SALT LAKE CITY — Qua Grant scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half as Sam Houston State scored a second victory over a Power 5 rival, edging Utah almost outright in a 65-55 win Thursday night.
The Bearkats (4-0) defeated Oklahoma City 52-51 in the first game, their first victory over the Power 5 program since 2009.
A 3-pointer Gabe Madsen gave Utah a 3-2 lead, but Dawn Powers hit straight shots and Tristan Ikpe hit a 3-pointer with Sam Houston never falling behind again. Jayden Ray and Cameron Huefner hit 3s and Grant made a layup to make it 21-8 halfway through the first half.
Sam Houston led 27-23 in the half and Utah came close to mid-game but failed to claim the lead.
The Bearkats, who entered the game scoring 50% of the foul line, scored 12 of 14 in the second half, including 5 of 6 in the last 67 seconds.
When Lazar Stefanovich hit a jumper with 4:27 left in the game, Utah were in the 53-51 range, but Grant scored Sam Houston’s next 10 points and the lead was 63-53 with less than a minute left.
The Bearkats shot only 39% but made 16 more shots thanks to a 41-31 rebounding advantage and 16 turnovers from Utah. No other player has hit double digits.
Rolly Warster led Utah 3-1 with 14 points and Stefanovich had 12. The Utes shot 43.5% with two more 3s, but only 8 of 16 from the line.
This game was a Fort Myers Tip-Off campus game. The Utahs face Georgia Tech on Monday, while Sam Houston plays Northern Illinois on Tuesday in Fort Myers, Florida.
Albany, New York. Albany men’s basketball coach Duane Killings, athletic director Mark Benson and the university are suing a former bystander over an incident before a game a year ago that included physical contact and what happened after.
The lawsuit, first reported by The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, was filed this week in federal court for the Northern District of New York by Luke Fizulich. He charges Killings with assault and battery and “destructive interference” for allegedly preventing Fizulich from continuing his studies at the university and preventing him from transferring to another school by spreading a “negative word” about him in other schools.
Killings, who is black, allegedly attacked Fizulich before a road game early last season. Frizulic, who is white, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for his “emotional and psychological well-being, damage to reputation, loss of educational and athletic opportunities, future economic losses, and loss of future career prospects.”
Fizulich was a sophomore who had transferred from Marquette University, where Killings worked as an assistant. Last season he played in 22 games and then got on the transfer portal.
The school launched an investigation after officials learned of the allegation on February 27. The investigation confirmed that there was physical contact between Killings and a member of the men’s basketball team during the pre-game hype in late November. The incident was not reported until the administration received a complaint.
Killings received a five-game suspension, which he completed on Monday, the day the lawsuit was filed. He was also fined $25,000. A university investigation concluded that this was an isolated incident. Killings admitted his mistake and apologized.
The lawsuit also alleges that the university initially decided to fire Killings after an investigation, but local business and civil rights leaders pressured the school not to do so. He also alleges that the university favored the coach “because of his race” and alleges that the school violated a section of the Civil Rights Act that prohibits racial discrimination by federally funded programs. Benson is charged with breach of contract.
A university spokesman said the school could not comment on the pending lawsuit.
“The University at Albany is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all students and will fully and impartially investigate all allegations of misconduct against university employees,” the statement said. “The university has previously disclosed the results of this investigation.”
Killings signed a five-year contract in his second season when he was hired to replace Will Brown after the 2020–21 season. Since then, four Killings employees have gone on to other programs.
LEXINGTON, Kentucky. CJ Fredrick scored 17 points to lead No. 4 Kentucky in a 106-63 victory over South Carolina State on Thursday night.
The Wildcats (3-1) bounced back from an 86-77 double overtime loss to unranked Michigan State two days earlier in the Champions Classic.
Fredrik scored Kentucky’s first six points and made three of the team’s 10 three-pointers. Against the Spartans, he finished with five points and made one triple.
“I have a short mind,” said Fredrik. “I washed it off because I knew we would have a game in 48 hours. We just wanted to get back to the way we play – run up and down and get stops.”
Chris Livingston scored 13 points, while Lance Ware and Cason Wallace each scored 12 points. Antonio Reeves added 11 points to Kentucky, who had 51 points off the bench.
“I think it was very important (to win), just for the morale of the team. We needed to get back, especially after such an unfortunate defeat. And we were also indebted to the fans, so I think it was really good,” Livingston said.
Kentucky senior forward Oscar Chibwe, named last season’s Player of the Year, came off the bench for the second straight game and finished with six points and seven rebounds, snapping his streak of 17 straight double-doubles since last season. Chibwe missed the opening games of the season while recovering from minor knee surgery.
Kentucky coach John Calipari wanted Tshibwe to merge with his teammates.
“We weren’t going to play him today,” Calipari said. “The reason we played him is it’s a different game for the rest of our players when he’s in the game. … I had him there because we need to be a team and play together. What makes him unselfish about it? Statistics. I left it up to him.
Senior quarterback Sahvir Wheeler started the season for Kentucky for the first time and finished with six points and 10 assists. He missed the season opener with a knee injury but played in the final two games.
“We pass the ball to each other,” Calipari said. “It was a good win.”
Rakeim Gary led South Carolina State with 13 points.
“When you play Kentucky at home, after a loss, you know they’re going to be focused,” Bulldogs coach Eric Martin said. “The goal is to get through this and make sure our spirits are still high and that we are still a team. Losses can tear you apart, but hopefully a lot of time on the road will bring my team together.”
THE BIG PICTURE
South Carolina State: The Bulldogs will play the rest of their seven games in November on the road, including a visit to Western Kentucky on November 26. at the start of the season for both teams.
Kentucky: The Wildcats needed some tweaking before heading to Spokane, Washington to face No. 2 Gonzaga this weekend. Kentucky then play two straight home games before flying to London to face Michigan on December 4th. Chibwe is close to returning to the starting XI.
State of South Carolina: in North Florida on Saturday.
Kentucky: Gonzaga #2 on Sunday.
CLEMSON, South Carolina. Ashlyn Watkins stole the ball halfway through and knew exactly what she was going to do next, throwing a right hand dunk that sent her No. 1 South Carolina teammates to their feet in celebration.
No big deal, said the 6-foot-3 five-star freshman. After all, Watkins did it all the time in high school.
“She told us to chill,” said Gamecocks’ Zia Cook, who had 15 points to lead the team in an 85-31 win over rival Clemson on Thursday night.
Watkins’ one-handed jam with 3:26 left was the deciding factor for the reigning national champions’ dominating performance.
It also stunned coach Dawn Staley, who thought Watkins would just flick the ball over the hoop and score a career-best 14 points.
“That’s impressive,” Staley said.
Her Gamecocks (3-0) were the most impressive of all. They used a 16-2 run in the first quarter to take control and used a choke defense and accurate shooting to win a 12th straight victory over the Tigers (3-1).
Watkins said the dunk in her third college game was “amazing”.
Cooke, among the players jumping off the bench, said Watkins’ performance shocked her.
“Do you even know what you did?” Cook kept asking her.
Cook slowly got up early in the game after someone kneeled her thigh. But a few minutes later with a muscle-relaxing device on her left hip, she re-entered and continued her perfect half (she was 4 for 4) when she hit a 3-pointer just before the signal to end the first quarter.
Alia Boston added 12 points and six rebounds to the Gamecocks.
Amari Robinson led Clemson by nine points.
The Tigers had no response to the Gamecocks, who shot 64% in the first 20 minutes, holding the opposition 7-for-27 from the field to lead 46-16 at halftime.
The climax for Clemson came early—very early—when the simple Brie Perpignan put the Tigers up 5-2 in less than two minutes. South Carolina then took a 16-2 lead with seven straight shots to take control.
Things will get a lot tougher next time for South Carolina when they go for second place at Stanford on Sunday in an early-season showdown.
South Carolina, which relies more on choke defense than precision shooting from long range, had both in this matchup. The Gamecocks hit 68% in the first 20 minutes and made all five 3-pointers.
Even Victoria Saxton, the 6-foot-2 forward known for her close-range play, joined the throws with her first…