What Happened (Friday) Night
- Davidson 70, Missouri 55: A day after nearly upsetting Xavier, Missouri came out flat and shot 36 percent from the floor in a loss to Davidson. This is going to happen with young teams; Frankie Hughes and Terrence Phillips combined for 3 points on 1-of-19 shooting, and Missouri isn’t going to win many games when that’s the case. Kevin Puryear led the Tigers with 12 points and 6 boards.
- Ole Miss 95, Oral Roberts 88: The Rebels improved to 3-0 but that’s the third game in a row in which the opponent has scored more than a point per possession — and Ole Miss hasn’t exactly faced a murderer’s row, either. Deandre Burnett scored 41 points and is now averaging 25.3 ppg on the season.
- South Carolina 92, South Carolina State 50: South Carolina had the brutal combination of 51 percent shooting and grabbing 18 of their own misses, and won easily. Sindarius Thornwell scored 22 for the Gamecocks; freshman Maik Kotsar had 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting and also had 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
- Southern Cal 65, Texas A&M 63: Well... somehow, JC Hampton taking more shots (6) than Tyler Davis (5) doesn’t seem like the Aggies’ best option. USC managed to hold Davis in check and hammered Texas A&M on the boards to come out of Reed Arena with a win. The Aggies might look back in March and see this as a missed opportunity.
- Mississippi State 80, Boise State 68: Mississippi State bounced back quickly from a loss to UCF, dispatching Boise State behind 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting from Quinndary Weatherspoon. Mississippi State shot 23-of-36 inside the arc and forced Boise into 17 turnovers.
- Arkansas 71, Texas-Arlington 67: Texas-Arlington built a lead early thanks to 12-of-29 three-point shooting, but Arkansas came back and avoided a loss to what’s actually a pretty good team, though the name doesn’t bring respect. Jaylen Barford had 17 points, though he also had 6 turnovers; Moses Kingsley continued his slow start to the season with 5 points and 3 boards (though he did have 4 blocks.)
- Vanderbilt 75, Norfolk State 52: Vanderbilt didn’t shoot particularly well, but Norfolk State was worse; Vanderbilt held the Spartans to a 30 percent shooting night. Matthew Fisher-Davis had 18 points and shot 4-of-9 from three-point range.
- LSU 78, North Florida 70: Antonio Blakeney had 20 points to lead four Tigers in double figures, but LSU struggled to put away a cold-shooting North Florida team thanks in considerable part to losing the rebounding battle 44-34; the Ospreys grabbed 37.8 percent of their own misses. That’s... not good. But you’ll take a win, I guess.
- Alabama 77, Ball State 59: This was a surprisingly easy win for the Crimson Tide, who held Ball State to 4-of-17 three-point shooting and got 59 (!) points off the bench. Shannon Hale led all scorers with 19 points; Avery Johnson Jr. had 13 points and 6 assists off the bench.
|Missouri vs. Tulane||12:00 PM||ESPN3/WatchESPN|
|Mississippi State vs. UTEP||3:30 PM||ESPN3/WatchESPN|
|Ole Miss vs. St. Joseph's||6:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Duquesne at Kentucky||9:00 PM||ESPNU/WatchESPN|
Four games today, three of them in holiday tournaments as Missouri and Mississippi State close out action in the Tire Pros Invitational and Charleston Classic, respectively, while Ole Miss plays in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam. The late game sees Kentucky facing a Duquesne team that lost to Canisius, whom the Wildcats beat by 24 points last Sunday.
Odds and Picks
- Missouri (-4.5) vs. Tulane: Tulane’s still in transition in Mike Dunleavy’s first year and has given up 76 or more in each of its four games. Look for Missouri to salvage a win in their last game in the Tire Pros Invitational.
- Mississippi State (-5) vs. UTEP: Mississippi State bounced back nicely from the UCF loss by taking care of Boise State, and now gets a UTEP team that gave up 103 points to Wake Forest on Thursday. The Bulldogs will have their ups and downs but they look to be the superior team here.
- St. Joseph’s (+2) vs. Ole Miss: Ole Miss has already developed a habit of playing everybody close; while the Rebels are a clear step up from St. Joe’s competition in a 3-0 start, only one of these teams plays defense. Look for this one to go down to the wire and I’ll take St. Joe’s to win a close one.
- Duquesne (+28.5) at KENTUCKY: This line seems a little inflated, and Duquesne has some decent bigs who might be able to force the Wildcats into hitting jump shots. In spite of Malik Monk’s outburst on Tuesday night I’m still not confident in Kentucky being able to hit enough from the outside to cover this big of a line. Yeah, Kentucky will still win by 25, but I’m just not confident they’ll cover 28.5.