College Basketball roundup Wednesday’s games
Rutgers 66, Ohio State 57
Nigel Johnson scored 21 points and made all eight free throws to lead Rutgers to a over Ohio State. Rutgers (15-17) now has won back-to-back games after a six-game skid. Now in its third season in the Big Ten, it’s the first time the Scarlet Knights have won consecutive conference games. Despite shooting 37.1 percent — and 30.4 from 3-point range and going about 31/2 minutes without a point in the second half — 14th-seeded Rutgers also won its first Big Ten Tournament game after being bounced as the No. 14 seed the past two tries. Rutgers outrebounded Ohio State 47-31 to overcome its shooting woes. Jae’Sean Tate scored 18 points for 11th-seed Ohio State (17-15), which will miss the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. The Buckeyes did not make a field goal in the final 5:43.
Penn State 76, Nebraska 67, OT
With his cousin rapper Flavor Flav cheering loudly from the third row, Shep Garner scored seven of Penn State’s 16 points in overtime, leading the Nittany Lions to a victory over Nebraska. Penn State (15-17) never trailed and ended a five-game losing streak. The 13th-seeded Nittany Lions advanced to face Michigan State in the second round. Garner finished with 16 points, and freshman Mike Watkins had 18 points, 11 rebounds and a Big Ten Tournament-record eight blocked shots. Evan Taylor led 12th-seeded Nebraska (12-19) with 15 points. But the Cornhuskers’ top scorer, senior guard Tai Webster, shot 4 for 16 and fouled out in OT with 12 points, only two after halftime. Nebraska made only 34 percent of its shots.
Bucknell 81, Lehigh 65
Kimbal Mackenzie scored 18 points to help send Bucknell into the NCAA Tournament with a victory over Lehigh. The Bison (26-8) are back in the tournament for the first time since 2013 and seem ready to shake up the brackets one more time. Bucknell beat Kansas in 2005 and Arkansas in 2006 to earn a reputation as March upset masters. They were knocked out in the first game each of the last two trips. But scouting reports can wait until after Sunday’s field is announced. Nana Foulland and Zach Thomas had the electric home crowd ready to taste the tournament from the opening tip. Bucknell opened the second half on a 12-0 run that turned Sojka Pavilion into zoo, complete with a dancing Bison (mascot) and a gyrating shark. The Mountain Hawks (20-12) didn’t fare as well and lost in the Patriot League Tournament championship game for the second straight season.
ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
No. 14 Duke 79, Clemson 72
Luke Kennard made two clutch jumpers in the final 2:04 to help No. 14 Duke thwart a rally by Clemson. The fifth-seeded Blue Devils (24-8) play fourth-seeded and No. 8 Louisville on Thursday at Barclays Center. Kennard took a while to find his shot but finished with 20 points. Freshmen Jayson Tatum and Frank Jackson each scored 20 and picked up the slack while Kennard was cold. Jaron Blossomgame led Clemson (17-15) with 19 points and eight rebounds. Duke built a 13-point lead midway through the second half but could not put away Clemson. Marcquise Reed converted a 3-point play with 2:51 left in the game to cut Duke’s lead to 69-68 and get the small contingent of Tigers fans pumped up. Kennard answered with a jumper to push the lead back to three. He dropped in a fall-away from the baseline with 1:14 left to up the lead to 75-70.
No. 21 Virginia 75, Pittsburgh 63
Kyle Guy scored 20 points to match a career high and London Perrantes added 13 in the second half to help No. 21 Virginia pull away for a victory against Pittsburgh. The sixth-seeded Cavaliers (22-9) are in the ACC quarterfinals for the sixth straight season and meet third-seeded and No. 22 Notre Dame at Barclays Center on Thursday night. Jamel Artis led Pitt (16-17) with 18 points and Michael Young had 14. The two seniors were benched for the first 10 minutes of the Panthers’ regular-season finale loss to Virginia on Saturday by coach Kevin Stallings. Just four days after scoring just 42 points against the Cavaliers, Pitt surpassed that number with 13:08 minutes left on a dunk by Sheldon Jeter that cut Virginia’s lead to 44-43. That was as good as it got for the Panthers.