Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Baylor Will Play Louisville in Battle 4 Atlantis Final
(AP) — Johnathan Motley scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half to lead No. 20 Baylor to a 73-58 victory over No. 24 Michigan State on Thursday to reach the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. added 14 points and eight rebounds — nearly all in the second half — for the Bears (5-0). They sprinted out of the break with a 12-2 run and shot 55 percent in the second half.
Freshman Miles Bridges had 15 points for the Spartans (3-3). They shot 39 percent in the second half, going one of 10 on three-pointers.
In the other Battle 4 Atlantis semifinal, Donovan Mitchell made two three-pointers in the final 4 1/2 minutes to finish with 14 points and help No. 10 Louisville beat Wichita State, 62-52.
Quentin Snider also scored 14 points for the Cardinals (5-0).
Wichita State (5-1) shot just 32 precent for the game, while Louisville — which shot 37 percent — helped itself by making 17 of 23 free throws and taking a 46-33 rebounding advantage. Markis McDuffie and Shaquille Morris each scored 10 for the Shockers.
No. 8 Arizona 69, Santa Clara 61:Lauri Markkanen had 16 points and nine rebounds as the Wildcats held off the Broncos to reach the championship game of the Continental Las Vegas Invitational. Kobi Simmons added 14 points for Arizona (5-0), which will play Butler for the title on Friday.
The Wildcat’s defense in the second half smothered the Broncos, limiting them to 36 percent shooting (nine of 25) over the final 20 minutes. The Wildcats closed the game on a 10-3 spurt, and the Broncos (3-3) went scoreless over the final three minutes.
Temple 89, No. 25 Florida State: Quinton Rose scored 26 points, including two free throws with 2 seconds left, in Temple’s victory over Florida State in the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Shizz Alston Jr. added 22 points, and Obi Enechionyia had with 16 points and eight rebounds for the Owls (3-2). They will face West Virginia in the title game Friday. Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles (5-1) with 22 points.
No. 19 West Virginia 89, Illinois 57: Nathan Adrian had 13 points and eight rebounds in West Virginia’s victory over Illinois in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Jevon Carter added 10 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists for the Mountaineers (4-0). Esa Ahmad and Elijah Macon each had nine points, and Teyvon Myers and Daxter Miles Jr. added eight each.
Michael Finke led Illinois (4-2) with 13 points, and Mike Thorne Jr. had 12.
No. 11 Gonzaga 82, Quinnipiac 62: Jonathan Williams and Zach Collins led a balanced offense with 13 points apiece, helping Gonzaga pull away from Quinnipiac in the first round of the AdvoCare Invitational at Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The Bulldogs (5-0) also got 10 points each from Jordan Mathews and Josh Perkins to advance to the semifinals of the eight-team tournament against Florida. Peter Kiss paced Quinnipiac (0-3) with 18 points.
Wooden LegacyTexas A&M 95, Cal State Northridge: D.J. Hogg scored 25 points, Admon Gilder had 17 points and seven rebounds, and the Aggies cruised to a win in the tournament opener at Cal State Fullerton.
Micheal Warren had 19 points and Tavrion Dawson scored 14 for the Northridge (2-3), which has dropped its three games against Power Five conference teams by an average of 21.3 points, including a 102-87 defeat at UCLA last week.
The Aggies (3-1), who lost to USC last week, used a 27-4 run over the final 7 minutes 31 seconds of the first half to separate from the Matadors, who were scoreless for the final 4:28 and didn’t make a field goal in the final 9:12.
Virginia Tech 92, New Mexico 72: Justin Robinson had 22 points and eight assists, and Ahmed Hill scored 18 for the Hokies (4-0).
Chris Clarke had eight points, nine rebounds and four assists as Virginia Tech capitalized on timely three-point shooting and an edge on the glass. The Hokies outrebounded the Lobos, 35-31.
Tim Williams had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Elijah Brown scored 16 for the Lobos (3-1), who are 6-17 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.
Nebraska 80, Dayton 78:Glynn Watson Jr. hit two free throws with 8.8 seconds remaining to give the Cornhuskers a 79-78 lead, and they held on to improve to 4-0 for the second time under fifth-year Coach Tim Miles.
Watson finished with 20 points and Ed Morrow Jr. had 19 points and 10 rebounds, helping Nebraska notch a victory over a team that has made the NCAA tournament in each of the last three seasons.
The Flyers (2-2) took their only lead of the game on Scoochie Smith’s layup with 16 seconds remaining, but Watson drove to the basket and drew contact. A free throw by Morrow with two seconds left provided the final point in a game Nebraska led by as many as 14.
Photo: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.