CollegeHoops.net Awards: Crowder, Horton, Belmont, Kansas
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jae Crowder, Marquette Senior Forward: Crowder – the reigning Big East Player of the Week – scored 53 points, grabbed 11 boards, handed out five assists and had five blocks and five steals in a pair of Golden Eagle wins.
In Wednesday’s 82-65 win over Rutgers, Crowder made 11 of his 14 field goal attempts and finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocked shots.
He followed that performance with 26 points, four rebounds, two blocks, two steals and an assist in Marquette’s big 61-60 win at West Virginia.
“He’s a really good player,” Mountaineer star Kevin Jones said. “He came in with a chip on his shoulder. You can’t take away anything from him and his team. They’re a tough team, as you can see.”
For the season, the senior forward is averaging 17.4 points on 51.6 percent shooting. He’s also gets 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 steals, two assists and a block per night.
MID-MAJOR PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ken Horton, Central Connecticut State Senior Forward: Horton ended his scoring slump in a big way last week, scoring 61 points in a pair of Blue Devil wins last week.
In Thursday’s 78-63 victory over Mt. St. Mary’s, Horton went for a career-high 39 points on 15-of-20 from the field, including 4-of-8 from behind the 3-point line. He also had 13 rebounds, six steals, five assists and a blocked shot. On Saturday, he scored 22 points, grabbed seven boards, blocked five shots and had four steals and three assists in a 78-61 win over Wagner.
For the season, Horton is averaging 18.7 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 1.7 assists and 1.4 blocks while shooting 49.3 percent from the field.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Belmont: After clinching at least a share of the Atlantic Sun regular-season title with an 88-79 win over South Carolina-Upstate on Monday, the 24-7 Bruins clinched the championship outright with a 62-61 win at second-place Mercer on Saturday.
In the win over USCU, five Belmont players scored in double-figures. On Saturday, Mick Hedgepeth hit a free throw with 12 seconds left to seal the conference title. Ian Clark led four Bruins in double-figures with 16 points.
SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State Freshman Guard: Mullings continued a nice freshman campaign with a triple-double in Thursday’s 115-73 win over Hawaii.
Mullings led the Aggies’ offensive explosion with a career-high 28 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals and a blocked shot. He made 11 of his 15 field goal attempts and 6-of-9 foul shots. It was the first triple-double in NMSU history
The Toronto native, who hadn’t had a double-double before Thursday’s triple-double, is averaging nine points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals for the year. He’s averaging 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and four steals over his last four games.
WIN OF THE WEEK
Kansas 87, Missouri 86 (OT): The Jayhawks clinched their eighth consecutive Big 12 championship by coming from 19 points down in the second half to defeat their rivals in overtime.
Tyshawn Taylor hit a pair of free throws with 8.3 seconds left in overtime as Kansas improved to 24-5 overall and 14-2 in the Big 12. The Jayhawks now have a 2-game lead over Missouri with two games to play. They only need to win at Oklahoma State on Monday or at home against Texas on Saturday to clinch the title outright.
“That couldn’t have been scripted a lot better for us,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I’m not the most emotional guy, but that’s about as good as it gets.”
The 19-point comeback tied the largest ever for Kansas at home (it did the same against UCLA on Dec. 2, 1995 in an 85-70 win) and was three points shy of its largest comeback in program history.
“We had the game in our hands, and we gave them a gift,” Missouri senior Kim English told the Associated Press.
With the 105-year rivalry coming to a close – at least for the time being – Kansas will have eternal bragging rights.
UPSET OF THE WEEK
Penn 55, Harvard 54: Zack Rosen scored 20 points, including Penn’s last nine, and nailed a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left as the Quakers kept Harvard from essentially wrapping up the Ivy League title and the first NCAA Tournament bid.
With the win, Penn pulled within a half-game of the Crimson and only has to beat Brown (Friday) and Yale (Saturday) at home and at Princeton (March 3) to force a 1-game playoff between the Quakers and Crimson for the Ivy League’s tourney bid.
LOSS OF THE WEEK
Northeastern 85, George Mason 82 (OT): Any hope George Mason had of collecting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament probably went away when 13-15 Northeastern outscored the Patriots 10-7 in overtime.
On Saturday, GMU fell to VCU, 89-77 to fall to third in the Colonial standings, making a CAA tournament championship run vital for the Patriots.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
No shot?: After Taylor hit his free throws to give Kansas an 87-86 lead, Missouri’s Michael Dixon dribbled out the final 8.3 seconds of the clock and the Tigers never got a chance to upset the Jayhawks.
With a second left, Dixon finally got the ball to Marcus Denmon, who hit a 3-pointer but not until after the buzzer had sounded as Missouri dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.