Top 25 men's and women's basketball roundup
No. 15 North Carolina 87, No. 20 Clemson 79
Cameron Johnson never let himself fret about the outside shot that had seemingly abandoned him in his brief North Carolina career. It's a big reason why the Tar Heels still have their unblemished all-time home record against Clemson.
The Pittsburgh graduate transfer broke loose for a season-high 21 points, helping UNC hold off the Tigers on Tuesday night to improve to 59-0 at home in the series.
Johnson's outside shooting was one of the biggest reasons he was considered such a key offseason addition for the reigning national champions, but he had made just 31 percent of his 3s since his debut Dec. 20 against Wofford. He made 7 of 10 shots and 6 of 9 3s against the Tigers — and the Tar Heels (15-4, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) sure needed them all.
"It just fell today. Sometimes it happens," Johnson said. "I try not to worry about missed shots because it happens to the best of them, the best 3-point shooters shoot in the mid-40s (percentage). You've just got to keep going. You've just got to stay in the gym and not get down and try not to think about it, and just let it go."
In the end, UNC hung on despite seeing most of an 18-point lead erased by Clemson's torrid second-half shooting.
"I told the guys I started the season at (age) 67," coach Roy Williams said, "I'm going to end the season at 97."
Marcquise Reed scored 21 points for the Tigers (15-3, 4-2), who missed their first shot of the second half and didn't miss again for nearly 11 minutes. That run of 15 straight made baskets changed the dynamic of what was heading for an oh-so-routine home win for UNC against Clemson.
The Tigers thrice closed within two points in the final 10 minutes but no closer, cooling off to make just 4 of their last 15 shots.
UNC, meanwhile, shot 65 percent after halftime.
"The way they shoot the ball now, I think it's one of their better shooting teams, and we were certainly worried about that," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said, adding: "There's a lot of guys to cover, and because of that, it's hard to cover them all."
Luke Maye scored 11 points while playing with a stitched-up cut on the right side of his nose, an injury suffered shortly before halftime when he took an elbow from teammate Kenny Williams on a rebound. He came up with a couple of big baskets late, including a 3 with 4:50 left and UNC up 69-66.
Maye said he needed five stitches and was tested for a concussion before returning.
"I think it looks OK," Maye said of his cut. "I feel like I already have a girlfriend, so it's all good."
Year after year, the Tigers have faced the question of what it would take to end its unprecedented losing streak here. Tuesday looked to be as good of a chance as any, with this being the first meeting here with both teams ranked in the AP Top 25 since January 2009. But Clemson got a bad start and spent the rest of the night playing catch-up.
"I think we got caught up in the moment, really," guard Shelton Mitchell said. "Especially with us, how we haven't won here, I think we all got caught up in the moment. ... A lot of guys didn't have a good start, so I think once we started out, we kind of got in a slump and then we dug ourselves a hole way too deep."
Kansas State 87, No. 4 Oklahoma 69
Barry Brown missed a potential game-winner at Kansas last weekend, an off-balance shot he was never supposed to take, and spent the next couple days ruing the missed opportunity.
Kansas State's gritty junior guard made up for it Tuesday night.
Brown poured in 24 points, locked down defensively on Oklahoma star Trae Young, and ultimately led the plucky, defensive-minded Wildcats to an upset of the Sooners.
"Barry did everything," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "He's taken his game to another level."
On this night, so did the rest of the Wildcats.
Dean Wade added 21 points, Cartier Diarra had 16 and Xavier Sneed finished with 13 as the Wildcats (13-5, 3-3 Big 12) won their sixth straight over the Sooners at Bramlage Coliseum.
"You have a heart-breaker at Kansas. They could have easily put their heads down. But they came back tonight and played at a really high level," Weber said. "We did a lot of really good things."
Young was held to 20 points on 8-of-21 shooting, his fewest since scoring 15 in his college debut. He also was 2 of 10 from the 3-point line and committed 12 turnovers against six assists.
"I didn't do very well tonight. I played terrible," the freshman guard said. "I blame a lot of the loss on me. All of the loss on me. I didn't play very well tonight."
Rashard Odomes had 16 points and Brady Manek had 12 for the Sooners (14-3, 4-2), but he was abused by Wade at the defensive end as his team tried to dig out of a massive second-half hole.
"They were very good," said Sooners coach Lon Kruger, who's had a tough time against his alma mater over the years. "They were executing very well and making shots. That's a good combination."
It was the Wildcats' first win against a ranked team in four tries this season, and their first win over a top-5 team since beating the then-No. 1 Sooners two years ago.
The dominance was so complete that Weber had time to sub out his starters in the final minute, allowing an appreciative home crowd to give them a standing ovation.
"We knew we had another opportunity at another top team in our league, even the country," Brown said. "We were ready to get over the hump of that last game, and bounce back. That's all it was."
Young was supposed to be the main attraction, but it was Brown who dominated on both ends in the first half.
On offense, the junior guard was able to slip past double-teams at the top of the key and pull up for mid-range jumpers, most of which splashed without hitting rim. He was 8 of 13 from the field and had piled up 16 points by the time the Wildcats took a 38-33 lead into the locker room.
On defense, Brown harassed Young into a miserable stat line: The nation's top scorer was 3 of 10 from the field, 2 of 7 from the 3-point arc and had committed eight turnovers against four assists.
"I mean, he's a good player. Every point guard in this league is a tough player," Young said. "But it wasn't just him. Wade played pretty well. Their whole team played pretty well."
Young drew the Sooners within 52-47 with a flurry early in the second half, but Kansas State answered with another big run. Wade got things going with back-to-back baskets, Brown added a nifty tear-drop jumper and Sneed's jam of an alley-oop pass made it 62-50 with 10 minutes to go.
The Sooners never made a dent as the Wildcats shot 73 percent from the field in the second half.
"They played great. They made us play bad," Kruger said. "We didn't feel good about really any aspect of the ballgame. Certainly that's a credit to Kansas State."
South Carolina 76, No. 18 Kentucky 68
Chris Silva tied his career high with 27 points and South Carolina rallied from 14 points down in the second half.
The Gamecocks (12-6, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) seemed done after Kevin Knox's short jumper with 12:28 to go put the Wildcats ahead 54-40. But that's when South Carolina, fueled by the 6-foot-9 Silva, got going and outscored Kentucky (14-4, 4-2) 36-14 the rest of the way to pull off the upset.
Silva had 12 points in that stretch to lift the Gamecocks.
Knox led Kentucky with 21 points.
No. 3 Purdue 78, Wisconsin 50
Vincent Edwards scored 21 points and Carsen Edwards added 20, leading Purdue to a blowout over Wisconsin.
The Boilermakers (18-2, 7-0 Big Ten) have won 14 straight overall, 19 in a row at home and have matched the best 20-game record in school history. The only other time Purdue did that was 1987-88 when it also won its first seven conference games.
Ethan Happ had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Badgers (9-10, 2-4). Wisconsin has lost three straight — all on the road.
No. 12 Cincinnati 49, Central Florida 38
Gary Clark scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help Cincinnati to a victory over Central Florida.
Jacob Evans added 10 points for the Bearcats (16-2, 5-0 American Athletic Conference), who won their ninth straight game.
UCF (12-6, 3-3) got seven points apiece from Tacko Fall, Terrell Allen and Dayon Griffin, but struggled the entire game to get inside the Bearcats defense. UCF shot just 30 percent for the game and committed 14 turnovers.
No. 19 Michigan 84, No. 8 Ohio State 75
Hallie Thome scored 27 points and Michigan rallied to beat Ohio State, handing the Buckeyes their first Big Ten loss.
Katelynn Flaherty had 21 points and Nicole Munger added a career-high 20 for Michigan (16-4, 5-2), which trailed by five at halftime. The Wolverines earned their third straight win and avenged an overtime loss to the Buckeyes on Jan. 7.
Ohio State (16-3, 5-1) shot 36.1 percent (26 for 72) in its first loss since Nov. 30. Stephanie Mavunga paced the Buckeyes with 21 points.
The Buckeyes went 3 for 17 from the field in the third quarter, helping the Wolverines grab the lead. Kelsey Mitchell made two foul shots with 9:21 left to get Ohio State within two, but Michigan held on.
No. 14 Maryland 74, Indiana 70
Kaila Charles scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half, leading Maryland to the victory.
Charles made a shot off the glass to give Maryland a 73-70 lead with 41 seconds left. Stephanie Jones blocked a shot at the other end and Eleanna Christinaki made 1 of 2 free throws for a four-point lead with 10.7 seconds remaining.
Indiana’s Amanda Cahill and Tyra Buss each missed a 3-pointer on the final possession of the game.
Kristen Confroy scored 15 points for Maryland (16-3, 5-1 Big Ten), and Jones had 13 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
Cahill and Jaelynn Penn each scored 18 points for Indiana (8-12, 1-6).
Nebraska 74, No. 20 Iowa 65
Maddie Simon scored 19 points and Hannah Whitish had 18, helping Nebraska to the win.
Jasmine Cincore’s three-point play on a fast break extended Nebraska’s lead to 70-63 with 1:21 to go. Hannah Stewart scored at the other end but Iowa went scoreless from there.
Taylor Kissinger had 12 points and eight rebounds for Nebraska (13-6, 4-2 Big Ten). Kate Cain, who entered ranked fifth nationally in blocked shots at 3.5 per game, had five blocks and six points.
Megan Gustafson had 29 points and 18 rebounds for her NCAA-leading 18th double-double of the season for Iowa (15-4, 3-3).
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