College basketball: No 3 Iowa routs Western Illinois; No. 7 Kansas, No. 16 Virginia Tech win

Luka Garza scored 35 points, 30 in the first half, and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 3 Iowa stayed unbeaten with a 99-58 win over Western Illinois on Thursday night.

Jack Nunge, playing his first game this season following the death of his father, matched his career high with 18 points for Iowa (3-0). Joe Wieskamp added 11 points and Patrick McCaffery scored 10 for the Hawkeyes.

Garza reached 30 points in the first half for the second consecutive game. He had 36 by halftime of last Friday’s 103-76 victory over Southern.

It was the 19th straight game of 20 points or more for Garza, the lone unanimous selection on The Associated Press preseason All-America team.

No. 7 Kansas 89, Washburn 54

David McCormack scored 17 points, Ochai Agbaji added 16 and Jalen Wilson had 12, helping seventh-ranked Kansas cruise past Washburn in the Jayhawks’ long-delayed home opener.

Kansas (3-1) had opened with a pair of games in Florida and beat Kentucky in Indianapolis before returning to the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse. Players sat apart from each other, much like they have at other venues, and the recent surge in positive coronavirus cases forced school officials to limit attendance to a couple hundred staff and family members.

Washburn (3-1), coached by former Jayhawks guard and Bill Self assistant Brett Ballard, wasn’t rattled in the opening minutes. Levi Braun hit a trio of early 3s, Jonny Clausing bulled his way to a couple easy baskets, and the Ichabods managed to hang within 27-22 at the under-8 timeout of the first half.

McCormack and Wilson began to be too much, though.

Braun and Tyler Geiman led the Ichabods with nine points apiece. Clausing finished with eight.

No. 16 Virginia Tech 64, VMI 57

Keve Aluma had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Virginia Tech won its 34th consecutive nonconference game at home.

Tyrece Radford added 13 points and Justyn Mutts had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hokies (4-0). They led 30-23 at halftime and used a 9-0 run in the second half to take control. Radford had five points in the burst, including a three-point play to finish it.

Myles Lewis had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead VMI (2-2). Greg Parham added 12 points.

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Kansas’ ugly win over Kentucky reflect college hoops’ unsettling start

kansas-kentucky

INDIANAPOLIS — When this execrable basketball game was over, Bankers Life Fieldhouse shut down immediately. The Kansas Jayhawks waved at the Kentucky Wildcats, who waved back, and both went their separate ways to the locker rooms. The music was turned off, and since there were no fans the arena went silent in a matter of seconds.

The quiet provided a window to reflect on a stunningly ugly matchup of bluebloods, and the unsettling season that lies ahead.

Kansas won, 65-62, in a rock fight that saw the two teams combined to make 8 of 42 three-point shots (19%). At one point they were 3 of 30 before, ahem, heating up. The Jayhawks won while shooting 30% from the field, which shouldn’t be possible. Kansas coach Bill Self said the newly remodeled arena had “the tightest rims I’ve ever seen in my life,” but still termed his team’s first-half offensive performance “inept.”

But that aesthetic struggle was the least troubling part of the night. There were reports before the game that Kansas defensive specialist Marcus Garrett would not play because he was ill—which immediately prompted COVID-19 concerns. The Jayhawks were coming off a game last Friday against Saint Joseph’s, which on Sunday paused its season after a positive test in the program.

Then Garrett did decide to play, something Self said he did not know would happen until he got on the bus to go to the arena. Self said Garrett first began feeling ill last Friday, then tested negative Saturday and again Tuesday via a PCR test. But the coach’s description of Garrett’s symptoms only escalated concerns.

“He was having a real problem with headaches and bright lights,” Self said. “His stomach was messed up. He said he couldn’t get his wind.” Shortness of breath, headaches and nausea are all among the laundry list of COVID symptoms.

While the ESPN broadcast crew, and later Self, were praising Garrett for his toughness, a lot of other people were wondering how responsible it was for him to play. It’s entirely possible he was ill with something unrelated to the virus, and the test results would back that, but the average American workplace would have sent him home no matter whether he tested negative. College athletic programs have thrown around the “abundance of caution” phrase a lot in the last few months, and playing Garrett would seem closer to an absence of caution.

These are the gray areas college basketball will try to navigate while keeping its season on a shaky course from now until March. Dozens of games already have been canceled, moved and rearranged on the fly, lending an unmistakable AAU feel of impermanence to the proceedings. Many more will follow.

The very fact that this game was being played in this fashion underscored that the season was off to a wobbly start. For the previous nine years, the Champions Classic was a splashy November ESPN doubleheader matching the same four teams—Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State—and

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DJ Stewart has career night in win over Texas State

Mississippi State Bulldogs

2-6 OVERALL | 2-6 SEC (7th WEST)

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No. 10 Oregon Ducks advances to 2-0 with win over University of Portland

When the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus last March, it also eliminated the chance for the Portland Pilots and Oregon Ducks to have met in the first round.

On Monday evening, we got the matchup, albeit without Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard or Satou Sabally, with the No. 10 Oregon Ducks (2-0) winning 85-52 thanks to a strong third quarter. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent]

The Pilots played the Ducks tough in the first half, trailing by just nine points after one quarter and 12 points at the half. But, Oregon outscored Portland by 18 points in the third quarter to put away the contest. 

Senior Erin Boley led the way for Oregon with 25 points on 11-17 shooting showing she takes on more of an offensive load this season. Before, she primarily spaced the floor but against Portland she took pull-up jumpers and cut backdoor for lay-ins. 

Sedona Prince (13) and Taylor Mikesell (11) joined Boley in double figures. Freshman five-star guard Te-Hina Paopao added five assists, leading the team. 

Meanwhile for the Pilots, Alex Fowler had 12 points on 5-14 from the field. Only one Pilot who took more than four shots made at least half of their attempts, Lauren Walker who had six points on 3-6 shooting. 

As a team, Oregon outshot Portland 51.6% to 37.5% from the floor. 

Next, Oregon opens up Pac-12 play hosting Colorado (2-0) on December 4th. 

 

Then for the Pilots, they’ll host the Seattle U Redhawks on Sunday afternoon at the Chiles Center. Tip-off is set for 12 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Northwest.

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Race Thompson Has Career Day in Indiana’s Win Over Providence

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Indiana had a need and Race Thompson filled it nicely in the Hoosiers’ 79-58 blowout victory over Providence on Monday in the first round of the Camping World Maui Invitational.

Worried about rebounding with a new three-guard lineup, Thompson answered the bell for Indiana, scoring a career-high 22 points and grabbing 13 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers past a good Friars team that can contend in the Big East. It was the first career double-double for the redshirt junior from Plymouth, Minn.

“I was flabbergasted at the way they manhandled us on the offensive glass,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said. “Give the Thompson kid credit; he had a career game against us. We pride ourselves on defensive rebounding and they got 15 offensive rebounds against us. That just doesn’t happen to us. 

“But give them credit. They played harder than we did. It was just a bad game for the Friars.”

With the win, Indiana advances to the semifinals to take on No. 17-ranked Texas, a 78-76 winner over Davidson in the first round. The game is at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. 

The two other first-round games — North Carolina vs. UNLV and Stanford vs. Alabama — were scheduled for Monday night at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center. 

The tournament was moved from Hawaii because of travel concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indiana (2-0) entered the game as a two-point favorite and was expecting a battle from the big and physical Friars (1-1), but the Hoosiers took control early and never looked back. Thompson had 11 first-half points and Indiana won the rebounding battle by eight. Indiana never trailed after Providence’s first basket of the game.

The Hoosiers also made their free throws, which was an issue during their season-opening win over Tennessee Tech. After shooting 10-for-22 in the opener, they made 7-of-8 in the first half in building a 17-point lead. Thompson was 3-for-4 himself

Indiana struggled from three-point range early, but got a nice boost from Al Durham early in the second half. He hit back-to-back three-pointers right after a mini-run by Providence. Durham, a senior co-captain, finished with 19 points. Providence never got closer than 10 points in the second half.

“Al played with poise and confidence, and Al showed he’s a very capable finisher,” Miller said. “He made some big threes, made his free throws. We need that from him.”

Indiana center Joey Brunk missed his second straight game with a sore back. Miller said he could have played if it was February or March, “but we’re trying to get to February and March,” he said. “I think he’ll be available if things continue to progress in this tournament.” 

Miller said the only number on Thompson’s stat line that he didn’t like where the 35 minutes he played. “Too much. Way too much,” said. “We were kind of riding him for a bit there, and then Jerome Hunter wasn’t able to help much with all the fouls. We can’t have that. 

“Fatigue will

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Why can’t the CU Buffs win the Pac-12?

CU Buffs: 2020 Pac-12 Football Champions.

Look, why go just half-crazy here?

Let’s embrace the full Looney Tunes. We’re scheduling football games with less than 48 hours notice. The only reasonable path for the Pac-12 or BYU to reach the College Football Playoff, at this point, is via the mother of all COVID outbreaks along the South and East. Or a wave of alien abductions.

It’s 2020. If we’re gonna get weird, let’s get really weird. Gonzo weird.

Like the Buffs (3-0) winning not just the South division — been there, done that, back in 2016 — but the whole dang thing.

It’s still mathematically on the table, isn’t it? The next two regular-season games, if played — and that’s a massive “if,” as we learned last week — are winnable: at Arizona (0-3, No. 77 Massey composite college football ranking) this Saturday, versus Utah (0-2, No. 99) on Friday, Dec. 11.

Thanks to first-year coach Karl Dorrell and seniors such as linebacker Nate Landman, safety Derrion Rakestraw and graduate quarterback Sam “The Karate Kid” Noyer, the Buffs (No. 31) are handling chaos, and short-turnaround chaos, as well as anybody west of Nebraska.

CU’s season-opening win over UCLA (2-2) is looking better by the day, and the Pac-12 besides the Huskies and Trojans feels like about 17 levels of bonkers. Embrace it. Because we’ll never see another college football season like this one, Lord-willing, in our lifetimes.

On the heels of a 20-10 home win over San Diego State, the Buffs moved up to No. 4 today in The Denver Post’s Best of the West College Football Top 25. The poll, released each Monday, ranks the top 25 FBS programs from the Front Range to the Pacific Ocean, as culled from the Pac-12, the Mountain West and BYU.

Post columnist Sean Keeler (@SeanKeeler), Post deputy sports editor Matt Schubert (@MattDSchubert)  and Post reporter Kyle Fredrickson (@KyleFredrickson) vote on the top 25.

The rest of the latest rankings follow, with in-state squads listed in bold:

THE DENVER POST BEST OF THE WEST TOP 25 POLL — NOV. 30

1. BYU (9-0) (3 first-place votes) — Previous: 1 // Up next: IDLE

2. Washington (2-0) — Previous: 4 // Up next: vs. STAN

3. USC (3-0) — Previous: 2 // Up next: vs. WAZZU, Sun.

4. CU (3-0) — Previous: 5 // Up next: at ARIZ

5. Boise State (4-1) — Previous: 6 // Up next: at UNLV, Fri.

6. Oregon (3-1) — Previous: 3 // Up next: at CAL

7. San Jose State (4-0) — Previous: 7 // Up next: vs. HAW

8. UCLA (2-2) — Previous: 10 // Up next: at ASU

9. Oregon State (2-2) — Previous: 14 // Up next: at UTAH

10. Washington State (1-1) — Previous: 9 // Up next: at USC, Sun.

11. Nevada (5-1) — Previous: 8 // Up next: vs. FRES

▲12. Utah (0-2) — Previous: 19 // Up next: vs. OREST

13. Arizona State (0-1) — Previous: 11 // Up next:

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DK Metcalf sets career-high with 177 yards in 23-17 win over Eagles

DK Metcalf caught 10 passes for a career-high 177 yards to help carry the Seattle Seahawks to a 23-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night.

Metcalf picked on Eagles cornerback Darius Slay throughout the night as Russell Wilson‘s targeted his star receiver 13 times in total. Wilson tossed a touchdown pass to David Moore, and Chris Carson scored in his first game back from a four-week absence as the Seahawks as Seattle improved to 8-3 on the year.

Carson Wentz was sacked six times by the Seahawks Defense. He was held to just 215 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception by what is statistically the league’s worst passing defense. Seattle held Philadelphia to just 180 net passing yards after allowing an average of 343.7 yards per game entering the night.

The Eagles stopped Seattle on a pair of fourth down attempts on their opening two drives to keep the game scoreless early. However, the Eagles Offense went three-and-out on each of their first five possessions of the game as they were unable to do anything right.

A 52-yard bomb from Wilson to DK Metcalf set up a 1-yard touchdown pass to David Moore to give Seattle a 7-0 lead. Chris Carson then sprung free for a 16-yard touchdown run on the next Seahawks’ drive to take a 14-0 lead.

A missed intentional grounding call by the officials on the final drive of the first half helped fuel the Eagles first scoring drive of the game. A snap over the head of Wentz flew over 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage. After retrieving the loose ball, Wentz tried to throw the ball away with Carlos Dunlap giving chase. The ball was caught two yards short of the line of scrimmage by a Seahawks staffer as the official on the line of scrimmage watch the ball not get back to him. The throw was ruled to have reached the line somehow with the Eagles getting to take second-and-10 instead of second-and-30-plus.

Philadelphia capitalized on the opportunity with Wentz hitting Dallas Goedert for a 3-yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in the half. A missed extra point from Jake Elliott would leave the score at 14-6. Elliott would convert a 42-yard field goal on Philadelphia’s first drive of the third quarter to trim the lead to 14-9.

A 44-yard field goal from Jason Myers made it a 17-9 game for the third straight meeting between the two teams. After Metcalf dropped a touchdown, Myers hammered another field goal through from 33 yards out to push the lead to 20-9.

The Eagles tried to respond and moved the ball to the Seattle 15-yard line before electing to go for in on fourth-and-4. Wentz airmailed a pass for Goedert that was picked off in the end zone by Quandre Diggs to turn the threat away. The Eagles could have kicked a 33-yard field goal to cut the lead to one score but Doug Pederson’s aggressive call backfired.

Myers would add

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5 observations from Seton Hall’s first win of the season: A Pitino lovefest, Rhoden’s career night, missing the fans, more

Seton Hall on Monday earned its first win of the 2020-21 season with an 86-64 blowout of Iona in Rick Pitino’s debut coaching the Gaels.

From Pitino’s reunion with his former protege Kevin Willard to Jared Rhoden’s career night to Willard revealing he dealt with COVID to playing the first home game without fans, there was a lot going on.

Here are five observations on the night.

A lovefest with Pitino, and a return game

Willard learned the game from his father, former coach Ralph Willard, and from Pitino, serving under him both with the Boston Celtics and at Louisville before becoming a head coach himself.

This contest marked yet another reunion, but it was Pitino’s first game coaching Iona after he was fired at Louisville in 2017.

The two men met wearing masks on the side of the court before the game and then shared a tender private moment afterward.

“I told him, ‘I love you, I’m so glad to see you back,’ and he said he loved me, too,” Willard said on a postgame Zoom. “It’s a weird emotion seeing someone that you worked with for so long and you have so much — you’ve been through a lot of things in your life personally with and professionally — I know with the inside knowledge of what he’s gone through the last three or four years, it’s a joy. When I saw him on the sideline, I said, ‘that’s where Rick Pitino belongs,’ and I think he landed at a phenomenal spot. It’s a tremendous college, and I think the two of them combined, I’m not going to be playing them in three or four years, I’ll tell you that much.”

They will play again next season in a return game at either Madison Square Garden or the Islanders’ new arena, as first reported Sunday by NJ Advance Media.

“To play Seton Hall this early in the year is a great gift from Kevin, which I really, really appreciate,” Pitino, 68, told reporters. “I love him so much. I’m happy that he gave us the opportunity to play. We’re going to learn so much from this game.”

While Pitino will get a return game, he won’t be getting a Rolex from Willard. The Iona coach Tweeted before the game that he was expecting a new watch after presenting Willard with one when the then-Iona coach played at Louisville.

“I’ve seen all the watches he has,” Willard said in his post-game radio interview. “That man does not need a new watch.”

Instead, Willard said, he would be sending Pitino a case of on his favorite “expensive cabernet.”

Rhoden responds to the challenge, has career night

If Seton Hall is going to accomplish what it wants to this season, they need junior Jared Rhoden to have a big year.

After Rhoden went 3-for-12 for 11 points with six rebounds in the season-opening loss to Louisville, Willard challenged the young man from Baldwin, N.Y.

“I yelled at Jared [Sunday],” Willard said

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Howland gets 500th career win with Mississippi St. victory

D

STARKVILLE, Miss. — D.J. Stewart Jr. scored a career-high 23 points with five 3-pointers and coach Ben Howland secured his 500th career win and Mississippi State beat Texas State 68-51 on Monday night.

Howland, in his sixth year at Mississippi State, has grabbed 99 of those wins with the Bulldogs. He’s led Mississippi State to 20-plus wins in each of the last three seasons.

Howland’s career stints also have included, Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh and UCLA.

Alonzo Sule’s basket with 18:41 left brought the Bobcats into a 26-all tie. The Bulldogs (1-2) proceeded to outscore Texas State (2-1) by a 24-6 margin over the next eight minutes to put the game away.

Mississippi State used its size to amass a 46-27 rebound advantage. The Bulldogs shot 25 of 58 (43.1%), which included 9 of 23 from 3-point range.

Mason Harrell scored 15 points for Texas State and Caleb Asberry 10.

The game was the first between the two schools. The Bulldogs now have a 65-12 overall record against current Sun Belt opponents.

Mississippi State has a 68-19 home record, and is 38-4 in non-conference home games under Howland.

———

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25

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EcoCar team from University of Alberta hoping to win world competition

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The eCoach tracking system.

It’s like a GPS device that uses a wide-angle augmentation system that tracks the movement of your car and data from your vehicle.

It then takes that information and pairs it with a smartphone app to track and analyze the data and find ways that driving habits could be made more efficient.

“Things like, if you speed on roads, if you’re accelerating really quickly and brake really quickly, that uses more fuel, so this will help people change their habits in order to use less fuel and shrink their carbon footprint,” Dew said.

The competition is virtual but that hasn’t stopped this team from already being selected as the winner in the Americas. They will represent Canada and North America in the global finals.

Dew adds it was a great experience to learn to work remotely on a project like this, since the team is usually very hands-on and they’re looking forward to going back to school sometime in the future and finishing the EcoCar they were working on before the pandemic.

That would be the fourth car the team has designed and made, and all the cars have names — the first car was named Steve, then came Alice, the third was Sophie and the current car is Kate.

The U of A EcoCar team has a significant birthday this year as well. It was started in 2010 and turns 10 this year. The team itself has near gender parity, with approximately equal numbers of men and women.

The team doesn’t find out the results of the competition until Dec. 20.

[email protected]

@Editwithmouse

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