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Friday’s Morning Shootaround: Two more conference champs, big games out West

No. 25 Temple 73, Richmond 53: See here.

Penn State 66, Minnesota 63: See here.

Arizona 79, Washington State 70: Derrick Williams scored 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Wildcats were able to hold off Klay Thompson, who had 30 points, and the Cougars down the stretch. Williams is playing with a heavily bandaged right pinky, one that he had bent backwards three weeks ago, and after scoring just 23 points combined in his first two games with the bandage on, he finally looked confident on Thursday night. That’s important, because Arizona takes on Washington on Saturday with a chance to eliminate the Huskies from the Pac-10 regular season race.

Washington 79, Arizona State 62: Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 22 points, grabbed 12 boards, and added three assists and four blocks as the Huskies stayed within striking distance of Arizona in the Pac-10 race. They are just two games back and get a chance to move closer on Saturday in Tucson.

UCLA 69, Stanford 65: Reeves Nelson had 18 points and seven boards, Tyler Honeycutt added 16 points, and Joshua Smith went for 13 point and nine boards as the Bruins remained firmly entrenched directly between Arizona and Washington in the Pac-10 standings. Since that four game losing streak early in the season, the Bruins have won 15 of their last 18 games while becoming a much better team on the defensive end of the floor. Part of that is the competition in the Pac-10, but some credit needs to be given to Ben Howland for getting his kids to buy into what he’s selling.

Alabama 67, LSU 56: JaMychal Green had 18 points and seven boards and the Crimson Tide knocked off LSU and kept themselves tied with Florida atop the SEC standings.

Oakland 71, North Dakota State 69: Oakland clinched their second straight Summit League regular season title on the strength of 22 points, nine boards, and five blocks from Keith Benson.

Belmont 68, East Tennessee State 58: The Bruins overcame a 31-24 halftime deficit to complete a season sweep of the Buccaneers and clinch the Atlantic Sun regular season title.

NC State 69, Clemson 61: The Tigers can be all but taken out of at-large contention after losing in Raleigh.

DePaul 79, Providence 76: Kudos to DePaul for picking up their first Big East win of the Oliver Purnell era. It snapped a 24 game losing streak in league play. Prior to that, the Blue Demons had one win that snapped another 24 game losing streak. At this rate, Purnell will get his second league win some time early in 2013.

San Francisco 82, Portland 73; Gonzaga 85, Santa Clara 76: Both the Dons and the Zags managed to remain just a game back of St. Mary’s in the WCC standings. The two face each other on Saturday, and with Gonzaga getting a rematch with the Gaels next weekend, the winner could very well end up with a share of the WCC regular season title.

Other Notable Games

  • Coastal Carolina 94, NCCU 59
  • Charleston 85, Citadel 63
  • USC 78, Cal 75
  • Northwestern 73, Iowa 70

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.