Men's College Basketball Roundup -- February 7

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Published on February 8 2013 3:14 pm
Last Updated on February 8 2013 3:15 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- At this rate, no one will want to be No. 1.

Indiana became the fifth straight top-ranked men's college basketball team to lose, falling to unranked Illinois 74-72 on a buzzer-beater by Tyler Griffey Thursday night.

The senior forward took an inbounds pass with 0.9 seconds to play and made a wide-open layup. And, just like that, the Hoosiers -- who moved into the top spot by beating then-No. 1 Michigan just a few days ago -- went down.

Indiana coach Tom Crean, whose team has been No. 1 for a total of seven weeks this season after opening there, doesn't know why the top spot is suddenly so hard to hang on to.

''I can't answer that. I'm not sure,'' Crean said. ''I just know that these games are 40-minute games. We played at a high level for most of the game.''

The Hoosiers (20-3, 8-2 Big Ten) were in charge until the final 3 1/2 minutes when the Illini (16-8, 3-7 Big Ten) finally put together a run to take and then retake the lead.

With 0.9 seconds, Griffey left defenders Cody Zeller and Christian Watford behind on an inbounds play from the baseline, took the pass from Brandon Paul and delivered the uncontested buzzer-beater.

The shot sent hundreds of students onto the court, though they waited as officials checked the replay to make sure the clock hadn't beaten Griffey. Once the basket was upheld, Paul and fellow guard D.J. Richardson hugged and teared up in relief.

Illinois had endured an awful run since starting 12-0. The Illini had since lost eight of 11 and fallen to 10th in the 12-team Big Ten.

Eastern Illinois 93, UT Martin 65

MARTIN, Tenn. – Five Eastern Illinois players scored in double figures as the Panthers rode a 65 percent night shooting to a 93-65 road win at UT Martin.  With the win EIU sweeps the season series over UTM, marking the sixth straight year that one school has swept the season series.

EIU improved to 7-17 overall, 4-7 in the OVC.  UTM fell to 6-17, 3-8 in the OVC.

After going 1-of-17 from 3-point range last Saturday at SIU Edwardsville, EIU lit up the nets from 3-point range in the first half at UTM going 9-of-12.

Austin Akers began the hot shooting at 15:15 which put the Panthers up 7-5 after Myles Taylor had scored the Skyhawks first five points.  Akers would get another 3-pointer to drop in with 48 seconds left that gave EIU the 43-34 lead.

In between the Akers 3’s, Malcolm Herron and Alex Austin had the hot hand for EIU shooting 3-pointers.  Herron had back-to-back 3-pointers around the 8-minute media timeout with his shot at 7:06 putting EIU up 11 points at 31-20.

Justin Childs spearheaded a 10-0 UTM run hitting three free throws, a jumper and a 3-pointer as the Skyhawks trimmed the margin to 31-30 at 4:24.  Austin answered for EIU with back-to-back 3-pointers as EIU closed the half on a 12-4 run.

Southeast Missouri 76, SIUE 67

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Jerome Jones poured in a career-high 31 points Thursday night, but it wasn't enough as Southeast Missouri defeated SIUE men's basketball 76-67 in front of 2,212 at the Show Me Center.

"For us the issue tonight was guarding the basketball and offensive rebounds," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "We didn't pay attention to personnel. It was a lack of concentration for us."

The Cougars fell to 8-12 overall and 4-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference. SEMO improved to 12-13 and 4-7 in the OVC. SIUE remains in second place in the OVC West, just ½ game ahead of SEMO and Eastern Illinois, which also is 4-7 in league play.

Jones scored 21 of his game-high 31 points in the first half. He scored 18 of the Cougars' first 23 points and helped SIUE to a 10-point lead in the game's first nine minutes. He drained four three-pointers in the half.

"Jerome really got us off to a good start," Forrester said. "He was the bright spot. He was fired up."

The senior connected on 11 of 21 shots from the field. Both totals established new career-bests for both totals. He finished with a career-high six three-point baskets in 10 attempts, also a new personal best.