|News » Archives|
Saturday, December 09, 2006 | Men's Basketball
Historic Saturday Caps Incredible Week in Men's Hoops; Evansville Opens League Play With Win
For the second-straight season and fifth time in the league's 100-year history, The Valley recorded two non-conference top-25 wins on the same day in regular-season play as Indiana State toppled previously unbeaten and No. 14 Butler, 72-64, while Creighton beat visiting No. 24 Xavier, 73-67. Evansville, meanwhile, handled visiting Illinois State, 69-41, in the league opener for both schools.
The Valley went a perfect 7-0 in non-league play on Saturday, capping a 13-1 week against non-MVC foes. For the year, league teams have combined to go 61-18 in non-conference play which ranks third-best all-time in the league's 100-year history (.772) -- trailing only 1920-21 (.833 at 25-5) and 1916-17 (.795 at 35-9).
In addition to two top-25 wins and UNI's first win at Iowa, the week's accomplishments included a 9-0 mark in home contests, lifting the league's record in homecourt games to a remarkable 41-1. The 4-1 road record this week lifted the league's road record to 13-11.
The Valley is now 5-1 this season against teams ranked in the Top 25 at the time of the game. Last year, Indiana State (over ranked Indiana) and UNI (over ranked Iowa) recorded top-25 victories for the Valley on the same day (Dec. 6, 2005), marking the fourth time that had happened in league history.
The win was the sixth in the last seven games for the Purple Aces, who are 6-3 overall. They put an end to Illinois State's six-game win streak. The Redbirds are also 6-3. After leading by just a point at halftime, Evansville scored 19 of the first 21 points of the second half and eventually outscored Illinois State 38-6 to take a 66-33 lead. The 41 points were the fewest allowed by Evansville since UE beat Northwestern 48-26 in 1999-00.
"One thing I love about this team is the energy," said senior Matt Webster, who led the way with 21 points Saturday. "No matter whether we're down or up, we keep taking it to them."
Webster got all the offensive help he needed Saturday from center Bradley Strickland, with 12 points, and forward Shy Ely, who scored 10 off the bench. Dom Johnson scored 11 to lead the Redbirds, who hit just 14 of 52 shots for 27 percent. Evansville shot a season-high 53 percent, hitting 26 of 49. Evansville is off until next Saturday, when the Aces host Lipscomb at 7:05. Lipscomb dealt UE a 67-64 defeat at Nashville in the season opener Nov. 13.
ISU’s Todd McCoy hit the first shot of the game before the Bulldogs put together a small run, building their only lead of the game at four (7-3) five minutes in the game. The momentum would then shift to the Sycamores as the team outscored Butler 15-11 to even the score at 18-18 at the 8:17 mark.
Indiana State would cap the half with a 17-5 run to take a 35-23 lead into the break.
Following the half, the Sycamores would hold onto the lead despite the Bulldogs chipping the lead to seven on multiple occasions, but failing to get any closer. Indiana State would seal the win, hitting six of eight free throws down the stretch for the 72-64 win.
“This was a good win for us against a very good Butler team,” Head coach Royce Waltman said after the game. “We finished the game strong with solid free throw shooting and continuing to run the offense.”
Gabe Moore led all scorers with a career-high 24 points, two rebounds and one assist. Trent Wurtz was the other Sycamore in double figures with 15. Jay Tunnell recorded a career-high with five assists and Harry Marshall’s five rebounds was also a career high.
The Bulldogs were paced by three players in double figures: Mike Green with 18, Brandon Crone with 15 and A.J. Graves with 14. Crone also recorded a game-high 10 rebounds for Butler.
Creighton 73, No. 24 Xavier 67
Nate Funk added 15 points and Dane Watts had 10 rebounds for the Bluejays.
Drew Lavender had 13 points, Stanley Burrell 12 and Justin Doellman 10 for the Musketeers (unranked ESPN/USA Today; No. 24 AP), who moved into the Top 25 for the first time this season earlier in the week and were playing their first true road game. Tolliver's 3-pointer and Nick Porter's steal and layup highlighted a 9-2 run that gave the Bluejays a 43-28 lead early in the second half.
But Xavier, which missed nine of their first 10 3-point attempts, hit three of four from long range to stay in the game. It was 52-48 after Burrell hit consecutive 3s and Doellman made a jumper from the wing.
The Bluejays stopped the 20-9 Xavier run when Funk picked up a tipped ball and drove in for a layup to make it a six-point game with 7 1/2 minutes left.
Josh Duncan's 3 pulled the Musketeers to 59-53, but Xavier could get no closer until Tolliver committed his fifth foul with 36 seconds left and Justin Cage made one free throw to make it 66-61.
Xavier, which shot 50 percent or better in four straight games, was held to 40.4 percent shooting. The crowd of 15,872 at the Qwest Center was the largest to attend a basketball game in Nebraska. The previous record was 15,700 for Creighton's game against Fresno State on Feb. 18, 2006.
The Musketeers missed 13 of their first 15 shots and Creighton's defense fueled a 10-0 run that put the Bluejays up 19-8.
Isacc Miles had two steals, Watts drew a charge from Duncan and Ty Morrison and Tolliver blocked consecutive shots. Tolliver had five points, including a three-point play, and Nick Bahe hit a 3 during the spurt.
Then Tolliver missed three straight shots and the Musketeers pulled to 22-18 on B.J. Raymond's 3 and Cole's dunk. But Tolliver finished the half strong, hitting two free throws and converting a three-point play after a nice pass from Funk. Watts made a 3 while falling, Bahe put back a miss by Tolliver and the Bluejays led 34-26 at halftime.
No. 10 Wichita State 83, Wyoming 69
Brandon Ewing had a game-high 29 points. Brad Jones added 17, all in the second half for Wyoming.
Trailing by as many as 14 points in the first half, Wyoming (7-2) clawed its way back behind Jones and Ewing.
After chipping away at the lead for much of the second half, Jones scored on a driving layup with 10:37 left to give the Cowboys a 51-50 lead, their first since going up 2-0 in the opening minute. The Shockers fell behind for a moment, but Wilson scored inside to put Wichita State ahead 52-51, starting a 6-0 run.
Jones hit two free throws to bring Wyoming within 56-53, but Phillip Thomasson answered with a turnaround jumper and Wilson hit a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 run that gave the Shockers a 65-53 lead.
Wichita State forced 22 Cowboy turnovers and held Wyoming to 34.5 percent shooting in the first half and 45.3 percent for the game.
Drake 87, Georgia Southern 75
The 6-foot 5-inch Calvin, who leads the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring, was selected the Outstanding Player on the tournament's six-man team. He was joined by Bulldog teammate Josh Young and James Hughes from Northern Illinois, O'Darien Bassett from Troy, and Dwayne Foreman and Louis Graham from Georgia Southern.
Calvin hit 10 of 13 shots from the field, while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. He played a key role in a deciding scoring run as Drake broke a four-game winning streak by Georgia Southern which played in the 2006 NIT. Young matched his career high with 19 points established the night before against Troy.
Drake senior guard Nick Grant added 14 points along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Grant moved into sixth place on the school career steals list with 128, surpassing Chaun Brooks who had 127 from 2003-06.
With Drake clinging to a 68-64 lead with 8:30 left, the Bulldogs went on a 13-4 run for an 81-68 margin with 4:32 remaining. Calvin and Klayton Korver each had four points during the spurt. Korver finished with 12 points. Junior reserve guard Adam Emmenecker scored a career high seven points for Drake along with three rebounds and three steals.
There were nine ties and eight lead changes before a layup by Grant gave Drake a 35-33 lead it would not relinquish.
Missouri State dialed long distance most of the night, connecting on 14-of-26 from 3-point range, including 7-of-12 in the first period, for 53.8 percent behind the arc. In an impressive display from deep, the two teams set UNCW records for combined 3-point field goals in a half (14) and trifectas in a game (24).
Junior guard Daniel Fountain paced the Seahawks with 13 points and freshman guard Montez Downey contributed 12.
The Bears built a 39-31 lead at halftime and increased the margin to as many as 21 points down the stretch before the final 16-point decision. It was the biggest home loss for the Seahawks since 63-45 defeat to Virginia Commonwealth back on Jan. 29, 1996.
MSU led by 11 points, 45-34, and put the game away with a 15-3 run midway through the second period. Reserve forward Kyle Rausch scored two buckets in the spurt and Lamberth canned back-to-back treys to give the Bears a 60-39 cushion with 13:11 remaining.
UNCW got no closer than 13 points the rest of the way as the Bears continued to keep the Seahawks at bay with accurate long range shooting. MSU wound up hitting 7-of-15 behind the arc in the final 20 minutes to hand UNCW first-year coach Benny Moss his first home loss.
Following a pair of ties in the first three minutes, MSU took control early and never trailed the rest of the way. Bilyeu converted a pair of free throws at 8:56 to give the Bears a 20-10 lead, before NCW cut the deficit to five points, 20-15, on a free throw by senior guard Temi Soyebo at 7:43.
Young broke out of a season-long shooting slump by making 6-of-7 shots from 3-point range and finishing with 22 points for the Salukis (7-1). Tatum, meanwhile, scored seven of his 10 points in the crucial final five minutes of the game.
The Salukis led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but Western steadily chipped away at the lead until a pair of free throws by Boris Siakam tied it, 53-53, with 6:15 to go. When the second free throw fell, the near capacity crowd at Diddle Arena almost blew the roof off the recently renovated facility. The rest of the game resembled a title fight, in which the savvy veteran Salukis kept sneaking in an extra blow against their worthy challengers.
Tatum started the final push with a desperate off balance jumper that drew net and gave SIU a 55-53 advantage. Courtney Lee countered for the Hilltoppers (8-2) by nailing a pull-up jumper for two of his game-high 23 points. Western took its first and only lead, 59-58, on a pair of free throws by Orlando Mendez-Valdez with exactly 4:00 to play. That's when Southern Illinois went on a decisive 6-0 run to create some breathing room.
It started with a high-low pass from Matt Shaw to Randal Falker, who finished the play with a dunk. After a missed shot by WKU, Young drained a 3-point from the top of the key with 2:12 remaining to put SIU ahead 64-59. Although the Hilltoppers made a couple of 3-pointers in the game's final minute, they never had possession of the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead in the final minutes.
MEN'S BASKETBALL ARCHIVES