Wizards

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

NEW YORK (AP) Khalif Wyatt scored 33 points and Anthony Lee had 21 - both career highs - and Temple, despite not making a field goal over the final 5 1/2 minutes, upset No. 3 Syracuse 83-79 on Saturday in the Chevrolet Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.

The Owls (9-2), coming off a 10-point home loss to Canisius, used the combination of Wyatt from the outside and Lee inside to keep Syracuse at bay. The Orange led by two at halftime but never took a lead in the second half even though there were four ties, the last at 59 with 10:23 to play.

C.J. Fair had a career-high 25 points for Syracuse (10-1), which had its 52-game regular-season nonconference winning streak snapped. Jim Boeheim remained at 900 wins, two behind Bob Knight for second place all-time among Division I men's coaches. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has 938 wins.

Temple hit three 3-pointers in an 11-3 run that gave the Owls the lead for good. Scootie Randall started the run with a 3 that broke the 59-all tie. He closed it with another 3, his only points of the game.

No. 5 LOUISVILLE 78, WESTERN KENTUCKY 55

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Russ Smith scored 20 points and Louisville beat Western Kentucky for its sixth straight win.

The Cardinals (11-1) have won four straight and 21 of 24 overall in this series against their in-state rival. They took this game across the border an hour south of Western Kentucky's campus in Bowling Green to kick off a new four-year deal between the teams.

Wayne Blackshear added 17 points for Louisville, Chane Behanan had 14 and Montrezl Harrell 13. The Cardinals outshot Western Kentucky, led by double digits most of the way and controlled the game so much fans were chanting ``Beat UK,'' anticipating a visit from Kentucky next Saturday.

Brandon Harris led Western Kentucky (8-5) with 14 points but the Hilltoppers played most of the game without their top two scorers in losing their third straight.

No. 9 KANSAS 74, No. 7 OHIO STATE 66

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Redshirt freshman Ben McLemore scored 22 points and Kansas proved it was more than just a bully at home by beating Ohio State.

It was the third victory for the Jayhawks (10-1) in little more than a year over the Buckeyes (9-2). Kansas won a 64-62 thriller in last year's NCAA semifinals.

The Jayhawks, who had yet to play a true road game, held Ohio State without a field goal for more than 10 minutes of the second half. The Buckeyes, who were led by Deshaun Thomas' 16 points, shot 9 of 36 from the field in the final 20 minutes.

Jeff Withey added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks. Elijah Johnson scored 13 and Travis Releford 11.

Shannon Scott had a career-high 15 for the Buckeyes.

KANSAS STATE 67, No. 8 FLORIDA 61

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Will Spradling had 16 points and five assists, including one that set up Shane Southwell's 3-pointer in the closing minutes to help Kansas State beat Florida.

Rodney McGruder added 13 points and Jordan Henriquez had nine points and five blocks for the Wildcats (9-2), who watched a 10-point halftime lead evaporate before clamping down against one of the nation's top defensive teams and then pulling away in the final minutes.

Patric Young had 19 points for the Gators (8-2), including two with just over 2 minutes left that got them within 58-55. But that's when Southwell knocked down his 3 from the corner, and McGruder made two free throws with 1:05 left to create some breathing room.

Kansas State held on from the foul line for its first regular-season, non-conference win over a top 10 team since defeating No. 8 Minnesota on Dec. 21, 1981.

Florida's leading scorer, Mike Rosario, was held to five points on 1-of-9 shooting.

No. 12 MISSOURI 82, No. 10 ILLINOIS 73

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Laurence Bowers had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Missouri over Illinois in the annual Braggin' Rights game.

Alex Oriakhi added 13 points and 14 rebounds as Missouri (10-1) won its fourth straight in the 32-year-old series. Jabari Brown had 18 points and Phil Pressey handed out 11 assists.

Brandon Paul led Illinois (12-1) with 23 points. Tyler Griffey scored 14 and Joseph Bertrand had 13.

Missouri used a 9-0 run late in the game to take the lead for good at 70-64. The Tigers held a 58-35 edge on the boards and outscored Illinois 44-24 in the paint.

Illinois, which leads the overall series 20-12, won nine meetings in a row from 2000-08.

No. 11 CINCINNATI 68, WRIGHT STATE 58

CINCINNATI (AP) - JaQuon Parker scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half and Cincinnati remained unbeaten by overcoming another poor start to beat Wright State.

The Bearcats improved to 12-0 for the eighth time in school history and the second time in three seasons. Cincinnati won its first 15 games in 2010-11.

For the second game in a row, the Bearcats struggled in half-court offense and scored only 22 points in the first half. Parker scored Cincinnati's first eight in the second half, sparking a 23-6 run that put the Bearcats in control for the first time. The 21 points matched his season high.

Titus Rubles added 11 points and nine rebounds. Justin Jackson had nine points, seven rebounds and two of Cincinnati's 10 blocked shots.

Wright State (8-4) got 14 points from Jerran Young.

No. 13 MINNESOTA 75, LAFAYETTE 50

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Starting guard Joe Coleman scored 12 points and Minnesota got 42 points from its reserves in a rout of Lafayette.

Otto Osenieks added 10 points for the Gophers (12-1), who have won eight straight.

Dan Trist scored 14 points for the Leopards (5-9), who are 0-7 on the road.

Minnesota led by 15 at halftime before stretching its lead soon after the break. Rodney Williams scored six points and Coleman added four, including a steal and dunk, as the Gophers went ahead by 20 and cruised the rest of the way.

No. 15 GEORGETOWN 65, AMERICAN 48

WASHINGTON (AP) - Otto Porter had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Georgetown pulled away late in the first half to beat D.C. neighbor American.

Greg Whittington added 13 points for the Hoyas (10-1), who took advantage of the sizable talent gap between the Big East school and the Eagles from the Patriot League. Georgetown has a nine-game winning streak over American, its last loss coming 30 years ago when Patrick Ewing and Co. lost by one point in what still stands as the biggest intra-city upset in the nation's capital.

Any thought of another stunner was dispatched when Georgetown went on an 11-2 run to end the first half, then an 8-0 spurt to start the second half to build a 48-25 lead. The Hoyas have won seven straight since an overtime loss to then-No. 1 Indiana.

Daniel Munoz scored 15 points to lead the Eagles (4-8).

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 70, No. 16 NEW MEXICO 65

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Nate Wolters scored 28 points and handed out seven assists, leading South Dakota State to an upset of New Mexico.

Kendall Williams scored 21 to lead the Lobos (12-1), who went a frustrating 7 of 12 from the foul line in the closing minutes as they tried to complete a comeback.

Jordan Dykstra had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Jackrabbits, who went 10 for 11 from the line down the stretch to preserve their lead. Chad White added 13 points for South Dakota State and Brayden Carlson had 10.

The Jackrabbits (10-4) led for the final 37 minutes after taking the lead with an early 8-0 run.

No. 18 SAN DIEGO STATE 80, SAN FRANCISCO 58

HONOLULU (AP) - Chase Tapley made six 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 33 points and San Diego State beat San Francisco in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic for its 10th straight win.

Tapley gave the Aztecs (10-1) their first cushion in the opening half with three jumpers during a 2-minute stretch, and he was just getting warmed up. The senior was 13 of 19 from the field, with nine of those from outside, and back-to-back 3s with 9 minutes left in the game sent San Diego State on its way.

The Aztecs have beaten seven California schools this season, including USC and UCLA. They next play Sunday against Indiana State, which beat Ole Miss in overtime earlier Saturday.

The Dons (5-5) tried to keep it close and never let San Diego State go ahead by more than 10 points until just more than 6 minutes were left in the game. Cole Dickerson led San Francisco with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

No. 19 BUTLER 75, EVANSVILLE 67

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith each scored 20 points to lead Butler past pesky Evansville.

The Bulldogs (9-2) won their sixth straight and completed a sweep of the five Indiana schools they played this season in non-conference action - including last weekend's stunning overtime victory against the top-ranked Hoosiers.

Evansville (7-5) was led by Colt Ryan with 25 points.

Butler, playing its first game since breaking into the Top 25 following last week's win over then-No. 1 Indiana, was sluggish early but regrouped with a 22-8 run that gave the Bulldogs a 25-17 lead with 6:34 left in the first half. Evansville spent the rest of the game playing catch-up.

No. 20 MICHIGAN STATE 67, TEXAS 56

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Derrick Nix had 25 points and 11 rebounds to help Michigan State surge past Texas.

Nix was 7 for 10 from the field and 11 for 13 at the line, a major improvement for a 64.9 percent foul shooter.

Keith Appling had 14 points and Adreian Payne added 13 for the Spartans (11-2), who stayed perfect in six December games.

Julien Lewis scored 16 points for the Longhorns (7-5), who couldn't match the efficiency of their 85-67 win over North Carolina on Wednesday night.

No. 23 NORTH CAROLINA 97, MCNEESE STATE 63

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - P.J. Hairston scored a career-high 20 points in North Carolina's victory over McNeese State.

Reggie Bullock added 17 points for the Tar Heels (9-3), who shot 13 of 28 on 3-pointers and never trailed. James Michael McAdoo had 12 points, Leslie McDonald added 11 and Brice Johnson scored 10.

The Tar Heels broke open the game early with a 22-4 run to take a 27-8 lead midway through the first half.

Jeremie Mitchell had 13 points to lead the Cowboys (6-4), who had won five straight.

No. 24 OKLAHOMA STATE 78, TENNESSEE TECH 42

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Freshman guard Phil Forte scored 22 points to lead Oklahoma State over Tennessee Tech.

Forte shot 6 of 11 from 3-point range and the Cowboys (10-1) hit a season-high 11 3-pointers. Kamari Murphy scored 12 points, Markel Brown and Marcus Smart each had 11, and Kirby Gardner added 10 points and seven assists.

Judd Dillard led Tennessee Tech (6-6) with 18 points.

Oklahoma State led 38-19 at halftime, the second straight game an opponent failed to reach 20 points in the opening 20 minutes.

No. 25 N.C. STATE 92, ST. BONAVENTURE 73

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - C.J. Leslie scored a career-high 33 points to lead North Carolina State past St. Bonaventure.

Scott Wood added a season-best 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting and Lorenzo Brown had a season-high 11 assists for the Wolfpack (9-2).

The nation's most accurate shooting team shot 57 percent, never trailed and now heads into its weeklong holiday break on a five-game winning streak.

Eric Mosley had 18 points for the Bonnies (7-4). They were outscored 50-24 in the paint, shot just 40.6 percent, never got closer than 12 in the second half and had their two-game winning streak snapped.

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WATCH: Rui Hachimura punishing Spurs interior defense with dunk and two layups

WATCH: Rui Hachimura punishing Spurs interior defense with dunk and two layups

As Rui Hachimura continues to grow and take his lumps at the NBA level, one important point of development for the Wizards' rookie will be finishing through contact at the rim. 

The Wizards play the Hornets on Friday at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

On Wednesday night against the Spurs, Hachimura hit a nice hook shot over LaMarcus Aldridge and then finished through traffic after attacking a closeout a few plays later. He entered the game shooting nearly 70 percent at the rim, a major reason why he's one of the top-scoring rookies this season. 

Then at the end of the first half, Isaiah Thomas found Hachimura on a back-door cut for the easy slam. Well-timed cuts are a great source of points for young players. 

After the break, the ninth-overall pick flashed a little finesse at the rim for another pretty finish. 

His three-point shooting will have to improve at some point down the line and learning better positioning as a defender is something every rookie has to go through. 

Both of those skills can be improved in the practice gym or in the film room. Finishing at the basket through contact is learned by repetition in-game, so it's a promising sign to see Hachimura take the ball to the rim. 

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When Gregg Popovich thinks the NBA will be ready for a female head coach

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When Gregg Popovich thinks the NBA will be ready for a female head coach

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards hosting the Spurs on Wednesday night brought together two of the 11 NBA teams that currently employ a female assistant coach. The Wizards have Kristi Toliver on their bench and the Spurs have Becky Hammon.

That confluence prompted a question to San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich on the future of women in the NBA coaching ranks and whether a head coaching hire could happen sometime soon. 

The Wizards play the Hornets on Friday at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

Though it has been five years since he hired Hammon as the first full-time female assistant coach in league history, Popovich is uncertain on exactly when a team will make the leap to hiring a woman to run their operation.

"That depends on people and organizations," he said. 

"It's a process and it doesn't happen quickly. But I think the more women there are [in the game] and as it becomes more commonplace and more the rule, it will then depend on an organization realizing there are women that can do this. Every woman can't, every man can't. But the point is there gotta be enough to choose from and it's gotta be pretty commonplace before I think somebody's gonna pull the trigger."

Popovich believes it will happen, he's just not sure when. The Wizards hiring Toliver last summer was another step in that direction and he believes she and others are showing the basketball world what they are capable of.

"There's no difference between a woman who knows the game and a man who knows the game. It's just another prejudice that probably has to be overcome just like a lot of other prejudices in the world have become less and less as people paid attention to them," Popovich said.

Hammon made the news over the weekend when Popovich was ejected from the Spurs' loss to the Kings and a committee of assistants coached the rest of the game. Popovich was asked why he didn't appoint Hammon to serve in the role for the rest of the game and he told reporters he was "not here to make history." 

Still, though there has never been a female head coach in any of the four major U.S. sports, it seems like the NBA is by far the closest with people like Hammon and Tolliver already knocking on the door.

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