TOP 25: No. 9 Syracuse 77, St. John’s 58
James Southerland scored 13 points in his first appearance in seven games, C.J. Fair had 17 points and nine rebounds and host Syracuse beat St. John’s.
It was the 37th straight win in the Carrier Dome for the Orange (20-3, 8-2 Big East), extending the nation’s longest active home streak in Division I. The win also gave coach Jim Boeheim his 35th season with 20 or more victories. Boeheim holds the NCAA record in that category.
St. John’s coach Steve Lavin missed the game due to the overnight death of his 82-year-old father, Cap, leaving the reins to assistant coach Rico Hines. Lavin informed his coaching staff around 9 a.m. and then flew to New York City.
St. John’s (15-9, 7-5) had won six of seven, the only loss coming last week at Georgetown, and was 2-2 against ranked teams this season.
No. 4 Duke 62, Boston College 61
Mason Plumlee had 19 points and 10 rebounds, hitting the game-winning free throw with 26 seconds left to help Duke rally from early and late deficits to beat host Boston College.
Seth Curry added 18 points for the Blue Devils, who watched the three teams above them in the AP Top 25 lose to unranked opponents this week — and then nearly joined them.
Olivier Hanlan scored 20 points for Boston College (10-13, 2-8 Atlantic Coast Conference). The Eagles led by five points with 2:15 left and had a chance to win it after Plumlee made one of two free throws but Hanlan’s jumper was wide and the rebound popped out of bounds as the buzzer sounded to end the game.
Duke (21-2, 8-2) won its fifth straight game.
California 77, No. 7 Arizona 69
Allen Crabbe scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half, Justin Cobbs hit a big shot in the closing seconds and California held its composure down the stretch to knock off host Arizona.
Cal (14-9, 6-5 Pac-12) rallied from a 15-point deficit behind its defense against Arizona State on Thursday before coming up just short in a 66-62 loss. The Bears did the same thing to Arizona, keying a big run that put them up 10 with their zone.
Cal held on behind Crabbe and Cobbs, who scored a layup with 39 seconds left and had 21 points.
Arizona (20-3, 8-3) never fully recovered after struggling against Cal’s zone defense to open in the second half and had 17 turnovers to end a five-game winning streak.
Mark Lyons had 16 points, Solomon Hill added 13 and Brandon Ashley 12 for the Wildcats.
BIG TEN: Illinois 57, No. 18 Minnesota 53
Tyler Griffey capped a terrific week for Illinois with 16 points, and the Fighting Illini went 11 for 23 from 3-point range in a win over host Minnesota.
Three days after Griffey’s buzzer-beating layup gave Illinois (17-8, 4-7) a 74-72 victory over No. 1 Indiana, Tracy Abrams swished a step-back 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to stretch the lead over Minnesota to four. Abrams came off the bench for the first time this season after failing to score against the Hoosiers.
D.J. Richardson had 13 points and Brandon Paul added 10 points for the Illini, who ended a 10-game losing streak on the road against ranked Big Ten teams. Their last such win was three years ago at Wisconsin.
Austin Hollins had 16 points and four steals for the Golden Gophers (17-7, 5-6), who lost for the sixth time in eight games and could find themselves out of the Top 25.