Chima Moneke continued to be on the money for UC Davis in the Big West with another big scoring outburst, while a Saint Mary's duo Emmett Naar and Jock Landale helped keep the Saint Mary's Gaels well entrenched in the nation's Top 25 ranked teams.
With yet another offensive outburst, Chima Moneke guided UC Davis to a 74-65 win against UC Irvine for their third straight win. Moneke went about compiling a game game-high 22 points (7-of-12 FG) with 9 rebounds and 1 block in another outstanding performance. He would go a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line to ensure the Aggies would take sole possession of first place in the Big West Conference standings with a 5-1 record. For Moneke, it was the seventh time he had scored 20 points or more this season, and is currently averaging 15.6 points per game.
San Francisco proved no match for #21 Saint Mary's on Australia Day, with the Gaels running away with a commanding 66-46 win. Emmett Naar would pour in 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting including 2-of-3 from long-range with 6 assists as the Gaels stepped up the defensive pressure in the second half. Center Jock Landale was his efficient best, adding 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Dane Pineau came off the bench for 6 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks in an energetic display.
Landale and Naar then starred for the Gaels in their 72-59 win against Santa Clara. Despite an uncharacteristic 5 turnovers and being forced to sit the last 10 minutes of the game after fouling out, Landale delivered a big 20 point and 11 rebound double-double. Naar also went close to a double-d0uble of his own in adding 15 points and 9 rebounds as the Aussie duo came up big, earning the Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week award. The Gaels moved within one victory of 20 wins for a 10th straight season, trailing Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference standing by just 1 game.
In an offensive onslaught, #13 Louisville dismantled Pittsburgh in a one-sided contest, running away with a 106-51 win. It was a devastating performance by the Cardinals who received solid contributions from their two Aussies. Deng Adel started and provided 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting with 6 rebounds and 3 assists in just 22 minutes as the court time was shared. Mangok Mathiang came off the bench and provided a spark, adding 9 points, 9 rebounds in 17 minutes. The 55-point winning margin was the largest ever by a road team in ACC play.
The Cardinals maintained their form with another blowout win, this time an 85-60 win against North Carolina State. While Adel would again add 10 points alongside 3 rebounds and 3 assists, it was Mathiang who stood out. The 6'10 senior connected on 7-of-9 from the field in gathering 14 points and 5 rebounds in another very good showing off the bench. With the win, Louisville improved to 6-3 in conference play, 18-4 overall with Boston College next up.
Xavier Cooks has been the go-to player for Winthrop and he delivered when it was needed the most in their hard-fought contest against Gardner Webb. The Bulldogs finished strongly, overcoming a 15 point deficit to steal the lead with less than 2 minutes to play. However Cooks came up with a play that saw him head to the line with 14 seconds left to make both and put his side ahead for good in a nail-biting 72-70 win. The 6'8 forward would finish with a team-high 19 points (8-of-16 FG) with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in a very good performance despite 5 turnovers.
Winthrop's six game winning streak came to an end at the hands of High Point in another thrilling contest. This time Cooks was not able to save the Eagles, with High Point landing the killer blow in extra time to record an 83-80 win. Cooks was again very good, providing another 19 point game, this time with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a massive 5 blocked shots. Despite the loss, Winthrop are just half a game outside first place in the Big South standings with an 8-2 record (16-5 overall).
In the Big 12, #5 Baylor continued on their winning ways with two straight wins over the past week and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr playing an important role. The 7'0 athletic center added 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in the Bears' narrow 65-61 win over Texas Tech. He stepped up for a big 16 point and 9 rebound performance in a come-from-behind victory against Mississippi State. A deep, late three-pointer ensured a 78-75 win for the now 20-1 Bears. Lual-Acuil Jr also swatted two shots and shot an efficient 5-of-7 from the field and 6-of-9 from the charity stripe.
Jack McVeigh picked the right time to rediscover his early season form, coming up big to help lead Nebraska to an upset 83-80 win over #20 Purdue. The 6'7 forward was on fire, connecting on 4-of-6 from beyond the arc on his way to registering a game-high 21 points. McVeigh's shooting has been hit and miss this season, but he was on target in this game and once again demonstrated the value that he is able to provide.
In a positive sign, Sam McDaniel has bounced back to form for Louisiana Monroe, delivering a couple of big outings for the Warhawks. The 6'6 small forward poured in 15 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in a 10-point loss to Arkansas State (63-73). Fellow Aussie Sam Alabakis chipped in 8 points and 4 rebounds in the tough loss. However McDaniel would finally help the Warhawks earn their first Sun Belt win of the season in overcoming Arkansas Little Rock 68-52. He would deliver an impressive double-double consisting of a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds. Despite training by 2 points at half time, the Warhawks stormed home thanks to a 40-22 half that helped break through for a much-needed win.
Bosko Kostur has helped fire Bryant to three straight wins in the Northeast Conference. He was integral in the Bulldogs 65-54 win against Central Connecticut, draining 3-of-5 three-pointers and 6-of-6 from the free throw line in compiling 15 points and 3 rebounds. He would back up with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in Bryant's down-to-the-wire upset overtime win against Fairleigh Dickinson (73-72). It took a jump shot with 4 seconds left in the extra period to seal and upset win.
While Louisiana State's losing streak has extended to seven, it was not without a fight coming from Duop Reath. The 6'10 power forward has been in great form, and he delivered a team-high 15 points and 2 rebounds in the Tigers' 71-106 loss to #25 Florida. He was again very good in a 64-77 loss to Texas Tech.
Reath would gather his fourth double-double of the season, gathering 12 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. However despite his best efforts, LSU still boasts just 1 win in Southeast Conference play (1-7).