Conference USA Basketball Round-Up: December 17

North Texas holds off Central Arkansas 64-55

DENTON, Texas (AP) — Colin Voss scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead North Texas in a 64-55 victory over Central Arkansas on Tuesday.

North Texas (6-5) led by just one point with 3:26 left to play. Voss grabbed a pair of rebounds before making a layup to stretch the margin to three. He added three more defensive rebounds in the final two minutes and the Mean Green made 7 of 9 free throws to put the game out of reach for Central Arkansas (2-6).

The Bears went on a 13-3 run five minutes into the second half to lead by two points. DeShone McClure scored a career-high 23 points — 19 in the second half — to keep Central Arkansas in the game after trailing by 10 shortly after the break.

The Mean Green finished with 15 more rebounds (43-28) and made 13 more free throws than Central Arkansas.

— Associated Press


Florida State cruises over Charlotte 106-62

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Thomas scored a career-high 26 points as Florida State cruised to a 106-62 victory against Charlotte.

The last time Florida State scored 100 points was a 108-73 win against Campbell in Dec. 22, 2005.

Shawn Lester led the 49ers (7-3) with 16 points as Pierria Henry chipped in 13 and Willie Clayton finished with 11 points. Both Henry and Clayton were ejected in the second half; Henry for two technical fouls after a power dunk over Michael Ojo and Clayton for a flagrant-2 foul.

The Seminoles had six players score double-figures, including 18 points in 18 minutes by Ian Miller.

The win was the second in a row for the Seminoles after losing 3-of-4 on a road trip that included losses to Michigan, No. 16 Florida and Minnesota.

The Seminoles (7-3) play UMass in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla. on Saturday as the 49ers host USC.

“We had a tremendous amount of respect for Charlotte’s team,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We had to rise to the occasion.

“Tonight our guys played exceptionally well. . This team brought the best out of us tonight.”

The Seminoles, arguably, played their most complete game of the season. They dominated Charlotte from the opening tip by jumping out to a 22-5 lead with 11:58 left in the first half. A 3-0 start accounted for the 49ers’ only lead of the game.

Florida State was aggressive in transition with 10 points during that early run, punctuated by a Thomas break-away dunk off a full-length pass from Okaro White, who scored 14 and grabbed 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Charlotte was sloppy with the ball and committed 19 turnovers with many leading to transition basketball. Florida State scored 14 points off the fast break while Charlotte managed just two.

The long-ball fell as the Seminoles shot 9-for-22 from behind the arc, including back-to-back triples from White and Montay Brandon for Florida State’s first points of the game. The nine 3-point baskets were the season-high.

The rebounding may have been most the most surprising. The 49ers featured the No. 10 rebounder in the NCAA in Willie Clayton, but Charlotte was outrebounded by 15 in the first half. Florida State finished the game with a 45-33 edge.

The 49ers were never in contention after the Seminoles’ initial push. They shot 35 percent from the field and were 1-for-7 from behind the arc in the second half while trying to rally. Frustrations rose in the second half as Henry picked up two technical fouls after dunking on Florida State 7-foot-3 center Michael Ojo. He picked up the first technical trash talking Ojo, then he wouldn’t stop as officials stepped in.

— Associated Press


Marshall throttles Alice Lloyd 121-57

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Ryan Taylor scored 25 points to lead six Marshall players in double figures as they dominated NAIA Alice Lloyd 121-57 Tuesday night.

Chris Thomas scored 19 while Shawn Smith added 18 points to go with his 12 rebounds. Kareem Canty dished out 14 assists and scored 12 points.

Marshall (5-6) shot a blistering 64.7 percent from the field and drained 15 of 26 from long range. Alice Lloyd (6-6) finished just 26.6 from the field and hit 7 of 34 from 3-point range.

Marshall ripped off a 20-5 run to open a 40-19 first-half lead. The Thundering Herd extended the lead to 54-30 at halftime in a game that was never close.

Marshall controlled the paint, outscoring Alice Lloyd 56-20 and grabbing a 54-32 rebound advantage.

Tyler Rogers paced Alice Lloyd, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

— Associated Press


Green’s late shot lifts Stetson over FAU 64-62

DELAND, Fla. (AP) — Willie Green’s lay-in in the final second lifted Stetson to a 64-62 victory over Florida Atlantic on Tuesday night.

Green had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Stetson (2-10). His game-winning basket gave the Hatters their second victory in two years over FAU with a last-second layup. The Hatters defeated the Owls 69-68 on Dec. 18, 2012, on Chris Perez’s buzzer-beating putback.

Raymone Andrews put Stetson ahead 62-60 on a 3-pointer with 2:18 left in the game. It was Stetson’s first lead since scoring the first points of the game.

Justin Raffington pulled FAU even at 62 with 24 seconds to go on a slam dunk following two offensive rebounds by Kelvin Penn.

The Owls (3-9) were unable to get a shot off in the final second of the game.

Pablo Bertone led FAU with 18 points. D’Andre Johnson added 13 and Raffington had 10.

— Associated Press


Louisiana Tech beats McNeese State 64-50

RUSTON, La. (AP) — Raheem Appleby scored 23 points on Tuesday night, including three 3-pointers, and Louisiana Tech beat McNeese State 64-50.

The lead changed hands four times until Kenneth Smith made a layup at 8:09 in the first half to put Louisiana Tech (9-3-) up 22-21. Appleby hit a 3-pointer and a dunk to make it 27-23, then hit a jumper with 3 seconds to go and Louisiana Tech led 39-30 at halftime. Appleby, the team’s leading scorer with an average of 16.1 points per game, had 19 points in the half.

Lousiana Tech went on a 9-1 run to open the second half, then pulled away, getting good penetration into the paint — Michale Kyser made two dunks and Cordarius Johnson threw one down.

Kyser scored 14 points and the Bulldogs outshot McNeese State (2-8) 38.3 percent from the field to 33.3 percent.

Ledrick Eackles led the Cowboys with 11 points.

— Associated Press


Balance gives Washington win at Tulane 73-62

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — C.J. Wilcox scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures and Washington overcame an overall sloppy performance to escape with a 73-62 win at Tulane on Tuesday night.

Balance, and 56 percent shooting in the first half, made the difference for the Huskies (6-4). Nigel Williams-Goss and Perris Blackwell added 12 points and Mike Anderson had 10.

Wilcox moved past the 1,500 point plateau and into 11th on the UW scoring list despite his lowest-scoring game of the season.

“We did a good job on defense early then kind of relaxed,” Wilcox said. “We got in foul trouble and they took advantage. We came out a little flat in the second half and they stayed close.”

Freshman Jonathan Stark matched his career high with 25 points, 17 in the first half when he kept Tulane (5-6) in the game. Louis Dabney added 16. Jay Hook, who had 31 points in the last game with a school record eight 3-pointers, was held to eight, just two in the second half and that was the only 3 for the Green Wave in 14 attempts.

“Credit Washington,” Tulane coach Ed Conroy said. “Defensively their athleticism on the perimeter and their quickness closed down gaps and made it hard for us to beat them from three.”

Tulane scored the first basket but then proceeded to shoot 32 percent in the first half, including a 1-9 performance from 3-point range and 13 of 21 from the foul line. Despite battling foul problems and turnovers the Huskies grabbed a 41-32 when Wilcox dropped a half-court buzzer beater. That made UW 6 of 12 from behind the arc at the break.

“We practice it every day at the end of practice, work on trick shots,” Wilcox said. “I had an opportunity to take advantage tonight and it worked out.”

The Green Wave shot better in the second half and got within three on Dabney’s three-point play at 12:40. But UW always had someone come up with a key basket to hold off the Green Wave.

Washington ended up with a season-high 18 turnovers but Tulane’s poor shooting made it difficult to take advantage and then the Green Wave had foul issues in the second half. The Huskies didn’t make a field goal for the last 7:51 but they knocked down their free throws, making 15 of 20 in the second half to finish 22 of 28. Eleven of those makes came down the stretch.

Still, the Huskies didn’t pull away because they shot just 38 percent in the second half, making 1 of 9 3’s.

“In the second half we couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We had three people in foul trouble in the first half and when we subbed (the offense struggled). We had to mix and match and kind of survive it. … We made it a lot harder than it needed to be.”

Stark, who leads the nation in minutes played at 38 per game, played 35. He missed two crucial minutes with an apparent cramp at 5:46, just after he missed a layup. As he left, Andre Andrews hit two free throws for a 66-57 Washington lead.

The Huskies had an 18-7 advantage in scoring off the bench.

— Associated Press


Middle Tennessee slams Tennessee Temple 102-52

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Reggie Upshaw was one of six players in double figures, scoring a career-high 18, as Middle Tennessee romped to an overwhelming 102-52 victory over Tennessee Temple Tuesday night.

Others in double figures were Neiko Hunter with 16, Shawn Jones and Tharone Chilton both had 11 points and Marcus Tarrance 10.

This is the second time this season that Middle Tennessee (7-3) has scored over 100 points and defeated a team by more than 50 points. The Blue Raiders defeated Fisk 115-65 on Dec. 9.

Weedlens Beauvil hit a 3-pointer to give Tennessee Temple (7-3) the lead to start the game. Jacquez Rozier hit a jumper with 15:41 remaining to give the Blue Raiders a 7-6 lead. They held a 23-21 lead midway of the first period, but then went on a 19-0 run to pull away and closed the first half with another run to lead 56-28 at the break.

— Associated Press