BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky. Nicholas Boyd scored 16 points, Aaliyah Martin added 15 points off the bench, and No. 24 Florida Atlantic used a second-half surge to sweep Western Kentucky 76-62 on Monday night for a 16th straight win.
Hours after taking first place in school history for the first time, the Owls (17–1, 7–0, Conference USA) led 34–33 at halftime and then hit 54% to open close game. Martin’s layup with 7:58 left prompted a 7:0 spurt and a 69:55 lead as the FAU outscored W. Kentucky (11:7, 3:4) 18:12 in the last 10 minutes. Until the end of the road, the Hilltoppers never got closer than seven.
“We’re just putting a number of challenges on teams that also play with larger squads than ours, just to cover a squad as small as ours,” said FAU coach Dusty May. “We are trying to use this to our advantage. That’s the way we are.”
Divion McKnight scored 15 points and Jordan Rawls scored 13 for W. Kentucky, whose three-game conference winning streak was snapped.
Nick Boyd made 6 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 6 from long range. Jonel Davis also came off the bench, adding 14 points to the Owls.
FAU hit 19 of 26 free throws and finished with a 43–25 rebounding lead.
“We have to be physical with our blockouts and more importantly, we need five guys who really attack the ball with our speed and so we can get away in transition,” May said. “Year after year, we are one of the best rebounding teams in the league.”
W. Kentucky played again without head coach Rick Stansbury, who was absent due to an undisclosed health issue after the December 22 game in South Carolina. Deputy head coach Phil Cunningham took over the team in Stansbury’s absence.
The win helped Florida Atlantic maintain the second-longest winning streak in the nation and helped the Owls take command of the C-USA standings with a 7-0 scoreline.
Western Kentucky has lost a chance to maintain momentum after three straight wins. The Hilltoppers last beat a ranked team in 2018 when they lost to No. 15 Wisconsin on December 29, 2018, 83–75 at Bowling Green.
“They got into a hostile environment and played really well,” Cunningham said. “They are an experienced team, tough and physical, and they made the necessary shots, so all the credit goes to them.”
Jamarion Sharp of W. Kentucky, center Jamarion Sharp, the nation’s top shot blocker, finished with four blocks against the FAU to become the school’s all-time leader with 225 blocks in just two seasons at school.
Florida Atlantic visits UTSA Thursday night.
Western Kentucky visits Louisiana Tech Thursday night.
Madison, Wisconsin. – Stephen Crawl scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Wisconsin continued to dominate Madison over Penn State, beating the Nittany Lions 63-60 on Tuesday night.
Tyler Wahl returned to the Wisconsin lineup (12–5, 4–3 Big Ten) after a three-game absence from the roster due to an injury in which the Badgers lost all three. Val scored 10 points and finished shooting 3-of-10, but buried his only 3-point attempt.
Chucky Hepburn scored 13 points for Wisconsin and Connor Essegian scored 10.
Hepburn took two penalties with seven seconds left in the match. After a Penn State timeout (12-6, 3-4), Andrew Funk’s third try bounced off the back of the ring and Jordan Davis provided a long rebound to complete it.
A Miles Dred three-pointer with 2:38 left cut the Nittany Lions’ deficit to 61–60, but Penn State again failed to score as they missed the last four tries and committed a turnover.
Jalen Pickett scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Penn State. Funk finished with 16 points, shooting 3 of 8 from behind the arc, with reserve Dred scoring 11 points.
Tuesday marked 25 years since the debut of the Kohl Center, where Wisconsin raised its record to 19-0 against Penn State. The Nittany Lions have not beaten Wisconsin since 1995 at the Badgers’ former home, the Field House.
The Badgers are 23-2 all-time against Penn State in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin choked out the Northwestern 56-33 on the debut of the Kohl Center on January 17, 1998.
The Nittany Lions take on Nebraska on Saturday. Wisconsin travels to the Northwest on Saturday.
LEXINGTON, Kentucky. — Oscar Chibwe scored a season-high 37 points and grabbed a season-high 24 rebounds in a dominant game that led Kentucky to an 85-71 win over Georgia on Tuesday night.
Tshibwe had 23 points on 15 rebounds in the second half, and the Wildcats (12-6, 3-3 SEC) recovered from an eight-point deficit to continue their win over then-number one. 5 Tennessee on Saturday with a win over the Bulldogs (13-5, 3-2), who have won six of their last seven.
Cason Wallace added 17 points, Antonio Reeves added 11, and Jacob Toppin finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Terry Roberts scored 21 points and Kario Oquendo 18 for Georgia.
Chibwe scored Kentucky’s first eight points in the second half before CJ Fredrick hit a three-pointer to give the Wildcats their first lead after a short lead with 11 minutes left in the first half. Kentucky had a solid lead midway through the second half, but it didn’t hit double figures until Tshibwe dunked and made two free throws to secure a 12-point lead with two minutes left.
Chibwe finished 12 of 20 shots and 13 of 18 from the line with his rebounds roughly equal on both offense and defense. Making his 11th double-double this season, he was the main reason the Wildcats edged out the Bulldogs 18-2 on second chance points and had a plus-13 on the scoreboard.
After shooting just 33% in the first half and trailing 42-34, the Wildcats shot over 54% in the second half to score 51 points. The opposite situation was with Georgia, which scored 56% in the first half and only 36% in the second.
Georgia host Vanderbilt and Kentucky at home against Texas A&M in Saturday games.
Ames, Iowa. Jaren Holmes scored 21 points as No. 12 Iowa State defeated No. 7 Texas 78-67 on Tuesday night.
Holmes hit seven of 13 shots, including two three-pointers, while Gabe Kalscher added 16 points.
“We deserve it,” said Holmes. “We deserve it because of our daily habits.”
Caleb Grill scored 17 points and Osun Osunniyi finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Cyclones (14-3, 5-1 Big 12).
“There’s a harsh rigidity in the way we do it,” Iowa State Coach T. J. Otzelberger said. “But there is unity and unity that is on a really special level with this group.”
Texas (15-3, 4-2) was decimated by a second-half goal drought that lasted nearly 4 1/2 minutes. Iowa State responded with an 8-0 run to seize control.
The Longhorns went 9 1/2 without firing a shot from the floor.
“They played throughout the game,” Texas interim coach Rodney Terry said. “TJ prepared his team for today’s game. Just a highly competitive Big 12 game.”
A three-pointer from Grill gave the Cyclones a 64–55 lead with 6:01 to play.
Christian Bishop led Texas with 12 points.
The Longhorns’ Tyrese Hunter scored 10 points – all in the first half – on his return to Ames after moving from Iowa State. Hunter was greeted with boos and occasional obscene chants from the student section.
He responded with six quick points, matching his performance in the previous three games.
“We are from Texas. We have a big game for everyone,” Terry said. “We looked at it this way: “You know what, this is another opportunity to compete at the highest level.” (Hunter) attacked him in the same way.”
The Longhorns continued to build a 29–18 lead before Iowa State responded with a 10–0 streak driven by three-pointers from Kalscher and Grill.
Texas advanced to the final at 7:28 of the first half without a field goal but trailed only 36-35.
“For the first 10 minutes, they were the aggressor,” Otzelberger said. “These last 30 minutes, the way we competed defensively, that’s the club that we are and that’s what we need to be for 40 minutes.”
Iowa State moved to a three-way tie for first place in the Big 12 standings after winning Tuesday. The finish came about 30 minutes after Kansas’ 83–82 overtime loss at Kansas State, giving the Jayhawks their first loss of the conference.
Texas plays West Virginia on Saturday night.
Iowa State visits Oklahoma State on Saturday.
STARKVILL, Mississippi. After losing at home to Kentucky and missing starters Santiago Vescovi and Tyrek Key, Tennessee’s No. 9 was upset in Mississippi on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs proved it in the first 15 minutes of the game, taking a nine-point lead, but the Volunteers blew into the game. After tying 23 in the half, Tennessee went 8 of 9 from a 3-point range in the second half and scored 47 points in the last 20 minutes to win 70-59 on the road.
“This is a great team victory for our team. The fact that we had two starters and started with a lineup that I probably never trained with,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “I thought that after the eight-minute mark, Zakai Ziegler really calmed down and played amazing, playing 40 minutes the way he did. Our team had a lot of respect for the state of Mississippi, because apart from that game at home where we could beat anyone in the country, (Mississippi) was in every game.”
The Vols (15-3, 5-1 SEC) hit 2-of-15 from 3-point range in the first half as the Bulldogs crashed into Tennessee, but things were different in the last 20 minutes. Zeigler scored 14 points in the second half, and Tennessee doubled their scoring from the first half.
Mississippi Street (12-6, 1-5) also improved its first half record. However, the pace was beyond the Bulldogs’ purview as the defensive-minded Mississippi Street couldn’t keep up with the hot Volses.
Tennessee’s Julian Phillips had 18 points and 11 rebounds while Josiah-Jordan James finished with 13. Tennessee scored 23 of 51 (45%) with…