NCAA Hoops: Cooley leads Notre Dame over USF

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NCAA Hoops: Cooley leads Notre Dame over USF

Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011
Posted 1:22 p.m. Updated 11:16 p.m.

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. Jack Cooley came off the bench during an early 22-0 run and finished with a career-high 18 points, leading No. 8 Notre Dame to a 78-55 rout of South Florida on Saturday.

The victory is the seventh straight for the Fighting Irish (21-4, 10-3), who have won three straight Big East road games for the first time in 10 years.

Cooley made his first nine shots giving him a stretch of 14 consecutive field goals over two games before missing a 15-footer in the closing minutes.

Carleton Scott scored 13 points and Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis had 12 apiece for Notre Dame, which had six players score in double figures.

Shaun Noriega led South Florida (8-18, 2-11) with a career-best 23 points.

Box Score
Simms-Edwards leads Bradley past Evansville 68-54

PEORIA, Ill. - Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored 25 points to lead Bradley to a 68-54 victory over Evansville on Saturday night.

Bradley's Andrew Warren added 17 points, including 3 of 4 on 3-pointers, before fouling out. Dodie Dunson scored 12 points for the Braves (9-17, 3-12 Missouri Valley), who have won three of four following an 11-game losing streak.

Colt Ryan scored 14 points to pace the Purple Aces (14-11, 8-7), who have dropped eight straight in Peoria. Ryan went 2 of 6 from 3-point range, but his teammates were 0-for-7.

Simms-Edwards converted 9 of 16, including two 3-pointers, and tied Will Egolf with eight rebounds each.

The Braves ran off 12 consecutive points for a 28-19 edge before the Purple Aces answered with eight in a row. Bradley took a 32-29 lead into halftime and extended it to 44-35 on Warren's three-point play.

Evansville got no closer than six after that.

Box Score

No. 25 West Virginia beats DePaul 82-71

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - John Flowers led West Virginia's balanced offense with 15 points and the 25th-ranked Mountaineers never trailed in beating DePaul 82-71 on Saturday.

Deniz Kilicli and Joe Mazzulla added 12 points apiece and Casey Mitchell and Truck Bryant both scored 11 for West Virginia (16-8, 7-5 Big East).

Brandon Young led DePaul (6-18, 0-12) with 14 points, while Jimmy Drew added 13 and Krys Faber and Tony Freeland both had 11.

The Mountaineers' offense woke up after averaging 58 points in their six previous games, surpassing that figure midway through the second half.

West Virginia needed a win against the league's worst team to bolster its confidence following consecutive losses to No. 9 Villanova and No. 4 Pittsburgh.

Another loss would have sent West Virginia tumbling to 11th place in the conference. Instead, the Mountaineers improved to sixth, just ahead of No. 12 Syracuse.

Five of the Mountaineers' six remaining regular-season games are against ranked teams, including Monday, at Syracuse.

The last time DePaul and West Virginia met on Jan. 4, the Mountaineers blew a 14-point lead in the second half and held on for a 67-65 road win behind Mitchell's 18 points.

DePaul had no such luck cutting into a double-digit deficit this time.

West Virginia had its highest first-half output of the season but needed some time to extend a 13-point halftime lead. The Mountaineers made just four field goals over the first 10 minutes of the second half, and Michael Bizoukas made a layup to cut DePaul's deficit to 59-48.

Jeremiah Kelly's 3-pointer with 2:48 left brought the Blue Demons within 74-67, but DePaul scored just four points the rest of the game.

West Virginia went 6 of 6 from the free throw line after that and Flowers' dunk with 49 seconds left sealed it.

West Virginia outscored DePaul 20-13 from the line and shot 53 percent (28 of 53) from the field while DePaul shot 51 percent (25 of 49).

West Virginia easily handled DePaul's full-court press and often was able to get quick open looks on the offensive end.

Flowers took an alley-oop pass from Mitchell and laid it in for a 38-28 lead with 5:50 left in the first half.

West Virginia led by as many as 16 points late in the half and 47-34 at halftime.

Box Score

Loyola Chicago beats Wisconsin-Green Bay 79-62

CHICAGO - Geoff McCammon scored 22 points and Ben Averkamp added 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead Loyola Chicago to a 79-62 victory against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Saturday.

Terrance Hill had 16 points for the Ramblers (14-12, 5-10 Horizon League), who snapped a four-game losing skid.

Greg LeSage scored 12 points and Stave Baker, Rahmon Fletcher and Jarvis Williams 10 each for the Phoenix (12-14, 6-8).

A 9-0 run early in the second half - comprised of consecutive 3-pointers, by McCammon and two by Hill - gave Loyola a 44-26 cushion, and the Ramblers later pushed the lead to 20.

Loyola enjoyed a 49-28 rebounding advantage.

Box Score
Wisconsin-Milwaukee coasts to 70-59 victory over UIC

CHICAGO - Anthony Hill scored a career-high 32 points to lead Wisconsin-Milwaukee in a 70-59 win over Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.

Hill made 12 of 23 tries from the field and 8 of 9 from the free-throw line in 28 minutes for the Panthers (15-11, 10-5 Horizon). His previous career best was 30 points against Youngstown State in December.

The Panthers, who won their fifth straight, led almost the entire way and were ahead by as many as 16 points early in the second half.

Robo Kreps led the Flames (7-20, 2-13) with 24 points and tied his career high of nine rebounds.

Paris Carter pulled down 11 rebounds for Illinois-Chicago, which took a 40-37 advantage on the boards.

Tone Boyle scored 14 points and Tony Meier 11 for Milwaukee while Kaylon Williams grabbed 12 rebounds to tie his career best.

Box Score

Kent State stops Northern Illinois 84-77

DEKALB, Ill. - Rodriquez Sherman scored 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting, and Kent State defeated Northern Illinois 84-77 to remain atop the Mid-American Conference's East Division.

Justin Greene had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Carlton Guyton added 14 points for the Golden Flashes (17-7, 8-2), who won their sixth straight game to kick off a four-game road trip.

Xavier Silas kept the Huskies (7-16, 3-8) within range, scoring 34 points and pulling down six rebounds. The senior guard was fifth in Division I in scoring at 23.7 points per game before Saturday's contest. He made 11 of 20 shots, but the rest of the Huskies made just 16 of 43 shots (37 percent).

Kent State fell behind early, 26-20, but the Golden Flashes closed out the first half with a 22-7 run for a 42-33 lead at the half. They stretched it to 62-45 with 13:30 remaining and held on. The Huskies got as close as 83-77 on a 3-pointer from Silas with 11 seconds remaining.

The Golden Flashes shot 50 percent (27 of 54) from the floor.

Box Score

Eastern Kentucky defeats Eastern Illinois 67-47

RICHMOND, Ky. - Justin Stommes scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half to lead Eastern Kentucky to a 67-47 blowout victory over Eastern Illinois on Saturday night.

The Colonels (15-11, 9-6 Ohio Valley Conference) trailed 30-28 with 17:39 left to play before going on a 23-8 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Stommes with 11:23 to go.

Eastern Kentucky followed that run by scoring 12 straight points - eight from Stommes - and turning a 51-41 lead into a 63-41 advantage with 2:19 remaining.

Jeff Johnson added 16 points and Spencer Perrin had 10 for the Colonels, who shot 69.6 percent from the field (16 of 23), including 9 for 13 from 3-point range (69.2 percent) in the second half.

Eastern Kentucky shot just 9 for 26 from the field (34.6 percent) in the first.

Jeremy Granger scored 15 points and L.C. Doss added 10 for the Panthers (8-17, 4-11), who have lost seven straight.

Box Score

Weems guides Missouri State to 68-59 win over ISU

NORMAL, Ill. - Kyle Weems scored 21 points and Missouri State defeated Illinois State 68-59 on Saturday night to keep at least a share of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Weems, coming off a 27-point performance in Wednesday's 77-69 victory over Bradley, made 6 of 11 shots and pulled down six rebounds for the Bears, (20-6, 12-3), who were tied with Wichita State at 11-3 in league play heading into Saturday night's games.

Will Creekmore scored 16 points and Nafis Ricks had 12 for Missouri State, which has won three straight and recorded its second consecutive 20-win season.

Austin Hill had a game-high 23 points for the Redbirds (11-15, 3-12), who lost their fourth straight game.

Missouri State led by as many as 12 in the second half after leading 27-25 at the half. Hill's 3-pointer with 59 seconds left pulled Illinois State within 64-57, the closest they would get down the stretch.

Box Score
South Dakota State beats Western Illinois 82-61

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Jordan Dykstra had 20 points, all in the second half, to lead five South Dakota players who scored in double figures as the Jackrabbits defeated Western Illinois 82-61 on Saturday night.

Griffan Callahan had 13 points, Chad White 12 and Clint Sargent and Tony Fiegen 10 each for South Dakota (17-9, 9-6 Summit League). Sargent had nine rebounds.

Matt Lander scored 16 points and Jack Houpt 15 for the Leathernecks (7-18, 2-12). Kaimarr Price added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Jelani Johnson had 10 points.

The Jackrabbits used a 24-5 run over a 7:46 first-half stretch - Callahan made two 3-pointers during the spree, and White and Sargent added one each - to build a 39-17 lead. South Dakota increased the cushion to 28 in the second half.

Box Score

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DeShone Kizer stays the same leader for new group of Notre Dame teammates

DeShone Kizer stays the same leader for new group of Notre Dame teammates

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A number of teammates took the field for the first time with DeShone Kizer during the cacophony of Sunday night’s atmosphere at Darrell K. Royal Stadium in Austin. And much as Kizer did last year, he led the Irish offense with a certain kind of poise and mentality that deftly toes the line between confident and cocky. 

“When we were down by two touchdowns or when it was tied, he had the same demeanor,” sophomore receiver C.J. Sanders said. “That really speaks volumes about him as a man.”

Kizer wowed his teammates a year ago when he subbed in for the injured Malik Zaire and threw a game-winning touchdown to Will Fuller. It wasn’t just for the throw, but it was also for the way in which the quarterback conducted himself in a hostile, pressure-packed environment. 

Last year’s Irish offense, though, was loaded with leaders. Ronnie Stanley, Nick Martin and Chris Brown were pillars on that team, and there were veterans all around like Fuller, C.J. Prosise, Steve Elmer and Amir Carlisle. 

Notre Dame only returned a handful of upperclassmen who played on that 2015 team in Kizer, Torii Hunter Jr., Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson (running back Tarean Folston was injured in Week 1 against Texas, and tight end Durham Smythe missed the remainder of the regular season after an injury in Week 2). 

So that meant there was quite a bit of inexperience permeating Notre Dame’s offense Sunday night. But some of those greenhorns said Kizer’s composure and confidence helped them ease into a roaringly-intense evening. 

“When we were down, he brought us together and said we’re going to drive and score and come back,” sophomore receiver Equanimeous St. Brown said, adding that message from Kizer gave him and the rest of the Irish offense a confidence boost in the second half. 

“What young guys typically don’t understand when they go into that environment is that it’s not too much different from what you’re doing in practice,” Kizer said. “When you step in front of 100,000 people, there’s a lot of noise and that could definitely create some adrenaline. But other than that, we’re playing the same game that we’ve been playing all summer. 

“The plays have been made time and time again all offseason and just understanding that when they’re out there, they’re expected to make those same exact plays and all they have to do is do that and do that well. You don’t have to go out there and be someone else. We have a really good coaching staff who put you in good positions to make big plays and all you have to do is execute what they say.” 

Leadership is one of those nebulous things every football player and coach will tell you is necessary, but it’s a quality that’s impossible to quantify. It’s not an end-all, be-all for an offense or defense — Notre Dame, after all, didn’t score when it got the ball back after Jarron Jones’ miraculous blocked PAT, which probably had more to do with the loss of Hunter Jr. than anything else — but it is something that can be pointed to as an asset in close games. 

And with Kizer quarterbacking the offense, Notre Dame has to feel confident in its ability to hang in close games. It still needs its special teams, defense (which was primarily behind recent losses to Stanford and Texas) and coaching (behind the loss to Clemson) to come through, but the next time Notre Dame finds itself in a high-pressure, hostile situation, it can count on Kizer to keep things calm. 

And that counts for something, whatever the extent of it is. 

“Before the game he kind of talked to us, got in front of us and told us hey, I don’t care how young you are, I know you guys can make plays,” Sanders said. “So just hearing that from him developed a comfort level to know that he can depend on us. Hearing that from him really made a big difference.” 

Loyola excited for upcoming season, trip to Spain

Loyola excited for upcoming season, trip to Spain

Loyola didn't have the season they were hoping for in 2015-16 but they're optimistic that things can turn around for the upcoming season. Even though the Loyola roster is filled with newcomers, the Ramblers are hopeful that a summer trip to Spain can help give them a head start.

As part of the trip, Loyola will get 10 extra practices and four games against Spanish competition that will give the team some much-needed experience before practice officially begins in October.

Head coach Porter Moser is already happy about working with this group, which features some productive returnees and a lot of talented newcomers.

"We play four games over there. They get that feel of being coached in a game at this level with their teammates," Moser said. "So then when we start back up in October they have a sense of some of the things we're trying to teach, some of the things of what to expect. And I think that's such a big element."

On a team full of new players, it will be important for senior guard Milton Doyle to have a bounce-back year for Loyola after a disappointing junior campaign. A former star at Marshall, Doyle saw his shooting percentages dip last season as the Loyola coaching staff challenged him to improve for his final season of college basketball. 

Moser is happy with the strides that Doyle has made this summer as he's added over 10 pounds of muscle to now play at 192 pounds. Also committed on the defensive end of the floor and being a team leader, Doyle is the Ramblers' only senior this season, so he'll be counted on to be a productive presence.

"It's a lot this year just because we had four seniors leave last year and I'm the last senior," Doyle said. "So it's my job to make sure everyone stays on track and everyone is uplifted, even when coaches get on them. That's my job right now."

Junior wing Donte Ingram — a former Simeon product — and junior guard Ben Richardson also return as key contributors from last year's team while Iowa State transfer guard Clayton Custer is expected to come in and be a major factor in the team's backcourt rotation.

As for the newcomers, Moser compared juco transfer forward Aundre Jackson favorably to former Loyola forward Christian Thomas while Vlatko Granic gives the team a stretch option at forward that they didn't have in the past. The team's freshmen are also very talented as guard Matt Chastain has shown solid athleticism and a good basketball IQ through some early practices. 

Another freshman guard, Cameron Satterwhite, is coming off of a torn ACL that cost him his senior season, but the Loyola staff is optimistic about his recovery for this season. Croatian freshman guard Bruno Skokna is also recovering from injury as he has played against professionals in Europe the last few seasons on an amateur contract. He is expected to be cleared soon so that he can return to action this season.

"I love this group because it's a group full of gym rats. This is a really enthusiastic group," Moser said. "They've come together, we've got a lot of newcomers. That's the benefit, that's why we did the Spain trip this summer."

Loyola takes its trip to Spain from Aug. 12-22 as they'll hit cities like Barcelona and Madrid during the trip.