No. 2 DUKE 73, No. 4 OHIO STATE 68
DURHAM, N.C. — No. 4 Ohio State looked plenty capable of accomplishing something no non-ACC team could do in more than a decade: Beat Duke on its home court. Then, all of a sudden, things went wrong for the Buckeyes. An untimely cold spell and an inability to stop No. 2 Duke down the stretch sent the Buckeyes to a 73-68 loss Wednesday night. Deshaun Thomas scored 16 points to lead Ohio State (4-1) and Aaron Craft scored 11 on 3-of-15 shooting. His jumper with about 3:15 remaining was the Buckeyes’ last until a dunk by Evan Ravenel in the final seconds.
“They just stopped guarding me towards the end, going under ball screens and things,” Craft said. “Just couldn’t knock down shots. Sometimes, that happens.”
Ohio State — a 52 percent shooting team — hit just 33.8 percent from the field in this one.
“If you had told me we were going to shoot 34 percent, I would have said we got ran out of the gym tonight,” coach Thad Matta said. The Buckeyes also had no way to slow Duke freshman Rasheed Sulaimon in the second half. He scored all 17 of his points after halftime.
“I let my teammates down in the beginning, not playing as well as I could be, and (coach Mike Krzyzewski) really got on me at halftime,” Sulaimon said. “I just love these guys and wanted to go out there and respond.”
Mason Plumlee had 21 points and a career-high-tying 17 rebounds, and Ryan Kelly added 15 points and hit 3-pointers on consecutive trips downcourt early during the 20-7 run that put the Blue Devils (7-0) ahead to stay and sent them to their third win over a top-five team this month.
Shannon Scott pulled the Buckeyes within 66-64 with a free throw with 28.9 seconds left but had a critical turnover on the next trip down, and Quinn Cook sealed it by hitting six free throws in the final 27.3 seconds.
“We just didn’t do a good job of staying together, and they started going on a run,” Craft said. “We couldn’t weather it.”
Cook finished with 12 points for Duke, which shot 58 percent in the second half — Sulaimon was 7 of 10 in the final 20 minutes — to remain unbeaten at home in the made-for-TV ACC-Big Ten Challenge and preserve its school-record winning streak at home against nonconference opponents.
The Blue Devils — who beat then-No. 3 Kentucky in Atlanta and then-No. 2 Louisville in the Bahamas — won their 97th straight against non-ACC visitors to Cameron Indoor Stadium. But for much of the way, nothing came easy for them. They were outrebounded 40-37, couldn’t get anything going on the offensive glass, struggled to keep up with Ohio State’s quick ball movement and couldn’t find their touch.
“When you play the schedule that we’ve played, this is not Xbox or fantasy stuff where these guys are healthy” all the time, Krzyzewski said. “He just played three games (in the Battle 4 Atlantis), get back Sunday afternoon and go out and play these guys on Wednesday — that’s an effort. That’s a hell of an effort, and for a freshman, he got knocked back, and at halftime, I thought he responded ... and gave us a verve.”
Not to mention a spark, by hitting the first in a series of three straight 3-pointers that swung the game. Sulaimon buried one from the key to pull the Blue Devils within 51-50 with about 6½ minutes left. Kelly then hit 3s on consecutive trips down the court, including one in Amir Williams’ face that put Duke ahead to stay, 56-53 — its first lead since the 14-minute mark of the first half.
“Once he hit those 3s, it was like, ‘Yes, we’re here,’” Sulaimon said. “Once we got that lead, we weren’t going to give it up.”
Plumlee followed up Cook’s missed layup with a dunk that made it 58-54 with 4 minutes left and sent the rowdy Cameron crowd into ear-splitting madness. Sulaimon capped the run with a fast-break dunk that put Duke up 66-58 with just over a minute to play. Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 11 points for Ohio State.
No. 9 ARIZONA 93, NORTHERN ARIZONA 50
TUCSON, Ariz. — Mark Lyons scored 18 points and Nick Johnson had 10 points and seven assists for Arizona.
The Wildcats (4-0) overwhelmed the Lumberjacks from the get-go, showing no signs of rust after an eight-day break.
The Wildcats built an 18-point lead in the first half and shut down Northern Arizona in the second for their 29th straight win over the Lumberjacks (2-4).
Arizona shot 58 percent, made 12 of 21 from 3-point range and had 22 assists on 30 field goals to kick off a stretch of four games in 11 days.
Solomon Hill had 17 points, Brandon Ashley grabbed 11 rebounds and Johnson added four steals for the Wildcats.
Dewayne Russell had 13 points and Blake Hamilton 11 for Northern Arizona, winless in 24 all-time games against ranked opponents.
BOISE ST. 83, No. 11 Creighton 70
OMAHA, Neb. — Derrick Marks scored a career-high 35 points, including 18 straight in the second half, to lead Boise State to the upset.
The Broncos (5-1) beat a ranked opponent for the first time in four seasons and beat one on the road for the first time since March 2005.
Creighton (6-1) hadn’t lost a regular-season November home game since 1989.
Anthony Drmic had 17 points and Jeff Elorriaga added 12 for the Broncos.
Doug McDermott led Creighton with 21 points.
Creighton got within five points in the last 3 minutes of the game, but Drmic scored twice and Marks made four free throws to seal the Broncos’ first win over a ranked opponent since they beat Utah State in February 2009.
The Broncos had come into the game having lost 18 of 19 on the road against ranked teams, with the lone win against Nevada in March 2005.
Marks scored 28 points in the second half.
MIAMI 67, No. 13 Michigan St. 59
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Senior Trey McKinney Jones scored a career-high 18 points and Miami held Michigan State without a field goal for a 5½-minute stretch in the second half.
McKinney Jones went 5 for 7 from 3-point range, including a basket that capped a 14-2 run to start the second half that put them ahead 41-33. The lead grew to 57-45, and Miami (4-1) went 8 for 8 from the free throw line over the final 2:11 to seal the victory.
Keith Appling had 15 points for the Spartans (5-2), who lost for the first time since the season opener against Connecticut.
No. 22 ILLINOIS 75, GEORGIA TECH 62
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Joseph Bertrand made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions and scored every point in a 10-0 run for Illinois in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Illinois (8-0) took charge behind Bertrand, who also scored on a drives in the decisive surge to lift the Illini from a 58-54 deficit late in the second half.
The Illini finished the game on a 21-4 run.
Bertrand, a redshirt junior, scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half. Brandon Paul also scored 15 points for the Illini while forward Tyler Griffey and guard D.J. Richardson had 14 points apiece.
Kammeon Holsey led Georgia Tech (4-2) with 14 points while Jason Morris and Mfon Udofia scored 10 points apiece.
No. 24 UNLV 85, UC IRVINE 57
LAS VEGAS — Freshman Anthony Bennett and junior Mike Moser scored 19 points apiece to lead UNLV.
Using tenacious defense, the Rebels held UC Irvine scoreless during a crucial 5 minutes of the second half, long enough to widen their lead to 20 points and take the Anteaters out of the game. UNLV outscored UC Irvine 51-31 in the second half to pull away for the easy win.
Katin Reinhardt added 13 points for the Rebels (4-1).
UC Irvine (3-4) scored just 21 points over the final 14:59 of the game — nine of which came from the free throw line.
Daman Starring had 18 points and Adam Folker added 12 for the Anteaters.
No. 25 NEW MEXICO 76, MERCER 58
ALBUQUERQUE — Alex Kirk had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Cameron Bairstow added a career-high 16 points for New Mexico.
It was Kirk’s second straight double-double for the Lobos (7-0).
Travis Smith scored 16 points to lead the Bears (3-4).
Bairstow and Tony Snell combined for 14 points in a 17-2 New Mexico run that put the Lobos up 19-5.
Mercer was never able to get closer than eight points the rest of the way.