No. 7 Florida tops Georgia, sets home-winning mark
the associated press | January 15,2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Michael Frazier II scored a career-high 21 points and No. 7 Florida handled Georgia 72-50 on Tuesday night, setting a school record for consecutive home wins. The undermanned Gators won their 25th straight at the O’Connell Center, topping the previous mark set between March 2006 and November 2007. Two-time national champions Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford and Joakim Noah did most of the heavy lifting in that streak.
This group, which has four seniors who have lost in three straight regional finals, barely acknowledged their achievement. They have loftier goals. And if Frazier continues to play like he did against the Bulldogs, Florida (14-2, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) certainly could improve its chances of making a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Frazier made 7 of 16 shots, including 5 of 12 from 3-point range. Marcus Thornton led Georgia (8-7, 2-1) with 11 points and seven rebounds.
No. 3 Wisconsin 75-72
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 25 points Tuesday night, leading Indiana to a stunning 75-72 upset over previously unbeaten Wisconsin.
The third-ranked Badgers (16-1, 3-1 Big Ten) were trying to become the first team ever to win 13 straight games over the Hoosiers (12-5, 2-2).
Wisconsin started the night as one of Division I’s four remaining unbeaten teams and it looked like it would stay that way when the Badgers took a 10-point lead with 13:27 to play. But the Hoosiers, playing their best game of the season, answered with 12 straight points to take a 54-52 lead with 9 minutes left.
Indiana led 70-65 with 2:03 remaining but still had to fend off Wisconsin’s late challenge. Ferrell made two free throws with 18.3 seconds left to give Indiana the three-point lead and both of Wisconsin’s potentially tying 3-pointers came up short.
Traevon Jackson led the Badgers with a career-high 21 points.
The hometown fans stormed the court after Indiana won its second straight and prevented Wisconsin from tying another dubious record by winning its sixth in a row in Bloomington. Instead, some of the young Hoosiers came up big.
While senior Will Sheehey scored 13 points, freshman Stanford Robinson added a career-high 13. And another freshman, Noah Vonleh had 10 points, five rebounds and two 3s.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, did not play its usual brand of mistake-free basketball. It turned the ball over 10 times, went just 1 of 4 from the free throw line and couldn’t quite catch the Hoosiers late.
Jackson did everything he could to rally the Badgers after spending the final 8 minutes of the first half on the bench in foul trouble.
He opened the second half by scoring Wisconsin’s first nine points, helping the Badgers take a 52-42 lead with 13:27 to go. But Ferrell, Sheehey and Robinson helped the Hoosiers storm back.Gordon started Indiana’s big run with a 17-footer.
Sheehey and Robinson followed with consecutive layups and when Vonleh posted up for a short jumper in the paint with 9 minutes left, the Hoosiers led 54-52.
Indiana went up 70-65 on Ferrell’s 18-footer with 2:03 to play.
After Wisconsin cut the led to 73-72 on Frank Kaminsky’s putback with 28.5 seconds left, Ferrell hit two free throws and the Badgers missed the two 3-point attempts.
No. 1 UConn ends Baylor’s home streak
WACO, Texas — Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma was as anxious as anyone to see how his top-ranked Huskies would handle a close game.
They responded in another streak-busting performance.
Breanna Stewart made a short baseline jumper with 10½ minutes left, starting a game-ending 16-6 run after No. 7 Baylor had closed within one point, and the Huskies went on to a 66-55 victory Monday night to snap the Lady Bears’ national-best 69-game home winning streak.
“There were certain possession that we had to win those possessions, and we did,” Auriemma said. “Even though we were up the whole time, it never seemed liked it was going to get away from them. ... We were timely.”
Stewart had 18 points and 11 rebounds in a matchup of the last two national champions. Defending champ UConn (18-0) won its closest game this season, having beaten their first five ranked opponents by an average margin of 22 points, with the closest being 17 points.
“I think it builds our confidence a lot. It was a tough game, and we really had to grind it out at times, and you want to be able to respond well when things aren’t going your way, and we did that,” said Bria Hartley, who finished with 17 points. “I think that’s a step in the right direction for us.”
Baylor (14-2) hadn’t lost at home since a 70-54 defeat to Texas in its regular-season home finale March 7, 2010. Senior starters Odyssey Sims, the national scoring leader, and Makenzie Robertson, the daughter of coach Kim Mulkey, had never lost a game in the Ferrell Center.
The Huskies have two of the five longest home winning streaks in women’s basketball, their record of 99 snapped two years ago and an earlier 69-game streak.
They have ended the other three, previously ending Stanford’s 82-game streak last season and winning at Tennessee after the Lady Volunteers had been the first team to win 69 straight at home 18 years ago.
Moriah Jefferson had 13 points and Stefanie Dolson 10 for UConn, which has won 24 in a row overall. That matches the sixth-longest winning streak in school history, and is their second 24-game winning streak since their record 90 in a row ended in December 2010.
Sims, who entered the contest with 31.8 points per game, finished with 20 points on only 4-of-25 shooting. She made all 10 of her free throws, none after halftime. She didn’t score for the final 10:53 of the game.
“I don’t think they’re worried about (their first home loss). I just think they’re competitors, and you hate losing. It’s not about a streak. You’ll re-live the game,” Mulkey said of the two senior starters. “Odyssey will relive the game and think, `Wow, if I would have given us a little bit more, we might have won.’ Or Makenzie thinks, if I would have made a couple more free throws. That’s what competitors do. But they certainly are not worried about a streak.”
Freshman Nina Davis had 11 points and 17 rebounds for Baylor. Robertson had 10 points including three 3-pointers.
It is the fifth season in a row the two national powers have met, this game featuring the two winningest active coaches by percentage and four of the six college players named earlier Monday to the U.S. women’s basketball national team pool — Sims and UConn teammates Stewart, Dolson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who were all recognized before the game. Three were preseason AP All-Americans (Sims, Stewart and Mosqueda-Lewis)
UConn won the first two meetings, 70-50 in the 2010 Final Four, and by one point at home early the following season. Baylor as the No. 1 team for the last two games, winning in Waco two years ago and at UConn last season.
After trailing 36-27 at halftime, Baylor cut the gap to 45-42 with just under 14½ minutes left when Niya Johnson scored on a layup after a bounce pass from Sims.
Auriemma called timeout, but when play resumed Johnson stole the ball from Stewart before Robertson missed a layup. Jefferson then hit a 3-pointer for the Huskies.
Sims hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 10:54 left, her last points of the game, to get the Lady Bears within 50-49 — though they never got even or went ahead after that.
Jefferson is the only UConn player from Texas (Glenn Heights in the Dallas area). She had a breakaway layup and a 3-pointer for the first five Huskies points of the game. She then had a steal and stumbled but kept her balance long enough to scoop a pass to Hartley for a layup that made it 10-7.