Hoops du jour
PSU men at Nebraska
Tipoff: 5:15 p.m. Pinnacle Bank Arena
Records: Penn State (19-11, 9-8 Big Ten); Nebraska (21-9, 12-5 Big Ten)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers is 106-120 in his seventh season at Penn State and 148-148 in nine seasons overall. Tim Miles is 96-95 in his sixth season at Nebraska and 379-315 in 23 seasons overall.
Radio: ESPN 1430
Probable starters: Penn State — G Shep Garner, 6-1 Sr. (10.6), G Tony Carr, 6-3 So. (19.6), G Josh Reaves, 6-4 Jr. (10.6), F Lamar Stevens, 6-7 So. (15.3), F Julian Moore, 6-10 So. (1.7). Nebraska — G Glynn Watson Jr., 6-0 Jr. (10.5), G Anton Gill, 6-3 Sr. (8.1), F Isaac Copeland, 6-9 Jr. (13.0), G James Palmer Jr., 6-6 Jr. (17.6), F Isaiah Roby, 6-8 So. (8.2).
Notes: Penn State revived their NCAA tournament hopes by going on a four-game win streak, but back-to-back losses has made its chances slim. The Lions are 4-6 on the road this season. Tony Carr leads the Big Ten in scoring (19.3 ppg). Mike Watkins will miss the game against Nebraska after injuring his right knee against Michigan… Nebraska has won seven of their last eight games. The Cornhuskers 21 wins marks one of the best seasons in program history.
Mirror prediction: Penn State 72, Nebraska 68
Comment: Even though Penn State will miss Mike Watkins, the Lions are primed to finish their season with a win after two let downs diminished their tournament hopes.
Mirror prediction record: 22-8
— Paddy Kotter
Ohio State at PSU women
Tipoff: Noon, Bryce Jordan Center, University Park
Records: Penn State (15-13), Ohio State (23-6)
Coaches: Coquese Washington is 196-148 in her 11th season at Penn State and overall. Kevin McGuff is 118-50 in his fifth season at Ohio State and 373-149 overall.
Radio: Live audio at gopsusports.com
Probable starters: Penn State — G Teniya Page, 5-7 Jr. (18.0), G Amari Carter, 5-8 So. (14.7), G Jaida Travascio-Green, 6-2 So. (11.6), F De’Janae Boykin, 6-2 So. (6.0), F Alisia Smith, 6-3 Fr. (4.7). Ohio State — G Kelsey Mitchell, 5-8 Sr. (24.5), G Asia Doss, 5-7 Sr. (8.2), G Sierra Calhoun, 6-0 Sr. (11.7), G Linnae Harper, 5-8 Sr. (15.0), F Stephanie Mavunga, 6-3 Sr. (16.0).
Notes: Penn State lost, 59-51, at Nebraska on Thursday. The Lady Lions tied the school record of fewest turnovers in a game with six. Penn State is 11-2 at home this season….Ohio State defeated Northwestern 88-54 on Wednesday to clinch a share of the Big Ten title. The current class of Buckeye seniors has never lost to Penn State. Kelsey Mitchell needs 19 points to become the third all-time scorer in NCAA history.
Mirror prediction: Ohio State 82, Penn State 66
Comment: Ohio State defeated Penn State 94-64 at the end of January.
Mirror prediction record: 20-8
— Thomas Schlarp
Irving scores 31, leads Celtics over New York
NEW YORK — The Celtics are back from the break and appear to be back on track.
Kyrie Irving had 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, leading Boston over the New York Knicks 121-112 on Saturday for its second victory in two nights since the All-Star break.
“Certainly we can build off of that but we’re not in it for two games, we’re in it for the last 23,” coach Brad Stevens said. “So we’ve just to keep adding to it and building off it.”
Irving scored 15 points in a dazzling third quarter and then helped the Celtics finish it off with his passing in the fourth, highlighted by a behind-the-back dish to Jaylen Brown for a dunk that made it 115-106.
Brown had 24 points for the Celtics, who went into the break with three straight losses but came back with a victory in Detroit on Friday.
“Consistency has been one of the things that people talk about with this team and I just think long season, lot of ups and downs, you’ve got to go through that if you want to be a good team,” Brown said.
The slump cost the Celtics the top spot in the Eastern Conference they held for most of the season, as they’ve fallen behind Toronto.
“It’s about us right now,” Irving said. “That’s where that stands. We just want to find that consistency and then keep hammering on it.”
Trey Burke scored 26 points off the bench for the second straight game for the Knicks, but they couldn’t win this one after beating Orlando on Thursday to end an eight-game skid.
Irving was just 1 for 6 behind the arc in the first half but showed no lack of confidence in the third. He scored 14 straight Boston points, hitting four 3-pointers. His last 3 in that spurt gave the Celtics a 10-point lead
“The game gets close, all of a sudden he makes two or three pull-up 3s right in a row and all of a sudden now you’re down 11 or 12 and you’re fighting,” New York coach Jeff Hornacek said.
The Knicks chipped away while Irving rested and it was a two-point game by the time he returned with 8:14 remaining.
Irving soon made another 3, and passed to Al Horford for a 3 that pushed the lead back to double digits.
Horford finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
76ERS 116, MAGIC 105: Joel Embiid had 28 points and 14 rebounds, and Philadelphia extended its season-high win streak to seven. Six 76ers scored in double figures. Ben Simmons had 17 points and seven assists, and J.J. Redick added 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting.
HEAT 115, GRIZZLIES 89: Tyler Johnson scored 23 points to lead six players in double figures, and Miami stopped a three-game slide.
Men’s Top 25
Marcus Foster, Creighton upset Villanova
OMAHA, Neb. — Marcus Foster scored 28 points, Davion Mintz gave Creighton the lead for good early in overtime, and the Bluejays defeated the highest-ranked opponent in program history with an 89-83 upset of No. 3 Villanova on Saturday.
Creighton (20-9, 9-7 Big East), playing without injured starting forward Ronnie Harrell Jr., ended a three-game conference losing streak and won for the first time in nine games against Villanova since 2014. The Bluejays also avenged a 20-point road loss to Villanova on Feb. 1.
Villanova (25-4, 12-4) squandered an eight-point lead with 4¢ minutes left and missed seven of its last nine shots before a meaningless layup at the end of overtime.
Creighton’s Khyri Thomas made five straight 3-pointers in the first 11 minutes to set a career high and finished with 24 points. Ballock added 13 and Epperson had all 12 of his points after halftime.
Jalen Brunson led the Wildcats with 22 points, Mikal Bridges had 18 and Omari Spellman added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
NO. 5 DUKE 60, SYRACUSE 44: Marvin Bagley III had 19 points in his return from a sprained knee, and Duke beat Syracuse for its fifth straight win.
NO. 8 KANSAS 74, NO. 6 TEXAS TECH 72: Devonte Graham scored 26 points and Kansas set an NCAA record with its 14th straight regular-season conference championship, beating Texas Tech to clinch at least a tie for the Big 12 title.
NO. 6 GONZAGA 79, BYU 65: Johnathan Williams scored 16 points, and Gonzaga beat BYU to clinch another West Coast Conference championship.
Staff, wire reports