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Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Men's Basketball
Valley Surging as Non-Conference Play Nears End
Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball teams had a perfect Wednesday, going 5-0 in non-conference play. Combined, the league has gone 9-1 this week and 23-5 since games of Dec. 8. Three non-league games are on the slate for Thursday before a six-day break before the start of conference play Dec. 29.
UNI 67, Indiana 61
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Northern Iowa notched a 67-61 win over Indiana in the semifinals of the iBN Las Vegas Classic in the Orleans Arena.
The Panthers (8-3 overall) were led by senior point guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe's game-high 24 points. Ahelegbe made 7-of-14 shots from the field and made 8-of-10 from the foul line. UNI's Johnny Moran poured in 15 points, including 4-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Indiana led 4-0 before Moran caught fire and buried four straight 3-pointers to lift the Panthers into a tie at 12-12 with 14:39 left in the first half.
Following a 26-26 tie, the Panthers went on a 16-3 run to take command of the game at 42-29 with 1:22 left until the intermission. Included in that spurt for the Panthers were a pair of 3-pointers from Ahelegbe and a pair from Jake Koch.
Indiana trimmed the UNI lead to 44-40 just over a minute into the second half. But the Panthers were able to push the advantage back to 10 at 51-41 with 14:41 left in the game. A tip in dunk by Koch on a fastbreak gave UNI its final double-digit lead of the night at 53-43 with 13:24 remaining. The Hoosiers then crept back into the contest and were able to knot the game at 59-59 with 2:35 left on a layup from Watford.
The Panthers came right back down the floor and Lucas O'Rear found Moran open under the hoop for a backdoor lay-in that put UNI on top for good with 2:05 left in the game. A missed jumper by Maurice Creek allowed UNI the opportunity to push it to a two-possession game and O'Rear seized the chance by scoring near the bucket to give UNI a 63-59 lead.
Indiana pulled to within three points at 64-61 following a pair of free throws by Watford with 33.4 seconds left. But the Panthers' Ahelegbe swished through a pair of free throws and Marc Sonnen hit another for the final six-point margin, 67-61. UNI will take on the winner of the New Mexico-Colorado game at 7 p.m. (Pacific) on Thursday. The game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports.
Missouri State 77, Arkansas State 70
(AP) SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Kyle Weems surpassed 20 points for the fourth straight game on Wednesday night, leading Missouri State to a 77-70 victory over Arkansas State.
Weems finished with 24 points and seven rebounds to become the first Bears player since Kevin Ault in 1998 to score 20 or more in four straight games.
Adam Leonard and Jermaine Mallett added 12 points apiece for Missouri State (8-3), which beat the Red Wolves for the second time this season following an 80-71 win Nov. 16 at the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Bears are 7-0 at home this season and have won 14 straight on their home court. Martavius Adams had 19 points and nine rebounds for Arkansas State (4-8), which lost despite shooting 61 percent from the field. The Wolves attempted only four 3-point shots, missing all of them.
Missouri State was 8 for 15 from 3-point range and shot 48 percent overall.
Creighton 58, Samford 40
OMAHA, Neb. -- Doug McDermott had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Creighton held Samford to a season-low 40 points while posting a 58-40 victory over Samford on Wednesday night. Creighton outrebounded Samford 45-16 for the game, a Qwest Center Omaha record for rebound margin and the program's largest since an identical +29 victory on the boards on Dec. 29, 2001 against Mississippi Valley State.
Creighton (8-4) won its fourth straight game and heads into Missouri Valley Conference play next Wednesday at Illinois State. Samford (8-5) had its three-game win streak snapped in the setback.
In addition to McDermott's 14 points and 11 rebounds, Antoine Young also finished with 14 points. Creighton outrebounded the Bulldogs 45-19, including 25-7 after halftime. The Jays shot 41.5 percent from the floor overall, 34.8 percent from downtown and 60 percent from the line. Creighton outscored Samford 16-0 after offensive rebounds.
Bradley 73, Detroit 65
PEORIA, Ill. - Senior guards Andrew Warren (24 points) and Dodie Dunson (18) combined for 42 points, including all 10 Bradley points in the game's final 2:39, leading the Braves (6-5) to a 73-65 non-conference men's basketball victory versus Detroit (7-6) Wednesday night at Carver Arena.
Bradley took a 35-26 halftime lead by complimenting an efficient offensive half with some stingy defense. The Braves shot 52.2 percent (12-23) from the floor in the first half, while limiting the Titans to a 32.3 percent (10-31) effort from the floor. The tide turned in the second half, however, as Detroit made 11-of-19 (.579) field goal attempts after the break and also sank 15-of-21 free throw attempts.
After Warren opened the second half by draining a 3-pointer with 18:57 left to give the Braves their largest lead of the game, Detroit steadily chipped away and finally pulled even, 59-59, when center Eli Holman scored inside with 5:02 remaining.
Bradley reserve center Anthony Thompson answered with a putback basket with 4:39 left, though, to give the Braves the lead for good, 61-59. Donavan Foster split two free throws on Detroit's next possession, then the Braves gained some separation by scoring the next seven points on a Will Egolf dunk off a feed from Dunson, a Dunson layup out of a timeout, two Warren free throws and one more free throw from Dunson with 36 seconds left for a 68-60 advantage.
Southern Illinois 61, Northern Illinois 49
(AP) CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Gene Teague had 16 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday night to lead Southern Illinois past Northern Illinois 61-49.
Mamadou Seck added 12 points for the Salukis (6-5), who made 51 percent of their outside shots but kept the game from being a runaway with their struggles at the free-throw line. Southern Illinois made just 4 of 11 from the foul line in the second half and 12 of 23 -- 52 percent -- for the game.
Xavier Silas had 11 points to lead Northern Illinois (3-6). Silas was 3 of 19 from the field, missing all four 3-point attempts, and the Huskies finished the night at 28 percent shooting. Jeremy Landers added 10 points for Northern Illinois.
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