[ {"id":"e499439f-e4a8-5e9c-ba97-5d93fbf913aa","type":"article","starttime":"1481352283","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-10T00:44:43-06:00","lastupdated":"1481357082","priority":0,"sections":[{"basketball":"sports/basketball"},{"college":"sports/basketball/college"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Jammin' Justin: 7-footer a game-changer for No. 10 Creighton","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/article_e499439f-e4a8-5e9c-ba97-5d93fbf913aa.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/jammin-justin--footer-a-game-changer-for-no-creighton/article_e499439f-e4a8-5e9c-ba97-5d93fbf913aa.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/sports/jammin-justin--footer-a-game-changer-for-no-creighton/article_768f9556-3821-5401-813a-b068bf746a6d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":4,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By ERIC OLSON\nAP Sports Writer","prologue":"OMAHA, Neb. (AP) \u2014 Justin Patton loves to dunk. 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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) \u2014 Justin Patton loves to dunk. He did it 21 times in Creighton's first eight games and wishes it could have been more, and not just because all those throw-downs propped up his field-goal shooting to 80 percent, second in the nation.

It's because Patton aims to please his teammates and fans of the 10th-ranked Bluejays .

\"Getting everybody else hyped, seeing everyone's energy once you do it,\" Patton said, explaining his motivation. \"It's demoralizing to the defense when they defend 25 seconds and then at the end I send a hammer and the crowd goes wild. It's fun to see the hurt on the defense and the excitement on our end.\"

The homegrown 7-footer, the Big East freshman of the week the last two weeks, has brought plenty of buzz to what already was one of the top offensive teams in college hoops. It's not just the dunks. He possesses a variety of post moves and can shoot the mid-range jumper and occasional 3-pointer. He rebounds, blocks shots, changes shots and makes steals. There might not be a man his size who runs the floor better.

And to think, Patton drew no recruiting notice until the summer before his senior year in high school. Now NBA teams are calling Creighton's basketball office about him.

\"I had said at one time, I don't think he's going to be here four years, and I think that's more clear than ever,\" coach Greg McDermott said. \"But we're going to enjoy him while we have him.\"

Patton said he's flattered McDermott expects him to turn pro sooner than later, but he's in no hurry.

\"I know the only way I can be successful is to value my time here and maximize all my potential here at the college level,\" Patton said, pausing as his ever-present smile grew bigger. \"If that means getting the Wooden Award my senior year, that's what I'll do.\"

In Patton, Creighton saw potential where others apparently didn't. Patton's high school numbers his junior season wowed no one, and he didn't appear on any list of top recruits.

\"Crickets,\" said Bob Franzese, Patton's Amateur Athletic Union coach.

Creighton had kept tabs on Patton since early in his high school career and saw a player with a high ceiling, assistant coach Darian DeVries said. Patton was just 6-2 when he enrolled at Omaha North High. His growth spurt hit between his freshman and junior years, and he had difficulty playing long stretches while adjusting to his rapidly changing body.

By April of his junior year, he usually was the best big man on the floor during his AAU games.

\"He did two or things a game that were like, 'Wow,'\" DeVries said. \"If he starts to put that together, he has a chance to be something really special just with his size and ability to run.\"

The Bluejays were the only school to offer Patton a scholarship. He accepted on the spot. Shortly after he announced his pledge, Franzese was inundated with calls from recruiters wanting to know if Patton was a soft or solid commit. It was a silly question.

\"Creighton was my dream school,\" said Patton, whose family lives 10 minutes from campus.

Patton grew up attending Bluejays games, slapping hands with players as they ran onto the court from the locker room and then watching from the cheap seats in the upper balcony.

\"Now I'm here,\" he said, \"one of the players I used to look at.\"

Patton weighed just 204 pounds when he arrived. He was 227 at the start of this week and would like to top out at 245. He's on a 6,000-calorie-a-day diet, not counting the 1,300-calorie protein shake he drinks on days he lifts weights.

Patton also made big gains on the basketball court during his redshirt year. DeVries said Patton was tireless at practice, but Patton said it was hard not to play in games. He said he would go to the campus recreation center after practice and play pickup games with regular students until midnight.

McDermott, if he knew, surely wouldn't have approved of Patton's extra basketball activity, especially if he had gotten hurt.

\"Good thing I didn't,\" he said.

Point guard Maurice Watson expects Patton's game to flow seamlessly into Big East play .

\"He's ready, mentally strong,\" Watson said. \"He's getting stronger every day physically, and he's getting smarter about how to use the strength he has. That's the best thing, his IQ.\"

But it's the simplest thing \u2014 the dunk \u2014 that drives Patton. He knows no Creighton player has had more than 36 dunks in a season since the school began tracking them seven years ago. And he knows Doug McDermott, the national player of the year as a senior for the Bluejays in 2014, had 19 in his entire career.

\"I'm going to double that this year,\" he said. \"Probably even triple it.\"

___

More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) \u2014 Richard Pitino called his team's 37-point win over Georgia Southern a \"major step forward,\" but not because of the point total. It was more how his players shared the ball against their overmatched nonconference opponents.

Dupree McBrayer scored 18 points and Akeem Springs added 16 off the bench to lead the Gophers over Georgia Southern 86-49 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Minnesota (9-1) had 23 assists and 12 3-pointers \u2014 both season highs, and Pitino said his players were passing up good shots for great ones. And with three more games before the Big Ten portion of Minnesota's schedule starts, the Gophers got back on track after barely surviving against New Jersey Institute of Technology earlier in the week.

\"He sat us down and told us we need to improve,\" Nate Mason said of the NJIT scare. Mason finished with 14 points and nine assists. \"Obviously we disrespected each other, not even him, but just each other. Didn't go out there and play for each other as hard as we possibly could. So we sat the guys down had a team meeting and said, 'We've got to come in and work the next day.'\"

Minnesota used an early second-half run to put the Eagles away after letting them hang around earlier. The Gophers built an 18-point lead midway through the first half before failing to score a field goal in the final five minutes of the half.

But they took advantage of their speed and size to start the second, scoring 12 of their first 16 points of the half on dunks and fast breaks.

\"I keep telling the guys: defend, rebound and run,\" Pitino said. \"That's always kind of been my mentality with these guys. They did it, and I think the sharing of the ball, you could tell it was contagious.\"

The Eagles (4-5), who've still never beaten a Big Ten team in school history, couldn't recover and lost their second straight after winning three in a row.

\"I'm embarrassed,\" Eagles coach Mark Byington said. \"We have some prideful guys in the locker room too, and they're embarrassed too. That's not what we're all about and we didn't show up tonight.\"

Ike Smith led Georgia Southern with 12 points and Jake Allsmiller added 11.

Springs went 4 for 8 from 3-point range for Minnesota. He keyed an early 14-5 run with 11 points in three minutes to stretch Minnesota's first-half lead to 34-16. The Gophers slowed down after that, though, and didn't have a field goal in the final 5:09 of the first. The Eagles outscored Minnesota 16-11 to end the first and trailed 45-32 at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia Southern: Playing against Minnesota's bigger and stronger players, the Eagles got only 16 combined points from backcourt duo Smith and Tookie Brown, who entered the game averaging nearly 36 points between them.

Minnesota: The Gophers regained some momentum after narrowly surviving by six points against NJIT on Tuesday.

ROAD WORRIES

Georgia Southern has three more road games in a brutal stretch to start the season, in which the Eagles play two of their first 12 games on their home court. \"Right now, we just lack some things,\" Byington said. \"It's on me. It's bad preparation. It's bad scheduling. The one thing we've got to do, as I've told the guys, the only thing they've got to worry about, is sticking together.\"

HURTING FOR MINUTES

Michael Hurt finished with seven points in six minutes, including his first-ever 3-pointer. Pitino praised the freshman's work ethic. \"They think if you work hard you're supposed to play, that's not always the case. My goal is to win the game, that's it. When you're able to reward guys like that to play, it's really good.\"

UP NEXT

Georgia Southern: Gets a rematch on Tuesday at Florida Gulf Coast, the team that snapped the Eagles' three-game winning streak 85-82 last weekend.

Minnesota: Continues its nonconference schedule when the Gophers host another 4-4 team, Northern Illinois, on Sunday.

"}, {"id":"15585fab-c0bf-548a-abe4-bac1784d4d45","type":"article","starttime":"1481346629","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T23:10:29-06:00","lastupdated":"1481348881","priority":0,"sections":[{"college":"sports/basketball/college"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"UC Irvine cruises past Pomona-Pitzer 80-53","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/article_15585fab-c0bf-548a-abe4-bac1784d4d45.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/uc-irvine-cruises-past-pomona-pitzer/article_15585fab-c0bf-548a-abe4-bac1784d4d45.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/sports/uc-irvine-cruises-past-pomona-pitzer/article_f6ba60e2-b04b-5cbf-9110-e588f3a180c1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"IRVINE, Calif. (AP) \u2014 Jaron Martin, Tommy Rutherford and Eyassu Worku scored 12 points apiece and UC Irvine cruised to an 80-53 win over Division III Pomona-Pitzer on Friday night.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","sports","men's basketball","college basketball","basketball","college sports","men's sports"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"15585fab-c0bf-548a-abe4-bac1784d4d45","body":"

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) \u2014 Jaron Martin, Tommy Rutherford and Eyassu Worku scored 12 points apiece and UC Irvine cruised to an 80-53 win over Division III Pomona-Pitzer on Friday night.

An 11-0 run midway through the first half put the lead in double figures and the Anteaters (5-5) cruised from there. It was 37-22 at the half.

The Sagehens (2-4), shot 26 percent in the first half (7 of 27) while Irvine was making twice as many field goals, including five 3-pointers. Martin had all 12 of his points at the break.

The Anteaters shot 53 percent in the second half and finished with a 34-12 advantage on inside points, outrebounding the Sagehens 41-31.

All 12 UC Irvine players scored at least three points, and 11 had rebounds.

Micah Elan had 12 points and Daniel Rosenbaum 10 for Pomona-Pitzer.

"}, {"id":"bc6c7d7e-8b44-59ec-b564-e7db060a97f9","type":"article","starttime":"1481342366","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-09T21:59:26-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"college":"sports/basketball/college"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Grambling cruises past Selma 103-53","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/article_bc6c7d7e-8b44-59ec-b564-e7db060a97f9.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/grambling-cruises-past-selma/article_bc6c7d7e-8b44-59ec-b564-e7db060a97f9.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/sports/grambling-cruises-past-selma/article_f7e4735e-d978-56c4-adae-1fb32cd323fa.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"GRAMBLING, La. (AP) \u2014 Xairius Larry scored 23 points and Grambling defeated Selma University 103-53 on Friday night.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","sports","men's basketball","college basketball","basketball","college sports","men's sports"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"commentID":"bc6c7d7e-8b44-59ec-b564-e7db060a97f9","body":"

GRAMBLING, La. (AP) \u2014 Xairius Larry scored 23 points and Grambling defeated Selma University 103-53 on Friday night.

Larry hit all five of his 3-pointers and was 7 of 8 from the field. Remond Brown and Nigel Ribeiro added 16 points each with Ribeiro collecting six assists. Ervin Mitchell added 10 points with the Tigers shooting 57.1 percent and making 25 of 36 free throws. The Tigers made 13 steals, scored 27 points off 24 Selma turnovers, and outscored the Bulldogs 50-20 in the paint.

The Tigers (5-6) reached the 100-point mark for the fourth time this season and are unbeaten in five home games.

The Bulldogs, from the National Christian College Athletic Association, were led by 17 points and nine rebounds by Xzavier Thompson with DeVante Brown adding 12 points and Noah Patterson 10.

The Tigers reached a double-figure lead at 15:38 of the first half and led 53-22 at halftime.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) \u2014 Demetris Morant scored a career-high 16 points, Brandon Goodwin added 14 and Florida Gulf Coast held off Siena 73-69 on Friday night for its fifth straight win.

Morant had 12 points in the first half when the Eagles (6-3) shot 73 percent (19 of 26) for a 45-32 lead.

The lead was 17, 54-37, when Reggie Reid hit a 3-pointer with 14:08 to play. It was 14 on a free throw by Goodwin at the 6:27 mark before Sienna closed in with a 17-7 run, including 11 straight. The run, which made it 69-63, was stopped by Marc-Eddy Norelia's two free throws and after a Sienna basket he fed Morant for a dunk.

Two free throws by Brett Bisping pulled the Saints within 71-69. Zach Johnson made 1 of 2 free throws with 20.3 seconds to play and after the Eagles forced a jump ball he made two with 2 seconds left to secure the win.

Bisping led Sienna (3-7) with 15 points and nine rebounds.

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Iowa 81, Robert Morris 60: Megan Gustafson scored 15 points to lead four Hawkeyes in double figures as the Iowa women's basketball team cruised to its third straight win Friday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes dominated on the boards with a 44-27 edge and outpaced the Colonials in second-chance points 15-2.

Gustafson shot 7 of 11 from the field and added nine rebounds and a block for the Hawkeyes, who led 40-31 at the half and 59-36 after three quarters.

Joining Gustafson in double figures were Tania Davis and Ally Disterhoft with 14 points and Kathleen Doyle with 11.

Iowa (8-3) assisted on 15 of its 28 buckets and shot 47 percent from the field while holding Robert Morris (4-6) to 40.4 percent shooting.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) \u2014 No one at Creighton's game had to go hungry Friday night.

Fans win free pizza when the 10th-ranked Bluejays score 75 points. That was taken care of less than five minutes into the second half against Longwood.

By the end of a 113-58 victory, Creighton had set the CenturyLink Center record for points and posted their most lopsided victory since beating Texas-Arlington by 56 in November 2002.

Players hungry for minutes were satisfied, too. All 13 Creighton players who suited up scored, and all but one got at least 10 minutes.

Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas led the way with 16 points apiece, and reserve Martin Krampelj had 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

\"Obviously I liked the way we played tonight. Our efficiency offensively once again was off the charts,\" coach Greg McDermott said.

The Bluejays shot 58.6 percent, made 12 of 22 3-pointers and dunked 10 times against their overmatched opponent from the Big South Conference.

Leading 62-25 at the break, the Bluejays scored their most points in a half in McDermott's seven seasons.

\"What a prolific scoring basketball team,\" Longwood coach Jayson Gee said. \"Dominant in transition. Tremendous depth and something we were not prepared to combat tonight, for sure.\"

Maurice Watson Jr. had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Toby Hegner and Isaiah Zierden also had 10 points apiece.

Khris Lane and JaShaun Smith scored 12 points apiece for the Lancers (2-5), who are missing three players because of injuries.

Creighton's two-day turnaround from a 77-62 win at in-state rival Nebraska was no issue.

\"There's risk of a little hangover from that,\" McDermott said, \"and, fortunately, our guys are mature enough that that didn't happen.\"

The Bluejays made 5 of their first six 3s, 10 of their first 13 shots overall and led by 20 points 12 minutes into the game.

The crowd's interest waned as the margin grew wider in the second half. The last big roars came when world junior welterweight boxing champion Terence \"Bud\" Crawford was shown on the video board and when the score of the Creighton volleyball team's NCAA regional match against Michigan was announced.

Creighton is among eight remaining unbeaten teams in Division I and is the first to win 10 games. The Bluejays are off to their best start since the 2003-04 team opened 12-0.

\"We try not to focus on everything that's said in the media, although it's great and we're very honored to be mentioned and talked about so highly,\" Zierden said. \"We know that we have a long ways to go to be where we want to be and we have to try to stay focused and get a little bit better.\"

THE BIG PICTURE

Longwood: The Virginia-based Lancers got a nice paycheck for coming halfway across the country to play their first Top 25 opponent in four years.

Creighton: This one turned into a glorified scrimmage for the Bluejays. Everybody who suited up got to play, and no one got hurt. Seems like a win-win. Now they take off a week for final exams.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With wins by 15 points over Nebraska and 55 points over Longwood, Creighton won't drop from No. 10 in the Top 25 come Monday.

HE SAID IT

\"I tried to do everything in my power when we were up 2-0 to get the game called. I thought about hitting the light switches. I tried everything. Next thing you know they rolled off 10 straight points.\" \u2014 Gee.

UP NEXT

Longwood visits George Mason on Monday.

Creighton hosts Oral Roberts on Dec. 17.

___

More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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BOSTON (AP) \u2014 Jason Dunne had a chance to do something probably every young basketball player practices at home. He didn't miss.

Dunne nailed a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left and finished with a career-best 25 points to lift Hartford to its first-ever win against an Atlantic Coast Conference school, 65-63 over Boston College on Friday night.

\"It's what everyone dreams about playing out in the driveway when you're 8-years-old, and you can't have any doubt,\" Dunne said. \"It's huge for the university, huge for school and huge for the program \u2014 and a big-time win there.\"

Jalen Ross added 16 points for the Hawks (3-8), who had lost seven of eight. J.R. Lynch had 10 points.

\"We're usually in these types of games. We just never finished them,\" coach John Gallagher said. \"Credit to our guys, they made some tough shots.\"

A.J. Turner led the Eagles (4-5) with 13 points, and Connar Tava had 12.

BC had taken the lead twice in the final minute.

\"Like I told them, 'It's disappointing, but if you don't come to play in Division 1 basketball, you get beat,'\" BC coach Jim Christian said.

Jerome Robinson, who was second in the Atlantic Coast Conference scoring at 20.8 per game, was shaken up when he hit the floor hard late in the first half and had only four points.

Christian also said after the game that he was \"tired.\"

Robinson's short jumper in the lane had given BC a 63-62 edge with 13.1 seconds left before Dunne nailed his game-winner from the right wing.

Robinson missed a half-court shot at the buzzer, and the Hawks players celebrated in front of their bench.

Hartford had led 56-49 with 4\u00bd minutes remaining before the Eagles went on an 8-0 spurt that was capped by Jordan Chatman's 3-pointer with 2:29 left.

Behind the first seven points by Dunne, the Hawks went on a 9-0 spree early in the second half to pull in front 41-30 with 15:08 to play.

In a sloppy first half that featured poor shooting and, at times, careless ball handling, both schools went through lengthy stretches without a basket before Hartford scored the final seven points to take a 27-23 edge into intermission.

BIG PICTURE

Hartford: The effort should give the Hawks confidence going into America East play. Behind the resurgence of Dunne's scoring this season (averaging 14.0 coming in) they now have a one-two scoring punch going into conference action. Ross came in averaging a league-best 21.3 and has scored in double figures 25 straight.

\"We have the ability to be the best team in the America East,\" Gallagher said. \"That's our goal.\"

Boston College: For the second straight game, the Eagles fell into a deep hole early in the second half. With Robinson unable to carry them, the offense really sputtered most of the night.

\"Obviously our best player was tired today and didn't show up,\" Christian said. \"We had a lot of guys who could have stepped up today and didn't.\"

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

\"There's a million things you can say,\" Christian said. \"I'm disappointed. I take responsibility for it. It's my team. I still think we have a chance to be a good team. We're not very good right now.\"

POWERLESS INDEX

Both teams were rated in the 300s in the latest RPI (rating percentage index) entering the game.

BC was 311 and Hartford 337.

The Eagles shot 22.2 percent in the opening half, with the Hawks hitting only 26.9.

WHERE'S THE CROWD

The teams played in front of a sparse gathering - one of the smallest remembered in the history of Conte Forum since it opened in 1988 (minus games played during winter-weather conditions). The attendance was listed as 2,274.

UP NEXT

Hartford: Host Dartmouth in the first of two straight at home on Tuesday.

Boston College: Face Auburn at Madison Square Garden in New York City in the Under Armour Reunion on Monday

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