Now that the calendar has flipped and conference play is kicking into high gear, it can be hard to keep up with everything that goes on when there’s a full slate of action. Thursday night was one of those nights. If you missed out on some of the happenings from around college basketball, here are some quick highlights from a busy night.
San Francisco holds on in a marquee WCC matchup
The biggest game of the night resided on the west coast as San Francisco and Saint Mary’s met for a top-50 matchup. San Francisco ultimately proved victorious with a 76-72 win, giving them their first top-50 win of the season. Getting an at-large bid will be an uphill battle, but with a sputtering PAC-12, there are bids for the taking. This is one the Dons needed to have, and they got it.
Other WCC “contenders” struggled
There’s been a lot of talk this year about how the WCC is as good as it has been in years. Last night, that took a hit as a couple of the league’s top teams stumbled. San Diego - who was trying to entrench itself in that second tier of the WCC - fell to a Santa Clara team that has now won six straight games, including games against USC and Washington State.
Loyola Marymount was also another team generating some buzz after a 12-2 start, albeit from a cupcake schedule. LMU came back down to earth last night against Pepperdine as the Waves’ defense stifled them en route to a 77-62 win.
For the WCC to get multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament, teams like San Diego are going to have to clean up against the bottom half of the conference.
Cal Baptist has arrived
One of our brand new Division I teams isn’t wasting anytime getting acclimated to the WAC. Last night, the Lancers knocked off prohibitive WAC favorite New Mexico State behind a career-high 36 points from Milan Acquaah.
If you missed it last night, Greg has the story on how it went down.
The Horizon League leaders are...Detroit and Oakland?
If anyone projected Detroit and Oakland to be the top dogs through the first week of Horizon League play, they’re either lying or a psychic. Both Michigan schools are 3-0, and each picked up a win over a preseason favorite last night.
Behind 48 (!!!) points from Antoine Davis, Detroit took down Wright State with ease, 79-58. Oakland had to grind their game out, but ultimately protected home court with a 76-74 over Northern Kentucky. Does the Horizon League title go through the Mitten this year?
Karl Hess did Karl Hess things
Perhaps the strangest thing that happened was referee Karl Hess getting into it with Samford head coach Scott Padgett last night. Take a look:
Here's Karl Hess going after Scott Padgett pic.twitter.com/hMAM9PgBTL— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) January 4, 2019
Referees aren’t supposed to do that! Everyone has a Karl Hess story, so it’s not surprising to see that he’s caught up in something like this.
You can catch up on the full saga here.
Marshall wins it at the buzzer
After generating a lot of buzz heading into the season, Marshall struggled out of the gate with a 7-6 showing in non-conference play. In their CUSA opener, they showed why they shouldn’t be counted out just yet with a buzzer beater to beat Old Dominion. Here it is:
.@HerdMBB GAME WINNER pic.twitter.com/U56nn9AxJM— Southside Dragons (@The_DailyDragon) January 4, 2019
Don’t count out the Herd just yet.
Fort Wayne torches South Dakota State
When the Mastodons and Jackrabbits link up, it’s always a high scoring affair. Last night wasn’t any different. However, it was Fort Wayne that got whatever it wanted on offense, and rode a 17-39 performance from behind the arc to a 104-88 win over Daum and Co. John Konchar had 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the effort to get the Dons to 3-0 in Summit League play.
Other quick hitters
- North Texas and Western Kentucky both picked up CUSA wins last night. The Mean Green sit atop the league at 2-0 right now.
- Jacksonville State took down Belmont in Nashville. Don’t count out the Gamecocks in the OVC race.
- Daishon Smith had 42 points for Louisiana Monroe on 10-12 shooting from distance. His season high prior to last night was 26 points.
- Wofford continued to showcase a blistering offense with a 112-81 win over The Citadel. The Terriers went 15-26 from three-point range. Don’t look now, but Wofford is approaching the top-50 on Kenpom and now has a top-25 offense.
- Also in the SoCon, Furman got back on track with a win against Mercer that included this dunk:
I'm currently at the Furman-Mercer game and LOOK WHAT JUST HAPPENED— Matt Craig (@MrMattCraig) January 4, 2019
Sophomore Tre Clark ELEVATING! pic.twitter.com/jUlzIwt9bu