College basketball highlights: Illinois outshoots Wisconsin in Madison
It was a big day of college hoops Saturday on FOX with multiple All-America candidates at their best, top-10 teams flexing their muscles and many teams building up their NCAA Tournament résumés.
Tipping things off was a Big Ten women’s basketball showdown between Nebraska and No. 10 Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, with star Caitlin Clark scoring 33 points to lead the Hawkeyes to a narrow victory.
Men’s college basketball took center stage next, as Illinois downed Wisconsin behind a career-best 26 points from Matthew Mayer, handing the Badgers just their 64th loss all-time at the Kohl Center.
Elsewhere, No. 6 Arizona dominated Washington on the road by 20-plus points and Indiana topped Ohio State at home.
Here are the top plays!
Indiana 86, Ohio State 70
Trayce Jackson-Davis had scouts oozing over his pro potential. The lengthy forward showed why with this bulldozing drive to the cup in the first half.
The Hoosiers began opening things up in the second half, courtesy of some staunch defense and a number of 3-balls. This one Trey Galloway extended their advantage to 17.
Sealing the deal
The Hoosiers went on to secure the win with stellar shooting from the field and from distance, like this smooth 3-pointer from Malik Reneau in the game’s final seconds.
No. 6 Arizona 95, Washington 72
Some freshmen are built for the big moments — some aren’t. Keyon Menifield Jr. is the former. The young man splashed in a number of baskets to tally eight points early in the first half.
Flying in for two
The Huskies got busy on both ends in the first half, and this steal-and-slam was a quintessential display of well-orchestrated basketball.
The entire first half was a hard-fought slobber-knocker at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Washington’s Langston Wilson capped it with a bang with this thunderous jam, bringing his squad within two at the close of the first half.
The Pavilion was rocking with energy to open the second half, but a Courtney Ramey trifecta downed the clamor, giving Arizona a 48-44 advantage.
Cock it back!
The Cats began pulling away as the second half wore on, employing a physical brand of power ball that was too much for Washington to handle. Case in point: This big-time slam from Oumar Ballo.
After outmatching the Huskies by just two in the first half, Arizona put up 57 big ones to Washington’s 36 in the second frame to seal the deal.
Illinois 61. Wisconsin 51
Step back Bobby Jack
Mayer is known for his sharpshooting efficiency, and he showed exactly why early on for the Fighting Illini, creating space with a crafty step back and knocking down the 3.
Mayer continued his hot stroke from downtown, burying another 3-pointer to reclaim the lead for Illinois.
The Illini led 20-16 at halftime in a game marked by defense or poor shooting, depending on how you looked at it. The Badgers shot 6-for-33 from the field in the first half (18%), while Illinois was 9-for-27 (33%).
Big time jam!
RJ Melendez took things inside on this play, and his rim-rattler kicked off a 20-11 run to push Illinois over the top.
Iowa 80, Nebraska 76
The Clark Show
Hawkeyes superstar and unanimous All-American Caitlin Clark was must-see TV.
Any space is too much space to give Clark, and when she has time to get her feet set, it’s often bad news for opposing defenses. She made the Cornhuskers’ defense pay from the corner to get Iowa on the board midway through the first.
Walk right into it!
The Hawkeyes started off slow, but it doesn’t take long for Clark to get going, and she began pouring it on in the second. This pull-up transition 3 was just a small part of her 16-point barrage in the first half, which gave the Hawkeyes a 41-30 lead at the break.
Shooters all around
Clark wasn’t the only one that could spray it for the Hawkeyes.
Gabbie Marshall showed some stellar ball movement to increase Iowa’s lead.
Clark continued her effortless shot-making display en route to 33 points. She added 12 boards and nine assists in the crucial conference win.
BEST OF THE REST:
No. 3 Houston 75, Cincinnati 69
From long range!
Cincinnati was determined to pull off the upset of the season Saturday, and this half court shot from Mika Adams-Woods kept momentum on its side to close out the first half.
Oklahoma 93, No. 2 Alabama 69
No. 2 who? Unranked Oklahoma wasn’t fazed in the slightest by Alabama’s No. 2 ranking heading into the Saturday matinee, and that showed vibrantly, as the Sooners rode a 50-point first half to a shocking 93-69 trouncing.
Grant Sherfield erupted for 30 points in the affair, while Jalen Hill posted 26 points and eight boards, plus this pair of web gems to assist in the double-digit victory at home as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
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