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Friday, January 14, 2011
The numbers you need to know

By Jeremy Lundblad, ESPN Stats & Info

An inside look at the numbers behind Thursday's top performances:

1. California freshman Allen Crabbe scored a career-high 30 points in an 88-81 overtime win against Washington State. It's the most points by a Pac-10 freshman this season. In fact, Crabbe became the first Pac-10 freshman to score 30 in a game since USC's O.J. Mayo went off for 37 against Arizona State on March 1, 2008. You have to go much deeper into the record books to find the last Cal freshman to score 30. That was Shareef Abdur-Rahim way back in the 1995-96 season. Crabbe's performance overshadowed Klay Thompson's 36 points, the most by a Cal opponent since ASU's Eddie House scored 61 in January 2000.

Most Points by a Pac-10 Freshman, Last 3 Seasons
30 -- Allen Crabbe, Cal (Thursday vs. Washington St.)
29 -- Maurice Jones, USC (2010 vs. Santa Clara)
28 -- Derrick Williams, Arizona (2009 vs. UNLV)
28 -- Klay Thompson, Washington St. (2009 vs. Arizona St.)
28 -- Garrett Sim, Oregon (2008 vs. Utah)

2. At 0-15, a road game against one of the conference favorites isn't the ideal spot for that first win. It seems even less likely when your backcourt goes 0-for-13 from the field. How about when your top three scorers combine for eight points? Despite all of these things, UNC-Greensboro beat Appalachian State 75-74. The Spartans climbed back from a 13-point halftime deficit to improve to 1-15, leaving Centenary as the lone winless team remaining. So how did it happen? Aaron Brackett exploded for 28 points and 15 rebounds, both easily career-highs. He entered the game averaging 5.5 ppg and 4.3 rpg, having never topped 14 points. Brackett also shot 14-for-20 from the field, tied for the highest field goal percentage this season among players attempting 20 shots.

3. Gonzaga topped Pepperdine 92-75 while shooting 62.5 percent from the field. That’s the program's best shooting performance in a conference game in three years. The biggest reason was Robert Sacre, who put up a career-high 24 points. Not only was the 7-footer a perfect 8-for-8 from the field, but he also hit all eight of his free throws. The last player to attempt at least eight field goals and eight free throws and not miss any of them was Chattanooga’s Alphonso Pugh in 2005 against Georgia Southern. It’s just the fifth such game in the last 10 years, with Carlos Boozer the biggest name on that list. Sacre wasn’t the only Gonzaga player on the mark. Elias Harris went 8-for-9 from the field, including 3-for-3 from long-distance.

4. Is any team dominating its conference more than Belmont? The Bruins beat intra-city rival Lipscomb 88-52 to improve to 7-0 in the Atlantic Sun. Belmont has won those seven games by an average margin of 28.1 points, the highest scoring differential during conference play this season (minimum two games). Can the Bruins possibly keep this up? The A-Sun plays the nation’s longest conference schedule at 20 games, which could hurt their chances. Over the past 15 seasons, only one team has had a differential of more than 22.0 ppg in conference play. That was the 1998-99 Duke team that ran the table in the ACC, outscoring opponents by an average of 24.3 points per game.

5. It took three overtimes, but Tennessee Tech prevailed against Tennessee-Martin 109-105 thanks in part to a great all-around performance from Zac Swansey. The former Georgia guard finished with a career-high 19 points, including a pivotal 3-pointer in the third overtime. For good measure, he added 11 assists, five rebounds and five steals in his 50 minutes of action. He's just the third player this season to put up a line of 15-10-5-5.