LSU Hands Marquette First Loss
|men's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|LSU 67, Marquette 59
|Florida 82, Miss. Valley State 54
|Auburn 76, Florida A&M 69
|Vanderbilt 99, Longwood 71
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ralston Turner scored 22 points and LSU extended its winning streak to five games while handing No. 10 Marquette its first loss of the season, 67-59 on Monday night.
Turner hit two clutch 3-pointers in the final 4 minutes to give the Tigers the lead and added two free throws to make it 60-54 with 1:19 to go. Justin Hamilton then closed out a 13-point performance by making seven free throws in the last 53 seconds to ensure the Tigers (8-3) held off a comeback attempt by the Golden Eagles (10-1).
Jae Crowder scored 22 points for Marquette, which raced to a 13-0 lead in the first 3:30 before LSU settled down and stormed back to take the lead with 7:50 to go in the first half.
Florida Rolls Miss. Valley State, 82-54
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- As walk-on Jacob Kurtz stepped to the free throw line with 2:06 remaining, Florida coach Billy Donovan whispered to his bench that if he made both there would be no practice Tuesday.
Kurtz drained them, and the Gators went nuts, celebrating like they had just won a championship.
It was a memorable moment in an overwhelming lopsided game.
Erving Walker scored 19 points, one of five starters in double figures, and Florida (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) handled Mississippi Valley State 82-54 on Monday night.
Kenny Boynton (16), Bradley Beal (13), Patric Young (12) and Erik Murphy (11) also scored in double digits for the Gators (9-2), who extended their home winning streak to 11 games.
But Kurtz, a former team manager making his college debut, stole the spotlight.
"He knocked them down like a champion," Young said. "We were excited for him anyway, but once (Donovan) put that on the line, we got even more excited. I'm really happy for him. He's worked really hard. ... He wasn't even like a full-fledged manager. He just came and watched practices, came to 6 a.m. workouts, and a year later, he's in the game scoring his first two points."
Kurtz blushed as he walked off the court as students chanted his name and teammates patted him on the back. He only suited up because of injuries to Mike Rosario (back) and Cody Larson (strep throat), and didn't even have his name on the back of his No. 0 jersey.
"Jake has been in a lot of practice; he knows what we're doing," Donovan said. "I didn't know if something would have happened: foul trouble, another injury. We may need to throw him in there for a couple minutes. I was glad we were able to get him in there at the end of the game."
The Gators made it easy for Kurtz to get on the court.
Florida made its first eight shots, opened a 20-point lead midway through the first half and did anything it wanted against the overmatched Delta Devils (1-9).
Cor-J Cox led Mississippi Valley State with 16 points and Terrence Joyner added 14.
The game provided a bit of a break for Florida, which was coming off a big win over Texas A&M two nights earlier and is getting ready for in-state rival Florida State in three days.
Nonetheless, Donovan used last year's home loss to Jacksonville -- a Monday game that came on a short turnaround -- as motivation.
"We're in the same exact situation," Donovan said. "Is history going to repeat itself or are you guys going to change that? I said, 'The beauty of it is this game hasn't been played and you have control of how we come out and play.' And I give those guys credit. They got themselves ready to play and I thought we came out with really good energy to start the game."
Except in the second half.
Unhappy with how the Gators came out of the locker room in recent games, Donovan made them run sprints after they looked sluggish in layup lines.
It worked, and Donovan said he plans to continue "to do something different."
"That was embarrassing, though," Walker said. "The strength coach just said we were being lackadaisical and that we always start off halves bad so he wanted to try something new."
The Delta Devils are ready for something new, too. Coming off a nine-day break, they missed 11 of their first 15 shots, including all 10 from 3-point range. Joyner gave them some momentum with a layup, a jumper and a 3 -- points that trimmed Florida's lead to 19 -- but the Gators pulled away in the closing minutes of the first half.
The Gators pushed the lead to 37 late in the game, before the backups played the final minutes.
MVSU ended a tough non-conference schedule -- one of the most difficult in the country -- and will get a two-week break before beginning play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
MVSU played 10 games away from home, including eight against teams from power conferences. The Delta Devils lost by double digits to Notre Dame, DePaul, North Carolina, Arkansas, Northwestern and Mississippi.
"All I ask my kids to do is fight and continue to get better because it's almost a no-win situation," MVSU coach Sean Woods said. "The No. 1 team in the country couldn't handle this schedule and go out unscathed. We know what we are in for and we just have to keep battling and stay together because our main focus is winning the conference championship."
Auburn Defeats Florida A&M, 76-69
AUBURN, Ala. -- Rob Chubb scored 21 points to lead Auburn past Florida A&M 76-69 Monday night.
The Tigers (7-1) continued their best start since the 2003-04 season.
Chubb scored eight points in the first half and finished shooting 9 of 10 from the free-throw line.
Auburn took its biggest lead, 34-21, with just more than five minutes to play until halftime. But FAMU went on an 11-4 run the rest of the period.
After halftime, the Rattlers continued to frustrate Auburn. The Tigers made just three field goals in the first eight minutes of the second half.
But a Chris Denson's breakaway layup with just more than nine minutes left steadied the Tigers. Chubb then scored four consecutive points to give the Tigers a 56-48 lead with 8 minutes to play. It was part of a 14-1 run that sealed it.
Avery Moore scored 24 points to lead Florida A&M (2-10).
Vandy Beats Longwood
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jeffery Taylor scored 18 of his 29 points in the first half, and the Vanderbilt Commodores rebounded hours after dropping out of the Top 25 rankings by beating Longwood 99-71 Monday night.
The Commodores (7-4) fell out of the 25th spot nationally after starting a three-game homestand by losing to Indiana State. That was their first game in 10 days due to exams so spread out that coach Kevin Stallings had trouble holding scheduled practices or having all Commodores on hand.
They needed the chance to just play, and they got that against a team that just finished moving up to Division I in 2007. John Jenkins scored 19 points for Vanderbilt. Lance Goulbourne added 15 and Brad Tinsley 12. Nine Commodores scored at least three points.
Antwan Carter and Tristan Carey each scored 20 points to lead Longwood (4-7). Jeremiah Bowman added 11.
The Commodores already have lost three times to nonconference opponents on their own court to ruin a No. 7 preseason ranking. But in this first meeting with Longwood, Stallings kept senior center Festus Ezeli on the bench to let him rest a sprained right knee that kept him out of the first eight games.
The Lancers, among four independent teams in Division I, already have played -- and lost -- at Brigham Young, Nevada and Virginia with trips to Gonzaga and Seattle left at the end of the season.
The Lancers led only once on a 3-pointer by Bowman. Jenkins hit a jumper, starting an 11-2 run by Vanderbilt that put the Commodores in control for the rest of the game. Vandy hit four of its first five 3s and finished 12 of 29 beyond the arc.
Goulbourne scored on a tip-in midway through the first half, putting Vandy up 24-14, and the Commodores went on to score the next seven points. Longwood managed to get back within 10 twice, the last at 38-28 on Carey's second of back-to-back 3-pointers. Taylor answered with a dunk off a fast break, then scored on a tip-in in, starting a 12-3 spurt capped by a 3-pointer by Taylor for a 50-31 lead. Taylor scored on a layup with 2 seconds left for a 52-33 halftime lead, the most points they've scored this season in the first half.
Jan van der Kooij hit a jumper for Longwood to open the second half. Vanderbilt answered with a 3-pointer by Jenkins, another 3 by Tinsley, then Jenkins drove for a layup for the Commodores' biggest lead at 60-35 with 18:01 left.
Stallings benched Taylor with 8:09 left, a point off the career-high 30 points he scored Dec. 7 in a win at Davidson. Jenkins and Goulbourne played a few minutes more before the reserves finished up. Goulbourne's driving layup with 5:15 left gave the Commodores their biggest lead at 91-64.