Thursday was a busy day in the college basketball world, and a sad one for the basketball world, in general.
The legendary Craig Sager passed away at the age of 65, after a lengthy battle with Leukemia. Fans around the world looked back on their fondest memories of Mr. Sager to pay their respects, as the sporting world lost yet another icon in 2016.
Rest in the sweetest peace, Craig Sager.
On Thursday, the college basketball world offered up some top-notch action, even though there were only a handful of games on the slate. No ranked teams were in action on the night, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any big time performances to talk about.
The Auburn Tigers tied an SEC record for three pointers in a game, en route to a 45-point win, while yet another NAIA team knocked off a Division I opponent in 2016-17.
We’ve got that, and more, in Thursday’s Headlines.
Auburn Hits 21 Three Pointers in 117-72 Rout of Coastal Carolina
It was a big night for the Auburn Tigers. For the Chanticleers, we can’t say the same.
In their 117-72 rout of Coastal Carolina, the Tigers tied an SEC record for three pointers made in a game, connecting on 21 from long distance in the win. They tied the record that was set twice by the Kentucky Wildcats, back in 1990 and 1997.
Sophomore Danjel Purifoy put together quite the evening, scoring a game-high 27 points to lead the way for Auburn. He connected on five three pointers for the Tigers, while going a combined 9-of-14 from the field.
A total of five Auburn players scored in double-figures on the night, and the Tigers shot 55.6% (40-of-72) from the field.
Senior guard Elijah Wilson scored a team-high 22 points to lead the Chanticleers.
Jackson State Falls at Home to NAIA’s Blue Mountain College
While Thursday night was an impressive night for Auburn, the same cannot be said for the Jackson State Tigers, who became the latest team to drop a game to a non-Division I opponent in 2016-17.
The Tigers fell at home to the Blue Mountain College Toppers, 57-49.
Blue Mountain College held a slim 23-20 lead at halftime over the Tigers, and wasted little time stretching their advantage to double-digits in the second. A layup from Chris English stretched the lead for the Toppers to 11 points within the first five minutes of the half, and Blue Mountain College seemingly had an answer for every push back from the Tigers.
Strong free throw shooting in the closing minutes sealed the deal for the Toppers, as they capitalized on crucial misses from Jackson State.
Chris English scored 10 points for the Toppers, and Jay Howard scored a team-high 12 points off the bench in the win.
Edric Dennis scored a game-high 15 points for the Tigers in the loss. As a team, Jackson State was just 4-of-31 (12.9%) from three point range.
The win was the second victory over a Division I opponent for Blue Mountain College in 2016-17, who also beat the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions last month.
Other Notes from Thursday:
- The Ole Miss Rebels narrowly avoided an upset at home, knocking off the Murray State Racers, 78-73.
- With their 53-35 win, the College of Charleston Cougars have now won five straight games, and sit at 8-3 on the year.
- Only three teams are without a win in 2016-17, as the Coppin State Eagles knocked off Goldey-Beacom in overtime, 88-83.
- Five teams (Seattle U. Redhawks, Auburn Tigers, Wofford Terriers, Lipscomb Bison, and Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners) all topped 50 points in the first half of their respective games. Combined, the teams went 4-1.
– T. Bennett