Purdue outlasts Rutgers for spot in Big Ten semis
Mason Gillis had 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting, and No. 5 Purdue held off Rutgers for a rugged 70-65 victory in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals Friday. With Zach Edey drawing his usual attention inside, the top-seeded Boilermakers (27-5) got a big lift from Gillis and reserve guard David Jenkins Jr. Gillis grabbed nine rebounds and Porter had a season-high 12 points. The 7-foot-4 Edey finished with 16 points and 11 boards. Derek Simpson scored 18 points for Rutgers (19-14). Cam Spencer had 13 points, and Clifford Omoruyi finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. … Bruce Thornton had 21 points and six assists, freshman Roddy Gayle Jr. scored seven of his season-high 15 points in the final five minutes and short-handed Ohio State beat fourth-seeded Michigan State 68-58. Ohio State became the lowest seed, at No. 13, to ever reach the Big Ten semifinals. The Buckeyes were without leading scorer Brice Sensabaugh, at 16.3 points per game, due to knee soreness. But Gayle scored 12 points in the second half to make up for Sensabaugh’s absence.
Jordan Walker scored 32 points and UAB beat North Texas 76-69 for its eighth straight victory. Walker also had six rebounds and six assists for the Blazers. KJ Buffen scored 13 points and added seven rebounds. Javian Davis shot 3 of 4 from the field and 5 for 7 from the line to finish with 11 points. Tylor Perry led the way for the Mean Green with 17 points. Kai Huntsberry added 14 points, four assists and two steals for North Texas. Aaron Scott also put up 13 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. … Johnell Davis had 18 points in Florida Atlantic’s 68-65 victory over Middle Tennessee. Davis also contributed four steals for the Owls. Alijah Martin scored 17 points and added six rebounds. DeAndre Dishman led the Blue Raiders in scoring, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Elias King added 13 points and six rebounds for Middle Tennessee.
Daniss Jenkins’14 points helped power Iona’s second-half surge against Niagara as the Gaels took the 71-59 victory in the conference semifinals.
RayJ Dennis scored 28 points as top-seeded Toledo advanced to the league championship with its 17th straight win, 82-75 over Ohio. Dante Maddox Jr. added 20 points for Toledo, which is 0-5 in MAC title games since winning it 43 years ago. Jaylin Hunter made seven 3pointers and scored 27 and Devon Baker added 17 for fifth-seeded Ohio.
Shy Odom and William Settle each scored 16 points as Howard blew by Maryland-Eastern Shore 74-55 for a spot in the conference title game. Marcus Dockery added 10 points for Bison, who entered the tournament as the top seed. No Hawks scored in double figures.
PASTNER OUSTED AT GEORGIA TECH
Josh Pastner was fired Friday as Georgia Tech’s basketball coach, two seasons after he guided the Yellow Jackets to a surprising Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title. Pastner was dumped after seven seasons as coach of the Atlanta school, his fate sealed by a second straight losing season and few signs of progress in a program that was once a national powerhouse. The Yellow Jackets ended their season Wednesday with a 89-81 loss to Pittsburgh in the second round of the ACC tournament.
ANDERSON’S TIME AT ST. JOHN’S OVER
St. John’s fired men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson on Friday, one day after his fourth season in charge ended with an overtime loss to No. 6 Marquette in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. The decision comes just two years after Anderson was the Big East coach of the year, earning him a contract extension. But the Red Storm never made the NCAA Tournament under Anderson.