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Thursday’s Shootaround: A-10 and CUSA get wild, Mizzou impresses


No. 9 Missouri 76, Iowa State 69: Here’s a hypothetical for you: Missouri gets six points on 1-5 shooting from Marcus Denmon and shoot just 5-21 from three in a game at Iowa State where the Cyclones shoot 12-23 from beyond the arc. Who you got? I certainly wouldn’t pick the Tigers. And I would have been wrong. Should I mention that two of the seven players that Missouri uses fouled out?

We can debate whether or not Iowa State is any good this season, but we cannot debate the fact that they started off Big 12 play with impressive wins over both Texas and Texas A&M. We also cannot debate the fact that Missouri had some serious issues on the road last season, ones that didn’t appear to be answered when they were overwhelmed by Kansas State in Manhattan on Saturday. That’s why this win is important. Missouri clearly did not play their best game. They had their depth tested by foul trouble, they had their star player struggling to get involved offensively and they shot under 25% from beyond the arc.

And they still won on the road. That means something.

Rutgers 62, Pitt 39: You read that right. Pitt lost by 23 at Rutgers. They shot 12-57 from the floor, which is a crisp 21.1%. Yuck. Their leading scorer was JJ Moore, who scored 10 points on 2-10 shooting while Ashton Gibbs was 2-11. Double yuck. This is more than just missing Travon Woodall. Pitt is awful right now, and it goes beyond the 0-4 start in Big East play. The Panthers quit tonight, plain and simple. Jamie Dixon has a lot of work to do.

That said, give credit to Rutgers. This wasn’t necessarily a fluke. Ask Florida and UConn. They’ve both lost at the RAC as well.

No. 13 Michigan 66, Northwestern 64 OT: Playing in the competitive Big Ten, Northwestern cannot afford to waste opportunities to get good wins if they have any plans on making the NCAA Tournament. They already did once, losing by a point to Illinois at home. And now they’ve done it again, blowing an eight point second half lead and missing out on an opportunity to pick up a win over Michigan on the road. Drew Crawford traveled when he had a chance to win the game in regulation and Alex Marcotullio missed the first of three free throws down by three with 0.3 seconds left in overtime.

No. 2 Kentucky 68, Auburn 53: Eventually, Kentucky is going to have to start putting together complete games. Against the Tigers, a team that the Wildcats had no business being competitive with, Kentucky found themselves trailing in the second half. The Wildcats have enough talent on their roster to be the best team in the country -- and to their credit, they have been excellent at closing out teams -- but the issue is that they allow teams to hang around with them for too long. Eventually, that is going to come back to bite them.

Atlantic 10: There may not be a conference in the country that is going to be more entertaining to try and figure out this season that the A-10, and tonight only further proved that point.

- Xavier 78, Duquesne 50: When the Musketeers are playing well, they are without a doubt the best team in this conference. No one can matchup with that level of talent. But is this the win that turns around the Xavier season?

- St. Bonaventure 81, Dayton 73: After going into Philly and knocking off Temple, Dayton had their Josh Benson-less front line exposed to the tune of 30 points, 13 boards and six blocks from Andrew Nicholson. The Bonnies and the Flyers are now both sitting at 2-1 in the league.

- Temple 72, St. Louis 67: Now here’s the other side of it: the Owls bounced back from a loss at home to Dayton by going into Chafeitz Arena and knocking off a tough Billikens team? With the win over Duke still fresh in our minds, Temple is trying to make a case as the second best team in the conference. All of a sudden, the loss St. Louis took at Dayton in overtime -- a game they should have won -- looks costly.

- St. Joes 80, Fordham 62: The Hawks bounced back nicely from a loss to Charlotte at home by handling a Fordham team that gave Xavier some trouble. After scoring just six points against the 49ers, Langston Galloway went for 30 on Wednesday.

- UMass 85, Charlotte 75: The 49ers and the Minutemen have both been surprising teams early on this season. Both teams are now 2-1 in the league.

Conference USA:

- Memphis 60, Southern Miss 58: Memphis picked up a big win against a Southern Miss team that is playing some great basketball. Antonio Barton went for 13 points and Will Barton added 11 points and nine boards, but it was two free throws from Chris Crawford with 31.7 seconds left -- and a missed three from Cedric Jenkins at the buzzer -- that won the game.

- Marshall 61, UAB 59: DeAndre Kane had 21 points and 10 boards and Dennis Tinnon added 19 boards as the Thundering Herd used a 14-2 run to erase a 51-42 lead. Marshall is now 3-0 in CUSA. If this league is going to get more than one or two bids, the top teams need to take care of the bottom feeders ...

- UCF 74, Houston 63: Case in point.

The rest of the top 25:

No. 1 Syracuse 79, Villanova 66: The Orange improved to 18-0 on the season as they went into Philly and took quick care of the Wildcats. Dion Waiters led the way with 20 points and James Southerland added 15 points.

No. 10 Kansas 81, Texas Tech 46: Thomas Robinson had 19 points and 12 boards -- which included a 22 foot three from the top of the key and an alley-oop on the break to Elijah Johnson -- as the Jayhawks pounded the Red Raiders into the ground.

No. 24 Marquette 83, St. John’s 64: Davante Gardner had 22 points and 15 boards to carry the Golden Eagles and DJO added 18 of his 20 points after the half as Marquette pulled away from the Johnnies.

Other notable scores:

- Old Dominion 68, Delaware 66 OT
- Texas 61, Texas A&M 51
- Maryland 70, Wake Forest 64
- Ohio 60, Buffalo 52
- Ole Miss 71, Arkansas 63
- Colorado State 79, Denver 75
- Georgia Tech 82, NC State 71
- Alabama 69, LSU 53

Top performers:

Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure: The Bonnie’s center had 30 points, 13 boards and six blocks in a win that moved them to 2-1 in league play.

Tim Frazier, Penn State: The Nittany Lions lost to Nebraska 70-58, but Frazier was incredible. He finished with 30 points, six assists, six steals and four boards.

Robert Covington, Tennessee State: Covington had 30 points and eight boards, hitting 7-9 from three, as the Tigers knocked off Morehead State.

Langston Galloway, St. Joe’s: Galloway was just as good. He had 30 as well, also hitting 7-9 from deep.

Isaiah Sykes, UCF: Sykes finished with 21 points and 14 boards, 11 of which came on the offensive end, as the Golden Knights knocked off Houston.

Darryl Partin and DJ Irving, Boston: You know what was more impressive than the 27 points and the 6-7 shooting from deep that Partin posted tonight? The 23 points and 11 assists that Irving had.

Davante Gardner, Marquette: Gardner had 22 points and 15 boards in the Golden Eagle’s win.

Kent Bazemore, Old Dominion: Bazemore went for 27 points and 12 boards as ODU moved to 4-1 in the CAA with a 68-66 win over Delaware in OT.