College Basketball: Top 25 roundup

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 3, 2009

Associated Press
The Top 25 roundup …
CLEMSON, S.C. ó Jerai Grant shares his family’s passion for hard work. He may soon have college basketball stardom in common with his famous relatives.
Grant, Clemson’s sophomore reserve, had a career-high 14 points and gave his team a boost in the middle in a 79-66 victory over East Carolina on Saturday that improved Clemson to 14-0 for the second time in three seasons.
Grant is the son of Harvey Grant, who spent two years at Clemson before becoming a star at Oklahoma. Harvey’s brother ó and Jerai’s uncle ó Horace stuck around the Tigers, where he became an All-American and helped the 1986-87 team to a 17-0 start.
Jerai’s team moved a step closer to that mark against the Pirates (8-5), who have lost four straight and couldn’t keep up with Clemson’s depth.
That included Grant, a 6-foot-8 forward who made all four of his field goal attempts and was 6-of-7 from the foul line. Grant also grabbed six rebounds ó five on the offensive glass ó had two blocks and gave Clemson an inside force when starting forwards Trevor Booker and Raymond Sykes were getting outplayed underneath.
“I feel good when I’m out there for a while. I don’t know, the energy and everything just flows through me,” Grant said. “That’s what I do. That’s how I get off.”
The Tigers face Alabama on Tuesday, then jump back into the ACC against North Carolina State next Saturday. They were among five Division I unbeatens left Saturday when the game ended.
“Anything’s possible. That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” K.C. Rivers said. “And right now, our cookie’s still solid.”No. 3 Pittsburgh 70, No. 11 Georgetown 54
WASHINGTON ó DeJuan Blair had 20 points and 17 rebounds, and No. 3 Pittsburgh never trailed in beating No. 11 Georgetown 70-54 on Saturday.
In a rematch of the last two Big East tournament championship games, the Panthers (14-0, 2-0) broke open a close contest with a 17-4 run midway through the second half. They dominated the Hoyas on the boards (46-21), in the paint (48-22) and with their depth (14-2 bench scoring).
DaJuan Summers scored 22 points to lead Georgetown, single-handedly keeping his team in the game in the first half. Monroe added 15 points for the Hoyas (10-2, 1-1).
Tyrell Biggs and Sam Young added 14 points apiece for the Panthers.
No. 2 Connecticut 80, Rutgers 49STORRS, Conn. ó Hasheem Thabeet led a balanced attack with 15 points and eight rebounds, and the second-ranked Huskies rebounded from their first loss this season.
Jerome Dyson added 14 points and Jeff Adrien had 13 for UConn (12-1, 1-1 Big East). Stanley Robinson, making his first start of the year, chipped in 11 points and seven boards.
It was the third consecutive loss to a highly ranked team for Rutgers (9-6, 0-2), which was beaten last Sunday by No. 1 North Carolina and lost on Wednesday to No. 3 Pittsburgh.
No. 4 Oklahoma 93, Coppin St. 62NORMAN, Okla. (AP) ó Tony Crocker hit five 3-pointers, including four to blow it open in the first half, and scored 20 points to lead the Sooners in a rout.
Blake Griffin added 14 points and 12 rebounds for his 11th double-double this season. Willie Warren had 14 points for the Sooners (13-1), Omar Leary had 11 and Ray Willis 10.
St. John’s 71, No. 7 Notre Dame 65NEW YORK ó D. J. Kennedy scored 20 points, including four free throws in the final 15 seconds, and had 10 rebounds to send St. John’s to the upset.
The Red Storm (10-4, 1-1 Big East) ended a three-game losing streak by holding Notre Dame to one of its worst 3-point shooting games of the season. The Fighting Irish went 4-for-17, including a 1-for-5 effort by long-range specialist Kyle McAlarney.
Luke Harangody had 28 points and 14 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (10-3, 1-1), who had won four straight. This was the third of the last four meetings to come down to the final minute.
No. 10 Michigan St. 77, Northwestern 66EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) ó Raymar Morgan scored 22 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds to lead the Spartans to their seventh straight win.
Kalin Lucas came on strong after a rough start, scoring all but three of his 18 points in the second half. Chris Allen scored 16 and provided the spark as the Spartans scored the first 12 points of the second half to turn a one-point deficit into an 11-point lead. That sent Michigan State (11-2, 2-0 Big Ten) to its 12th straight win over Northwestern (8-4, 0-2).
Kansas 92, No. 14 Tennessee 85LAWRENCE, Kan. ó Sherron Collins had 26 points and nine assists, and Cole Aldrich had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help the Jayhawks win their 32nd straight at Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas (10-3) built an early 16-point lead, then held off the Vols down the stretch.
Tyler Smith led the Vols (9-3) with 21 points and Wayne Chism, back after a scary fall in his last game, had 17 points and six blocks while playing with a bruised spine and elbow.
No. 21 Minnesota 68, No. 24 Ohio State 59MINNEAPOLIS ó Lawrence Westbrook led a typically balanced Minnesota offense with 15 points, and the the Gophers rebounded from their first loss.
Damian Johnson scored 12 points, and Minnesota (13-1, 1-1 Big Ten) held a 42-30 advantage on the boards over the Buckeyes (10-2, 1-1).
Missing junior guard David Lighty, Ohio State got 21 points from Evan Turner and 15 from Jon Diebler. But the Gophers held off a late charge and were in command most of the game.
No. 25 Butler 75, Valparaiso 62
VALPARAISO, Ind. ó Matt Howard scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Willie Veasley had a career-high 15 points to lead No. 25 Butler to a 75-62 victory.