Xavier vs. Rhode Island
KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) — Travis Taylor grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds en route to his eighth double-double of the year as Xavier won 55-42 at Rhode Island Wednesday night.
Taylor added 13 points and Semaj Christon had 16 on 8-of-8 free-throw shooting for the Musketeers (16-10, 9-4 Atlantic 10 Conference).
Xavier trailed 33-32 with 14:44 left when Christon made two free throws to spark a 10-0, nearly 6-minute run. After allowing five quick points, the Musketeers held Rhode Island to just one free throw from the 7:49 mark until allowing a made jumper with 23 seconds remaining.
Xavier improved to 2-7 this season when scoring fewer than 60 points.
The Rams (8-17, 3-9) dropped their sixth straight and 18th of 19 in the rivalry. Xavier Munford recorded 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting, including a 3-of-12 showing from 3-point range. Rhode Island shot just 24.1 percent (13 of 54) and was 5-of-30 shooting from deep.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Willie Cauley-Stein scored 20 points, and his two crucial blocks and key rebound in the final 34 seconds helped Kentucky outlast Vanderbilt 74-70 Wednesday night for its first win without injured star center Nerlens Noel.
Cauley-Stein, a 7-foot freshman manning the post for Kentucky (18-8, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) with Noel sidelined, blocked attempts by Kyle Fuller and Kedren Johnson 9 seconds apart before grabbing Johnson’s missed 3-pointer with 17 seconds left and drawing a foul.
Cauley-Stein made 1 of 2 free throws for 74-67 lead that offset Sheldon Jeter’s 3 for Vanderbilt (10-15, 4-9) with 3 seconds remaining. Cauley-Stein finished 8 of 10 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds to provide Kentucky a sorely-needed victory after the Wildcats were shellacked 88-58 Saturday at Tennessee in their first game since Noel sustained a season-ending left knee injury at Florida on Feb. 12.
Ohio State vs. Minnesota
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Thomas overcame a slow start to score 19 points and No. 18 Ohio State used a 16-0 second-half run to beat Minnesota 71-45 on Wednesday night.
The teams came into the night in dire need of a Big Ten win. Both had lost three of their last four, and each was humiliated on the road on Sunday. The Golden Gophers (18-9, 6-8 Big Ten) were pounded at Iowa, 72-51, while Ohio State (19-7, 9-5) wasn’t a factor over the final 35 minutes in a 71-49 rout by Wisconsin.
Shannon Scott added 11 points and LaQuinton Ross 10 for the Buckeyes, who have won the last six meetings with the Golden Gophers overall and the last six in Columbus.
Andre Hollins had 11 points and Oto Osenieks 10 for Minnesota, which had a season-high 24 turnovers and shot just 29 percent from the field (14 of 48).