NCAA

Simmons leads LSU to 79-51 win over American

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Simmons leads LSU to 79-51 win over American

By BRYAN LAZARE

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Throughout first half, LSU had its problems with American's half-court offense.

But the Tigers adjusted on defense and Ben Simmons continued his dominant play, scoring 23 points with six assists and three steals to help LSU pull away for a 79-51 win over American on Tuesday night.

LSU opened the second half on a 15-2 run, pulling away for good as American went more than five minutes without a field goal before Washington made a jumper with 14:35 to play.

Simmons and Hornsby accounted for 13 of the 15 Tigers points. Hornsby's third field goal in the stretch put LSU ahead 51-33 with 15 minutes to play. The Eagles' trailed by 17 points the rest of the game.

The Eagles, who missed just five first-half field goal attempts, made only 7 of 27 shots in the final 20 minutes. The Tigers went into halftime leading by just five but, fewer than seven minutes into the second half, LSU led 57-35.

"We knew it would be a different offensive set that we haven't had to face all year long," LSU coach Johnny Jones said. "I commend our guys for our halftime adjustments that we were able to make. We got stops and held them to some 25 percent shooting from the field."

Simmons was 8 of 13 from the field and 7 of 9 from the foul line. He scored nine as the Tigers (7-4) extended their lead to 22 points.

"It was difficult for me in the first half because I had to play the full shot clock," Simmons said. "American cut and got buckets so you have to remain disciplined. We really picked it up in the second half."

Craig Victor II scored 12 of his season-high 14 points in the first half, Aaron Epps finished with 11 points and Keith Hornsby added 10 for LSU.

RELATED: Perrantes lifts No. 5 Virginia past California, 63-62 in OT

LSU made 32 of 62 (61.5) field goals attempts.

"Guarding American was a new challenge for us," Hornsby said. "We hadn't faced a team that runs the Princeton offense. It tested our communication. They shot about 72 percent in the first half. It was a good test for the team we are right now as we try to improve defensively."

Jesse Reed led American (2-9) with 12 points. James Washington scored 11.

"We were overmatched," American coach Mike Brennan said. "We're young, but it's good to go against a team like that and hang in there for about a half. So, there are a few positives you can take away. We've got to rest, recuperate and get ready for league play."

American controlled the pace early and led 26-22 with 6:33 in the first half. The Tigers scored the next 12 points, including four apiece by Epps and Victor.

American shot 72.2 percent from the field in the first half, but LSU converted 12 Eagles' turnovers into 16 points.

TIP-INS

American: The Eagles remained winless in games against current members of the Southeastern Conference. American is 0-11 against present SEC teams. Three of those 11 losses have come against Florida.

GOOD DEFENSE

For the second time in three games, LSU held its opponent to fewer than 60 points. The Tigers allowed less than 60 points in only five games all of last season. American committed 22 turnovers, which equaled the most by a LSU opponent this season. Marquette also had 22 turnovers against the Tigers last month. LSU was credited with a season-high 14 steals - three each by Ben Simmons and Craig Victor.

TALE OF TWO HALVES

American knocked down 72 percent of its field goal attempts (13-of-18) in the first half. The Eagles were 4-of-8 on 3-pointers before halftime but missed 11 of their 13 shots from behind the 3-point line in the second half.

UP NEXT

American plays at Loyola (Maryland) on Dec. 30.

MORE COLLEGE HOOPS: DePaul upsets No. 20 George Washington 82-61

Lipscomb at Louisville Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA Today Sports

Lipscomb at Louisville Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Louisville (6-3) is looking to bounce back after a tough 68-67 loss to Indiana on Saturday. The Cardinals welcome the Lipscomb Bisons (7-2) to town for a non-conference affair.

Lipscomb, who was picked to finish second in the Atlantic Sun, has won five of its last six games including a 107-81 victory over Navy on Sunday in Nashville. 

In the first year of the Chris Mack era, Louisville is averaging 81.7 points per game through nine games and upset #9 Michigan St. back on November 27, 82-78 in overtime.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. 

Lipscomb at Louisville How to Watch

What: Lipscomb Bisons at Louisville Cardinals
Where: KFC Yum! Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

Lipscomb at Louisville Preview

Conference: ACC (Louisville), Atlantic Sun (Lipscomb)
Record: 6-3 (Louisville), 7-2 (Lipscomb)
Last Game: 68-67 Loss at Indiana, 12/8 (Louisville), 107-81 Win vs. Navy, 11/28 (Lipscomb)
Leading Scorers: Jordan Nwora, 17.8ppg (Louisville), Rob Marberry, 16.9ppg (Lipscomb)
 

Virginia drops in new AP top 25 poll, while Virginia Tech's stock is on the rise

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia drops in new AP top 25 poll, while Virginia Tech's stock is on the rise

Kansas is back where it started the season.

The preseason No. 1, the Jayhawks are again the top-ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 despite struggling to get past New Mexico State at home. Kansas received 57 first-place votes from a 65-person media panel in the poll released Monday, sliding into the top spot after previous No. 1 Gonzaga lost to Tennessee.

No. 2 Duke moved up a spot and received four first-place votes. No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Gonzaga, No. 5 Michigan and No. 6 Virginia received the other first-place votes.

No. 7 Nevada, Auburn, Michigan State and Florida State rounded out the top 10.

The Jayhawks were the preseason No. 1, but dropped a spot after Duke decimated then-No. 2 Kentucky to open the season.

Gonzaga moved to No. 1 after beating Duke in the Maui Invitational title game, lasting two weeks before losing 76-73 to the Vols Sunday in Phoenix.

Kansas (8-0) kept winning, though needed a big game from Dedric Lawson to beat New Mexico State in Kansas City on Saturday. Lawson, a preseason All-American, had 20 points, including the final 14 for Kansas, and 10 rebounds in the tighter than expected 63-60 victory.

Kansas played without center Udoka Azubuike, but coach Bill Self was not buying any excuses for the struggles.

"We were fortunate tonight," he said. "How in the world we've won these games ... it's one thing to not play well, it's another thing to not play well and not be intellectually into the game and that was certainly the case tonight."

It was good enough to get the Jayhawks past the Aggies -- and move to No. 1.

COMPLETE AP TOP 25 POLL WEEK 6

1. Kansas 8-0 (57 first-place votes, No. 2 last week)

2. Duke 9-1 (4 first-place votes, No. 3 last week)

3. Tennessee 7-1 (1 first-place vote, No. 7 last week)

4. Gonzaga 9-1 (1 first-place vote, No. 1 last week)

5. Michigan 10-0 (1 first-place vote, no change from last week)

6. Virginia 9-0 (1 first-place vote, No. 4 last week)

7. Nevada 10-0 (No. 6 last week)

8. Auburn 8-1 (No change from last week)

9. Michigan State 8-2 (No. 10 last week)

10. Florida State 8-1 (No. 11 last week)

11. Texas Tech 8-0 (No. 13 last week)

12. North Carolina 7-2 (No. 14 last week)

13. Virginia Tech 8-1 (No. 15 last week)

14. Buffalo 9-0 (No. 17 last week)

15. Ohio State 8-1 (No. 19 last week)

16. Wisconsin 8-2 (No. 12 last week)

17. Villanova 8-2 (No. 21 last week)

18. Mississippi State 8-1 (No. 22 last week)

19. Kentucky 7-2 (No. 9 last week)

20. Arizona State 7-1 (No change from last week)

21. Marquette 8-2 (Not ranked last week)

22. Iowa 7-2 (No. 18 last week_

23. Furman 10-0 (No. 25 last week)

24. Houston 8-0 (Not ranked last week)

25. Indiana 8-2 (Not ranked last week)

25. Syracuse 7-2 (Not ranked last week)

25. Kansas State 6-2 (No. 16 last week)

VOLS RISING

Tennessee picked up its biggest win in four seasons under coach Rick Barnes by knocking off Gonzaga in the Colangelo Classic.

The Vols (7-1) kept their poise and made the biggest plays down the stretch, holding off the Zags 76-73 after Admiral Schofield scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half and hit two key 3-pointers.

The victory was Tennessee's first over a No. 1 team since beating Kansas in 2010 and Barnes' first in 31 years as a head coach.

The Vols have their highest AP ranking since hitting No. 1 in 2007-08.

FURMAN HOLDS STEADY

Furman moved into the poll for the first time last week, thanks to a resume that includes wins over 2018 Final Four teams Villanova and Loyola-Chicago.

The Paladins (10-0) moved up two spots in this week's poll to No. 23 after beating Elon and South Carolina Upstate.

Furman plays Charleston Southern on Tuesday and UNC Wilmington Saturday.

TOP 27

This week's poll had a rarity: Three teams tied for the final spot.

Syracuse, Indiana and Kansas State all came in at No. 25 after receiving 118 points. It's the first three-way tie in the AP Top 25 since three teams shared No. 13 in 1991.

The Hoosiers are ranked for the first time since climbing to No. 3 in 2016-17. The Orange moved back into the Top 25 after beating Northeastern and Georgetown.

The Wildcats dropped nine spots from No. 16 after losing to Tulsa.

RISING

Tennessee matched the biggest climb of the week, moving up four spots from No. 7.

No. 15 Ohio State, No. 17 Villanova and No. 18 Mississippi also moved up four.

FALLING

No. 19 Kentucky had the largest drop this week, losing 10 spots to No. 19 after losing to Seton Hall in overtime. Kansas State was next at nine. Maryland also dropped out of the top 25 after being ranked No. 23 last week.

MOVING IN

In addition to Syracuse and Indiana, No. 21 Marquette and No. 24 Houston each moved into the poll this week.

The Cougars are ranked for the first time since hitting No. 21 last season and the Golden Eagles are back in the poll after dropping out in Week 3.

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