Raphielle Johnson's Blog
Northern Iowa 71, Old Dominion 62
The Panthers won their second straight without center Jordan Egleseder, knocking off the Monarch in Cedar Falls behind a 23-point night from Ali Farokhmanesh. Farokhmanesh hit five of nine shots from behind the arc and Kwadzo Ahelegbe added ten points. Gerald Lee led the Monarchs with 19 points but it wasn't enough to prevent ODU's first loss in the BracketBusters event.
Iona 69, William & Mary 53
This time around Syracuse didn't wait to get going against Georgetown, racing out to a 20-6 lead in the game's first six minutes. Things didn't get much better for the Hoyas despite Chris Wright scoring 12 first half points as they went into the locker room trailing by thirteen (44-31), and the Orange increased the lead to as many as 23 points (60-37) by the time the second half was less than eight minutes old.
It should have come as no surprise that Purdue big man JaJuan Johnson was ready to make amends for a disappointing outing in the first meeting between the Boilermakers and Buckeyes. Johnson scored just four points before fouling out, powerless to help his team hold off the hard-charging Evan Turner in what ended up being an Ohio State victory. No such luck this time around as he and his teammates came out hot, making their first six shots on the way to building a 36-23 halftime lead.
Two of the Big Ten's best get together in Columbus as Purdue visits Ohio State with a share of first place on the line for the Buckeyes. They've already met once this season with Evan Turner (32 points, nine rebounds) leading OSU to the 70-66 win in West Lafayette. But after dropping the following game at Northwestern, Matt Painter's squad has won seven straight to move into a tie in the loss column with Michigan State and Ohio State. The Buckeyes are also playing well, having won six straight and their last nine Big Ten games so something's got to give.
Mississippi State, who hasn't done enough to sew up an NCAA bid to this point in the season, has a great opportunity to do so in Starkville on Tuesday night. Kentucky comes calling on ESPN in a game that matches up likely lottery pick big men in DeMarcus Cousins and Jarvis Varnado. With an RPI of 58 and an overall strength of schedule of 118 (numbers courtesy of realtimerpi.com) they need at the least a solid effort if they're to be a part of the NCAA Tournament.