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UT’s Richardson sparks upset of Butler

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. >> Tennessee guard Josh Richardson realized he needed to give his team a spark.

The 6-foot-6 senior proceeded to produce the kind of pyrotechnics that left No. 15 Butler’s four-game winning streak in ashes.

Richardson scored 18 of his 20 points after halftime Sunday and Tennessee overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to beat Butler 67-55. Richardson shot 9-for-13 and had a career-high six steals.

"I just saw we were dead and didn’t really have any scoring output in the first half," Richardson said. "KP (Kevin Punter) was playing good, and that was about it, so I decided to come up with it."

Butler (8-2) led 37-25 after Kellen Dunham’s 3-pointer in the opening minute of the second half, but Richardson scored the game’s next eight points to spark a 12-0 run that tied the score. Tennessee (4-3) took the lead for good on Armani Moore’s basket with 6:15 left. 

Punter added 18 points as the Volunteers earned their first victory over a ranked opponent since the arrival of coach Donnie Tyndall, who took over Tennessee’s program this season.

"It hurts when teams like that hit 3s," Punter said. "It kind of takes the life out of you. But you’ve just got to stay with it if you want to win. We stayed with it, we kept grinding, they coughed it up a few times and we capitalized."

Butler shot 6-for-23 and committed nine turnovers in the second half. Tennessee outscored Butler 19-5 in points off turnovers. 

Dunham scored 16 points, but only two of those came in the game’s final 19 minutes. Kelan Martin added 13 for Butler.

"When it comes down to it, I just feel like we got out-toughed in the second half," said Butler forward Kameron Woods, who had seven points and matched a career high with 16 rebounds.

The Vols missed seven consecutive shots during one stretch late in the first half and trailed 34-25 at the break. Tennessee rallied to tie the game at 37-all on Derek Reese’s putback with 13:57 left. 

Moore later put the Vols up 50-49 for their first lead since it was 6-5 in the game’s opening minutes. That started a 6-0 run. 

After Butler’s Andrew Chrabascz hit a 3-pointer to cut Tennessee’s lead to 58-55 with 2:40 left, Reese answered by banking in a 3-pointer to start a game-ending 9-0 run.

"Thank God it went in," Reese said. "The bank is open on Sundays sometimes."

Butler gave up the most points it has allowed all season. The Bulldogs had held eight of their first nine opponents below 60 points. 

"I don’t know that I’ve ever been more proud of a group of guys than I was today, just because you’re playing a nationally ranked team with the tradition and history of Butler," Tyndall said. "The first half didn’t go our way. Early in the second half, it didn’t start exactly right and they just battled, clawed and found a way."

NO. 4 LOUISVILLE 68, UNC WILMINGTON 57

LOUISVILLE, Ky. >> Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell each scored 19 points and played big roles down the stretch in helping the Cardinals survive the Seahawks (3-3).

A game that the Cardinals seemed to be gaining control of with an 18-point lead early in the second half was soon cut to 52-50 as the Seahawks went on a 15-0 run over 4:07.

That’s when Rozier asserted himself, scoring six of Louisville’s next 10 points in a run that included Harrell’s basket. UNCW cooled off after that, missing 10 of its final 13 shots to lose the first meeting between the schools.

Harrell also grabbed 17 rebounds, and Wayne Blackshear scored 11 points for the Cardinals (9-0). 

NO. 7 VILLANOVA 85, TEMPLE 62

VILLANOVA, Pa. >> Josh Hart and Darrun Hilliard each scored 20 points to lead the Wildcats past the Owls (6-4).

The Wildcats are 10-0 for the second straight season and have won all three games against their Philadelphia rivals. They started 11-0 last season before losing to Syracuse. Up next for the Wildcats, another date with the Orange.

Hart and Hilliard became the first Wildcats to score 20 points this season. Both players made six of seven shots from the field with three 3-pointers.

NO. 14 IOWA STATE 88, SOUTHERN 78

AMES, Iowa >> Georges Niang and Bryce Dejean-Jones each scored 18 points and the Cyclones held off the Jaguars for their fifth straight victory.

Monte Morris had 15 points and five assists for Iowa State (8-1). The Cyclones led by 27 before a late Southern run. 

Iowa State shook off a sluggish start with an 18-0 run late in the first half and early in the second. The Cyclones went ahead 53-35 on Naz Long’s layup with 16:13 left, and hung on for their 26th straight nonconference home victory. 

Tre Lynch scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead Southern (2-8). Iowa State outscored the Jaguars 41-8 during one stretch. 

NO. 17 WASHINGTON 81, EASTERN WASHINGTON 77

SEATTLE >> Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson hit 3-pointers in the final 1:16 to cap a big comeback and the Huskies beat the Eagles.

Robert Upshaw led Washington with a career-high 21 points and added nine rebounds and six blocks. Williams-Goss had 19 points and Andrew Andrews 18 for the Huskies (8-0).

Eastern Washington (8-2) led by double-digits with about 11 minutes to play when Washington started to rally. Upshaw’s tip-in with 1:42 to play gave the Huskies their first lead since midway through the first half, 71-70.

Drew Brandon had an airball on a 3-point attempt for Eastern Washington and Williams-Goss then hit his 3-pointer from the left elbow to push the lead to four points. After a pair of free throws by Eastern Washington, Johnson hit another 3-pointer with 53 seconds left.

NO. 22 WEST VIRGINIA 69, MARSHALL 66

CHARLESTON, W.Va. >> Juwan Staten scored 15 points, including two free throws with seven seconds left, to help the Mountaineers beat the Thundering Herd.

West Virginia (9-1) is off to its best start since going 11-0 in the 2009-10 season, when it reached the Final Four.

Jonathan Holton and Jevon Carter add 14 points apiece for the Mountaineers and Gary Browne scored 10.

Justin Edmonds led Marshall (3-6) with 18 points. Austin Loop scored 13 and Ryan Taylor had 11.

NO. 24 ST. JOHN’S 74, FORDHAM 53

NEW YORK >> Rysheed Jordan came off the bench and tied a career high by scoring 24 points to lead the Red Storm over the Rams.

D’Angelo Harrison added 22 for St. John’s, which improved to 8-1 after winning its fourth straight.

Eric Paschall’s 14 points led Fordham (3-5). Chris Sengfelder and Mandell Thomas chipped in with 11 points apiece, while Antwoin Anderson finished with nine points.

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