SJSU falls to Nevada, 55-44

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SJSU falls to Nevada, 55-44

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LAS VEGAS (AP) When Deonte Burton rose from the floor rubbing and shifting his jaw back and forth to make sure it was still in place, Nevada coach David Carter could only hope the elbow that floored Burton not only awakened the conference player of the year but his entire squad as well.That's exactly what happened for the top-seeded Wolf Pack.Burton scored 15 of his 16 points in the second half and Nevada overcame a horrid first half offensively for a 54-44 win over San Jose State in the Western Athletic Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night.Immediately after getting dropped to the floor by the elbow of San Jose State's Stephon Smith, Burton responded with eight straight points, and awakened a slumbering Nevada offense that tied a WAC tournament record by scoring just 13 first-half points."I just tried to do everything I could to give us some energy. We lacked that," Burton said. "Seeing the buckets go in, you get a vibe about you and it just energizes the whole team. I think (getting elbowed) definitely woke me up."Nevada (26-5) lost just once in conference play, but looked anything but a conference champion for the first 35 minutes. On top of the awful first-half performance offensively, the Wolf Pack got lax on defense to open the second half and trailed 28-19 after just five minutes. A minute later Burton got decked and everything changed."I always felt like we had a run," Nevada coach David Carter said. "It was almost like it was the tip of the iceberg of when it was going to come."Nevada will face either Utah State or Louisiana Tech in the semifinals on Friday night.After a few minutes of officials conferring, Smith was issued a flagrant foul for his elbow. Burton hit the two free throws, then followed up with a challenged 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. After Carter scored for the Spartans, Burton hit another 3 to cap his own personal eight-point run to pull the Wolf Pack within one. Olek Czyz scored on Nevada's next possession to take its first lead since briefly leading 13-12 late in the first half.The Wolf Pack run didn't stop. Burton added a free throw, Czyz scored twice more and Dario Hunt's driving basket gave Nevada a 38-30 lead with 9:20 left. The lead eventually reached 41-32, but instead of putting away the Spartans, Nevada's three straight sloppy turnovers led to seven unanswered points by San Jose State, the final two on a floater by Keith Shamburger that pulled the Spartans within 41-39.Jerry Evans, Jr. answered with a tip-in for Nevada, two more Burton free throws got the lead back to 45-39 with 5:18 left and Evans put away the Spartans with a 3 from the wing and a nine-point lead with 4:30 left.Evans and Czyz both added 10 points for the Wolf Pack."I think we started off really lazy, I'd say," Evans said. "We didn't come out the same intensity we did the second half. Offensively, I feel like we rushed everything."Will Carter led San Jose State (9-22) with 18 points, but the Spartans missed their chance to really put pressure on the favored Wolf Pack with their own offensive problems in the first half. Nevada matched the 13 points scored by Tulsa against UTEP in 2003. And while eight turnovers didn't help, the Wolf Pack simply missed shots. Burton was 0 of 7 including an airballed 3-pointer. Second-leading scorer Malik Story wasn't much better, hitting 1 of 7.The only reason it wasn't a rout at halftime was San Jose State's equally poor shooting effort. The Spartans were 7 of 25 and also committed seven turnovers. SJSU didn't break the 10-point barrier until nearly 14 minutes of the half elapsed. It took Nevada nearly two more minutes to reach double figures."To me, the most significant difference was Burton didn't make a lot of shots in the game but he made a couple big ones in the second half with a guy right up in him," San Jose State coach George Nessman said. "And he's known to do that. And he made two (3-pointers) in that run I thought really got it going, and Story made a couple, too. They showed their composure as a team in the second half."

Rabb leads Cal with career-high 26 points in dominant win

Rabb leads Cal with career-high 26 points in dominant win

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BERKELEY -- Ivan Rabb scored 18 of his career-high 26 points in the first half and California beat Alcorn State 83-59 on Saturday for its 25th consecutive home win.

Roger Moute a Bidias added 12 points and Kingsley Okoroh had seven points with nine rebounds to help the Golden Bears (6-1) to their fourth consecutive win.

Three days after setting his previous career best for scoring, Rabb shot 10 of 12 and had seven rebounds to lead a dominant effort down low by California. Rabb scored on a pair of putbacks in the first half, added a one-handed dunk off a lob pass from Charlie Moore then scored six points as part of an 11-2 run in the second half.

Moore, the Bears' leading scorer going into the game, had an off-game while filling in for point guard Grant Mullins. Moore missed his first six shots and finished with seven points and four assists.

Alcorn State (2-5) couldn't keep up and lost its third straight.

Reginal Johnson scored a season-high 17 points and had seven rebounds while Marquis Vance added 11 points for the Braves.

Cal went on runs of 9-0 and 7-0 during an eight-minute span to build a 44-25 halftime lead.

BIG PICTURE

Alcorn State: Three consecutive lopsided losses have second-year coach Montez Robinson's squad reeling. The problems are happening on both ends of the floor, though Johnson provided a lift offensively. The biggest issues are consistency and 3-point shooting. The Braves went 5 of 21 beyond the arc and are shooting under 30 percent for the season.

California: The Bears got on top early and never let the Braves get back into the game, a definite step up after California had troubles closing out games earlier this season. Getting Moute a Bidias going is another good sign as the team tries to find some complementary scoring to support Rabb. Moore started at point guard in place of Mullins, who flew to Canada following a death in his family. Mullins will rejoin the team in Hawaii.

UP NEXT

Alcorn State: The Braves continue their six-game road trip at Louisiana Tech on Monday night.

California: The Bears left immediately after the win to fly to Hawaii for a pair of games in the Pearl Harbor Invitational. California opens against Princeton on Tuesday night.

Despite 29 points from Travis, Stanford downed by Kansas

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AP

Despite 29 points from Travis, Stanford downed by Kansas

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LAWRENCE -- Frank Mason III scored 20 points, Devonte Graham delivered an early 3-point barrage and finished with 15, and fourth-ranked Kansas pulled away late for an 89-74 victory over Stanford on Saturday.

Josh Jackson and Svi Mykhailiuk added 15 points apiece for the Jayhawks (7-1), who overcame a monster game from the Cardinal's Reid Travis to win their 44th straight at Allen Fieldhouse.

Travis had a career-best 29 points and nine rebounds for Stanford (6-3), doing most of his damage at the free throw line. The career 54 percent free throw shooter was 19 of 22, breaking the school record for makes set by Todd Lichti against UC Santa Barbara during the 1987-88 season.

Travis also set records for makes and attempts in a game against Kansas. Rayford Young of Texas Tech hit 18 foul shots in February 1999 and Iowa State's Craig Brackins attempted 21 in January 2009.

He couldn't do it alone, though, and the Jayhawks' superior depth paid off.

After falling into an early deficit, coach Bill Self began going with a bigger lineup to deal with Travis in the paint, and that seemed to open up Graham on the perimeter. He knocked down all five of his 3-pointers in the first half, helping the Jayhawks to a 43-35 lead.

Stanford kept going to Travis inside, and the 6-foot-8 brute kept going to the free throw line. During two separate stretches of the second half, he made four free throws in less than a minute.

But the Jayhawks showcased their versatility down the stretch with Jackson scoring on a nifty dunk off an alley-oop pass, Mason getting a tilting runner to go while crashing to the floor, and Mykhailiuk knocking down 3-pointers from the wing that sent the lead ballooning toward 20 late in the game.

BIG PICTURE

Stanford coach Jerod Haase was hoping for a better return to the Phog. He played three seasons for the Jayhawks under Roy Williams, and later served as their director of basketball operations. Haase would follow Williams to North Carolina, but he was fondly received on Saturday, getting a massive ovation from an appreciative crowd during pregame introductions.

Kansas snapped a two-game skid against the Cardinal that included an NCAA Tournament loss in 2014, when Andrew Wiggins and Co. couldn't slow down Stanford in St. Louis. The Jayhawks were even able to get their benchwarmers some action for the third straight game.

UP NEXT

Stanford gets nearly two weeks off before playing Cal State East Bay on Dec. 16.

Kansas continues its six-game home stand against Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday night.