College basketball roundup: Kansas fends off West Virginia challenge
Travis Releford and Jeff Withey both scored 15 points last night, and No. 2 Kansas nearly relinquished a double-digit lead before beating West Virginia 61-56 to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games.
Kansas (19-1, 7-0 Big 12) shot 54 percent in Morgantown in the first meeting between the schools. The Jayhawks have kept their past six opponents under 60 points. Ben McLemore had 13 points for Kansas.
Aaric Murray led West Virginia (9-11, 2-5) with 17 points, and Juwan Staten had 14.
West Virginia used several steals to trim a 15-point deficit to eight at halftime, but never took the lead in the second half. Staten scored three straight baskets, including a jumper that pulled the Mountaineers within 48-46 with 10:19 left. But they fell silent over the next three minutes.
McLemore, Kansas’ leading scorer who sat on the bench for most of the first half in foul trouble, hit a layup and made two free throws on the next trip down the court during a 7-0 run that put the Jayhawks ahead 55-46 with 7:33 left.
No. 12 Louisville 64, Pittsburgh 61: Louisville’s Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng combined for 34 points and sealed the win with four free throws in the final 12 seconds.
Louisville (17-4, 5-3 Big East), which had lost three straight and slumped since being No. 1 two weeks ago, saw an 11-point second-half lead cut to 60-58 on a Tray Woodall three-pointer with 13.3 seconds remaining.
Woodall had 14 points. Smith had 20 and Dieng 14 points and 12 rebounds and five blocks for the host Cardinals.
Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak was snapped.
No. 2 Notre Dame 77, No. 9 Tennessee 67: Skylar Diggins scored a career-high 33 points, and Notre Dame (19-1) built a 19-point lead in the second half before withstanding a late Tennessee rally. Notre Dame won its 14th straight game and snapped a nine-game winning streak for Tennessee (16-4).
Before the game, Tennessee raised a banner at Thompson-Boling Arena in honor of former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, who stepped down in April after winning eight national titles in 38 seasons.