PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Seth Curry scored 25 points and Mason Plumlee added 20 points and a career-high-matching 17 rebounds as No. 5 Duke’s starters scored all but two of the Blue Devils’ points in an 89-71 victory over Minnesota on Thursday in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Plumlee was coming off a career-high 28 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field, 10 of 11 from the free throw line and had nine rebounds in the Blue Devils’ previous game, an 88-67 win over Florida Gulf Coast.
Sophomore point guard Quinn Cook had a career-high 17 points for the Blue Devils who extended their regular-season tournament winning streak to 21 games, a run that stretches to the championship game of the 2006 CBE Classic.
(13) MISSOURI 78, STANFORD 70: Laurence Bowers scored 19 points, as usual most were in the second half, and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 13 Missouri beat Stanford 78-70 in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thursday.
Bowers, who had 13 points in the second half Thursday, has scored more points after halftime in every game this season for the Tigers (4-0). He came in averaging 15.5 points per game, 14.0 in the second half.
Missouri will face the winner of the first-round game between No. 2 Louisville and Northern Iowa in Friday’s semifinals.
Phil Pressey had 18 points and eight assists for Missouri, which had three field goals over the final 9:10 — all grouped in a 1:57 span starting with 2:12 to play. It didn’t matter as the Tigers were 10 of 11 from the free throw line in that stretch.
They were 22 for 25 for the game.
VCU 78, MEMPHIS 65: Treveon Graham scored 26 points and Rob Brandenberg added 15, including two late 3-pointers, as VCU won its first-round game in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Rams used their frenetic style of play to take a 16-point lead in the first half only to see the Tigers get to 63-61 with 4:05 to play. VCU then went on an 11-0 run with all the points scored by Graham and Brandenberg. Brandenberg hit two 3s in the run and Graham one as the Rams finished 13 for 22 from behind the arc.
VCU ( 3-1) will meet Duke in Friday’s semifinals.
OKLAHOMA 68, TEXAS EL-PASO 61: Romero Osby had 16 points and 10 rebounds as Oklahoma nearly blew a 20-point lead in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Texas-El Paso (1-2) got 12 points from Chris Washburn. Julian Washburn and Jacques Streeter both had 11.
Oklahoma had gone up 52-32, but UTEP battled back, getting within 64-58 on Streeter’s 3-pointer and two free throws by Washburn.
(2) CONNECTICUT 95, WAKE FOREST 34: Breanna Stewart scored 20 points while Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Morgan Tuck each had 16 to help Connecticut win easily in the opening game of the Paradise Jam at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
UConn (3-0) dominated from the start, scoring the game’s first 12 points and carrying a 45-12 lead into halftime. The Huskies held the Demon Deacons to just four field goals in the first 20 minutes.
It took 7 minutes for Wake Forest to hit its first basket and the Demon Deacons missed their last 15 shots from the field in the first half.
While Wake Forest couldn’t make a basket, UConn was hitting almost everything. Stefanie Dolson made her first career 3-pointer in the first half and finished with 11 points. The Huskies finished the game shooting 69 percent from the field.
Wake Forest (2-2) made just 22 percent.
KENT STATE: The school has clinched the division and a spot in next week’s Mid-American Conference championship. After that, it’s a trip to a bowl game.
Kent State, ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 1973, has rarely had it so good. And, it would appear there is little to be gained in Friday’s conference finale against Ohio.
But a win would complete the greatest regular season in Kent State football’s 90-year history, and bolster the school’s bowl resume.
OREGON: Back in 2000, Oregon had a chance to clinch a Rose Bowl berth with a victory over Oregon State in the Civil War rivalry game. Instead, the Ducks lost 23-13 in Corvallis.
The stakes are high again for this year’s Civil War on Saturday at Reser Stadium.
Fifth-ranked Oregon (10-1, 7-1) needs a win over the No. 16 Beavers (8-2, 6-2) for a shot at its fourth straight Pac-12 championship. The Ducks also need No. 11 Stanford (9-2, 7-1) to lose to southern division winner UCLA in Los Angeles on Saturday.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS: Their ticket to the Mid-American Conference title game already has been punched.
The 24th-ranked Huskies still aren’t planning to take Friday’s regular-season finale easy.
Northern Illinois (10-1, 7-0 MAC) can set a new school record with its 11th straight win and tie the school’s single-season win total by beating Eastern Michigan (2-9, 1-6) on the road.
Coach Dave Doeren has taken the Huskies to the MAC championship game in both of his two seasons.