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.

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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

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

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Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

WASHINGTON -- Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer, Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Washington's six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.

Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.

Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris then combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Neris earned his sixth save.

Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.

Wilmer Difo homered for Washington. Third baseman Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.

Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (2-3) tied his season high with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits.

Andrew Stevenson accounted for Washington's other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Pedro Severino followed with a walk, but Ramos induced a double-play grounder from Rafael Bautista.

Cesar Hernandez opened the game with a single off Roark and Hoskins homered to center on a 3-2 pitch. It was his fifth of the season.

Maikel Franco provided an insurance run when he followed Carlos Santana's one-out triple with a single in the sixth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (lower back strain) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Lively was placed on the disabled list April 27. ... Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Pat Neshek (shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session as the next step in his rehabilitation. Neshek has not appeared in a game this season.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his side, according to manager Dave Martinez. ... RHP Trevor Gott, who sprained an ankle in the sixth inning Friday night, is day to day.

UP NEXT

The winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards square off when Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.49 ERA) opposes Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA). Arrieta won the award in 2015 with the Cubs and Scherzer, the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, has claimed the honor each of the last two seasons.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.