With all the upsets over the past couple of days, I just just feeling spoiled. Which is probably why Monday felt like it was such a disappointment in terms of results.
There were a couple of good mid-major matchups, for sure, but the good vibes of the weekend didn't carry over to the teams playing up Monday night.
So, without dwelling too long on this, let's grab our morning coffee, rub our bleary eyes and chcek in.
What everyone will be talking about over their morning coffee:
Southern Mississippi Withstands North Dakota State Comeback
Southern Miss is on a roll this season, and the first half seemed to be heading in the same direction, with the Eagles running to an 11-point halftime lead. Originally down by nine, Southern Miss didn't let off the gas until the buzzer.
But the Bison came back hard in the second half, repeatedly getting within spitting distance until Southern Mississippi had thought it had put them away with about two minutes remaining. That was when Neil Watson hit a 3-pointer to put the Eagles up by four. It should have been a matter of just playing defense and making free throws at that point.
North Dakota State had other ideas. They dominated the offensive glass in the final minute and got the turnovers at the right time, including a Kory Brown steal that helped the Bison close the game to a single point.
Chip Armelin also didn't get the memo on the free throws, but was saved when TrayVonn Wright, the Bison's leading scorer on the night with 21 points turned the ball over in the closing seconds, and ending in a 70-69 loss for ND State. Wright also added 12 rebounds and three blocks in the loss. Taylor Braun added 11 points, 11 assists and four steals.
Aaron Brown had 18 points and Jeremiah Eason added 15 off the bench for the Eagles in the win.
Side of bacon:
Sometimes the shots just stop falling. St. Francis Brooklyn had been on such a run lately, you would have thought it might never end. But eventually it does, just when, well, just when it would be really bad for it to happen.
The Terriers went cold over the final four minutes, allowing Syrcause to close on a 10-0 run and finish off a 56-50 win.
Things didn't go well for Wayne Martin over the final stretch either. He missed free throws, committed a couple of fouls, and turned the ball over with the game tied at 50, when things could have been turned back around.
He still finished with 13 points, five boards, and two blocks in the loss. Jalen Cannon led the Terriers with 16 points and eight rebounds.
- Campbell led North Carolina Central by four at halftime, 34-30. Now, keep a hold on that when you consider that they scored just nine points in the second half. NINE! They went 2-for-19 from the floor, and for the game, only made it to the line for eight foul shots (and then shot just 62 percent). Jeremy Ingram outscored the Camels on his own in the final 20, scoring 17 points, and finishing with 29 for the Eagles. Somehow Andrew Ryan had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. And maybe the best name in college basketball, Leek Leek, had just three points for the Camels.
- I can't let this one go. Drexel's Bruiser Flint became the school's all-time winningest coach, with 214 wins, after a 71-64 victory over Elon in the NIT Season Tip-Off. This game will be a conference matchup next season, and took on the tenor of one in the second half. Drexel had built a 16-point lead, but true to form, allowed its opponent back into it. Elon closed to within two before the Dragons were again able to pull away. Chris Fouch had 22 points and Damion Lee added 16 points and six rebounds in the win. Tavon Allen had 15 points in 15 minutes for the Dragons. Lucas Troutman led Elon with 23 points and two blocks in the loss.
- Norfolk State looked headed for a nice win, but the MEAC favorites scored just three points in four minutes after opening a 15-point advantage over East Carolina. The Pirates closed the gap to tie the game at 70 with 2:30 remaining. Pendarvis Williams missed his final shot with a second remaining and East Carolina walked away with a 76-74 win in the Preseason NIT. Williams had 18 points and three steals, and Malcolm Hawkins added 16 points and eight boards in the loss. Paris Roberts-Campbell led East Carolina with 22 points.
- Cal State Bakersfield had maybe the most interesting stat line of a winning team Monday night. The Roadrunners handed Nevada its first loss of the season, 74-66. Bakersfield managed to overcome a 70 percent shooting effort at the free throw line, going 28-for-40 from the stripe. I can't imagine any coach being happy with that, and I can't imagine what the opposing coach says when you know you let chances slip away like that. Issiah Grayson had 15 points to lead four players in double figures for the Roadrunners. Zech Smith added three blocks off the bench in the win (but he was 0-for-2 on his free throws).
- Karrington Ward led a spectacular shooting effort from Eastern Michigan to help the Eagles take out Cleveland State, 81-69. Eastern Michigan put together 13 blocks in the win, including six fom Da'Shonte Riley and three each from Daylen Harrison and Glenn Bryant. Bryn Forbes scored 22 for the Vikings but didn't get much help. Sure Trey Lewis had 19 points, but he went just 3-for-20 from the floor. Ouch.
- SWAC teams don't have a lot of margin for error. So when three of the top six players for Texas Southern fouled out, there was little hope of a win over Texas Tech. The Tigers still challenged, despite allowed the Red Raiders to shot better than 50 percent from the floor, ultimately losing 80-71. Jose Rodriguez excelled for Mike Davis' squad, scoring 29 points, and pulling in 10 rebounds. He was 11-for-14 at the free throw line and shot 50 percent from the floor. Maybe we have a new Omar Strong?