Fairleigh Dickinson beats Texas Southern in First Four
Ansley Almonor scored 23 points and Fairleigh Dickinson beat Texas Southern 84-61 Wednesday night to earn its first NCAA Tournament win in four seasons.
The Knights held a 14-2 lead after a 12-0 run in the opening 3:29 and didn’t never gave up the lead. Grant Singleton scored seven points during a 19-6 run in which the Knights led by as many as 18 points at the end of the first half.
Jordan Gilliam made a jumper that got Texas Southern as close as 10 points with 10:01 left in the second half. The Tigers shot 42% and went 1 for 17 from 3-point distance.
Fairleigh Dickinson shot 50% and made 11 3’s to ad- vance to the East Region and play top-seeded Purdue in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday.
“Our press got us going, and then our half-court defense was excellent. We shared the ball. We played unselfish,” Fairleigh Dickinson coach Tobin Anderson said. “When you play that well, life’s pretty easy, so I thought we played very, very well.”
Joe Munden Jr. scored 17 points, Demetre Roberts had 15, Singleton finished with 13 and Sean Moore 10 for Fairleigh Dickinson (20-15).
John Walker III led Texas Southern (14-21) with 22 points. Joirdon Karl Nicholas added 10.
“Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough to overcome those guys and their 3-point shooting tonight,” Texas Southern coach Johnny Jones said.
DJ Horne had 20 points and Arizona State raced to a big halftime lead and scored the most points ever in a First Four game, burying Nevada.
Desmond Cambridge Jr. — a Nevada transfer — scored 17 points as Arizona State (23-12) led 5326 at the half and then kept up the pressure on the way to the rout.
The first-half output was a season high for Arizona State, which advanced as a No. 11 seed to face TCU in a West Region first-round game on Friday in Denver.
Arizona State hit 67.7% of its shots from the floor and forced 10 turnovers in the first half, piling up a 22-2 run over eight minutes to pull away, meanwhile keeping the pressure on and forcing the Wolf Pack to the perimeter.
Will Baker scored 17 and Tre Coleman had 14 for the Wolf Pack (22-11). One of Nevada’s top players, Kenan Blackshear, picked up three fouls early and sat on the bech for more than five minutes of the opening half. Averaging 14.4 per game, he was held to four points.