Kentucky Takes Care Of Portland
|women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Kentucky 87, Portland 63
|USC 63, South Carolina 60
|Arkansas 86, Grambling 44
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Darius Miller could rejoin Kentucky's starting lineup soon. And that's just fine with freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Miller scored 19 points and No. 2 Kentucky routed Portland 87-63 on Saturday night in the Wildcats' final tuneup before playing St. John's and No. 1 North Carolina next week.
Terrence Jones also scored 19 points and Anthony Davis added 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks, but Miller started 37 of 38 games last year and his senior presence has steadied a team filled with sophomores and freshmen.
"Michael Gilchrist came into me and said if I need to come in off the bench for Darius, I will. I have absolutely no problem," said Kentucky coach John Calipari, who will consider putting Miller back in the lineup over the next four days.
Kidd-Gilchrist said he respects Miller's leadership and the 6-foot-8 swingman is the key to the Wildcats. But Miller said his role doesn't matter.
"I'm not really worried about coming off the bench or starting or whatever," Miller said. "We don't have time to worry about that. We've got a lot of things we need to correct before we try to make a run at a national championship."
Kentucky (6-0) has won every game by double digits, but Portland gave the Wildcats plenty to work on in the coming days after the Pilots (2-4) challenged them with sharp outside shooting and won the rebounding battle, 39-38.
"We gave up a lot of points off 3s, that's one thing we can work on, really trailing the screens," Jones said.
Kentucky used an 18-3 first-half run to take a double-digit lead. After Portland pulled within six in the second half, the Wildcats put on a full-court press as part of an 18-4 run that put the game out of reach.
Nemanja Mitrovic went 6 of 12 from 3-point range and finished with 20 points for the Pilots.
Calipari said Friday he wanted the Wildcats to play more fluid without him having to call plays from the sideline before next week's tough games. Kentucky responded with its most efficient game so far, committing just four turnovers, its fewest since committing just two in a win against Utah in the second round of the 1993 NCAA tournament.
The Pilots trailed by 12 at halftime, but put together a run in the second half. Mitrovic hit his fifth 3-pointer, Thomas van der Mars went up strong over Davis and Dorian Cason hit a free throw to trim the Wildcats' lead to 43-37.
"Earlier in the week, I had to break it to them that Kentucky was a little more athletic," Portland coach Eric Reveno said. "We had to beat them with toughness and skill, and we weren't able to do that consistently."
After a timeout, Kentucky came out with a full-court press that flustered Portland. Cason threw the ball away to Jones, who started the fast break by finding Marquis Teague. Teague feathered a touch pass toward the rim that Davis finished for the alley-oop dunk.
Then Tanner Riley committed a turnover and Kidd-Gilchrist slammed it over Derrick Rodgers as part of a three-point play that made it 50-37. A few minutes later, Miller's 3-pointer gave Kentucky its first 20-point lead.
Teague finished with 14 points, eight assists and no turnovers while Kidd-Gilchrist had 13 points. Portland's Riley scored 14 and Tim Douglas added 12.
Kentucky now has several days to prepare for Thursday night's matchup with the Red Storm before playing the Tar Heels in the final of a series of hyped early season matchups next week that also includes big out-of-conference games between Duke-Ohio State, Florida-Syracuse and Vanderbilt-Louisville.
"We know it's going to be two really tough games," Miller said. "Especially St. John's, North Carolina, they're two of the elite teams in the nation. I think both of them are really good."
Kentucky's big first-half run made it 31-15 and featured several different Wildcats. Kidd-Gilchrist found Davis on a lob for a dunk, Miller hit a 3-pointer and Jones added a 3 of his own before slashing to the rim for a layup.
But the Pilots stayed within striking distance by hitting 3s. Mitrovic and Riley had three each in the first half, and Riley's third cut it to 34-26 with 1:03 left before Kentucky scored the final four points of the half.
Mitrovic shot 46 percent from 3-point range last year, one of the best marks in the country, but made just nine over Portland's first five games.
"We didn't want to come out and back down at all," Mitrovic said. "We just came out firing and stayed in there with them for a little while."
Razorbacks roll to 86-44 victory
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s basketball team had 16 steals and saw four freshmen score in double figures on the way to an 86-44 defeat of Grambling State Friday evening inside Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks improve to 4-1 on the year, while Grambling State drops to 0-5.
Arkansas led by as many as 43 points and never trailed in the game. The Razorbacks scored 39 points off of a season high 27 forced turnovers and saw 11 different players put the ball in the basket. Arkansas also tallied 25 assists on 34 field goals made in an efficient offensive effort.
“We did a good job of moving the basketball,” said Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson. “It was great to see them come out and establish tempo throughout the first half.”
The Razorbacks started the game just 2-for-9 from the field but were dominant defensively from the tip, and the offense was not far behind.
Freshman point guard B.J. Young sparked Arkansas when he came off the bench with 12:54 to play with the Razorbacks up 11-5. Young was energetic on both ends of the floor and in less than four minutes, Arkansas had scored 16 unanswered points to take a 27-5 lead. Young had eight points including two three-pointers, two rebounds, two assists and one steal in that four minute stretch.
With Young’s help, the Razorbacks headed into the locker room with a 41-25 lead at the half. Arkansas forced 15 Grambling State turnovers in the first period and scored 23 points off those turnovers. The Razorbacks were as relentless on the offensive glass as they were in their full court pressure, snatching 12 offensive rebounds in the first half alone.
“Our defense was really good,” said Anderson of the team’s first half performance. “We had 25 deflections at the half.”
Young’s impressive first half spurt was part of a 24-2 run over more than seven minutes. Arkansas also had separate runs of 12-2 and 16-3 later in the game. The Razorbacks opened up their largest lead of the game with 1:05 to play when a three-pointer by freshman walk-on Matt Thompson made it 86-43.
Freshman Hunter Mickelson was a force for Arkansas inside the paint, tallying 10 points on an array of low post moves. Mickelson also led the team with a career high eight rebounds and had three blocks. Newcomer Rashad Madden was also a strong contributor, dropping in a career high 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting including three three-pointers.
Young led the Razorbacks with 18 points and added four assists and three open-court dunks. It was the freshman’s fourth straight game scoring in double figures. Freshman forward Devonta Abron notched 10 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Marvell Waithe was a key to the Razorback press, collecting seven points, four blocks, four assists and three steals. Junior guard Julysses Nobles added seven points and six rebounds.
Roman Higgins paced Grambling State with 16 points, and PJ Roberson had a rare triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.
South Carolina Falls To USC
LAS VEGAS - The South Carolina men's basketball team (2-4) suffered a 63-60 loss to Southern California (3-4) in the final round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Sophomore forward Damontre Harris led the Gamecocks with a season high 15 points, while the Trojans were paced by sophomore guard Maurice Jones with a game high 28 points.
Led by Harris' 15, three Gamecocks registered double-digit points, as senior forward Malik Cooke added 10 and sophomore guard Brian Richardson contributed a season high 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Harris collected a team high six rebounds. The Gamecocks were out-rebounded in the contest for the first time this season.
Jones led all scorers with 28 points, hitting a perfect 7-of-7 from beyond the arc, while adding two layups and three from the foul line. He played 39 minutes in the contest. Sophomore forward Dewayne Dedmon chipped in 15 points and junior forward Aaron Fuller led the Trojans with 10 rebounds.
A Richardson 3 gave South Carolina a 26-23 upperhand with just under four minutes remaining in the first half, but the Trojans would connect on three layups before halftime to hold a 30-26 advantage at the break.
Back-to-back layups by Harris and Cooke to open the second half knotted the score at 30-30 with 18:48 remaining.
The teams would trade baskets through the middle of the half, with neither team holding more than a five-point advantage. A 3 by Cooke with 8:39 remaining gave the Gamecocks a 48-44 edge, but Jones would bury three 3s over the next five minutes to give Southern California a 58-53 lead with 3:09 remaining.
The score stayed close during the final minutes of play. The Gamecocks found themselves down three with 43 seconds to go, but another clutch jumper by Cooke would pull Carolina within one at 60-61 with 33 seconds remaining.
A Gamecock foul would give Jones a one-and-one opportunity with 25 seconds to go. Jones scored both at the line and the Gamecocks were unable to connect on a 3 late in the set, as Southern California won 63-60.