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Friday, January 8, 2010
Inside Thursday's box scores

By Jeremy Lundblad

Five things to know from Thursday's action:

1. With just over 12 minutes to go in the game, Penn State led Michigan by 16. This after allowing only 16 points in the first half. Yet the Wolverines rallied back to win 64-55, after finishing the game on a 38-13 run. After going 0-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half, Michigan connected on 7 of 12 in the second. Laval Lucas-Perry tied a career-high with four treys on his way to 16 points. He had gone scoreless in each of his last two games.

2. Quietly, there is a freshman point guard who has virtually replicated John Wall's numbers. While Wall is averaging 17.2 ppg and 7.3 apg, 5-foot-6 Raymond Taylor of Florida Atlantic is putting up 16.8 ppg and 6.5 apg. On Thursday, he helped the Owls snap a five-game losing streak with a win over Troy. Taylor finished with 11 points and 12 assists, his second straight double-digit assist game. Freshman teammate Greg Gantt led all scorers and matched a career-high with 24 points. FAU picked up its fourth win of the season, matching its total from last season.

3. Southern Utah notched just its second win in 10 games and its first Summit League win of the season thanks to an otherworldly performance from Davis Baker. In an overtime win over North Dakota State, the senior tied a career-high with 34 points, including 6-of-7 from 3-point range. But it was overtime when Baker really took over, scoring 10 points and equaling North Dakota State’s total. Baker has hit 13 of his last 17 3-point attempts after starting the season just 4-of-27 from long distance.

4. South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters easily had the strangest stat line of the night. The freshman came off the bench to score 12 points in a win over UMKC. But he did so without connecting on a field goal (0-4). Wolters was a perfect 12-for-12 from the line. The last player to score 12 points off the bench, all on free throws, was Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Ryan Werch in 2006. Like Wolters, he was also a perfect 12-for-12.

5. Winthrop entered Thursday averaging 57.4 ppg. The Eagles leading scorer, Reggie Middleton, was averaging 7.5 ppg. That’s right, not only was no one averaging in double figures, but nobody was even close. So that’s why it was somewhat amazing to see the Eagles score 96 points in a win over defense-free VMI. Nevertheless, Winthrop’s leading scorer still only had 15 points. Amazingly, the Eagles have nine players averaging between four and eight points.