Fuller fuels Vandy rally in OT win over Xavier

MARK SCHMETZER Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Xavier had no answer for Kyle Fuller at crunch time.

The Vanderbilt junior guard scored all of the Commodores' 12 overtime points on his way to a career-high 25 points as they outlasted Xavier for a 66-64 win on Thursday night.

"It was a huge win for us," said Fuller, who scored 20 points in the second half to lead Vanderbilt back from a 13-point deficit. "We've been struggling. We're a young team and we have to learn how to win. It is a growing point for us."

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings had mixed feelings about Fuller's overtime effort.

"I didn't realize that," Stallings said about Fuller's solo act. "That's awesome for him and almost embarrassing for the rest of us. Good for Kyle. He made some huge plays."

Fuller gave Vanderbilt (3-4) the lead for good at 61-60 on a leaner with 1:26 left in the game. He was fouled and missed the free throw, but he followed up by being fouled while scoring on a driving layup and making the free throw for a 64-60 lead with 1:10 left. His two free throws with 14.9 seconds left were the difference.

Sophomore guard Kedren Johnson scored 19 points and freshman guard Kevin Bright added 11 with 10 rebounds for Vanderbilt, which had lost four of its last five games and all six of its previous games against Xavier. The Musketeers knew the Commodores' strength was in their backcourt, coach Chris Mack said.

"They had a good game plan," Mack said. "Their guards were as good as we thought."

The Commodores won despite making just 13 of 25 free throws.

"I'm almost glad we missed them, because that meant we had to continue to make plays and get stops," Stallings said. "We were very lucky to win missing all those free throws."

Travis Taylor scored 15 points to lead four Musketeers in double figures. Justin Martin added 13 and Stephon Christon finished with 12 for Xavier (6-2), which suffered its first loss in four home games. Xavier was almost as bad as Vanderbilt on free throws, making just 9 of 17, which was just one of the Musketeers' problems, Mack said.

"It was a very frustrating game," he said. "We opened up a 13-point lead in the second half and we weren't able to get stops or score for an eternity, it seemed."

Isaiah Philmore, a Towson transfer making his first career start for Xavier, had a double-double and set season highs with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker and coach Billy Hatcher were among the near-sellout crowd of 10,011 at 10,250-seat Cintas Center. Baker and Hatcher were sitting in the first row behind the scorer's table.

Martin scored 10 points and Xavier shot 53.8 percent from the field (14 of 26) while leading by as many as eight points in the first half before settling for a 33-27 halftime lead.

Johnson, who went into the game leading the Commodores with an average of 16.7 points, scored 12 in the half and had four steals to help keep Vanderbilt in the game.

Taylor scored the first seven points of the second half to give Xavier a 40-27 lead. The Commodores committed two turnovers and missed their first three shots from the field before Johnson connected on a 3-pointer with 15:50 left in the game.

"I was proud of our team," Stallings said. "We haven't been playing very good, and when we were down 13, we could've hung our heads between our legs and gone home, but we didn't."

No. 4 SYRACUSE 84, LONG BEACH STATE 53

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- C.J. Fair had 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, Michael Carter-Williams added 15 points and 10 assists, and No. 4 Syracuse beat Long Beach State 84-53 on Thursday night.

Syracuse (7-0) upped its home winning streak to 27 games, tops in the nation, and has won 49 consecutive regular-season nonconference games. Long Beach State (3-5) had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Brandon Triche had 11 points and five assists, Trevor Cooney matched his career high with 11 points, and Rakeem Christmas had a career-high 11 points for the Orange.

Dan Jennings had a career-high 20 points and Peter Pappageorge added 11 for Long Beach State. James Ennis, the 49ers' leading scorer and rebounder, had 10 points and seven boards.

Long Beach State dropped to 0-3 against ranked teams having lost to North Carolina (78-63) and Arizona (94-72).

No. 11 CINCINNATI 87, ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK 53

CINCINNATI -- Sean Kilpatrick scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half, and Cincinnati set a school record with 23 steals.

The Bearcats (8-0) started with eight straight wins for the 15th time in school history and the second time in three seasons.

Cincinnati was coming off attention-getting wins over Iowa State and Oregon followed by a 58-56 victory over Alabama on Cashmere Wright's fadeaway at the buzzer on Saturday.

The Bearcats quickly wore down the Trojans (7-4), who had a season-high 32 turnovers, 18 in the opening half. Cincinnati's steals topped the previous school record by three.

Cheikh Mbodj had 12 points and seven rebounds for Cincinnati, which finished with four players in double figures. Shaquille Thomas had the record-setting 21st steal and a dunk with 6:11 to go.

Will Neighbour, Ben Dillard and James White scored 10 apiece for Arkansas-Little Rock.

No. 16 CREIGHTON 64, NEBRASKA 42

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Doug McDermott scored 27 points and Gregory Echenique had 12 points and 12 rebounds, for Creighton.

The Bluejays (8-1) won in Lincoln for the first time since 2004.

Dylan Talley scored 14 points and Brandon Ubel had eight points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cornhuskers (6-2).

Grant Gibbs had 10 assists for Creighton.

Creighton and Nebraska were meeting for the 46th time, and the home team had won the last seven games. The Huskers lead the series 25-21.

The crowd of 13,368 was the first sellout at the Devaney Center since the 2011 game against Kansas and first for a nonconference game since Creighton visited in 2006.

No. 17 SAN DIEGO ST. 84, UC SANTA BARBARA 70

SAN DIEGO -- Chase Tapley scored 23 points, going 6 of 8 from behind the 3-point line, to lead five San Diego State players in double figures in the Aztecs' seventh straight win.

Jamaal Franklin added 14 points, JJ O'Brien 12, Xavier Thames 11 and James Rahon 10 for the Aztecs (7-1), who join the Big West next season. It was their eighth straight victory over the Gauchos (3-5).

The Aztecs made 11 of 17 3-pointers, a season-high 64.7 percent.

UCSB's Kyle Boswell made 7 of 10 3-pointers for a career-high 23 points. Alan Williams had 18 and Taran Brown 16 before they each fouled out late in the game.

The Aztecs have won 27 straight games against teams from California.

OHIO COLLEGES

YOUNGSTOWN ST. 93, GENEVA 50

YOUNGSTOWN -- Bobby Hain set career highs with 16 points and 11 rebounds as Youngstown State bowled over winless Division III Geneva 93-50 on Thursday night.

Hain, a freshman, played a season-high 23 minutes in the blowout. Kendrick Perry pitched in 11 points and a team-high eight assists for the Penguins (5-4), while Blake Allen had 15 points, five assists, three steals and three 3-pointers. Allen entered averaging 2.8 treys per contest, best in the Horizon League.

Zac Rorick led the Golden Tornadoes (0-7) with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.

Youngstown State shot 50.7 percent (38 of 75) from the field and put up 21 more shots than Geneva, which made just 37 percent (20 of 54) from the floor. The Golden Tornadoes went to the foul line just twice -- they made both -- while the Penguins hit 10 of 15 free throws.

OTHERS

OAKLAND 88, ROCHESTER 77

ROCHESTER, Mich. -- Travis Bader scored 32 points on 9-of-12 shooting including six 3-pointers and the final score didn't show how much Oakland dominated this game, defeating Rochester 88-77 on Thursday night.

Oakland (3-6) took a 43-25 lead at halftime and started the second half with an 11-4 run capped by Corey Petros' lay-up at the 17:51 mark to give the Golden Grizzlies a 54-29 lead. Oakland's largest lead came with 9:56 remaining when Bader hit three free throws in a row to give his team a 28-point advantage, 71-43.

Petros scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds while Oakland teammate Matt Poches scored 17 points and had three assists.

The Golden Grizzlies were 25 of 38 from the free-throw line and forced Rochester (11-5) to turn the ball over 20 times.

Drew Maynard recorded a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds, Dramell Hogan had 19 and Stavros Schizas chipped in with 16.

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