Monday, January 10, 2011
The numbers you need to know
By Jeremy Lundblad, ESPN Stats & Info
An inside look at the numbers behind Sunday's top performances:
1. Niagara’s Anthony Nelson was everywhere in the Purple Eagles’ 69-55 win against Siena. In addition to scoring 30 points, one shy of his career-high, the 6-1 guard hauled in 10 rebounds. But Nelson's career-high eight steals made this night particularly significant. Prior to Sunday, the most steals in a 30-point, 10-rebound game this season was just four. In fact, you have to go all the way back to Tennessee-Martin’s Lester Hudson in 2009 to find the last time a player had eight steals in a 30-10 game. In addition, Niagara won for just the second time in 13 games, as Siena fell to 2-6 on the road.
2. Bradley overcame a 23-point halftime deficit to trail by only two in the final 90 seconds, but it wasn’t quite enough as Northern Iowa won 83-77. This one was full of fun numbers, including a combined 45 of 50 free throws made. Northern Iowa got a career-high 34 points from Jake Koch, who was coming off a game against Indiana State in which he scored 3 points on 0-for-5 shooting. Meanwhile, Bradley’s Andrew Warren had an even more improbable career-high game, at least if you watched the first half. Warren went into halftime without a field goal and only two points. He then exploded for 28 of his 30 points in the second half.
3. On Sunday, no team connected on fewer field goals than Massachusetts’ 12. Yet, UMass still beat Dayton 55-50. The Minutemen finished 12-for-44 (27.3 percent) from the field, but won thanks to a 29-for-36 (80.6 percent) performance at the line. For one stretch, UMass went 13 minutes without a field goal. It’s the fewest field goals in a win this season, and fewest since William & Mary also won with 12 last season against Drexel. The Minutemen’s 27.3 field goal percentage was their fifth-lowest over the past 15 seasons, and their lowest in a win against that span. The last Atlantic 10 team to win while shooting worse was Temple, which beat Indiana in 2004 despite a 26.8 percentage.
4. Miami (Ohio) and Ohio faced each other for the 187th time on Sunday, but after three overtimes this one stands out from the rest. Miami won 92-88 despite making only four field goals and shooting 28.6 percent across the three overtimes. The Redhawks won courtesy of a 17-for-20 performance from the line during the extra frames. This one was of course filled with unique stat lines. Of the 130 shots taken during the game, only two were blocked. Julian Mavunga and Antonio Ballard both played the full 55 minutes, with Ballard putting up a career-high 26 points. Ohio’s Tommy Freeman came off the bench to play 46 minutes, the most by a D-I reserve this season. D.J. Cooper, the nation’s third-leading assist man, went off for 27 points and 11 assists.
5. Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger gets the headlines given that he leads all freshmen in scoring (17.9 ppg) and ranks second in rebounding (10.3 rpg). But how about his freshman teammate, Aaron Craft? His 5.1 apg ranks second among freshmen behind Dayton’s Juwan Staten. Yet, Craft has done this while coming off the bench in all but one game. Sunday was no exception, as Craft had 11 points and seven assists off the bench in the Buckeyes’ 67-64 win against Minnesota. In fact, Craft is the nation’s top assist man off the bench (among those with one start or fewer). Over the last 15 seasons, no one in Division I basketball has averaged more than five assists while starting no more than once.