Champion Wildcats can’t handle Curry, Blue Devils
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA — Seth Curry scored 23 points and No. 9 Duke held off a furious comeback by No. 3 Kentucky, beating the defending national champions 75-68 Tuesday night in the first matchup between the storied programs since 2001.
Duke (1-1) appeared to be in control, even with Mason Plumlee on the bench in foul trouble. The Blue Devils ripped off a 13-3 run, capped by Rasheed Sulaimon’s 3-pointer that made it 58-44 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining.
But Kentucky (1-1) wasn’t done, rallying like the defending champ even though this is essentially a whole new team. The Wildcats outscored Duke 17-6 over the next six minutes and actually had a chance to tie it.
Julius Mays missed a 3-pointer with the Blue Devils clinging to a 64-61 lead.
Curry made sure youthful Kentucky didn’t get any closer. He schooled freshman guard Archie Goodwin on a drive that essentially clinched the win.
NO. 5 MICHIGAN 77 CLEVELAND STATE 47
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points and six rebounds, and Michigan advanced to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off with a victory over Cleveland State.
It was the third straight victory by at least 30 points for the Wolverines (3-0), who shot 51 percent against a Cleveland State (2-1) team coming off an overtime win the day before.
Nik Stauskas scored 15 points, and Trey Burke added 12 points and seven assists for Michigan, which broke off a 29-5 run to finish the first half for a 42-14 lead at the break.
Anton Grady led the Vikings with 15 points.
NO. 21 MICHIGAN ST. 67 NO. 7 KANSAS 64
ATLANTA — Keith Appling scored 19 points, including a brilliant drive with 13.5 seconds left, and Michigan State rebounded from a season-opening loss with an upset of Kansas.
The Jayhawks (1-1) led 59-54 with 5 minutes remaining, but Michigan State (1-1) rallied.
Freshman Gary Harris scored 18 points.
Elijah Johnson led Kansas with 16 points.
Kansas center Jeff Withey, who played so well in last season’s NCAA tournament, wasn’t much of a factor. He was held to eight points and seven rebounds, along with four turnovers.
NO. 14 MISSOURI 91, ALCORN 54
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Phil Pressey scored 21 points and Laurence Bowers added 14 — all in the second half — to help Missouri rout Alcorn State.
After a rough first half, the Tigers (2-0) pulled away from the Braves. Missouri made just nine of its 39 attempts before the break and held a seven-point halftime advantage thanks to Pressey’s deep 3-pointer with three seconds left.
Bowers hit three 3-pointers in the second half to help Missouri take command. The Tigers used an 18-3 run after the half to blow the game open.
LeAntwan Luckett scored 14 points and Anthony Nieves added 13 for Alcorn State (1-1).
NO. 23 CONNECTICUT 67
STORRS, Conn. — Shabazz Napier scored 13 points and freshman Omar Calhoun added 12 to lead Connecticut over Vermont.
Holy Cross transfer R.J. Evans added 11 points and Tyler Olander had nine points and nine rebounds for UConn (2-0), which was playing its home opener after returning from Germany and an upset win over Michigan State last Friday in the Armed Forces Classic.
Luke Apfeld led Vermont (1-1) with nine points.
UConn’s smothering defense made the difference in this one. The Huskies held Vermont to 30 percent shooting and just 15 baskets after limiting the Spartans to 37.5 percent on Friday.
NO. 24 CINCINNATI 102
CINCINNATI — Sean Kilpatrick scored 20 points and Cheikh Mbodj had four of Cincinnati’s seven blocks to help lead the Bearcats over Mississippi Valley State.
The Bearcats (2-0) took control with a 23-4 run in the first half that featured a pair of 3-pointers by Cashmere Wright. The point guard had all of his 11 points in the take-control half.
JaQuon Parker added 13 points for the Bearcats, who shot 53.7 percent and dominated the boards 51-25. Cincinnati had its highest point total since a 105-69 win over North Carolina A&T on Dec. 30, 2005, under interim coach Andy Kennedy.
Davon Usher and Darryl Marshall scored 13 points apiece for MVSU (0-2).
NO. 25 SAN DIEGO ST. 91
SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN 57
SAN DIEGO — Jamaal Franklin had 28 points and 12 rebounds as San Diego State bounced back from a loss to Syracuse with a win over San Diego Christian of the NAIA.
The game had been scheduled for Sunday night, but was pushed back when SDSU’s season-opening game against Syracuse on the USS Midway aircraft carrier was postponed from Friday night to Sunday afternoon because of the threat of rain. Syracuse won 62-49.
Chase Tapley scored 18 for SDSU (1-1).
Kevin Dawson scored 15 points and Kwaminique Brandon had 14 for San Diego Christian, which is located in suburban El Cajon.
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