By Chris Ramirez
East Lansing, MI – Keith Appling scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had seven assists, as 13th-ranked Michigan State beat Illinois, 80-75 in a Big Ten Conference showdown Thursday at Breslin Center. Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine each had 14 points for the Spartans (18-4, 7-2 Big Ten), who trailed by 10 points at halftime, but outscored the Illini 53-38 in the second half en route to bouncing back from a loss Sunday at Indiana. Tracy Abrams scored 16 points and dished out six helpers and D.J. Richardson added 14 points for the Fighting Illini (15-7, 2-6), who have lost five of six. (more…)
By Matthew Woodruff
The Miami Heat successfully swept the season series with the New Jersey Nets Wednesday night, capping off an impressive 105-85 win at the Baclays Center. Lebron James and Dwayne Wade paced the Heat with 24 and 21 points respectively while newly crowned all-star Brook Lopez capped a great twenty-four hours with 21 points, 7 boards and 3 blocks for the locals.
The scores were locked heading into the dressing sheds 49 apiece after New Jersey outscored the Heat 29-19 in the second quarter. Andray Blatche was largely responsible for the turn around, hitting 5-5 from the field as the Nets also kept the dangerous Lebron James scoreless in the quarter.
A spate of turnovers from New Jersey early in the third period allowed Miami to stage an 18-2 run that the Nets never recovered from. Deron Williams, playing with flu-like symptoms was responsible for the bulk of the fast point opportunities Miami was given, committing six turnovers that led to a 20-4 fast break advantage by the Miami Heat. (more…)
By Michael Almonte
The Boston Celtics received some devastating news on Sunday as All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season after tearing his right ACL last Friday night in the team’s 123-111 loss in double-overtime to the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics blew a 27-point lead in the game before ultimately losing extending their losing streak to six-games. Rondo was a late scratch prior to Sunday’s showdown versus the Miami Heat and it was revealed during the broadcast he suffered the season-ending injury. For the second straight game, the Celtics played two double-overtimes defeating the Heat 100-98 snapping their losing streak. Rondo was having another excellent season scoring 13.7, leading the NBA in assists 11.1, rebounding at 5.6 and averaging 1.8 steals in 38 games. He shot 48% from the field and recorded five triple-doubles on the season. Since the 2008 season, the Celtics are 26-16 without Rondo and will need other players to step up in his absence if the Celtics want to make the playoffs for the sixth straight season. They currently sit in the eighth spot with a 22-23 record. (more…)
By Chris Ramirez
Gainesville, FL – Mike Rosario and Kenny Boynton each netted 15 points and Patric Young added eight points and eight rebounds, as fourth- ranked Florida throttled South Carolina, 75-36 . Freshman Michael Frazier nailed four 3-pointers for 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds for the Gators (17-2, 7-0 SEC) who have won nine straight, all coming by 17 points or more. (more…)
By Chris Ramirez
Oxford, MS – Kyle Wiltjer scored a career-high 26 points and Archie Goodwin added 24 points, as Kentucky held off 16th-ranked Ole Miss, 87-74. Nerlens Noel nearly recorded a double-double with a school-record 12 blocks and seven rebounds for the Wildcats (14-6, 5-2 SEC), who picked up their first win over a ranked opponent this season and now have found victory in four of their last five contests. Alex Poythress contributed 15 points and seven rebounds in the win. (more…)
Louisville, KY – The Cardinals snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Pitt 64-61. Russ Smith netted 20 points to lead the Cardinals (17-4, 5-3 Big East), who played without starting forward Wayne Blackshear as he missed the contest with a right shoulder sprain. Gorgui Dieng added 14 points and 12 boards in the win. Tray Woodall tallied 14 points for the Panthers (17-5, 5-4), who had their four-game winning streak snapped. (more…)
Morgantown, WV – Travis Releford and Jeff Withey each scored 15 points, leading second-ranked Kansas to a 61-56 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers. Withey added seven rebounds and four blocks in Kansas’ first-ever meeting with West Virginia. (more…)