Men's basketball roundup

MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Dawson returns, but Illini upset No. 18 Spartans

2014-03-01T20:30:00Z 2014-03-02T01:10:13Z MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Dawson returns, but Illini upset No. 18 SpartansThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 01, 2014 8:30 pm  • 

Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading visiting Illinois to a 53-46 win over No. 18 Michigan State on Saturday.

The Fighting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) have three straight victories for the first time since winning four in a row from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4. That successful stretch included a win over then-No. 23 Missouri.

The Spartans (22-7, 11-5) have dropped two straight and six of their last 10 games. They were full strength for the first time in nearly two months, but simply weren't good enough to beat a streaking team that seemed more inspired.

Branden Dawson, a Lew Wallace graduate, returned from a broken hand and played for the first time since Jan. 21, when he helped Michigan State beat Indiana to improve to 18-1 overall and 7-0 in conference. Dawson had six points and seven rebounds.

Pittsburgh 85, Notre Dame 81, OT: Lamar Patterson scored 20 points, including a pair of free throws with 2 seconds left, and Talib Zanna had 17 points and 14 rebounds as Pittsburgh overcame making one basket in the final six minutes of regulation to beat Notre Dame in overtime.

The Panthers took the lead for good with 1:56 left when James Robinson made a pair of free throws and Zanna added a dunk 33 seconds later to give Pitt a four-point lead. Steve Vasturia scored 12 of Notre Dame's 16 points in overtime, but the Irish couldn't even the score again.

The Panthers (22-7, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) ended a five-game losing streak to the Irish (15-15, 6-11), beating them for the first time since 2009 and improved to 6-2 on the road. Notre Dame finished 13-6 at home, their most home losses since going 11-7 in 2004.

Nebraska 54, Northwestern 47: Shavon Shields had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Nebraska, which took a 10-point lead with 7 minutes left and held on to defeat Northwestern.

With the win, Nebraska (17-11, 9-7 Big Ten) is guaranteed a top-six finish and .500 conference record, both Big Ten firsts for the Huskers, now in their third season in the conference. Nebraska won nine conference games for the first time since 1998-99 and only the 10th time since World War II.

Northwestern (12-17, 5-11) has now lost six straight games, a streak that began with a 53-49 loss to Nebraska on Feb. 8.

Ball St. 74, Central Michigan 71: Majok Majok had 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Jesse Berry scored 20 Saturday to lead Ball State (5-22, 2-14 Mid-American) over Central Michigan (10-18, 3-13).

Zavier Turner scored 12 and Chris Bond (Bowman Academy) 10 as Ball State snapped a 10-game losing streak.

IPFW 96, Nebraska-Omaha 96, OT: Steve Forbes scored 21 points, including two free throws with three-tenths of a second left, to lift IPFW (22-9, 10-4) to an overtime victory over Omaha (16-14, 5-9) and secure the No. 2 seed for Summit League tournament.

Luis Jacobo scored 20 points, and Pierre Bland and Joe Edwards added 18 apiece for IPFW. Bland also had 10 assists. IPFW finished with its best Summit League record.

Evansville 75, Loyola 72: D. J. Balentine scored 24 points, and Evansville, leading by 18 in the second half, outlasted a Loyola comeback.

Evansville (13-18, 6-12), with the victory, avoided sharing the Missouri Valley cellar position with first-year member Loyola (9-21, 4-14).

Eastern Michigan 56, Northern Illinois 52: Mike Talley tied his career high with 21 points and Eastern Michigan scored the last 10 points of the game as the Eagles (17-12, 9-7 Mid-American) defeated Northern Illinois. The Huskies (13-15, 7-9) got 11 points from Aaric Armstead.

Wright St 68, Ill-Chicago 61: AJ Pacher scored 16 points to lead Wright State (18-13, 10-6 Horizon League) to a win over Illinois-Chicago. Kelsey Barlow had 16 points for the Flames (6-24, 1-15).

Drake 71, Bradley 66: Richard Carter, who finished with 18 points, hit a jump shot and made two free throws in the final 14 seconds to give Drake (15-15, 6-12 Missouri Valley Conference) a victory over Bradley.

Bradley (12-19, 7-11), which has now lost five of its last six games, was led by Walt Lemon, Jr with 20 points.

Southern Illinois 66, Illinois St 65: Anthony Beane scored 21 points and freshman reserve Tyler Smithpeters hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left as Southern Illinois edged Illinois State.

Smithpeters, who hit 3 of 4 treys, finished with 11 points, and Desmar Jackson had 18 for the Salukis (13-18, 9-9 Missouri Valley Conference).

Daishon Knight had 15 points and Bobby Hunter 13 for the Redbirds (16-14, 9-9).

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