College basketball roundup

Smoke in cockpit puts scare into Minutemen

Jeff Robinson found a lane to the basket during Seton Hall’s upset win over Syracuse. Jeff Robinson found a lane to the basket during Seton Hall’s upset win over Syracuse. (Kevin Rivoli/Associated Press)
By Marty Dobrow
Globe Correspondent / January 26, 2011

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The University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team had a close call last night — and it had nothing to do with a game. The Minutemen had to make an emergency landing in Albany, N.Y., after smoke filled the cockpit of the plane they had chartered for tonight’s game at Saint Bonaventure in Olean, N.Y.

“It was a little bit scary,’’ said coach Derek Kellogg. “I had to keep my composure because I’m responsible for these guys, but there was a part of me that was pretty worried.’’

UMass had chartered a jet owned by World Atlantic that was to take the traveling party of 35 (players, coaches, trainers, broadcasters, media relations staff) from Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee to Bradford, Pa. Bradford is just south of the Saint Bonaventure campus.

According to UMass media relations director Jason Yellin, approximately 25 minutes after the plane took off, a flight attendant announced that they were going to have to make an emergency landing.

The plane took a sharp turn back east and landed five minutes later in Albany. Firefighters raced on board, and the crew and all passengers were able to get off unscathed. Yellin said there were no flames or smoke visible as they exited.

“It had a coppery spell,’’ said Kellogg, who was seated in the third row. “Almost like something cooking.’’

Kellogg said several UMass players are not fond of flying to begin with, so they were not thrilled to get back on board another jet from World Atlantic that was coming from Rhode Island.

Men Ohio St. 87, Purdue 64 — William Buford had 19 points, Jared Sullinger added 17, and the No. 1 Buckeyes played almost flawlessly at home, routing the No. 12 Boilermakers.

Ohio State (21-0, 8-0 Big Ten) ran its record to 62-4 all-time when ranked No. 1. JaJuan Johnson had 22 points for Purdue (17-4, 6-2).

Connecticut 76, Marquette 68 — Jeremy Lamb had a career-best 24 points and the No. 5 Huskies overcame a tough shooting game from Kemba Walker (5-for-16, season-low 14 points) with a late 13-0 run to beat the host Golden Eagles.

Connecticut (17-2, 5-2 Big East) proved to be too tough down the stretch, holding Marquette (13-8, 4-4) without a field goal for 10 minutes.

Kansas 82, Colorado 78 — The No. 6 Jayhawks built a big lead with 3-pointers, then won it at the free throw line, scoring their last 9 points from there to hold off the host Buffaloes.

Freshman Josh Selby led Kansas’s balanced scoring with 17 points as the Jayhawks (19-1, 4-1 Big 12) bounced back from their first home loss since 2007 to beat Colorado (14-7, 3-3) for the 16th straight time.

Seton Hall 90, Syracuse 68 — Jeremy Hazell led a long-range barrage with 28 points and the hot-shooting Pirates pulled off a stunning road upset, handing the No. 9 Orange their third straight loss.

Syracuse (18-3, 5-3 Big East) had lost two straight to Top 10 conference foes, on the road at Pittsburgh and at home to Villanova. In both games the Orange fell behind early.

That trend continued against Seton Hall (9-12, 3-6), which had lost three straight.

Florida 104, Georgia 91 — Chandler Parsons took control in the second overtime after the teams traded tying last-second shots, leading the No. 24 Gators over the host Bulldogs.

Trey Thompkins put back a missed shot just ahead of the buzzer at the end of regulation for Georgia (14-5, 3-3 SEC), capping a rally from an 8-point deficit in the final three minutes. Florida (16-4, 5-1 SEC) forced a second overtime when Erving Walker raced down the court and hit a long 3-pointer with one second remaining.

Vermont 72, Hartford 51 — Evan Fjeld had 16 points and nine rebounds as the Catamounts cruised over the visiting Hawks.

Brendan Bald added 14 points, 9 in the first half, Joey Accaoui added 10 points, and Brian Voelkel had 10 rebounds and four assists for Vermont (15-5, 6-2 America East).

Milton Burton paced Hartford (7-13, 4-3) with 17 points.

Maine 64, New Hampshire 50 — Troy Barnies had 20 points and 14 rebounds as the Black Bears maintained their lead in America East with their sixth straight win, beating the visiting Wildcats.

Maine (13-7, 7-1) held New Hampshire (8-12, 2-6) to 34 percent shooting, and outrebounded the Wildcats, 45-31.

Women Georgetown 65, West Virginia 60 — Sugar Rodgers scored 30 points, including a driving layup with 50 seconds to play, as the No. 19 Hoyas topped the No. 8 Mountaineers in Washington.

Rodgers’s shot gave Georgetown (16-5, 4-3 Big East) the lead for good, capping a turnover-filled, comeback win over West Virginia (19-2, 5-2).

Information from staff and wire services was used in this report.