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No. 1 ranked Houston Cougars hold on to beat Saint Mary’s 53-48

No. 1 ranked Houston Cougars hold on to beat Saint Mary’s 53-48

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — J’Wan Roberts scored 15 points, Marcus Sasser added 13 and top-ranked Houston held on to beat Saint Mary’s 53-48 on Saturday night.

The Cougars (8-0) won twice in their first week as the No. 1 team since the final poll of the 1982-83 regular season, when Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon led high-flying Phi Slama Jama.

Logan Johnson scored 17 points and Aidan Mahaney had 14 for the Gaels (6-3), who lost their third in a row following a 6-0 start.

Houston was the favorite to win it all in the second of three consecutive trips to the Final Four nearly 40 years ago, but lost to Jim Valvano and North Carolina State in one of the iconic championship games.

Coach Kelvin Sampson’s first top-ranked team is coming off trips to the Final Four and Elite Eight the past two seasons.

For the third straight year, the postseason path will start at Dickie’s Arena, where Sampson likes to bring his team during the regular season as prep for the American Athletic Conference tourney.

NO. 3 VIRGINIA 62, FLORIDA STATE 57

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Kihei Clark scored 18 points and Virginia overcame poor shooting to beat Florida State and win its 15th straight Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

Virginia (7-0) trailed 22-21 after both teams shot under 30% in the first half. The Cavaliers started the second half with a 22-9 run to lead 43-31 midway through the half.

Florida State (1-9) scored the next six points, then didn’t score again for five minutes as the Cavaliers rebuilt their advantage.

Darin Green Jr. scored 17 points in the Seminoles’ fifth straight loss.

RUTGERS 63, NO. 10 INDIANA 48

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Freshman guard Derek Simpson scored 10 straight points in a game-deciding run and Rutgers beat Indiana for the sixth time in a row.

Caleb McConnell had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Scarlet Knights (6-2, 1-0 Big Ten). Simpson finished with 14, all in the second half.

Miller Kopp scored a season-high 21 points for Indiana (7-1, 0-1) . Star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was held to 13 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out late. The rest of the team had 14 points.

NO. 11 ARKANSAS 99, SAN JOSE STATE 58

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Trevon Brazile scored 23 points and Arkansas broke away in the second half to beat San Jose State.

The Razorbacks (7-1) led 40-35 at the break before erupting. It was the first men’s basketball matchup between the schools.

Ricky Council IV had 17 points for Arkansas. Heralded freshman guard Nick Smith, Jr. contributed 16 points and five assists in his first career start in only his second game as a collegian.

Omari Moore scored 21 for the Spartans (6-3).

NO. 11 ALABAMA 78, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 65

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Freshman Noah Clowney’s breakout game — 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a steal — helped Alabama recover from blowing a 20-point lead and beat South Dakota State.

Clowney shot 8 of 17, including 5 of 12 on 3s, in his highest-scoring game of the season.

Alabama (7-1) led 37-17 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half. South Dakota State (3-6) rallied to go ahead 51-50 on Alex Arians’ 3-pointer with 11 1/2 minutes remaining.

Charlie Easley and Arians each scored 17 points for the Jackrabbits.

NO. 17 DUKE 75, BOSTON COLLEGE 59

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Mark Mitchell scored 15 points and Kyle Filipowski posted 13 points and 10 rebounds for the freshman’s fifth double-double as Duke beat Boston College in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.

The Blue Devils (8-2), who shot 52.8% from the field, are unbeaten in six home games under first-year coach Jon Scheyer.

CJ Penha scored 16 points and Jaeden Zackery had 14 for Boston College (5-4), which has lost eight straight to Duke.

NO. 25 OHIO STATE 96, ST. FRANCIS (Pa.) 59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Brice Sensabaugh led the Buckeyes with 15 points and Bruce Thornton added 13 as Ohio State surged in the second half to be St. Francis.

The Red Flash trimmed a 16-point deficit to eight in the first half, with Josh Cohen getting the first points after the break. But Ohio State (6-2) went on a 13-5 run, held St. Francis (2-7) scoreless for about five minutes in the second half and at one point went up 39 points.

Roddy Gayle Jr. had 12 points, Zed Key had 11 and Sean McNeil and Felix Okpara scored 10 apiece for Ohio State, which shot 50.7% from the field.

Cohen finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Cam Gregory added 15 points and Maxwell Land scored 14 for the Red Flash.

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