College basketball highlights: No. 16 Florida defeats No. 15 Memphis 77-75

December 18, 2013 

Casey Prather did what seniors are supposed to do — lead their team in a tough spot.

Prather scored 22 points, including Florida's last eight of the game, and the 16th-ranked Gators beat No. 15 Memphis 77-75 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

"I was just trying to be smart on offense and be aggressive," he said. "The ball just happened to find me. It could have been any of my teammates."

Prather made two free throws with 27 seconds left to give Florida (8-2) a 77-73 lead. Shaq Goodwin made two free throws with 19 seconds left to bring Memphis (7-2) to 77-75.

Florida's Scottie Wilbekin missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 17 seconds left giving the Tigers a chance for the tie or win.

After calling a timeout with 10.8 seconds to go, Memphis' Joe Jackson drove to the basket but his shot was partially blocked and the clock ran out when the ball was hit by Dorian Finney-Smith toward midcourt.

No. 11 Wichita State 72, Alabama 67: Cleanthony Early and Wichita State never ran out of answers for Alabama.

Early scored 26 points and Fred VanVleet made two free throws with 11 seconds left to lift the 11th-ranked Shockers to a 72-67 victory over the Crimson Tide on Tuesday night.

Wichita State (11-0) coolly responded to every challenge from the Crimson Tide to extend the program's best start.

"We think that we're going to win," Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. "You have to believe that you're going to win and you're going to make the plays. You can't go out there with doubt and just hope. I believe these guys have that in their mind."

Early scored nine straight points for Wichita State during one late stretch.

Rodney Cooper's 3-pointer brought Alabama (5-5) to 65-64 with 1:57 remaining. VanVleet responded with a basket and Darius Carter scored on a putback with 37 seconds remaining on a possession when Wichita State rebounded two missed shots.

"It was just 50-50 balls," said Releford, who hit two free throws in between those field goals. "They wanted it more down the stretch on that play. Those are plays we've got to get down the stretch to get over that hump."

Alabama collected a long rebound but Retin Obasohan's 3-pointer missed with 15 seconds left, forcing the Tide to foul.

VanVleet iced the game at the line.

Early was 7 of 11 from the field and hit all 11 free throw attempts. The Shockers were 25 of 27 from the line.

No. 5 Michigan State 78, North Florida 48: Adreian Payne scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half and Michigan State rolled to a victory at East Lansing, Mich.

No. 7 Oklahoma State 75, Delaware State 43: Le'Bryan Nash had 14 points and eight rebounds to lead the Cowboys (10-1) to an easy win at Stillwater, Okla.

Cincinnati 44, Pittsburgh 43: Titus Rubles' rebound basket with 4.2 seconds to play gave Cincinnati a victory over previously unbeaten Pittsburgh in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York. Ge'Lawn Guyn (Scott County) had five points for the Bearcats.

Manhattan 86, South Carolina 68: George Beamon scored 26 points and Michael Alvarado added 20 as Manhattan (8-2) won its seventh straight road contest. Donovan Kates (Christian County) scored six points for the Jaspers.

Sindarius Thornwell led the Gamecocks (2-4) with 17 points. Ty Johnson chipped in 12 and Michael Carrera added 10.

Mississippi St. 78, Florida A&M 65: Mississippi State's Craig Sword scored a game-high 16 points, including 15 in the first half, to lead the Bulldogs (7-2) to a win at Starkville, Miss. Sword paced four Bulldogs in double figures and finished the night 10-for-12 at the free throw line.

Redshirt freshman Dre Applewhite had his first double-double with 14 points and 11 points for the Bulldogs.

Marshall 121, Alice Lloyd 57: Ryan Taylor scored 25 points to lead six Marshall players in double figures as they dominated NAIA Alice Lloyd at Huntington.

Oklahoma 91, UT Arlington 89: Cameron Clark scored 31 points and hit two decisive free throws with 9.7 seconds left and host Oklahoma held on for its sixth straight win.

Murray State 73, Southern Illinois 65: Cameron Payne scored 22 points and dished out seven assists for host Murray State. T.J. Sapp pitched in 15 points off the bench for the Racers (5-5).

The Racers used a 16-4 run early in the second half to open up a 48-36 advantage. Payne hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the lead to 59-43 with 10:15 left.

Pikeville 113, Cincinnati-Clermont 55: Keala King scored 24 points for the host Bears, ranked third in NAIA.

Women's highlights

No. 7 Louisville 105, Ball State 67: Shoni Schimmel had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Sara Hammond (Rockcastle County) scored 11 of her 13 points in the first five minutes as Louisville overwhelmed Ball State at Muncie, Ind.

The Cardinals (11-1) have won four straight and tied the school's single-season record for games with 90 or more points. Louisville already has done that eight times this season, matching its 1990-91 total. It also has topped 100 points four times.

Louisville opened the game on a 22-2 run, extended the lead to 60-29 at halftime and never allowed Ball State to get closer than 29 in the second half.

No. 3 Tennessee 94, Tennessee State 43: Bashaara Graves scored 17 points to lead five Lady Vols in double figures and host Tennessee trounced Tennessee State to continue its fastest start since its 2007-08 national championship season.

The Lady Vols (10-0) have won each of their games by at least nine points.

Transylvania 76, Roanoke 64: Nicole Coffman (Casey County) scored a game-high 24 points and Madisen Webb (Scott County) had 15 points, six assists and six rebounds in the Pioneers' win at home.

Katelyn Smith (Perry Central) added 14 points and eight rebounds, and Alex Botkin (Lexington Catholic) had eight points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Union 89, Pikeville 88: Amber Taylor scored the game-winner with 9 seconds left and finished with a career-high 32 points in the Bulldogs' win at Pikeville. It was the program's 500th victory.

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