Kessler has 19, No. 2 Auburn tops No. 12 Kentucky 80-71

January 23, 2022 GMT
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Auburn guard Allen Flanigan (22) reacts after a score during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
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Auburn guard Allen Flanigan (22) reacts after a score during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Walker Kessler scored 19 points and K.D. Johnson added 17, helping No. 2 Auburn keep its hot streak alive with an 80-71 victory over No. 12 Kentucky on Saturday.

The Tigers (18-1, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) rallied from a 10-point deficit to win their 15th straight in likely the biggest home game since Auburn Arena opened in 2010. It was big enough that the traditional football school had students set up tents Friday morning, camping out to make sure they got in.

The Tigers, who have matched the highest ranking in program history, made it worth the wait. Fans chanted No. 1 in the final moments, hoping to supplant Gonzaga.

Kentucky’s No. 2 scorer, TyTy Washington, only played eight minutes and scored four points before being helped off the court with a left ankle injury. He didn’t return.

Johnson made 3 of 5 3-pointers for Auburn. Kessler hit 8 of 10 shots and had seven rebounds. Jabari Smith had 14 points and seven boards for the Tigers, who hit their first 15 free throws in the second half.

Wendell Green Jr. was scoreless for the first 28 minutes, then hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 25-second span and finished with 11 points.

Oscar Tshiebwe had 16 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots for Kentucky (15-4, 5-2). Kellan Grady made 4 of 7 3-pointers and scored 17 points. Sahvir Wheeler, Johnson’s former teammate at Georgia, also scored 17 points and had four assists.

The Tigers, who trailed by 10 points during the first half, took a 64-52 lead with 6:07 remaining. Johnson hit three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-point shot.


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Adam Flagler scored 16 points and No. 5 Baylor won its 14th straight game away from home.

LJ Cryer added 14 points and Matthew Mayer had 12 for the Bears (17-2, 5-2 Big 12). The defending national champions bounced back to win both games this week after losing at home to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State the previous week.

Umoja Gibson scored 13 points and Elijah Harkless added 12 for the Sooners (12-7, 2-5), who committed 25 turnovers. Oklahoma lost its fourth straight after a promising start that saw the Sooners nearly crack the AP Top 25.


DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — AJ Griffin hit five 3-pointers — the most by a Duke player this season — as the sixth-ranked Blue Devils bolted to an early lead and never trailed.

Griffin was one of four players for Duke (15-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 15 points, joining Paolo Banchero, Wendell Moore Jr. and Mark Williams. Banchero had 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Joey Baker added 11 points and Jeremy Roach dished out a career-high nine assists for Duke.

Jesse Edwards led Syracuse (9-10, 3-5) with 12 points and nine rebounds. Jimmy Boeheim also had 12 points.

The Blue Devils held Buddy Boeheim, the Orange’s leading scorer (19.2) to 2-of-15 shooting, including 1 of 10 from behind the arc. Joe Girard, who entered the game leading the ACC in 3-point shooting at 45.5% and was tied for the conference lead with 51 made 3s, was 1 of 9 from deep as the Orange finished 5 of 29 (17.2%) from long range.


MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Ochai Agbaji hit a baseline jumper with 9 seconds left as No. 7 Kansas snapped Kansas State’s two-game winning streak against ranked foes.

Agbaji’s shot gave Kansas its first lead since early in the first half. He finished with 29 points.

Jalen Wilson added 16 points for Kansas (16-2, 5-1 Big 12), and Christian Braun and David McCormack had 11 each.

Kansas State (10-8, 2-5) wasted a career-high 35 points by Nijel Pack. Markquis Nowell had 16 points and Selton Miguel added 11.

Kansas made just 15 of 22 free throws in the second half but was saved by a 45-23 rebounding advantage.

K-State shot 10 of 26 from 3-point range.

No. 9 UCLA 71, COLORADO 65

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Johnny Juzang scored 23 points, including a pair of crucial free throws with 16 seconds left, and UCLA held off Colorado.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 14 points for the Bruins (13-2, 5-1 Pac-12), and Tyger Campbell atoned for an off night when he sank his only basket, a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with 1:27 remaining after the Buffaloes (12-6, 4-4) had cut their deficit to 62-61.

The Buffs never could grab the lead. They had a chance to tie it a 65 when Jabari Walker, who led Colorado with 19 points, missed a layup as the clock ticked under 20 seconds.

Juzang sank both free throws with 16 seconds remaining to make it 67-63 and after another Walker misfire, Jules Bernard sank a pair of foul shots with 6.7 seconds left.

Bernand made another pair of foul shots with 1.6 seconds left after K.J. Simpson’s fast-break layup for the final score.


HOUSTON (AP) — Kyler Edwards had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as No. 10 Houston won its ninth game in a row and 36thth straight at home.

Edwards scored 17 first-half points as the Cougars (17-2, 6-0 American) built a 44-14 halftime lead. Edwards, who finished with six 3-pointers, has scored at least 23 points in each of the last three games and made at least six 3-pointers. Josh Carlton added 14 points and nine rebounds for Houston.

The Cougars are 6-0 in conference play for the first time since the 1983-84 season.

Tristen Newton finished with 14 points and six rebounds for East Carolina (11-7, 2-4), which set school records for fewest field goals with eight and lowest field goal percentage at 16%.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Collin Gillespie scored 28 points and Justin Moore added 19 as No. 11 Villanova beat the Hoyas for the 17th time in 20 meetings.

Gillespie connected on 6 of 9 3-pointers, including four in the second half for the Wildcats (14-5, 7-2 Big East).

Jermaine Samuels had 18 points for Villanova, which avoided back-to-back losses after dropping a rare home game to Marquette on Wednesday.

Collin Holloway led Georgetown (6-10, 0-5) with a career-high 25 points and Dante Harris added 17. Georgetown has lost six straight and has started Big East play with five straight losses for the first time in program history.

NO. 24 TENNESSEE 64, NO. 13 LSU 50

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Santiago Vescovi scored 16 points as No. 24 Tennessee handed No. 13 LSU its third straight loss.

Tennessee (13-5, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) opened with a 14-0 run spanning more than six minutes. After leading by five at halftime, the Vols started the second half with an 8-2 spurt.

Vescovi hit 4 of 7 3-pointers in the first half and finished 5 of 11. Uros Plavsic was physical inside with 12 points and six rebounds.

Tari Eason had 16 points, Brandon Murrray 15 and Eric Gaines 10 for LSU (15-4, 3-4), which defeated the Vols by 12 points two weeks ago.

TCU 59, NO. 15 IOWA STATE 44

AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Damion Baugh scored 23 points on 11-of-17 shooting as TCU held the No. 15 Cyclones to their lowest point total in the 50-year history of Hilton Coliseum.

The previous low was 45 points against Tennessee in 2018.

Iowa State (14-5, 2-5 Big 12) struggled to get much going offensively, hitting just 31% of its shots and committing 11 turnovers. Izaiah Brockington led the Cyclones with 19 points and 12 rebounds, his seventh double-double of the season.

Iowa State used a 10-0 run to pull within 36-33 in the second half, but Baugh connected on a pair of jumpers to give the Horned Frogs (13-3, 3-2) a 46-33 lead with 10:01 remaining.


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Drew Peterson scored 23 points and Boogie Ellis added 18 as No. 16 Southern California continued its hottest start since the 1970-71 season.

Peterson made all five of his 3-point attempts, went 9 for 10 from the field, and grabbed seven rebounds for USC (16-2, 6-2 Pac-12).

The 1970-71 USC team is often considered the best Trojan team ever and began 17-1 on its way to a 24-2 record.

Gabe Madsen had a career-high 20 points for Utah (8-12, 1-9) and Lazar Stefanovic scored 10 for the Utes, who have lost eight straight.


LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Terrence Shannon scored a season-high 23 points with a go-ahead three-point play as No. 18 Texas Tech remained undefeated in 12 games at home.

Kevin Obanor added 18 points and Bryson Williams had 13 for Texas Tech (15-4, 5-2). Taz Sherman led West Virginia with 21 points.

After West Virginia took its only lead in the second half on a 3-pointer by Sherman with 6:21 left, Shannon’s three-point play on the ensuing possession put the Red Raiders up 56-54. That layup when being fouled was part of Shannon making his last four field goal attempts, including back-to-back 3-pointers that extended the margin to 65-56, and a slam dunk with 1:12 left after the last of West Virginia’s 17 turnovers.

It was the 1,300th college game coached by Bob Huggins, who is in his 40th season overall. He is 323-176 with the Mountaineers (13-5, 2-4 Big 12), who have lost three consecutive games — all to Top 25 opponents.


CHICAGO (AP) -- Isiaih Mosley scored 40 points on 14-of-22 shooting as the Bears ended No. 22 Loyola Chicago’s 30-game home winning streak.

Donovan Clay added 16 points and Gaige Prim 11 for the Bears, who last beat an AP top-25 team Dec. 28, 2011, when it defeated No. 21 Creighton.

Braden Morris had 16 points and Lucas Williamson 11 for Loyola Chicago.

Missouri State led by as many as 20 and shot 60.9% from the field after halftime — and 53.8% for the game. The Bears also went 8 of 19 from beyond the arc.

Loyola Chicago, off to its best start since 1965-66, shot just 40.3% from the field.


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Marcus Carr scored 14 points and made two free throws with five seconds remaining as No. 23 Texas snapped a two-game losing streak.

The Longhorns (14-5, 4-3 Big 12) won despite going more than 10 minutes without scoring in the first half. They were coming off losses to No. 15 Iowa State and Kansas State.

Tre Mitchell scored 12 for Texas, including a bank shot in the lane with 56 seconds left. Timmy Allen had 11 points and eight rebounds. Courtney Ramey added 10 points, including a pair of free throws with 11 seconds remaining.

Bryce Thompson scored a career-best 20 for Oklahoma State (10-8, 3-4), including a layup with six seconds left before Carr’s free throws. But he couldn’t carry OSU through a second half in which it shot 32% and made nine turnovers.


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