Hoops du Jour

PSU women at Michigan State

Tipoff: 2 p.m., Breslin Student Events Center

Records: Penn State (7-21, 1-16 Big Ten); Michigan State (15-13, 8-9 Big Ten)

Coaches: Penn State coach Carolyn Kieger is 106-85 overall, having spent the previous five seasons at Marquette. Suzy Merchant is 481-267 in her 13th season at Michigan State. The Michigan native has taken the Lady Spartans to 10 NCAA Tournaments in that span, and an appearance in the WNIT championship game in her first year in East Lansing. Michigan State has had 20-plus wins in all but two seasons during Merchant’s tenure, most recently in 2017-18 where MSU went 19-14, but were 7-9 in the Big Ten.

Radio: 93.3 FM, 1390 AM.

Video: BTN Plus

Online: Live audio and stats at gopsusports.com

Game notes: Penn State’s last win came at home on Jan. 9 against these very same Lady Spartans, but the two teams could not be more different since then. Despite splitting the last 11 meetings, PSU rides a 13-game losing streak into its final tilt of the regular season, while the Lady Spartans are winners of four of their last five contests. … Kamaria McDaniel enters today just five points away from 1,000 for her career. She will become the 39th Lady Lion to reach the milestone in school history. The junior and Michigan native has scored double figures in all but two games this season, and is currently the Big Ten’s leading scorer with 19.5 ppg on average. … Nia Clouden leads the Spartans with a team-best 14.4 ppg.

Mirror prediction: Michigan State 69, Penn State 65

Comment: Penn State ran away with the game at the Jordan Center, but while MSU gets the nod from me, it will likely be a much closer contest this time around.

Mirror prediction record: 21-7

— Dan Isenberg

Top 25 men

Spartans knock off No. 9 Terps

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Cassius Winston scored 20 points, including a buzzer-beating, 60-foot shot to end a sensational first half for No. 24 Michigan State in a 78-66 victory over No. 9 Maryland on Saturday night that denied the Terrapins’ bid to clinch a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.

The Spartans (20-9, 12-6) bolted to a 17-5 lead and never trailed in dealing Maryland its first home loss of the season. When the teams played two weeks earlier, the Terps scored the game’s final 14 points to pull out a 67-60 victory.

There would be no comeback in this one. Winston’s desperation heave from well behind half court put Michigan State ahead 40-29, and the Spartans upped the margin to 18 points before churning out the final minutes of their third straight victory.

After Maryland (23-6, 13-5) closed to 71-61 with 5:20 left, the sellout crowd hoped to see another rally from a team that three times has overcome a halftime deficit of 14 points or more. But a three-point play by Winston made it 76-61, leaving the Terps and their fans with little hope of ending the night in a celebratory mood.

Bidding for their first Big Ten crown since joining the league in 2014, the Terrapins stumbled at the outset and never showed the form that enabled them to win 10 of 11 to climb to the top of the standings.

The Terps’ lead over second-place Michigan State was slashed to one game with two to play. Illinois, Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa are also in the running.

Jalen Smith had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Maryland, now 15-1 at home. The Terps can still clinch at least a share of the league title with a victory at Rutgers on Tuesday.

Xavier Tillman had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans and Malik Hall scored 16 on 5-for-5 shooting from the floor.

As the clock wound down on an impressive first half by Michigan State, Winston provided an exclamation point with a heave from the right side just past the Spartans’ bench. It hit nothing but net.

That capped a 17-6 surge to end the half and provided Michigan State with a lead that, for a change, Maryland was unable to overcome.


VIRGINIA 52, NO. 7 DUKE 50: Mamadi Diakite made a short, go-ahead jumper with 37 seconds left and Jay Huff blocked Vernon Carey Jr.’s shot under the basket with 3.7 remaining as Virginia ended a three-game home losing streak against No. 7 Duke with a 52-50 victory on Saturday. Huff led Virginia (21-7, 13-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 15 points, nine rebounds and 10 blocked shots, none bigger than when he rejected Carey’s attempt from in close with the Cavaliers leading 51-50. Huff also ripped the ball away, was fouled and made one of two free throws at the other end. Tre Jones tried an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer, but missed, allowing the surging Cavaliers to claim their sixth victory in a row and leap-frog the Blue Devils into third place in the ACC standings with a week left in the regular season. Carey had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (23-6, 13-5), who lost their second in a row and for the third time in four games.

TCU 75, No. 3 BAYLOR 72: Desmond Bane scored 23 points, with eight straight in TCU’s tiebreaking run as the Horned Frogs upended No. 2 Baylor. Bane made a long tiebreaking 3-pointer with 4:42 left that put the Horned Frogs (16-13, 7-9 Big 12) ahead to stay. After blocking a shot by Jared Butler, Bane then made a turnaround jumper before adding another 3 to make it 63-55 with just over three minutes left. That was part of a bigger 18-1 spurt that Bane had started with another 3-pointer. Baylor (25-3, 14-2) lost for the second time in three games since winning a Big 12-record 23 games in a row. The Bears were the nation’s No. 1 team when they lost a week ago to now-No.1 Kansas (26-3, 15-1), which is a game ahead of them in the league standings after beating Kansas State on Saturday.

No. 1 KANSAS 62, KANSAS STATE 58: Devon Dotson scored 25 points to help top-ranked Kansas absorb the loss of center Udoka Azubuike for long stretches of the game, and the cold-shooting Jayhawks held on to beat Kansas State for their 14th straight win. Azubuike finished with six points and nine rebounds while playing just 20 minutes after hurting his ankle in the opening minutes of the game. David McCormack came off the bench to score nine in his place, helping the Jayhawks (26-3, 15-1) edge closer to clinching at least a share of another Big 12 championship.

CLEMSON 70, No. 6 FLORIDA STATE 69: Freshman Al-Amir Dawes hit a twisting, driving bucket with a second left and Clemson toppled another highly ranked team, rallying past Florida State. Trent Forrest had put Florida State up by a point with a short jumper with 8.4 seconds left. Dawes then took the ball down the right side of the lane and flipped up the game-winning shot. Florida State’s last-chance heave was way off the mark and gave the Tigers (15-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) another big win in their puzzling season that includes victories over then-No. 3 Duke and No. 5 Louisville.

No. 8 KENTUCKY 73, No. 15 AUBURN 66: Immanuel Quickley had 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, Kentucky used a big run in the first half before holding off Auburn and clinch the Southeastern Conference regular season championship. The Wildcats (24-5, 14-2) entered with a two-game lead on the second-place Tigers (24-5, 11-5) but had to overcome a 20-11 deficit before responding with the 20-3 spurt over 5:47 and eventually build an eight-point advantage. Auburn fought back to within 53-50 early in the second half, but Kentucky stayed ahead in a foul-plagued half by making 14 free throws down the stretch. That included seven by Quickley, who made all 11 from the line.

PROVIDENCE 58, No. 12 VILLANOVA 54: Luwane Pipkins scored 27 points to lead Providence to its fifth win over a Top 25 team this month, holding off Villanova. The Friars (17-12, 10-6) boosted their NCAA Tournament resume with a win in Philly where they led for the balance of the game. Providence already knocked off Butler, Creighton, Seton Hall and Marquette during their ranked-win streak in February. The Friars won their fourth straight game overall and have put behind a disastrous start to the season — which included losses to Long Beach State and College of Charleston – to aid their tournament chances.

No. 13 SETON HALL 88, MARQUETTE 79: Myles Powell scored 28 points and Sandro Mamukelashvili added 26 as Seton Hall built a big second-half lead and then held off Marquette. Seton Hall (21-7, 13-3 Big East) led 44-35 at the half and extended the margin to 24 points midway through the final 20 minutes before Marquette rallied to 84-79 on a 3-pointer by Sacar Anim with 34 seconds left.

OKLAHOMA 73, No. 20 WEST VIRGINIA 62: Kristian Doolittle scored 19 points two days after undergoing surgery to repair a broken nose and Oklahoma boosted its NCAA Tournament hopes with a victory over West Virginia. Oklahoma (18-11, 8-8 Big 12) built a 21-point lead in the second half and cruised from there to complete a regular-season sweep of the reeling Mountaineers (19-10, 7-9). Brady Manek added 15 points, Austin Reaves had 13 and Jamal Bieniemy 11 points for the Sooners. They broke a six-game road losing streak.

TEXAS 68, No. 22 TEXAS TECH 58: Andrew Jones had a career-high 22 points and Texas scored the game’s last eight points over the final minute, stretching its winning streak to four games with a victory at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders (18-11, 9-7), the Big 12 co-champions last season when they made it to the NCAA championship game, didn’t score again. Tech lost both of its games this week after getting back into the Top 25.

The Associated Press


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