Men's Basketball

College basketball highlights: Jan. 28

Vanderbilt's Festus Ezeli drove to the basket against Mississippi State's Wendell Lewis. Ezeli scored 14 points in the win.
Vanderbilt's Festus Ezeli drove to the basket against Mississippi State's Wendell Lewis. Ezeli scored 14 points in the win. AP

Jeffery Taylor scored 25 points, and John Jenkins added 21 as No. 19 Vanderbilt rallied for an 81-74 victory over Mississippi State on Thursday night.

The Commodores (15-4, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) won at Humphrey Coliseum for the first time since 1993, breaking a streak of eight straight losses in Starkville. Vanderbilt trailed by as many as nine points but used a 12-0 run late in the second half to recover for its third straight victory.

"It feels great to finally see Coach leave here with a grin," Taylor said. "We had to work really hard for that one. But when we got down, we didn't panic, we just became more aggressive and took the win."

Festus Ezeli added 14 points for Vanderbilt, and Lance Goulbourne had nine points and 12 rebounds.

Vanderbilt led 77-74 with 20 seconds remaining when Taylor stole the ball and dunked for the clinching basket. The 6-foot-7 junior was 9-for-18 from the field and had five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Jenkins made nine of nine free throws, including seven during Vanderbilt's crucial 12-0 run that turned a 66-59 deficit into a 71-66 lead.

Ravern Johnson scored 19 points, and Dee Bost added 18 for the Bulldogs (10-9, 2-3), who shot 26-for-58 (44.8 percent) from the field. Renardo Sidney, MSU's best post player, battled foul trouble for most of the game. The 6-foot-10, 275-pound sophomore finished with six points and five rebounds in just 13 minutes.

Nation

No. 3 Duke 84, Boston College 68: Seth Curry scored a season-high 20 points in his return to Duke's starting lineup, leading the third-ranked Blue Devils at home. Nolan Smith finished with 28 points, and Kyle Singler had 14 for Duke (19-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which shot 50 percent from the field, hit 10 three-pointers and used a huge Curry-led run early in the second half to claim their fourth straight win.

Michigan 61, No. 25 Michigan St. 57: Zack Novak scored 19 points, and Stu Douglass made a big three-pointer with 20 seconds left, lifting the visiting Wolverines (12-9, 2-6 Big Ten) to their first win in seven games. Michigan had lost 11 in a row at Michigan State. The Spartans (12-8, 4-4) have lost three straight, slumping to the bottom of The Associated Press poll after being ranked No. 2 in the pre-season. Michigan State's Kalin Lucas scored 27 points, Durrell Summers had 13, and Draymond Green, who fouled out, added nine.

Robinson funeral draws 200

In a church filled with mourners Thursday, Thomas Robinson laid a Kansas jersey in his mother's casket.

Then, while the entire Kansas team and coaching staff watched in teary-eyed silence, 7-year-old Jayla Robinson placed a stuffed toy Jayhawk next to her mother.

About 200 mourners were in the Antioch Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. on Thursday for services for Lisa Robinson, who died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack at age 43 and triggered a family crisis that has touched basketball fans around the country.

Thomas found out his mother had died when Jayla called him about 11 p.m. Friday. In a three-week span, Jayla and Thomas, a sophomore forward for the sixth-ranked Jayhawks, lost their grandmother, grandfather and mother.

Towson trounced after 10-hour, 70-mile drive

The Towson's men's basketball team faced long enough odds as 19-point underdogs at George Mason. It got no easier when a hellacious 10-hour drive over 70 miles in a snowstorm forced a postponement of Wednesday night's matchup.

The Tigers were stuck in traffic just a few miles from Mason's home court in Fairfax when the 7 p.m. scheduled tipoff came and went. The game was postponed to 9 p.m. but Towson's team bus made no progress, moving about 10 yards over the course of an hour. The game was postponed again until Thursday, when George Mason cruised to a 84-58 win, sparked by 23-0 and 17-0 runs.

The players finally arrived in nearby Manassas after 1 a.m., after scrambling to find 17 available hotel rooms that were charged to the credit card of Assistant Coach Jim Meil.

The Colonial Athletic Association said Towson should have taken a more proactive approach to its travel plans. The league issued a reprimand Thursday to the Tigers for missing tipoff.

"While everyone understands travel complications with winter storms, there is no evidence that any consideration was made by Towson to adjust their normal travel plans to account for the anticipated problems," CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said in a statement.

The Towson players handled the delay well, spokesman Pete Schlehr said.

"They've got their computer notebook. They were playing cards. They weren't bothered by any of it," he said.

The only real casualty was a coat belonging to head coach Pat Kennedy. He laid it under a bus tire hoping it would help gain traction to clear a slippery highway ramp. The coat shredded, and the bus remained stuck.

State men

Austin Peay 61, Eastern Kentucky 52: Josh Terry and John Fraley scored 14 points each to lead the Governors (14-8, 8-2 Ohio Valley Conference), who outscored the Colonels 7-2 in the final 3:14 after they had cut Austin Peay's lead to 54-50. Spencer Perrin led Eastern, which had won four straight, with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Western Kentucky 81, Florida International 78: Juan Pattillo had 20 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots to help the visiting Toppers win their third straight. Pattillo's jumper with eight seconds to go was the Hilltoppers' last basket, then a three-point attempt by the Panthers' Phil Gary missed with one second left.

Cumberlands 79, Pikeville 68: Former Trinity standout Tanner Jacobs had game highs of 28 points and 14 rebounds as the host Patriots moved into a tie for second place in the Mid-South Conference standings with St. Catharine, a loser at Georgetown Thursday.

Vance Cooksey hit six of seven three-point attempts for the Bears and finished with 25 points, but Pikeville's three-game league win streak came to an end.

Asbury 95, Alice Lloyd 77: Former Kentucky walk-on Adam Delph had 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the host Eagles to their fifth straight win.

State women

Morehead State 84, Tennessee State 82: Junior point guard Courtney Lumpkin raced the length of the court and banked in a shot high off the glass with two seconds left to give the host Eagles their fourth win in five games. Chynna Bozeman had 28 points and eight rebounds, and Lumpkin added 21 points for Morehead (15-6, 8-2 Ohio Valley Conference).

Pikeville 77, Cumberlands 75 (OT): Knott County Central graduate Megan Mosley put back a missed shot at the overtime buzzer to give the visiting Bears (15-6, 5-5 MSC) their fifth straight conference win. Natiera Hilton led Pikeville with 28 points.

Eastern Kentucky 61, Austin Peay 56: Shakeyia Colyer led all scorers with 17 points for the host Colonels, and Henry Clay graduate Brittany Coles iced the game in the closing minutes with a three-point play. Coles finished with 12 points.

Georgetown 81, St. Catharine 64: Kourtney Tyra scored 15 points to lead the host Tigers, who ended an eight-game losing streak.

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