No. 15 Villanova 60, Seton Hall 57
NEWARK, N.J. — Reserve freshman James Bell more than doubled his career high with 21 points and No. 15 Villanova broke a two-game losing streak with a 60-57 victory over Seton Hall on Tuesday night.
Bell, whose previous high was 10 points against Delaware and who scored a total of 31 points this season, became the offensive star for the Wildcats (20-6, 8-5 Big East), who committed 22 turnovers, three over their season high and double their season average.
Jeremy Hazell had 25 points to lead the Pirates (11-15, 5-9) but he missed two shots in the final 13 seconds, the second a 3-point attempt to tie with 3 seconds to play.
Villanova beat Seton Hall for the ninth straight time, a streak that dates to 2004, and this was the 100th meeting of the schools and the Wildcats own a 63-37 advantage.
No. 19 North Carolina 78, Wake Forest 64
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Tyler Zeller scored 18 points to help No. 19 North Carolina beat Wake Forest 78-64 on Tuesday night.
Freshman Harrison Barnes added 17 points as the Tar Heels (19-6, 9-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) maintained sole possession of second place in the league with an easy win against a struggling instate rival. North Carolina scored the first seven points, pushed ahead by double figures midway through the first half and maintained a comfortable margin the rest of the night.
But the Tar Heels didn’t look sharp while playing in front of a flat crowd against the last-place Demon Deacons (8-18, 1-10). They shot 37 percent including a miserable 5-for-27 from 3-point range against Wake Forest’s zone defense. They also led just 63-55 with 6½ minutes left before running off 11 straight points to finally seal a win in an otherwise forgettable performance.
J.T. Terrell scored 18 points to lead the Demon Deacons, who have lost five straight.
No. 20 Missouri 92, Texas Tech 84
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Marcus Denmon scored 20 points, showing no after effects from a blow to the head three days earlier, to help Missouri beat Texas Tech.
Kim English had 16 points and reserve Michael Dixon 13 points for the Tigers (20-6, 6-5 Big 12), who shot 58 percent but were tested in a run-and-gun contest that was light on defense before going to 16-0 at home. John Roberson had 21 points for Texas Tech (11-15, 3-8), which shot 49 percent.
Missouri entered averaging a 23.7-point victory margin at Mizzou Arena and led by 13 with about 9½ minutes left, but were hanging on after Roberson’s 3-pointer cut the margin to three with 1:14 to play. The Tigers scored the game’s last five points, despite a pair of missed free throws by English.
David Tairu added 17 points for Texas Tech which lost its fourth in a row — all against ranked opponents.
No. 22 Kentucky 85, Mississippi State 79
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Brandon Knight scored 24 points, Doron Lamb added 20 in his first start in nearly as month as Kentucky held off Mississippi State.
The Wildcats (18-7, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from another late-game road meltdown against Vanderbilt with some of their finest offensive play of the season.
Kentucky shot 56 percent from the floor, including 67 percent in the second half, to improve to 30-0 at Rupp Arena under coach John Calipari. The Wildcats trailed by 11 early before a pair of big second-half runs sent the Bulldogs (13-12, 5-6) to their second straight loss.
Ravern Johnson led Mississippi State with 21 points and Jalen Steele added a career-high 17 but the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up when the Wildcats started pushing the pace.