- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Desi Rodriguez had career-highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds and Seton Hall all but clinched its first NCAA Tournament berth in a decade with a stunning 90-81 victory over No. 5 Xavier on Sunday.

Isaiah Whitehead had 22 points, Angel Delgado added 17 and the Pirates (21-7, 11-5 Big East) used a suffocating defense in knocking off Xavier (25-4, 13-4), just four days after it beat No. 1 Villanova.

The Pirates, who have not been in the NCAA Tournament since 2006, had a season-high point total and shot 50 percent from the field in winning their fourth straight and eighth of nine.

Seton Hall never trailed after scoring the first nine points and it beat Xavier in every aspect.

James Farr and Trevon Bluiett had 17 points apiece for Xavier, which was coming off a 90-83 win over Villanova.

No. 6 MICHIGAN ST. 88, PENN ST. 57

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Denzel Valentine had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Michigan State.

The Spartans (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten) have won four straight and eight of nine.

The Nittany Lions (15-14, 6-10) had won three straight and four of five, including victories over then-No. 4 Iowa and then-No. 22 Indiana.

Penn State coach Patrick Chambers was ejected with 4:53 left in the first half when he was called for two technical fouls within the same rant.

The Spartans connected on 52 percent of their shots in the first half after combining for a 3-of-15 shooting start and led 52-27 at halftime.

Penn State’s Shep Garner had 22 points.

OHIO ST. 68, No. 8 IOWA 64

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Marc Loving scored 25 points, including both ends of a 1-and-1 with less than 2 seconds to go, as Ohio State rallied from a late deficit.

Keita Bates-Diop added 19 points while Kam Williams added 11 for the Buckeyes, who ended the game on a 12-2 run.

After Bates-Diop preserved a two-point lead for Ohio State (19-11, 11-6 Big Ten) by blocking Mike Gesell’s layup with under 5 seconds to go, Loving made the free throws to ice the game.

Williams gave the Buckeyes a 63-62 lead with a jumper with 2:04 left after Iowa led for most of the second half. He added a 3-pointer a little over a minute later to stretch Ohio State’s lead to four.

Gesell and Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa (20-8, 11-5) with 16 points apiece while Peter Jok had 12.

No. 13 OREGON 86, WASHINGTON 73

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Elgin Cook matched his career-high with 26 points to lead Oregon to a victory over Washington.

Dillon Brooks added 19 points for the Ducks (23-6, 12-4 Pac-12), who won their 25th consecutive home game, extending the school record they set with Wednesday’s win over Washington State. Casey Benson and Jordan Bell each had 12 points.

Oregon finished its fifth unbeaten home season in history at 18-0, and its first since 2001-02 when it won its only Pac-12 regular-season title.

Andrew Andrews scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half to lead the Huskies (16-13, 8-9), and Dejounte Murray had 20.

PITTSBURGH 76, No. 15 DUKE 62

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jamel Artis scored 17 points as Pittsburgh gave its NCAA Tournament hopes a needed jolt.

Senior point guard James Robinson added 14 points, seven assists and three rebounds in his final home game at the Petersen Events Center as the Panthers (20-8, 9-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) overwhelmed the Blue Devils (22-8, 10-6). Sheldon Jeter had 11 points for Pitt while Michael Young and Ryan Luther had 10 points each.

The Panthers held Duke to 37 percent shooting (18 of 48) and outscored the Blue Devils 24-6 in the paint.

Grayson Allen had 22 points for Duke and stayed out of trouble after being admonished by the ACC for his role in tripping a Florida State player in a Blue Devils victory last Thursday.

The Panthers came in 0-6 against ranked opponents this season, five of them double-digit blowouts that were never in doubt in the second half.

No. 24 SMU 74, TULANE 53

DALLAS (AP) - Ben Moore scored 16 points and Sterling Brown added 15 for SMU, which moved back into a first-place tie in the American Athletic Conference with Temple.

Malik Morgan had 15 points and Louis Dabney added 12 for Tulane (10-19, 3-13), which dropped into a last-place tie with East Carolina.

SMU (24-4, 12-4) trailed 33-32 with 17:21 remaining in the game when it went on an 11-0 run to move ahead for good. The Mustangs shot 64 percent in the second half after shooting only 37.9 percent during the first half. That allowed them to finish at 50 percent to equal their season average, which ranks sixth in NCAA Division I.

Nic Moore, the Mustangs’ leading scorer at 14.6 points per game going in, was shut out in the first half and finished with five points to match his lowest output in his three seasons at SMU.


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