College basketball roundup: Saint Mary's, Cal men win in season openers
Jordan Ford scored 26 points, Malik Fitts added 16 and No. 20 Saint Mary’s hung on to beat Wisconsin 65-63 in overtime in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Saint Mary’s led the entire second half before Wisconsin closed the gap and took a brief lead in overtime. But Fitts’ basket with 55 seconds to play gave the Gaels the lead for good.
Freshman Kyle Bowen hit 1 of 2 free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining for the Gaels, and Wisconsin had a chance to win it, but Aleem Ford’s deep 3-pointer at the buzzer was short.
Nate Reuvers tied a career high with 22 points and Brad Davison scored 16 for Wisconsin.
It was the Gaels’ first visit to the Sanford Pentagon, which will also welcome Minnesota and Oklahoma for a game on Saturday.
The Badgers shot 42.3% from the field while the Gaels finished at 39.3%. Saint Mary’s out-rebounded Wisconsin 36-28, including 13 on the offensive end, led by Mattias Tass with rebounds.
The Gaels led 30-20 on Ford’s 3-pointer late in the first half but let that advantage slip away. Saint Mary’s was the second-ranked team in the West Coast Conference in the preseason, behind No. 8 Gonzaga.
CAL 87, PEPPERDINE 71
Matt Bradley scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and Cal won in coach Mark Fox’s debut, beating visiting Pepperdine on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Andre Kelly had 16 points and 10 rebounds while Kareem South scored 14 as the Golden Bears won their opener for the first time since 2016.
Colbey Ross had 19 points and seven assists for Pepperdine. The Waves have not beaten a Pac-12 team since 2012.
Cal trailed at halftime and was down 49-46 early in the second before Bradley and Paris Austin sparked a big run that put the Bears ahead for good.
Austin scored on a pair of driving layups and two free throws, and Bradley made back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 17-0 run. Austin finished with 14 points.
Bradley shot 8 of 11 and made five 3s.
Fox, who spent nine years at Georgia before taking last season off, took over after Wyking Jones was fired following two disappointing seasons.
Cal is 3-0 all-time against Pepperdine.
DUKE 68, KANSAS 66
Tre Jones scored 15 points and Cassius Stanley added 11 of his 13 points in the second half to help No. 4 Duke beat third-ranked Kansas in the opener of the Champions Classic on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
While Duke doesn’t have the star-studded freshmen class of last season of Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett, coach Mike Krzyzewski may have a more balanced team, capable of making plays down the stretch when needed.
Trailing 61-60 with 2:29 left, Stanley drove to the basket and made the layup and was fouled. The freshman guard converted the free throw to give the Blue Devils a one-point lead.
Devon Dotson missed a layup on the other end and Jones then hit a jumper that bounced off the rim twice before dropping in with 1:33 left.
Marcus Garrett got the Jayhawks back within one. After a miss by the Blue Devils, Kansas turned the ball over with 37 seconds left. It was the Jayhawks’ 28th turnover of the game. Jones then converted two free throws with 26.2 seconds left.
SAN FRANCISCO 101, SONOMA STATE 50
Khalil Shabazz had 15 points off the bench to lift San Francisco to a win over visiting Sonoma State on Tuesday night.
Charles Minlend had 15 points for San Francisco. Trevante Anderson added 12 points. Remu Raitanen had 11 points for the hosts.
Isaac Davidson had 11 points for the Seawolves. Michael Smith added 10 points. Kenny Olsem had seven rebounds.