After almost handing the game to Northwestern, thus almost ruining its fantastic start to the season, Penn State realizes that now is not the time to act like Big Ten big shots.
“Mentally, I’m not sure we came ready to play and that’s my fault,” said coach Jerry Dunn, whose 20th-ranked Nittany Lions still managed to win 83-74 in overtime Saturday at Evanston, Ill., and run the longest Division I winning streak to 14 games. “Sometimes when you win, you have a tendency to think you’re better than you really are.”
Glenn Sekunda bailed out Penn State (13-0, 4-0 Big Ten) by scoring nine of his career-high 30 points in overtime. The Nittany Lions, off to the best start in their 100-year basketball history, went into the day as one of only four undefeated teams.
“It was disappointing, because we didn’t finish the game in the second half. We went into a lull,” Sekunda said. “If this was Michigan or another top-20 team, we might not have come away with a win. We have to play much, much better.”
Traditional power Michigan is next up for Penn State, which has built its perfect Big Ten mark on have-nots Northwestern (5-7, 0-3), Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Nittany Lions, whose winning streak dates to a victory over Canisius in last season’s NIT consolation game, hope to have top scorer Pete Lisicky back. Lisicky missed Saturday’s game with a strained Achilles tendon.
(2) Kentucky 61, Tennessee 44
At Lexington, Ky., Wayne Turner scored five points during a 15-1 run in the first half that carried the Wildcats to their 12th straight victory.
Tennessee (7-6, 1-3 SEC) turned the ball over a season-high 29 times, which Kentucky (13-1, 4-0) converted into 35 points. The Vols also shot just 30 percent (13 of 43) from the field in losing its third straight game.
Steve Hamer, Tennessee’s 7-foot center, faced double- and triple-teaming every time he touched the ball down low and finished with nine points on 3-of-15 shooting.
(4) Cincinnati 91, Marquette 70
At Cincinnati, Darnell Burton and Danny Fortson led six double-figure scorers as the Bearcats beat Marquette in a Conference USA.
Thirty personal fouls were called in the first half, including 17 on Cincinnati, and there were four technical fouls, two on Long.
(5) Georgetown 72, Miami 67
At Landover, Md., Allen Iverson set a Big East single-game record with 10 steals and scored 29 points as the Hoyas held off a late Hurricane rally.
Iverson had six 3-pointers, but it was Jerry Nichols’ 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining that helped seal the victory after Miami nearly overcame a 17-point deficit.
The Hoyas, who had a 10-game winning streak snapped at Pitt Wednesday, improved to 14-2 and 4-1 in the Big East.
(6) Connecticut 83, Providence 74
At Providence, R.I., Ray Allen scored 23 points and Kirk King added 20 on 10-for-10 shooting as the Huskies defeated the Friars.
The Huskies (14-1, 6-0 Big East), who won for the 13th straight time, saw Providence (8-6, 1-5) get within 59-55 with 8:48 remaining then went on a 16-2 run to seal the game. Allen scored eight points during the decisive stretch, including a thundering overhead dunk on a fast break.
(7) Villanova 69, West Virginia 67
At Morgantown, W.Va., a wide-open Chuck Kornegay dunked with 2 seconds remaining and the Wildcats overcame a 13-point deficit and a sloppy first half to beat the Mountaineers (5-7, 0-5 Big East).
Villanova played most of the game without Kerry Kittles, who was pulled a minute into the game because of a groin injury sustained in practice this week. The Wildcats (13-2, 5-1) led 67-64 with 36 seconds remaining when Howard Brown fouled West Virginia’s Greg Simpson as he took a shot from the top of the 3-point line. Simpson hit three free throws to tie the game at 67.
(8) Wake Forest 77, Maryland 64
At Winston-Salem, N.C., Rusty LaRue’s perfect first-half shooting and Tim Duncan’s first career triple-double led the Demon Deacons to a win over the Terrapins.
LaRue hit his first six shots, including four from 3-point range, as the Demon Deacons (10-1, 3-0 ACC) built a 21-point advantage in the first half. LaRue ended up making 7 of 10 from the field - 5 of 7 3-pointers - and finished with 19 points as Wake Forest won its 13th consecutive league game.
The Demon Deacons extend their winning streak to seven.
Maryland (6-6, 0-3) is off to its worst start in the league since 1992-93, when the Terrapins lost their first four ACC games and 14 of 16.
Wisconsin 80, (11) Iowa 71
At Madison, Wis., freshman Sam Okey scored 23 points to lead the Badgers to a win over the Hawkeyes.
A 17-foot jumper by Mosezell Peterson put Wisconsin (10-6, 2-2 Big Ten) ahead to stay at 70-68 as the Badgers outscored Iowa 12-3 over the final 2 minutes. Hennssy Auriantal scored six of his 14 points in the closing run.
Iowa (13-3, 2-2) had five scorers in double figures, led by Jess Settles with 15 points.
Alabama 56, (12) Mississippi St. 55
At Starkville, Miss., Eric Washington’s 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds remaining gave the Crimson Tide a win over the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State (10-3, 2-2 SEC), which blew a 10-point second half lead, led 55-53 after Marcus Bullard hit a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left.
But Alabama (9-3, 3-1) worked the ball to the left wing for Washington, who finished with 19 points.
Mississippi State has lost three straight home games for the first time since February 1990.
(13) Utah 82, Hawaii 46
At Honolulu, Keith Van Horn scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half as the Utes (11-3, 3-1 Western Athletic Conference) charged to an early double-digit lead and coasted to a victory over the Rainbows (4-9, 1-4).
The Utes got off to a 9-0 lead 3-1/2 minutes into the game, with Van Horn scoring five points. A 3-pointer by Ben Caton 1:30 later provided a double-digit lead that Utah maintained the rest of the way.
(15) Virginia Tech 71, La Salle 55
At Radford, Va., reserve Troy Manns scored 15 of the Hokies’ final 19 points and Travis Jackson had 15 points as Virginia Tech downed the Explorers.
Virginia Tech (9-1, 2-0 Atlantic 10) won its sixth straight by making 50 percent of its field goals, dominating the boards and getting 24 points from its reserves compared to four for La Salle (3-10, 0-2).
Auburn 89, (19) Georgia 86
At Auburn, Ala., Franklin Williams led the way with 18 points, and the Tigers made their free throws at the end to withstand a late rally by the Bulldogs.
Auburn (14-3, 2-2 SEC) made 9 of 10 free throws in the final 5 minutes.
Georgia (10-3, 1-2) is off to its best start in years under new coach Tubby Smith, but it was the Bulldogs’ second straight loss after a 10-1 start.
Indiana 85, (21) Illinois 71
At Champaign, Ill., Andrae Patterson scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Hoosiers beat the slumping Fighting Illini (11-5, 0-4 Big Ten).
Indiana (10-6, 3-1) built a 64-54 lead with a 14-5 run capped by two free throws from Charlie Miller.
(22) Purdue 76, Minnesota 62
At Minneapolis, Chad Austin scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Boilermakers to their victory over the Golden Gophers, ending a week in which Purdue coach Gene Keady’s father died and his stepdaughter suffered a critical head injury.
The Boilermakers (13-2, 3-0 Big Ten) won their ninth straight game and their 11th straight Big Ten contest dating to last season. The Golden Gophers (9-7, 1-3) were blown out for the third game in a row and lost for the first time this season at Williams Arena before a season-high crowd of 14,322.
Keady’s stepdaughter, Lisa Sands, has been in a coma since falling in her New Jersey home on Wednesday. Keady’s father Lloyd died Friday after a long illness. Keady, who never has missed a game during his 16 seasons at Purdue, will travel to California for his father’s funeral on Monday before returning to coach the Boilermakers at home against Indiana on Tuesday.
(23) Michigan 76, Michigan St. 54
At East Lansing, Mich., Maurice Taylor scored 16 points and the Wolverines held the Spartans to 32 percent shooting as Michigan handed Michigan State its first Big Ten loss.
Michigan (13-4, 3-1 Big Ten) outrebounded the Spartans 42-30, including a 29-16 edge on the defensive end. Michigan State (8-7, 2-1) was foiled in a bid for its first 3-0 conference start since 1990 and had its winning streak snapped at three games.
Wyoming 61, (25) New Mexico 58
At Laramie, Wyo., Sly Johnson and LaDrell Whitehead combined for 37 points, including Wyoming’s final eight, to lead the Cowboys in an upset over the Lobos.
Wyoming (7-7, 1-3 WAC) led for most of the game until freshman sensation Kenny Thomas hit a turnaround with 6:30 left to put New Mexico (13-2, 3-2) ahead 51-50.
But two inside shots by the 5-foot-8 Whitehead and one by Johnson lifted the Cowboys into a 59-56 lead with 1:43 left.
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