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Friday, December 14, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Gophers Closing On Title

Top 25

After a big week on the road that ended Saturday with a 68-66 win over Iowa, third-ranked Minnesota moved even closer to its first Big Ten men’s basketball title since 1982.

Eric Harris scored 14 points and Bobby Jackson and Sam Jacobson had 13 each as the Golden Gophers held off the Hawkeyes in Iowa City. The win over third-place Iowa came three days after a 70-67 victory over second-place Purdue.

“This is a great week of basketball for the University of Minnesota. We had two big road wins against two very good basketball teams,” coach Clem Haskins said.

The Hawkeyes have hung around near the top of the conference all season, but coach Tom Davis conceded his team is playing for second place.

“Minnesota’s too good. If you have any soft spots or weaknesses, they have a way of finding them,” Davis said.

Just as in losses to Michigan State and Illinois in the past two games, Iowa got off to a horrible start and couldn’t make up the difference.

“You just can’t get behind that far with good ballclubs,” Davis said.

The Golden Gophers’ (22-2, 11-1 Big Ten) sticky defense forced 21 turnovers and came up with 12 steals.

Iowa (16-8, 7-5), which needed a win to stay within three games of first-place Minnesota, has lost three straight and five of seven.

(1) Kansas 114, (15) Colorado 74

Raef LaFrentz scored 23 points with a variety of dunks and turn-around jump shots as the Jayhawks overwhelmed the Buffaloes in Lawrence, Kan.

Kansas (25-1, 11-1 Big 12) came out inspired at the start and led by 19 in the first half. The Jayhawks beat Colorado (17-7, 8-4) for the 16th straight time and won their 42nd in a row in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas won its 25th game for the eighth time in nine seasons under coach Roy Williams. The Jayhawks’ next game is Monday night at home against Missouri, which, in double overtime, handed Kansas its only loss of the season.

LaFrentz has scored more than 20 points in all seven games since center Scot Pollard was sidelined because of a stress fracture in his left foot. It was the fifth double-double for the 6-foot-11 junior in the absence of Pollard, who may be ready to play in a week.

Kansas point guard Jacque Vaughn scored only two points in his matchup up with Chauncey Billups, another of the top point players in the Big 12. But Vaughn had a season-high 11 assists.

Paul Pierce and Jerod Haase each scored 18 for the Jayhawks.

(4) Kentucky 85, Florida 56

Cameron Mills hit a 3-pointer to trigger a 17-0 run that carried the Wildcats over the mistake-prone Gators at Lexington, Ky.

Kentucky (24-3, 10-2 Southeastern Conference) scored 31 points off Florida’s season-high 30 turnovers as the Gators equaled their lowest point total of the season.

Florida (12-13, 4-8), ranked eighth in the nation in making 8.8 shots from beyond the 3-point line, made just 3 of 11. The Gators average 23 attempts a game.

(5) Utah 94, Texas Christian 91

Keith Van Horn scored 40 points as the Utes survived a late 3-point barrage by the Horned Frogs to win in Salt Lake City.

Van Horn hit all 18 of his free throws, including four foul shots in the final 15 seconds.

Utah is 19-3 overall, 11-1 Western Athletic Conference; TCU is 16-9, 5-7.

(6) Duke 89, Florida St. 79

Trajan Langdon had 23 points and five teammates also scored in double figures as the Blue Devils took a victory over the Seminoles at Tallahassee, Fla.

Duke (21-5, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) played without 6-foot-10 senior center Greg Newton for the second consecutive game. Newton, who is idled with a lower back strain, had 21 points and 13 rebounds in Duke’s 72-66 overtime victory over Florida State (13-9, 4-9 ACC) earlier in the season.

(7) Clemson 71, Virginia 65

Harold Jamison scored 14 points, including the go-ahead jam with 2 minutes left, as the Tigers beat the Cavaliers at Clemson, S.C., for their first 20-win season in seven years.

The Tigers (20-5, 8-4 ACC) were up 61-52 with 6:49 left, but Curtis Staples shot Virginia (15-10, 5-8) back into a tie with his driving layup 4 minutes later.

On Clemson’s next possession, Terrell McIntyre cut across the lane and found Jamison wide open for the winning basket.

(12) S. Carolina 97, (8) Cincy 83

South Carolina hit a school-record 15 3-pointers, four of them in a late 16-5 spurt that rallied the visiting Gamecocks to victory over the Bearcats.

The Gamecocks (18-6) rebounded from their three-point loss to Georgia by setting screens against Cincinnati’s man-to-man defense and firing away from behind the arc. Cincinnati (19-5) fell to 1-3 against nationally ranked opponents because it couldn’t adjust.

(9) Iowa St. 62, Kansas St. 58

Kenny Pratt scored eight points in the final 2 minutes as Iowa State rallied to beat Kansas State at Manhattan, Kan.

Trailing 55-50, the Cyclones (18-4, 9-3 Big 12) wiped out the deficit on two quick possessions when Dedric Willoughby made a 3-pointer, Kelvin Cato blocked a shot and Pratt tied the score at 55 with 1:48 left. Paco May missed a shot for the Wildcats (9-13, 2-11), and Pratt’s nearly uncontested layup gave Iowa State its first lead since the middle of the first half.

UMass 78, (10) Maryland 61

Lari Ketner had a career-high 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Minutemen (16-10) won for the 10th time in 11 games, defeating the Terrapins (19-6) at Worcester, Mass.

Charlton Clarke scored 22 points and Carmelo Travieso added 16 for Massachusetts, which is on the verge of an NCAA Tournament berth despite losing star Marcus Camby, coach John Calipari and six of its first 15 games.

Maryland (19-6) has lost four of its last six games.

(16) N. Carolina 72, Ga. Tech 68

The Tar Heels, led by Antawn Jamison and Shammond Williams, rallied from a 16-point deficit in the final 9:14 at Atlanta to pull out their fourth straight ACC victory.

The Yellow Jackets (9-13, 3-9) had their biggest lead of the game when Jon Babul converted one free throw to make it 57-41. But the Tar Heels (17-6, 7-5) outscored Tech 31-11 the rest of the way.

(17) Louisville 70, Houston 66

DeJuan Wheat had 22 points and five assists and fueled a second-half rally as the Cardinals snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over the Cougars in Houston.

The Cardinals (19-5, 6-3 Conference USA) trailed 30-17 with 7:27 to go in the half but trailed only 38-37 at halftime. Damon Jones led the Cougars (11-11, 3-7) with 28 points.

(19) Xavier 87, G. Washington 76

Lenny Brown and James Posey combined to score 12 during a 17-4 second-half run, and the Musketeers (18-4, 9-3 Atlantic 10) beat the Colonials (11-10, 5-6) at Cincinnati.

(20) Illinois 79, Michigan St. 68

Chris Gandy scored 16 points and had nine rebounds as the Illini (18-7, 8-5 Big Ten) defeated the Spartans (12-9, 5-7) at Champaign, Ill.

Baylor 77, (21) Texas Tech 76 (OT)

Doug Brandt hit a tying 3-pointer with 4 seconds left in regulation, then made four vital free throws in overtime as the Bears (16-9, 4-8 Big 12) beat the Red Raiders (15-6, 7-5) in Waco, Texas.

(25) Charleston 64, Fl. Atlantic 60

Rodney Conner scored 22 points and the Cougars extended the nation’s longest winning streak in Division I-A to 17 games, defeating the Owls at Boca Raton, Fla.

The Cougars (23-2, 14-0 TransAmerica Conference) trailed 32-28 at halftime. Charleston used a 14-1 run early in the second half to overtake the Owls (13-11, 9-5).


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