With early-season tournaments now in full swing, and the Charleston Classic, Myrtle Beach Invitational, and Roman Main Event all having semifinal action, this was a very solid day in College Basketball. Sure, there weren’t many marquee games, major upsets, or anything along those lines, it was still a solid day of action, which had some really good basketball games to recap.
Marquette shoots their way to victory
Marquette got down early against West Virginia, the Mountaineers led by 12 points at the half as Sean McNiel and Taz Sherman were both having nice games, but Marquette kept fighting. A quick flury of points helped get the Golden Eagles into the lead, while Marquette shot 46% from three. What may have been most impressive was that Darryl Morsell struggled and they were still able to have a big offensive night thanks to big games from Justin Lewis and Tyler Kolek. The Golden Eagles have a tough game ahead if they want to be Charleston Classic Champions, but this was a big win for the program and shows that what Shaka Smart is doing is working.
St. Bonaventure completes wild comeback
Early on, Clemson took control and they were able to lead by as many as 16 points, yet Clemson’s lead evaporated. The Bonnies went on a 16-0 run over the course of a seven-minute span and went from down 11, to up by 5. This team has been inconsistent, to say the least, in this tournament they’ve had minutes where they look sloppy and play bad defense, then there’s the Bonnies that show up when it’s winning time. That version is one that defends at a high-level, forces turnovers, tough shots, and moves the ball at an elite level. If the Bonnies can just play like that more consistently, they could be a deep-run candidate in the NCAA Tournament but they cannot continue getting down like that, eventually, that will catch up to them.
Arizona wins a wild game
I don’t think there is any doubt as to which game was the most thrilling of the Friday, and that was Arizona’s win against Wichita State in the Roman Main Event. The Wildcats led pretty much throughout the game but Wichita State didn’t back down, they came from 16 points down with 12 minutes left and actually took a lead at one point. Arizona retook the lead but Tyson Etienne forced overtime with a three-pointer. Arizona took control of the overtime period and held on late for a big win. Bennedict Mathurin had 25 points to lead Arizona, while Christian Koloko was big scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds as well.
Mike DeVoe has huge game to lift Georgia Tech
While Georgia Tech-Georgia isn’t a signature rivalry by any means, an in-state rivalry game between the teams is always great fun. The game was especially good for Mike DeVoe who scored 37 points for Georgia Tech as they were able to get a road win at Georgia. Sure, neither of these teams will be making the NCAA Tournament but it doesn’t get much better than dropping 37 on your rival.
After a loss to George Mason earlier this week, the Terrapins once again found themselves in position to lose another home game, but a late 6-0 run saved Maryland. Eric Ayala made a clutch two-pointer to tie the game and after a tough foul on Omar Silverio after a blocked three-pointer, Ian Martinez was able to knock down the game-winning free throws. Sure Maryland won, but this has been a poor start to the season for Maryland and they haven’t even left College Park. This team will have to get a lot better quickly, otherwise, this team will drop games in a hurry, as their strength of schedule picks up.
Jalen Duren has his breakout game
Emoni Bates has had the early performances that have stood out, but this game was all about Jalen Duren. Duren had 22 points, 19 rebounds, and 5 blocks as he was able to help lift Memphis to a 74-62 win against a talented Western Kentucky team. Whether it’s Duren, Bates, or someone else, the Tigers have a lot of players that can step up and have big performances on any given occasion. That said, it is important to have both players looking like viable threats to keep defenses honest.