Saturday, February 28, 2009
Butler Captures Horizon; Memphis Wins 56th Straight in C-USA
Willie Veasley led the Bulldogs with 16 points, earning their third straight Horizon League title. The Bulldogs will be the #1 seed when they host the league tournament, which begins on Saturday, March 7.
#5 Memphis 58, Southern Miss. 42
The Memphis Tigers (26-3, 14-0) already have the Conference-USA title, which they earned on Thursday night with a win over UAB. On Saturday, they extended the nation's longest winning streak to 20 games while winning their 56th straight conference game, easily getting by Southern Miss.
Robert Dozier led all scorers with 18 points. The Tigers have two regular season games remaining before the league tourney. After that, it's on to the big dance, probably as a #2 seed, though some believe Memphis should be a #1.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Top 25, Feb. 26: Butler, Xavier Seek Conference Titles
The Xavier Musketeers continued their march toward the NCAA tournament with a convincing road win over Atlantic-10 pursuer, St. Joseph's. Xavier needs just one more win - over either Dayton (March 5) or at Richmond (March 7) to capture the A-10 regular season crown.
Derrick Brown and B.J. Raymond each scored 18 points in the win which put Xavier at 23-5 overall and 11-3 in conference play.
#24 Butler 78, Youngstown St. 57
Sophomore forward Matt Howard scored 25 points and hauled down 10 boards as Butler punished Youngstown State in Horizon League action. The Bulldogs clinched at least a tie for the league championship, and can take the title outright with a win over Cleveland State on Saturday, Feb. 28.
The Bulldogs are 14-3 in the Horizon, with Wisconsin-Green Bay a game back at 14-3. The teams split their two games this season, with each winning at home by an identical 9 points. There exists a distinct possibility that both could receive NCAA bids, as the winner of the tournament gets an automatic nod. Both teams have solid records.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Curry Returns for Davisdon, but Butler Proves Too Tough
Curry played what was probably the worst half of his career in the opening frame against Horizon League powerhouse Butler, but nearing the break, he began to shake off the aftereffects of the sprained ankle which sidelined him in Davidson's 64-46 loss to Citadel on Thursday.
With 1:31 left in the first half, Davidson was trailing 31-23, when Garrett Butcher fouled Curry (who had hit just 1 of 10 shots from the field for a measly 3 points) and sent him to the line for a pair of free throws, which he canned.
At 1:14 remaining, Max Paulhus Gosselin added a deuce on a layup, cutting the lead to 4 points. After a Butler free throw and basket, Curry dropped in an 11-foot jumper, leaving the Wildcats down just 5 at the half, 34-29. Curry, despite the poor start, finished with 7 points at intermission, on 2-12 shooting (0-9 on 3's), and 3-3 from the foul line.
Curry regained his stroke somewhat in the second half, but by then it was too late, with Butler quickly establishing a double digit lead. The Bulldogs breezed to an unchallenged 75-63 road win. Propelled by freshman Gordon Hayward, who victimized the Wildcats with a game-high and career-high 27 points, the Bulldogs notched their 23rd win against just four losses.
Despite losing their last two conference games, Butler needs only to hold court at home against Youngstown St. and Cleveland St., Thursday, Feb 26 and Saturday, Feb 28, to capture the Horizon League regular season title.
Hayward, a 6'8" frosh, hit 6 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 7 on threes and 11-12 from the foul line. He also collected 10 boards for his fourth double-double of the season.
Curry finished with 20, but was just 6-23 from the field, hitting just 2-13 from outside the arc. 22-6 Davidson still should wrap up the Southern Conference South division, as they close out the season against three of the weakest teams in the conference, NC Greensboro, Georgia Southern and Elon.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Mean Green, Golden Eagles, Wright St. Raiders are In
The list of schools with automatic bids has now swelled to 12.
Wright St. 60 #19 Butler 55 - Followers of the Horizon League saw this one coming. The Butler Bulldogs, who had been ranked in the Top 25 most of the season, hit only 7-23 (30%) from beyond the arc and Wright State's Raiders rode senior Dashaun Wood's 29 points to the tournament championship. Wood was 9-15 from the field including 6 threes.
The Raiders and Bulldogs tied for the regular season lead at 13-3, though Wright State won their most recent meeting, 77-65, after being battered by the Bulldogs back in January, 73-42. Since that low point, Wright State has won 12 of 14 and roll into the NCAA Tournament with a full head of steam.
Butler, which finished 27-6, still may be chosen with an at-large bid, though their 4-4 record to close out the season will not likely impress the selection committee.
North Texas 83 Arkansas St. 75 - Led by Calvin Watson's 6 3-pointers and 24 points, the Mean Green held off a rugged Arkansas St. squad to capture the Sun Belt crown. North Texas had five players in double figures as they shot 53% for the game but didn't help themselves from the foul line, converting only 17 of 30 attempts (57%).
The unlikeliest of winners, North Texas (23-10, 10-8) finished 3rd in the Sun Belt West, but by luck of the draw and other upsets, didn't have to face either of the two teams with the best conference records, South Alabama or Western Kentucky. They beat LA-Monroe and Middle Tennessee St. to advance to the final, where they made the most of their opportunity. North Texas will be riding a five-game win streak into the tournament.
Oral Roberts 71 Oakland 67 - Caleb Green scored 28 points on 11-19 shooting to lead the Golden Eagles over the Golden Grizzlies in the Mid-Continent tournament championship. The effort lifted Green to the all time career scoring leader in the conference and got Oral Roberts into the Big Dance with a 23-10 record (12-2, conference). Oral Roberts had trailed by 9 at the half, but a big 2nd half defensive effort - limiting Oakland to just 22 points - proved decisive.
The Golden Eagles have big-time aspirations even though they will be a 14-16 seed. In just their 2nd game of the season, way back on November 15, they strolled into Kansas and won, 78-71, over the mighty Jayhawks, a likely #1 seed. The loss was one of only 4 on the season for Kansas.
On Wednesday, the majors get into the act, with the Big East and PAC-10 tournaments headlining events. The Atlantic 10 conference also gets underway in Atlantic City, along with Conference USA, the Big West and Mid-American also in their opening rounds.
The Mountain West, WAC, Big Sky and Mid-Eastern are already through the opening rounds.