CHN Weekly Awards: Dixon, Murphy, Indiana, Miami
A review of the week that was in college basketball focusing on the best (and worst) performances. Check in every Monday morning for CollegeHoops.net's weekly awards.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Michael Dixon, Missouri: Dixon – arguably the nation’s best sixth man – made crucial plays in the Tigers’ wins over Texas and Kansas last week.
In Monday’s 67-66 win over Texas, Dixon scored 21 points and had four assists and made the game-winning basket with 31 seconds left.
In the final minute of Missouri’s come-from-behind 74-71 win over the Jayhawks on Saturday, Dixon took a charge from Tyshawn Taylor then knocked down a pair of free throws with 9.8 seconds left to help the Tigers tie Kansas and Baylor atop the Big 12 standings at 8-2.
Dixon finished Saturday’s game with 15 points, hitting 4-of-5 shots, 5-of-7 free throw and two of his three 3-point shots. He also led MU with five assists in both of the week’s games.
Dixon is averaging 12.2 points, 2.8 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals on the season.
MID-MAJOR PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech Senior Guard: Murphy scored 106 points, including a 50-point effort in Monday’s 98-80 victory over SIU-Edwardsville.
Murphy added 33 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the Golden Eagles’ 94-88 win over Austin Peay on Thursday, then scored 23 points, grabbed seven boards and handed out three assists as Tech knocked off Jacksonville State, 76-68 on Saturday.
For the week, Murphy made 35 of his 57 field goal attempts, 24 of his 28 free throws and was 12 for 22 from the 3-point line. For the season, the senior guard is averaging 21.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game for the 16-9 Eagles.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Miami (Fla.): The Hurricanes earned a pair of overtime wins last week, putting themselves back into the NCAA Tournament discussion.
First, Miami beat Maryland 90-86 in double-overtime behind a 24-point, 8-rebound, 7-assist performance from junior guard Durant Scott on Wednesday.
Then on Sunday, the Hurricanes knocked off No. 5 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Junior center Reggie Johnson scored five of his career-high 27 points in overtime of Miami’s biggest victory of the season.
After playing most of the non-conference season without Johnson, who is averaging 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds, and starting the season just 10-7, Miami has won four straight to improve to 5-3 in the ACC.
“To come in here and play with the kind of poise we did, play the kind of defense we did, was something that we can be very, very proud of,” said first-year Miami coach Jim Larranaga.
SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Kwame Vaughn, Cal State-Fullerton: Vaughn hit 11-of-15 shots from the field, including five of his seven 3-point attempts, and all 10 of his free throws of the Titans upset UC-Santa Barbara, 99-86 on Saturday.
Vaughn added six rebounds, six assists and a steal as Fullerton nailed a school-record 17 3-pointers and overcame a 47-43 halftime deficit to improve to 15-7 overall and into a second-place tie in the Big West with Santa Barbara at 7-3.
WIN OF THE WEEK
Indiana 78, Purdue 61: It was Indiana’s first road win over any other team than Penn State in Big Ten play in the last four years. The victory vaulted the Hoosiers into fifth play in the conference, and virtually gives them a lock on their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2007.
But, more importantly for Indiana fans, it was the Hoosiers’ first win over rival Purdue in four years.
“Our guys did an excellent job of understanding that if you’re going to beat a really good team on the road, you’ve got to have great resolve,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.
“They deserved to win the game,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “They were tougher than us. They were quicker to the basketball.”
Indiana, which out-rebounded the Boilermaker 53-35, was led by sophomore Victor Oladipoo’s 23 points.
“This win is huge,” Oladipo said. “We learned tonight to make better decisions and be poised when the game is on the line.”
UPSET OF THE WEEK
Idaho 72, Nevada 68: Nevada entered Saturday’s game with 11-11 Idaho on a 16-game winning streak, but left with a shocking 72-68 loss to the Vandals.
Kyle Barone converted a 3-point play with 40 seconds left and Stephen Madison scored 18 points to help Idaho give Nevada its first Western Athletic Conference loss.
The Wolf Pack are now 19-4 overall and have a game-and-a-half lead over New Mexico State in the WAC standings.
LOSS OF THE WEEK
Rhode Island 81, UMass 78: After beating Richmond and Saint Louis a week ago to ascend to the top of the Atlantic 10 standings, Massachusetts was stunned by then-4-18 Rhode Island in overtime Wednesday.
Orion Outerbridge had a career-high 29 points, including 18 in the first half, and he grabbed 11 boards as the Rams ended a 3-game losing streak in the series. After a win at George Washington on Saturday, the Minutemen are a game behind league-leading Temple in the A-10 standings.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
White gives Cyclone huge Big 12 victory: Royce White hit the game-winning jumper with 1.8 seconds left as Iowa State came from 14 points down to beat Kansas State 72-70 on Tuesday.
White finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals as the Cyclones improved to 6-3 in the Big East. Later in the week, Iowa State won at Oklahoma, 77-70, to stay within a game of league leaders Missouri, Baylor and Kansas.