No. 1 Kentucky tops St. John's 81-59
|women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Kentucky 81, St. John's 59
|Providence 76, South Carolina 67
|Ole Miss 70, DePaul 68
|Georgetown 57, Alabama 55
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Freshman Anthony Davis scored 15 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and had eight of a school-record 18 blocks in No. 1 Kentucky's 81-59 victory over St. John's on Thursday night.
Terrence Jones added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats (7-0), who head into a highly anticipated showdown with No. 5 North Carolina on Saturday on a high note after a stalwart defensive performance.
Davis blocked four shots before the first timeout, and Kentucky set the team record with Eloy Vargas' swat with 2:42 to go. Davis finished one block short of tying the individual mark of nine set by Sam Bowie in 1981 and matched by Andre Riddick in 1993.
God'sgift Achiuwa scored 18 points and Moe Harkless added 16 for the Red Storm (4-4) in St. John's first appearance in Rupp Arena since the 1985 Final Four when it lost to then-No. 1 Georgetown.
This game was much different than the last time the Wildcats took over the No. 1 spot in coach John Calipari's first year when they lost at South Carolina on Jan. 26, 2010.
Davis blocked his sixth shot early in the second half then finished an alley-oop on the other end from Marquis Teague that gave Kentucky a 42-27 lead with 16:26 left. He got his seventh a little over a minute later and his eighth with just over 12 minutes to go.
Kentucky kept extending its lead by holding St. John's to 32 percent shooting, and the fans got a few final thrills when Doron Lamb threw an 18-foot alley-oop that Darius Miller slammed with one hand that made it 74-49 with 3:49 left. Vargas tied, then broke the school record for blocks in a 48-second span to surpass the mark set against Morehead State on Nov. 20, 1997. Lamb finished with 16 points.
St. John's was without coach Steve Lavin, who is recovering from prostate cancer surgery and has missed the Red Storm's last three games. Assistant coach Mike Dunlap, who won two NCAA titles with Division II Metro State, paced up and down in the white tennis shoes Lavin and his staff wear.
His team played well early, relying on Achiuwa and Harkless on both ends and each had 10 rebounds.
Kentucky didn't make any changes to its starting lineup with senior sixth man Miller entering less than 3 minutes in as the Wildcats got off to a sluggish start. Harkless gave St. John's a 2-0 lead, the biggest deficit that Kentucky had faced at Rupp Arena this season.
The Wildcats committed five early turnovers and started 2 of 11 from the field to trail 5-4 before a 12-0 run with Davis heavily involved on both ends of the floor.
Davis pestered St. John's in the paint, used his quick hands to poke the ball away on the perimeter and simply jumped over the Red Storm for rebounds on both ends of the floor.
In one early sequence, he grabbed an offensive rebound off Teague's missed 3-pointer and kicked it to Miller behind the arc.
Miller missed another long shot, but Davis tapped in the miss with an athletic, one-handed rebound and putback. Jones made an even more athletic play with 3 seconds left in the half, getting around a block out attempt on a free throw by Teague with a powerful dunk that gave the Wildcats a 31-20 lead.
Providence Downs South Carolina, 76-67
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- LaDontae Henton scored 18 points and Vincent Council and Gerard Coleman had 16 points each as Providence pulled away late to defeat South Carolina 76-67 in the Big East-SEC Challenge on Thursday night.
The Friars (6-2) used a 14-4 run late in the second half that featured a four-point play from Bryce Cotton to take control.
South Carolina (2-5) had cut an 11-point lead down to 51-47 on Brian Richardson's three-point play with 8:54 left when Providence got going. Coleman started the clinching rally with a pair of foul shots before Cotton struck for a 3-pointer from the top, left side of the basket and was fouled by Anthony Gill.
The game marked the return to the Gamecocks basketball team of point guard Bruce Ellington, who had been playing with the South Carolina football team.
Providence finished with five players in double figures. Cotton had 15 and Bilal Dixon 10. Henton also added eight rebounds and was a perfect 3 of 3 on threes.
The Friars have won two straight since their only two defeats, to Iowa State and Northern Iowa at the South Padre Island Invitational over Thanksgiving weekend.
Malik Cooke led the Gamecocks with 21 points and Eric Smith, the team's point guard during Ellington's absence, had 16.
Ellington ended with six points on 3-of-11 shooting.
South Carolina had hoped to use Ellington's basketball homecoming to rally the team after losses to formerly top-ranked North Carolina and Southern Cal at the Las Vegas Invitational last weekend.
But Ellington started as slowly as everyone else on the Gamecocks, who opened the game shooting 3 of 15 from the floor.
Providence was there to take advantage behind Council's crisp play. The junior guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., had 11 first-half points to push the Friars to a 34-27 lead at the break.
Ellington wasn't in the starting lineup but entered after about 3 minutes to chants of "Bruuuuuce" from the few thousand at Colonial Life Arena. Ellington, who averaged 12.8 points a game as a freshman, notched his first points this season on a jumper late in the half and finished 1 of 4 shooting in the first 20 minutes.
Then again, it might've taken a perfectly tuned Ellington to keep the Gamecocks in this one in the first half, as the Friars led by as many as 11 points after Council's driving basket with 4:22 to go.
Providence wrapped things up with its late run. After Cotton's four-point play, Council added a foul shot and a jumper and Henton a three-point play. Coleman finished the run the way he began it with a pair of foul shots.
The Gamecocks struggled with their shooting touch throughout. They shot just 36.1 percent and were only 6 of 30 on 3-pointers.
Holloway helps Mississippi beat DePaul 70-68
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) -- Murphy Holloway scored off a timely steal with 3.7 seconds remaining to lift Mississippi to a 70-68 victory over DePaul in a Big East-SEC Challenge contest on Thursday night.
Holloway grabbed the ball from Blue Demons forward Cleveland Melvin and dashed downcourt for the score.
Holloway had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Rebels (6-1), who led by 17 points early in the second half. Brandon Young had 18 points for DePaul (4-2), and Melvin added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The victory was the third straight for Ole Miss and second in three meetings against the Blue Demons.
The Rebels built a double-digit lead while DePaul failed to make a field goal in the final 7:04 of the first half.
Georgetown pulls out 57-55 win over No. 12 Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Hollis Thompson hit a long 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to lift Georgetown to a 57-55 win over No. 12 Alabama on Thursday night, ending the Crimson Tide's 24-game home winning streak.
Jason Clark, who had 22 points, dribbled up the court and practically handed off to Thompson in front of the Hoyas' bench. Thompson drilled it to give Georgetown (6-1) its second win in three games over a team ranked in the Top 12.
Alabama (7-1) had taken its first lead of the second half on Trevor Releford's two free throws with 13 seconds remaining. After a quick timeout by Georgetown, Clark and Thompson silenced a crowd thinking it was going to escape with the nearly 2-year-old streak alive.
The Tide rallied from a nine-point deficit over the final 3 minutes. Thompson hit the final two baskets for Georgetown, which also beat then-No. 8 Memphis in overtime last week.
Henry Sims scored 13 points and Thompson added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Hoyas, who came in averaging 82 points but matched Alabama's stingy defense stop for stop.
Tony Mitchell scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half for Alabama and finished off a couple of alley oops from Trevor Releford.
JaMychal Green also seldom got the ball inside against Georgetown's zone and scored six of his 13 points over the final 5 minutes. Releford had nine points and six assists.
Alabama's leading scorers Mitchell and Green combined for eight straight points after Georgetown took a 54-45 lead on a basket by Thompson with 2:57 left.
Georgetown's Clark came up big again against stiff competion. He scored 26 and hit the go-ahead basket in overtime to beat Memphis
Clark made 4 of 7 3-pointers against a defense that came in holding opponents to 22 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Georgetown exposed Alabama's biggest weakness. The Tide missed its first 11 3-point attempts after making just one from beyond the arc against VCU on Sunday night.
Freshman Trevor Lacey hit two in a row to end the drought, but Alabama still wound up 3 of 16.
Georgetown fought off rally attempts time and again. The Hoyas went up by eight points early in the second half, the Tide's largest deficit of the season at the time. Alabama closed within two points six times in the next few minutes and even took the lead briefly, but the Hoyas answered every time.
Sims scored seven straight points after Alabama grabbed a one-point lead, Clark drilled a 3-pointer and Thompson got added a basket for that nine-point cushion.
The Hoyas mostly kept the ball out of Green's hands in the first half, taking a 23-16 lead and giving the Tide fits with their zone. It was the biggest deficit Alabama had faced all season.
Alabama missed all nine 3s in its lowest scoring opening half since scoring 16 at Oklahoma State last Dec. 18.