Men's Basketball

College basketball highlights: Feb. 11

Connecticut's Shabazz Napier got crunched by St. John's Justin Burrell and D.J. Kennedy in the first half. Kennedy matched his season high with 20 points and had 11 rebounds.
Connecticut's Shabazz Napier got crunched by St. John's Justin Burrell and D.J. Kennedy in the first half. Kennedy matched his season high with 20 points and had 11 rebounds. AP

Dwight Hardy scored a career-high 33 points, and St. John's took command in the second half in an 89-72 victory over No. 10 Connecticut on Thursday night, the Red Storm's fourth win over a top-13 team this season at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Hardy was coming off a 32-point effort in a loss to UCLA on Saturday.

D.J. Kennedy matched his season high with 20 points and had 11 rebounds for St. John's (14-9, 6-5 Big East), which added Connecticut to a list that includes then-No. 13 Georgetown, then-No. 9 Notre Dame and then-No. 3 Duke, all of whom are currently in the top 10. The Red Storm are 6-1 at the Garden, their second home court.

The Red Storm closed the first half with two three-pointers by Hardy and Malik Boothe, the second a 35-footer banker from straight on as the buzzer sounded for a 35-31 lead.

Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun walked onto the court complaining that Boothe walked before he shot. Calhoun was called for a technical foul — his first of the season — so St. John's started the second half with two free throws by Hardy, and Kennedy scored on a layup on the ensuing possession.

No. 23 Vanderbilt 81, Alabama 77: Brad Tinsley hit an off-balance jumper with 17 seconds left and added the free throw as the Commodores escaped at home. Vanderbilt (17-6, 5-4) has won the first two games of a three-game homestand with No. 18 Kentucky visiting Saturday to remain knotted with three others for second in the Southeastern Conference East.

STATE MEN

Eastern Kentucky 77, Southeast Missouri State 64: Justin Stommes and Spencer Perrin scored 20 points apiece and fueled the hot-shooting Colonels, who hit 57 percent from the floor. Stommes shot 7-for-10 overall and 4-for-5 from three-point range, and Perrin, a Boyle County graduate, went 8-for-11 from the floor and grabbed nine rebounds for EKU (14-11, 8-6 Ohio Valley Conference).

Morehead State 81, Eastern Illinois 65: Kenneth Faried had 18 points and 13 rebounds for his 20th double-double of the season to lead the host Eagles, who won their fifth straight and remained one game behind first-place Murray State in the OVC. Both teams have five games remaining before the league tournament. Morehead (18-8, 10-4) plays at Murray (19-6, 11-3) in the second-to-last game of the season Feb. 24. The matchup will be televised on ESPNU.

The Racers beat Tennessee Tech 55-44 Thursday.

Middle Tennessee State 69, Western Kentucky 60: James Washington scored 24 points, and the visiting Blue Raiders held off a late charge. Middle (13-12, 8-4 Sun Belt Conference) led by 17 points with 6:27 left to play, but the Hilltoppers (10-13, 5-6) cut the deficit to six during the final minute. It was too late as Middle Tennessee beat WKU for the third straight time.

STATE WOMEN

Kentucky Wesleyan 53, Northern Kentucky 52: Karly Rhoads' three-pointer capped a game-ending 7-0 run, and Kentucky Wesleyan won at Northern Kentucky for the first time in history. NKU had been 27-0 at home in the series.

NKU (14-9, 8-7 Great Lakes Valley Conference) had a chance in the final seconds, but Kourtney Rhoads — Karly's sister — blocked Stephanie Hodges' shot from the corner and grabbed the rebound as time ran out.

Katie Behrens led Kentucky Wesleyan (14-8, 8-7 with 18 points. Casse Mogan had 14 for NKU, which didn't score in the final 4:48.

Southeast Missouri State 64, Eastern Kentucky 57: Host EKU trimmed a 12-point deficit to one in the second half but never gained the lead in the Ohio Valley Conference loss. Freshman Marie Carpenter had a career-high 29 points for the Colonels (6-17, 3-11), who missed 10 of their first 11 shots and didn't make their second field goal until the 9:42 mark of the first half. Brittany Harriel scored 23 points for the Redhawks (8-15, 4-9).

Eastern Illinois 80, Morehead State 75: The Panthers outrebounded the host Eagles by 20 and doubled the Eagles on second-chance points to hand Morehead its second straight OVC loss. The Eagles (17-8, 10-4) were led by senior Chynna Bozeman, who scored 18 points, leaving her one shy of 2,000 for her career. MSU led 39-36 at halftime.

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