La Salle's three-mendous trio

ASSOCIATED PRESS Notre Dame forward Tom Knight celebrates with fans and the leprechaun after five-overtime win over Louisville.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Notre Dame forward Tom Knight celebrates with fans and the leprechaun after five-overtime win over Louisville.
Posted: February 12, 2013

AROUND THE CITY

BEST SHOOTING

La Salle.

The Explorers (16-6, 6-3 Atlantic 10) made more threes (18) than Fordham (6-18, 2-7) took (16). When you outscore a team 54-9 from the arc, you will win easily. And La Salle won easily at Gola, 89-53.

Tyreek Duren, who did not miss a shot from anywhere and also had eight assists against one turnover, Sam Mills and Ramon Galloway were a ridiculous 16-for-19 from three and combined for 56 points.

It is especially good news that Mills, a very good three-point shooter his first two seasons (41.7 percent, 43.5 percent), was 7-for-8. He had been shooting just 28.4 percent from the arc this season. If he gets hot, La Salle, which has put together an NCAA-worthy résumé, will be almost impossible to guard on the perimeter.

MORE GOOD NUMBERS

La Salle had 22 assists on 30 field goals and just seven turnovers. Admittedly, it was Fordham, but you want your team sharp for the stretch run. La Salle is sharp as it gears up for its most important games.

BEST FINISH

Temple.

The Owls (16-7, 5-4 A-10) were down, 68-58, at Dayton with 4 1/2 minutes left. So what did they do? Made every play and every shot and won, 72-71.

The amazing Khalif Wyatt, who hit a three at the halftime buzzer, hit another three with 7 seconds left to win it.

Even with that, the final seconds included so many turnovers, missed free throws, strange foul calls, twists and turns, that nothing was assured until it was assured.

THE GOOD NUMBERS

Temple had 10 steals and just eight turnovers. Dayton (13-10, 3-6) had two steals and 14 turnovers. The numbers were enough to give Temple a chance at a miracle comeback, a win that keeps the Owls alive for a sixth consecutive NCAA.

SHOOTING IT VERY WELL

Villanova.

The Wildcats (15-9, 6-5 Big East) crushed South Florida (10-13, 1-10) at home, 68-40. 'Nova shot 52.4 percent overall and 7-for-13 from the arc. USF was 11-for-47 (23.4 percent) and 1-for-17 from the arc. Those numbers are absolutely indicative of the rout that was.

Over the last two games, Villanova has shot 56-for-99 and 17-for-31 from the arc.

Now, it gets quite a bit more complicated this week with games at Cincinnati and Connecticut. But it is a very good sign for a team that is absolutely getting better and is those two losses to Providence away from a very surprising NCAA bid.

NEEDED MORE TIME

Saint Joseph's.

The Hawks game at Massachusetts was delayed 5 hours because of the blizzard. SJU (13-9, 4-5 A-10) could have used 5 days. UMass (16-6, 6-3) sliced up the Hawks' defense all game and won, 80-62.

SJU made a few runs at the Minutemen, but each time UMass made far stronger runs back at the Hawks. Could have been a perfect Saturday for the Big 5, but it didn't work out that way. UMass had 22 assists on its 29 field goals, shot nearly 52 percent and had just five turnovers.

SJU has been consistently inconsistent all season. The Hawks really needed to get a win in last week's two road games (also Dayton). They got nothing.

BEST OVERALL OFFENSIVE NUMBERS

Miles Cartwright, Penn.

The junior guard had 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in the Quakers' 71-48 win over Brown at the Palestra. Penn (5-17, 2-3 Ivy) beat former assistant coach Mike Martin's improved team. Brown is 8-12, 2-4, but has played most opponents tougher than it did Penn.

ANOTHER LOST STARTER?

Penn is already down two starters. Freshman big man Darien Nelson-Henry, who injured a knee in Friday's loss to Yale, did not play against Brown. It is unclear how long he might be out. Fran Dougherty (elbow) and Steve Rennard (plantar fascia tear) are almost certainly out for the season.

ACROSS THE NATION

DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN?

It did. Louisville and Notre Dame really did go five OT.

ND's Jerian Grant did his best Marvin O'Connor imitation in the final seconds of regulation. With his team trailing 56-48, Grant hit three treys and then finished off an and-one drive for 12 points in 23 seconds.

Then, there was Garrick Sherman. He did not play in regulation. He had 17 points and six rebounds while playing 21 of the 25 OT minutes.

And did a player ever miss more game-winning shots (or game-tying in the fifth OT) in one game that Louisville's Russ Smith?

Notre Dame scored 48 points in the first 39 minutes and 56 in the last 26 minutes.

DJ'S TOP 15

1. Miami (19-3): First team in ACC history to beat Duke and UNC by 25 points in the same season after crushing N.C., 87-61, while making 15 threes. Three losses were with a missing starter.

2. Florida (19-3): Can't explain meltdown at Arkansas, but no team has won with such ease. Shot 53.4 percent in 83-58 win over hopeless Mississippi State.

3. Indiana (21-3): Worst baseline inbounds defense in history at Illinois on Thursday. Bounced back with a brilliant offensive display in 81-68 win Sunday at Ohio State.

4. Michigan (21-3): Tied on a miracle shot at Wisconsin and then lost, 65-62, in OT. Badgers allegedly committed just eight fouls in 45 minutes. Michigan was 1-for-2 from the line

5. Duke (21-2): Has terrific non-con wins, but still not sure about Blue Devils on the road against quality teams. They escaped with a 62-61 win at Boston College Sunday.

6. Gonzaga (23-2): Blew away Loyola Marymount, 74-55. Be interesting to see where committee seeds Bulldogs if they run the table.

7. Michigan State (20-4): Don't look now, but Tom Izzo's team is tied with Indiana atop the Big Ten after 78-65 win at Purdue. Has won nine of 10.

8. Syracuse (20-3): James Southerland was back after missing six games (academic issue) and the 'Cuse cruised Sunday against St. John's, 77-58.

9. Louisville (19-5): Lost Game of the Year at Notre Dame, 104-101, in five OT. Teams combined to miss 38 of 50 threes and shoot 97 free throws. Looked like it would never end.

10. Butler (20-4): Almost blew 15-point lead in final 7 1/2 minutes at George Washington, before winning, 59-56. Smith Center sold out for first time since 2006.

11. Arizona (20-3): Lost at home to California, 77-69, Sunday night.

12. Kansas State (19-4): After beating Iowa State, 79-70, took over first place in the Big 12. Rather big game Monday night at Kansas.

13. Kansas (19-4): Working on an 18-game winning streak a week ago. Now has first three-game losing streak in 8 years after losing, 72-66, at Oklahoma.

14. Notre Dame (19-5): Loved Mike Brey's reaction as the Louisville game went on and on. He was just smiling, enjoying the moment.

15. Pittsburgh (20-5): Went to Cincinnati, used a zone that forced the Bearcats to make long shots and won, 62-52. Has won seven of eight.

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