Rutgers tops No. 12 Illini for another win over Top 25 team
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Cliff Omoruyi had 15 points, 13 rebounds and a reverse alley-oop dunk in Rutgers’ game-breaking run as the Scarlet Knights beat No. 12 Illinois 70-59 Wednesday night for their fourth straight win over a ranked team.
The run is the longest in school history for the Scarlet Knights (16-9, 10-5 Big Ten), and there’s a chance to continue the streak with games next week at No. 5 Purdue and home against No. 15 Wisconsin. The last team to win four straight against ranked teams in the regular season was Michigan State in 2019-20.
Ron Harper Jr. added 16 points and eight rebounds and had the assist on Omoruyi’s second-half dunk. It was the second basket in a 12-0 run that ballooned the Scarlet Knights’ lead to 47-28. Paul Mulcahy added 13 points and Caleb McConnell had 11.
Center Kofi Cockburn was the only consistent threat for Illinois (18-7, 11-4), finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
No. 1 GONZAGA 86, PEPPERDINE 66
MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — Drew Timme scored 19 points, Chet Holmgren had 18 points and 17 rebounds and Andrew Nembhard added a career-high 14 assists to lead Gonzaga over Pepperdine.
Timme threw down an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Nembhard just six seconds in, and it was that kind of game for both teams.
Gonzaga (22-2, 11-0 West Coast Conference) never trailed and has won 15 consecutive games since its last lost against Alabama in December.
The Bulldogs have also won 32 straight against WCC opponents, the longest conference winning streak in the country.
Pepperdine (7-21, 1-12) got nine points from Houston Mallette in a 20-11 spurt that trimmed the margin to 57-49 in the second half. Timme answered with a three-point play inside and Gonzaga turned back the Waves.
No. 2 AUBURN 94, VANDERBILT 80
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Freshman forward Jabari Smith scored a season-high 31 points and made seven 3-pointers to lead Auburn to a victory over Vanderbilt.
Walker Kessler added 22 points to help the Tigers (24-2, 12-1 Southeastern Conference) overcome a slow start against the Commodores (13-12, 5-8).
It was close most of the way but Vandy had no answer for Auburn’s two star big men.
No. 5 PURDUE 70, NORTHWESTERN 64
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Zach Edey had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Purdue moved into first place in the Big Ten with a rugged victory over Northwestern.
Capping a stretch of eight games in 21 days, the Boilermakers (23-4, 12-4) shot 45% from the field and committed 14 turnovers — a sluggish performance by one of the country’s most efficient teams. But they held the Wildcats to 35% shooting and controlled the glass with a 39-34 rebounding advantage.
Mason Gillis and Eric Hunter Jr. each scored 11 points as Purdue moved a half-game ahead of No. 12 Illinois for the top spot in the conference. The Boilermakers swept their season series against the Illini.
Robbie Beran had 13 points for Northwestern (12-12, 5-10).
No. 11 TEXAS TECH 83, No. 7 BAYLOR 73
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Kevin Obanor scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half while rediscovering his long-range shot, and finished with 13 rebounds, as Texas Tech beat Baylor, completing a regular-season series sweep of the reigning national champion Bears.
Obanor had missed 11 consecutive 3-pointers over 2 1/2 games before making back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to cap a 14-3 run that started the second half and put the Red Raiders (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) ahead to stay.
James Akinjo had 18 points and seven assists for Baylor (21-5, 9-4).
No. 24 UCONN 70, SETON HALL 65
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Adama Sanogo had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and UConn beat Seton Hall.
It was the sixth double-double of the season for Sanogo, the Huskies’ sophomore center. Tyrese Martin had 16 points and 10 rebounds for UConn (18-7, 9-5 Big East), while R.J. Cole added 16 points.
Seton Hall (15-9, 6-8) had won three of its last four games. Kadary Richmond, who had 27 points in the teams’ first meeting in early January, had 13 points. Jamir Harris added 15 points, Jared Rhoden had 14 points and Myles Cale scored 11 for the Pirates.
No. 25 ALABAMA 80, MISSISSIPPI STATE 75
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Jahvon Quinerly had 21 points and eight assists to lead Alabama to a win over Mississippi State.
Charles Bediako scored 15 points. Jaden Shackelford added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Darius Miles finished with 12 points. JD Davison added seven points and 10 rebounds for the Crimson Tide (17-9, 7-6 Southeastern Conference).
Iverson Molinar led the Bulldogs (14-11, 5-7) with 22 points and four assists. D.J. Jeffries and Cam Carter each scored 15 points.