By definition, Day 1 participants are not very good; however, yesterday's games were entertaining for the most part, two of them not decided until the final seconds. The games ...
Berkeley 84 WSU 59
The first game of the day was the least suspenseful as Berkeley easily took care of WSU 84-59, led by forward David Kravish's career-high 25 points. Berkeley raced out to a 37-26 half-time lead and never looked back. Shooting a blistering 58.5% from the field (including 8-12 from three-point range) and out-rebounding WSU 37-23, Berkeley dominated. Apart from Kravish, Jordan Matthews chipped in 19 points, including 3-4 three-pointers; WSU's best player, Josh Hawkinson had a double- double, 14 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Senior guard Davonte Lacy struggled, going 4-11 from field and struggled with his emotions at the end of the game--showing the flip-side of March elation where seniors realize this is the last time they will compete for their alma mater. Berkeley gets Arizona next . ESPN box score
USC 67 Arizona State 64
The best game of the day. ASU pulled away in the first half thanks to a 13-2 run, which included a 6-point possession (a three-pointer, foul under the basket, then a 2-point basket and another foul). ASU dominated the offensive glass, grabbing an incredible 20 offensive rebounds and also forcing 17 turnovers. But USC's freshman guard Elijah Stewart kept ASU from totally blowing SC out, contributing 27 points and 6-9 from beyond the arc. ASU had a double digit lead since early in the ball-game but the momentum started to shift half-way through the second-half--Stewart's high-level of play seemed to inspire his teammates and they played aggressively and without fear, slicing up ASU's defense with drives leading to lay-ups and closing out the game on a 21-4 run (point guard Julian Jacobs playing a key role).
Arizona State looked tight, played not to lose, and had difficulty adjusting to what a SC guard claimed was a 1-3-1 zone (Walton thought it was basically man, the play-by-play thought it was match-up--who knows) Still, with 16 seconds left and down only one ASU forward Shacquiell McKissic's drive to the basket was blocked by SC 's Nikola Jovanovic. After SC hit two free throws McKissic almost lost control of the ball as he took a long three and it almost went in, bouncing off the back of the rim. USC will see if they can carry that momentum against their next opponent , UCLA. ESPN box score.
Colorado 78 Oregon State 71
This game was close until mid-way through the second- half when Colorado's Askia Booker hit three threes and a driving lane-up to break up a close game, extending the lead to 63-54, a lead never relinquished. Oregon State's usual tough defense allowed Colorado to shoot 13-23 in the second-half . Colorado was very good at the free-throw line, hitting 24-26 (including 14 out of 14 in the first half). In fact, it was Colorado's free-throwing shooting that allowed them to stay close in the first-half, 40-38 at the break, and withstand 7 first-half three-pointers from OSU. Booker finished with 20 and Josh Scott had a 16 pt, 14 board line to lead the victors; Gary Payton had 17 points, 5 rebounds , and 3 steals to pace the Beavers. Colorado will see if it can sweep the State of Oregon as the Ducks are next up. ESPN box score
Stanford 71 Washington 69
Chasson Randle made up for a sub-par 3-11 shooting night by hitting a clutch three with just a few seconds left to lift Stanford over a game Washington squad. The game was close for much of the contest with Stanford being up by three with just under four minutes when Stanford's Anthony Brown missed an easy break-away that led to an 8-0 Washington run that seemed likely to propel them to victory. But Stanford center Stefan Nastic scored four quick points and it was close until the end .
Washington's Dan Kingma was 3-4 from three- point range but missed a free-throw on a one- and-one with just under 30 seconds left with Washington up one, leading to Stanford's final possession resulting in Randle's game-winning three. Washington 's Andrew Andrews , who finished with a game-high 22 points, was able to get up the court in the few remaining seconds but missed a three- pointer at the buzzer in an exhilirating finish. Stanford survived Washington shooting 52.8% from the field, including 13-20 from three- point range; Stanford's bigs, Nastic and Reid Travis were one reason why as they contributed 21 and 14 points , respectively. Stanford will have to play much better to have a chance against Utah, their next opponent. ESPN box score.