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NCAA Hoops: NIU sets record for futility

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NCAA Hoops: NIU sets record for futility

NIU sets record for futility

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) Northern Illinois broke its own NCAA Division I record for futility, scoring just four points in the first half of a 42-25 loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

The Huskies (4-14, 2-4 Mid-American) also broke the record for lowest field goal percentage in a half of the shot clock era (3.2 percent) and lowest field goal percentage in a game (13.1 percent), and tied the mark for fewest made field goals in a half after hitting 1 of 31 attempts in the opening period. Abdel Bader scored on a fast break one minute into the game to put Northern Illinois up 2-0 for its only bucket of the half, and followed that with 29 straight misses.

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No. 24 Notre Dame tops South Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Tom Knight helped Notre Dame stop its slide in his first start this season.

Jerian Grant scored 18 points and Knight had 17 as No. 24 Notre Dame beat South Florida 73-65 on Saturday.

Knight, a 6-foot-10 senior, made the most of his chance as the Fighting Irish played without sixth-year forward Scott Martin, who is out indefinitely with a bad left knee. Knight had appeared in just 12 of Notre Dame's first 19 games this season.

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DePaul crushed by Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (AP) Trey Zeigler scored a season-high 18 points and Pittsburgh crushed DePaul 93-55 on Saturday night for its fourth straight victory.

Lamar Patterson added 15 points, Steven Adams added nine points and a season-high 14 rebounds for the Panthers (17-4, 5-3 Big East), who climbed into a tie for third in the muddled Big East after dominating the reeling Blue Demons.

The 38-point margin of victory was the highest ever by Pitt in a Big East game, eclipsing a 36-point romp over West Virginia in 2003.

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Poor second half dooms Northwestern

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Dylan Talley scored 20 points and Ray Gallegos broke out of his 3-point shooting slump in the second half to lead Nebraska to a 64-49 victory over Northwestern on Saturday.

The Cornhuskers (11-10, 2-6 Big Ten) won for the first time in four conference home games.

Brandon Ubel had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Gallegos added 11 points.

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Loyola's defense suspect in loss to Detroit

CHICAGO (AP) Juwan Howard Jr. and Ray McCallum each scored 17 points on Saturday, leading Detroit to a 75-63 victory over Loyola of Chicago.

Howard connected on 8 of 10 shots from the floor, allowing Detroit (13-8, 5-3 Horizon) to shoot 50 percent from the floor.

Nick Minnerath scored 14 points for Detroit. Jason Calliste scored 12 points and Doug Anderson scored 11.

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UIC capitalizes on rough night by Wright State

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) Gary Talton scored a game-high 18 points to lead Illinois-Chicago to a 55-49 victory over ice-cold Wright State Saturday night in Horizon League play.

The Flames (13-8, 4-4) took a 26-14 halftime lead, then withstood Wright State (14-7, 5-3) in the second half.

The Raiders made just 33 percent of their shots from the floor, hitting 18 of 54 attempts. That included a frigid 2 for 19 performance (10.5 percent) from 3-point range. Reggie Arceneaux missed all seven of his 3-point attempts while Cole Darling - who led Wright State with 11 points - missed all four of his shots from long range.

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Carmichael leads ISU over Evansville

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) Jackie Carmichael scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds on Saturday night, leading Illinois State to a 67-62 victory over Evansville.

D.J. Ballentine sank a 3-point shot with 11:09 left in the game to give Evansville (12-9, 5-4 Missouri Valley) a 46-42, but Illinois State (12-9, 3-6) caught up and then took the lead for good on a thunderous dunk by Carmichael with 6:53 remaining.

Tyler Brown added 23 points for Illinois State, which had a 26-18 scoring advantage in the paint and 17-10 edge in points off turnovers.

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Bradley no match for Wichita State

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Once Wichita State got rolling, Bradley was no match for the 20th-ranked Shockers.

Nick Wiggins scored 12 points and fueled a 16-0 run in the second half with three 3-pointers as No. 20 Wichita State completed a regular-season sweep of Bradley with a 73-39 victory Saturday night.

Jake White added 11 points for the Shockers (19-2, 8-1 Missouri Valley Conference), who won their 19th consecutive home game and ensured themselves of starting the second half of their conference schedule in sole possession of the MVC lead.

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Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

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AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

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USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."