College basketball roundup

Aggies clip Clemson

Texas A&M pulls tournament upset

Butler’s Gordon Hayward was surrounded by Golden Gophers, but kept his hands on the ball during the first half. Butler’s Gordon Hayward was surrounded by Golden Gophers, but kept his hands on the ball during the first half. (Jason Redmond/Associated Press)
Associated Press / November 27, 2009

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B.J. Holmes scored 20 points to help Texas A&M upset No. 19 Clemson, 69-60, yesterday in the first round of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

David Loubeau added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Bryan Davis had 10 points for the Aggies (4-0), who will face No. 8 West Virginia in a semifinal.

Before the season started, the Aggies were picked to finish fifth in the coaches’ preseason Big 12 poll. By beating Clemson, the team may have taken steps to get noticed nationally, but A&M coach Mark Turgeon cautioned that it was just one game.

“We played OK, maybe Clemson didn’t have their best day so it’s just one day,’’ Turgeon said. “I like our team, I think we’re just going to get a lot better.

“How good are we? I don’t know. If we guard like that [again], we’re going to be pretty good.’’

Trevor Booker scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half for Clemson (4-1).

Texas A&M led by as many as 17 early in the second half before Clemson pulled to 58-56 when Tanner Smith made two free throws with 5:14 remaining. Smith finished with 14 points.

A free throw and then Holmes’s 3-pointer gave the Aggies some breathing room and Clemson could never recover.

With the game tied at 18, Khris Middleton and Holmes made 3-pointers during a 15-2 run by the Aggies that produced a 33-20 halftime lead.

Texas A&M extended its advantage to 44-29 before Clemson used a 13-4 run to get back into the game. The Tigers were done in by poor shooting (33.9 percent) and 18 turnovers.

W. Virginia 85, Long Beach St. 62 - Casey Mitchell scored a career-high 18 points and the No. 8 Mountaineers rolled in the first round of the 76 Classic.

West Virginia (3-0) led the entire game in the schools’ first meeting. Greg Plater and Stephan Gilling each had 14 points for Long Beach State (3-2), which was trying for its first win against a ranked team since 1994.

The Mountaineers made 12 of 24 3-pointers and shot 51.8 percent from the field, while the 49ers committed 22 turnovers and shot 41.9 percent.

West Virginia star forward Devin Ebanks missed his third straight game because of undisclosed personal reasons.

Ebanks’s absence allowed others to pick up the slack offensively. Walk-on Jonnie West, son of NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West, had a career-high 11 points.

Minnesota 82, Butler 73 - Damian Johnson had 18 points and the No. 22 Golden Gophers earned their first win away from home, beating the 12th-ranked Bulldogs in the 76 Classic.

Minnesota (4-0) held off Butler (3-1) by making five 3-pointers in the final eight minutes.

Michigan 83, Creighton 76 - Manny Harris had 20 points, 11 assists, and 9 rebounds to lead the No. 15 Wolverines at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Harris had a 3-point play and added a dunk as Michigan went up, 76-73, with three minutes left in overtime. He picked up an assist on Zack Novak’s 3-pointer that made it 79-73.

Laval Lucas-Perry scored 18 points for Michigan (3-0). Creighton (2-2) got 21 points from Justin Carter.

Notre Dame 84, San Diego St. 79 - Freshman Skyler Diggins scored 21 points to lead the No. 5 Irish past the No. 23 Aztecs at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

The win was Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw’s 500th at the school and 588th overall. The Irish (4-0) jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first half and led, 44-29, at the break.

Xavier 76, Kansas 71 - Amber Harris’s 22 points helped the No. 9 Musketeers beat the 18th-ranked Jayhawks at the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas.

Xavier (4-0) led, 72-67, with 50 seconds left after Harris made two free throws. Kansas then hit four straight free throws to make it 72-71 with 27 seconds left.

Harris then made two more free throws, and after a defensive stop, Special Jennings sealed the win from the foul line. She finished with 17 points. Ta’Shia Phillips added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Danielle McCray scored 18 of her 23 points in the second half to lead Kansas (3-1).

Duke 70, Western Kentucky 47 - Jasmine Thomas scored 20 points and the No. 10 Blue Devils beat the Lady Toppers in Cancun, Mexico.

Duke (4-1) led by 9 at halftime and opened the second half with a 14-3 run over the first six minutes to take control. Courtney Clifton scored 11 points to lead the Lady Toppers (3-1).

Virginia 84, Indiana 79 - Monica Wright had 22 points and 11 rebounds to help the No. 15 Cavaliers (4-1) beat the Hoosiers at the Junkanoo Jam.