues on the road.

NO. 24 OHIO ST. 59, NO. 14 WIS. 58: Aaron Craft scored all of his seven in the final four minutes, LaQuinton Ross added 13 for the game and the visiting Buckeyes (17-5, 4-5 Big Ten) got a confidence-boosting win after losing five of six, while the Badgers (17-5, 4-5) lost for the fifth time in six games.

NO. 15 IOWA 81, ILLINOIS 74: Gabriel Olaseni had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the visiting Hawkeyes (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten), who overcame the Illini's furious comeback after leading by 21 just more than 12 minutes into the game.

NO. 16 IOWA ST. 81, NO. 23 OKLA. 75: Sophomore Georges Niang scored a career-high 27 to help the host Cyclones (16-4, 4-4 Big 12) win for just the second time in six games and snap a four-game winning streak by the Sooners (17-5, 6-3).

NO. 19 St. LOUIS 87, G. MASON 81, OT: Rob Loe scored 10 of his career-high 23 in overtime for the host Billikens (20-2, 7-0 Atlantic 10), who tied a school record with their 14th straight win.

ST. JOE'S 73, NO. 21 UMASS 68: Halil Kanacevic scored 18 and for the host Hawks, who broke away from a late tie after the Minutemen (17-4, 4-3 Atlantic 10) had rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit.

SMU 87, NO. 22 MEMPHIS 72: Nic Moore had 14 points and 10 assists and keyed a game-turning run to start the second half as the Mustangs stayed undefeated at home and handed the Tigers (16-5, 6-3 American) their first conference road loss in two years.


NO. 12 LOUISVILLE 87, UCF 70: Russ Smith scored 27 for the host Cardinals (18-4, 7-2 American), who shot 52 percent and outscored the Knights (9-10, 1-7) 48-28 in the paint.

UM 64, NORFOLK ST. 49: Rion Brown scored 15 for the host Hurricanes (11-10), who snapped a three-game losing streak.

SAVANNAH ST. 50, B-CU 40: Alante Fenner scored 18 on 7-of-10 shooting for the visiting Tigers, who held Bethune-Cookman (4-20, 2-7 MEAC) to only 14 field goals.

S.C. STATE 63, FAMU 59, OT: Jordan Smith scored 16 and hit two key 3-pointers late for the visiting Bulldogs, who handed the Rattlers (7-14, 3-5 MEAC) their third straight loss.

TAMPA 68, BARRY 67: Eric Moraes had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Jordan Davis hit six straight free throws down the stretch to lift the host Spartans (12-6, 5-4 Sunshine State).

ECKERD 68, PB ATLANTIC 63: Jerrick Stevenson had 17 points and seven rebounds, and Alex Bodney hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:47 left for the host Tritons (12-8, 4-4 SSC).

ROLLINS 61, SAINT LEO 59: Alex Blessig's jumper with 1:02 left put the visiting Tars ahead to stay. Jerrel Harris had 15 points for the Lions (16-6, 4-5 SSC).

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