Friday, February 23, 2018

Genotology for Feb. 23, 2018

Photo Credit: Ray Carlin- USA TODAY Sports



KEY:

* New entry in the field

> UP

< DOWN




SOUTH (ATLANTA)


WEST (LOS ANGELES)

MIDWEST (OMAHA)


EAST (BOSTON)


LAST FOUR IN:

St. Bonaventure

Baylor

Syracuse

USC


FIRST FOUR OUT:

Utah

Texas

Boise State

Washington


ON DECK:

UCLA

Penn State

Nebraska

Georgia

Thursday, February 22, 2018

No. 9 Purdue 93, Illinois 86: Edwards' career night carries Boilermakers

Photo Credit: Mike Granse- USA TODAY Sports


CHAMPAIGN, Ill.— With the Big Ten regular season winding down, the No. 9 Purdue Boilermakers (25-5, 14-3 Big Ten) looked every bit of a team ready to make a run deep into March with a 93-86 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini (13-17, 3-14 Big Ten) behind a career-high 40 points from Carsen Edwards.

With senior Vince Edwards (ankle) out for the second straight game, Carsen Edwards followed up a 27-point outing against Penn State on Feb. 18 with a historic performance which he became the first Purdue player to score 40 points since Glenn Robinson's 44 against Kansas on March 24, 1994 in the NCAA regional semifinal.

Despite leading for the majority of the game, Purdue kept the advantage in single digits, which Edwards knew his performance would have meant nothing had the outcome ended with a loss.

"It was such a tight game and even if I played the way I did and still lost, it would not have been as special to me," Edwards said. "We got some big shots and stops and glad we came away with the win."

Trent Frazier finished with 20 points and five steals, but acknowledged Illinois' inability to stop Edwards throughout the game.

"We made it a little too easy for [Carsen] tonight," Frazier said. "He made a lot of tough shots and is a big player for them."

Free throw shooting proved to be as vital in the win for Purdue going 26-of-31, with 22 of those makes in the second half.

"The one thing we wanted to do was be aggressive," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "The more we can be aggressive, the more we can get into the bonus. It is also driving the ball and when you can finish at the rim and you have to pull up, now for an aggressive team, it is hard for them not to foul you or keep them in front of you."




Four Illini players finished in double figures scoring, with Leron Black as the high man with 28 points, on 12-of-25 shooting in 30 minutes.

While Edwards made shots for the Boilermakers, the Illini countered with timely baskets as they took an 18-13 lead at the 13:38 mark of the first half.

Both teams would shoot at high levels and exchange leads on multiple occasions in the first half until Purdue struck with a 10-2 run, spearheaded by back-to-back triples from Dakota Mathias to go ahead 31-24.

Purdue appeared to be in cruise control with a 40-28 lead in the late stages of the first half, but Illinois countered with a 10-3 run to go into halftime down 43-38. The Boilermakers also aided the Illini’s run by missing four of their final five field goal attempts in the half.

The Illini continued to attack on offense to start the second half as their relentless pressure on defense forced the Boilermakers into three turnovers as they kept the deficit under five points.

"We have had some runs against us all year and were fortunate that last shot from Mark Smith [at the end of the half] did not go down," Painter said. "The turnovers at that stage really hurt us, especially the live ball ones."

A lethargic pass from Purdue’s Grady Eifert evolved into a turnover and a three-point make from Frazier to give Illinois a 53-52 lead— their first since the 9:58 mark of the first half. Frazier dazzled the home crowd on Illinois’ next possession with a crossover and step back three-pointer from the wing to tie the game at 56.

An 8-0 run by Purdue temporarily silenced Illinois as Edwards continued to carry the offense with a 64-56 lead with 12:41 left in regulation. The Illini would get no closer than four points of the Boilermakers as the penultimate game of each team's conference slate comes to an end.

Game Note:

Purdue keeps its hopes alive for a share of the Big Ten regular season championship and needs a win against Minnesota and a Michigan State loss to Wisconsin in order for things to come to fruition.

Looking Ahead:

Both teams close out Big Ten regular season play on Feb. 25 as the Illini travel to Piscataway, N.J. to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for a 2 p.m. tip (BTN), while the Boilermakers honor their seniors at Mackey Arena against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 3 p.m. (FS1).



Social Media:


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Monday, February 19, 2018

Genotology for Feb. 19, 2018


Photo Credit: Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics

KEY:

* New entry in the field

> UP

< DOWN



SOUTH (ATLANTA)



WEST (LOS ANGELES)

MIDWEST (OMAHA)

EAST (BOSTON)


LAST FOUR IN:

St. Bonaventure

Texas

Syracuse

USC


FIRST FOUR OUT:

UCLA

Washington

Baylor

Utah


ON DECK:

Penn State

Nebraska

Boise State

Georgia

Friday, February 16, 2018

Genotology for Feb. 16, 2018


Photo Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer


KEY:

* New entry in the field

> UP

< DOWN



SOUTH (ATLANTA)



WEST (LOS ANGELES)


MIDWEST (OMAHA)

EAST (BOSTON)




LAST FOUR IN:

UCLA

Texas

NC State

USC


FIRST FOUR OUT:

Syracuse

Boise State

Penn State

Nebraska



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Loyola-Chicago 80, Valparaiso 71: Ramblers roll on as regular season play winds down

Photo Credit: Geno Green


CHICAGO— The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers have proven to be elite in Missouri Valley conference play this season. While the Elite Eight games do not commence until late March, the Ramblers (22-5, 12-3 Missouri Valley) won their eighth straight game overall in an 80-71 win over the Valparaiso Crusaders (13-15, 4-11 Missouri Valley) at Gentile Arena on Wednesday night.

The story of Loyola’s season has been its ability for any player to step up on offense at a moment’s notice and Donte Ingram starred late in regulation with eight straight points over a 2:12 stretch, which highlighted a 16-point performance despite missing six of his first seven field goal attempts.

“In the beginning of the game, I had all of the looks I normally get, but it didn’t fall,” Ingram said. “You have to have amnesia and forget about it because I know eventually my shot would begin to fall at some point.”

Clayton Custer (20 points) and Cameron Krutwig (18 points) continued to be the ultimate inside-outside combination on offense for Loyola as it gave Valparaiso’s defense fits for the majority of the game.

Loyola minimized its errors with six turnovers and forced Valparaiso into several shot clock violations in the first half.

“I thought our ball-screen coverage by our big men was much better in the first half than it was in the second half,” Ramblers coach Porter Moser said. “(Valparaiso) kept dragging and hitting [Jaume] Sorolla for the roll. Our ball-screen was coverage was way too low and that is a credit to them.”

Four Valparaiso players finished in double figures in defeat, highlighted by Tevvon Walker’s 18 points, on 5-of-15 from the field.

Things started out slow for the Ramblers as they brushed off the slush similar to the melting snow outdoors as Krutwig scored the first points of the game at the 17:13 mark as they started out with a 7-1 lead.

The Crusaders responded with a 10-2 run of their own as free-throw makes carried the majority of the load on offense. When things have gotten thin this season, Loyola’s go-to option has been Krutwig and did not disappoint as he scored six points to highlight a Rambler 11-2 run as they went ahead 22-14 with 5:53 left in the first half.

Both teams endured hardship towards the last portion of the opening half as Loyola went 3:35 scoreless, while Valpo missed nine of 10 shots as it led 28-21 after 20 minutes.

As Loyola appeared to be on its way to coasting to another double-digit win, Valparaiso had other plans as it started the half on a 7-0 run and tied the game.

The Crusaders kept the deficit within single digits, but were dealt a big blow with 4:24 left as Jaume Sorolla fouled out (12 points and five rebounds) and would not recover as the Ramblers pulled away in the last minute behind 11 out of their last 12 field goal conversions on their way to a nine-point win.

“We continue to do a good job moving the ball and we probably could have done a better job of that tonight,” Custer said. “Down the stretch, we continued to trust each other and make the extra pass.”


Looking Ahead:

The Crusaders host the Bradley Braves on Feb. 17, while the Ramblers look to get one step closer towards their first ever MVC regular season title as they go on to the road to face the Evansville Aces on Feb. 18.


Social Media:


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Friday, February 9, 2018

No. 11 Saint Mary's 83, Loyola Marymount 62: Gaels dominate from start to finish behind Landale's 21 points


Photo Credit: Devin Larkins                                                      

By: Devin Larkins
Twitter: @devin_larkins

LOS ANGELES— In a Thursday night matchup, the No. 11 Saint Mary Gaels (24-2, 13-0 WCC) took on interstate rivals, the Loyola Marymount University Lions (7-17 2-11) in a West Coast Conference game. 

The battle would be majority one-sided throughout the game. The Gaels focused and handled their business beating the Lions 83-62.

Saint Mary’s jumped out to an early 20-8 lead over the Lions, which was led by a well-rounded attack; knocking down three-pointers, lobs in the paint, driving to the lane and playing tough and pesky defense on the other end of the floor.

“So to come in here and be able to control the game from start to finish, our focus had to be good. As a team it was good,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said.

The Lions would only see the lead for exactly 26 seconds during the entire first half. 13 of Jock Landale's 21 points came in the first half on 4-of-5 shooting, which gave them a 40-31 lead after 20 minutes.

“I think we got off to a great start. We were getting good looks down from Calvin, shooting a lot of good 3’s. We just had guys clicking on all cylinders,” Landale said.

The phrase says “history repeats itself”— this was certainly true for the game. Saint Mary’s kept firing on all cylinders in the second half. Frustrating the Lions with suffocating defense on the in and outside. Their frustration boiled over causing LMU coach Mike Dunlap to yell at the referee for what he believed was a miss foul call. Culminating in him receiving a technical foul. 

“We tried to take the 3-ball away from them. They [Saint Mary’s] are one of the best in the country at doing that. Then you are going to give up some stuff in the paint. We made a nice push back, that game could have been 20 easily in the first half,” Dunlap said.

Point guard Jordan Ford from the Gaels would get a career high in points with 20. Having a hot and perfect hand from long distance - not missing a shot.

“I think its been coming on - he has been coming on as a player. As the season gone on second half. He just keeps getting better, more confident” Saint Mary’s coach Ryan McCrary said.

Not much went well for the Lions during the game. However, one bright spot was Eli Scott who led his team in points and rebounds. Contributing 16 points and gathering 10 rebounds for another double-double. 

“Well he [Eli Scott] is a special freshman and we know that and his numbers are good. He is powerful. Smart and he is learning. He just continues to progress both offensively and defensively, he is figuring some things out. I am proud of his effort,” Dunlap said.


Looking Ahead:

No. 11 Saint Mary’s will host the No. 12 Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-4, 11-1) on Saturday at home in what should be a good game and may determine the WCC regular champion. This will mark the first time in conference history two top 12 teams will face each other. 

“I think the reputation nationally its a basketball league. It’s nasty conference. I always say, we’ll rise with the excellence of the guys at the top. When you have those 3 pushing up, it just helps everybody else elevate” coach Dunlap  


The Lions will get back into action on Saturday as well. Taking on the area rivals the Pepperdine Waves (4-21, 1-12).


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Green: How St. John’s turned the college basketball world upside down in a four-day stretch

Photo Credit: St. John's Athletic Department

Heading into action last Saturday, the St. John’s Red Storm appeared to be on the verge of being a non-factor once more in Big East play under second-year coach Chris Mullin at 0-11.

Who could blame anyone, heck even the smartest college basketball fan thought after coming up short in a 73-68 loss on Jan. 30 to then- No. 6 Xavier that St. John’s losing streak would extend by more than 11 games. The gauntlet went from league play to perennial non-conference rivals in the Duke Blue Devils, who came in ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll.

The upstart Red Storm decided to go against the script of being heavy underdogs and matched the Blue Devils blow by blow and saw their lead grow to as many as 11 points in the second half. Things appeared to come back to reality for St. John’s as Duke took the lead at 73-72 on a pair of free throws from Gary Trent, Jr. with 1:34 left.

However, St. John’s harkened back to the days of Mullin as a player in the peak days of the 1980’s with Shamorie Ponds leading the way late to game-high 33 points in an 81-77 upset of Duke at Madison Square Garden.

"We were a bit better in making free throws, layups and taking care of the ball," Mullin said during Thursday's Big East teleconference. "We have been really solid on defense all season long, but have not been converting when it matters, so it's good to see things pay off in the last two games."

In a blink of an eye, St. John’s went from the ugly duckling to the princess on the dance floor as the Big East would be back in the national discussion across the country. The celebration looked to be short lived as the Red Storm jumped back into league play on the road against the top-ranked Villanova Wildcats Wednesday night.

At this point, most included myself thought all of the energy St. John’s expended against Duke would not filter into the Villanova game. The Red Storm controlled the tempo for the majority of the game behind Ponds' 26 points and hung on despite one final rally late by the Wildcats for a 79-75 upset and their first win in Big East play.

The Red Storm proved to the majority of the country, including myself by producing back-to-back wins over top 5 teams that has given Mullin the well deserved attention and a good starting point towards building for the remainder of the regular season as he emphasized late-game executions.

"Late game executions are really important. It is a 40-minute game and the thing is it helps build confidence to be able to fight through the adversity and potentially win more down the line," Mullin said.

Only time will tell on sustained success in the future, but in the interim, St. John’s will continue to relish the role of spoiler.


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