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Thursday, February 24, 2011
The numbers you need to know

By Jeremy Lundblad, ESPN Stats & Info

Inside the numbers behind Wednesday’s top performances:

1. Providence’s Marshon Brooks set a Big East record by scoring 52 points in a 94-93 loss to Notre Dame. The record was previously held by another Friar, Eric Murdock, who scored 48 in a game 20 years ago. This marked both a school record, and the record for points scored against Notre Dame. Brooks tied Lamar’s Mike James for the most points in a game this season. Of course, James did it against a non-Division I school, while Brooks put up his 52 against a top-10 team. Over the past 15 seasons, the only player to score more against a ranked opponent was Jodie Meeks’ 54 against Tennessee two seasons ago. This also marks the most points in a loss since Ben Woodside of North Dakota State scored 60 in defeat in 2008. Brooks tallied 35 points in the second half alone, including 11 in the final minute of the game. Perhaps most amazingly, Brooks was 20-for-28 from the field. While others have scored more in recent years, he’s the first player since TCU’s Lee Nailon in 1997 to connect on 20 shots in a game against a D-I opponent.

2. Not a great night for Georgetown. First, starting point guard Chris Wright breaks his left hand. Then the team falls at home to Cincinnati 58-46, courtesy of one the worst offensive performances in recent Hoyas’ history. Georgetown shot just 25.0 percent from the field, its worst in a game in the past 15 seasons. The 46 points were tied for the fewest in the past 10 seasons. Austin Freeman was the only Georgetown player with multiple field goals, as the rest of the team combined to shoot 5-for-35 from the field. Without Wright for most of the second half, Georgetown shot 17.4 percent from the field and only made four shots.

3. Wisconsin’s 53-52 win over Michigan will be remembered for Josh Gasser’s buzzer-beater, but it was just another example of the Badgers’ great ball control. Wisconsin committed only five turnovers, the 11th straight game that it stayed below double-digits. On the season, the Badgers are averaging 7.7 turnovers per game, putting them on pace for the lowest rate since Temple averaged 7.7 in 2005-06. They’ve been even better against Big Ten opponents, averaging 6.6 turnovers per game. They have a 1.79 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is on pace to be the second-best in the past 15 seasons behind 2005-06 West Virginia (2.01). Jordan Taylor’s 4.16 assist/turnover is on track to be the best since Arizona State’s Kyle Dodd (4.73) in 2002-03.

4. Even when Jimmer Fredette’s shot isn’t falling, BYU can count on his free throws, as it did in an 84-76 win over Colorado State. Fredette was just 9-for-26 from the field, but connected on 14 of 16 free throws to finish with 34 points. As a team, BYU connected on 81.4 percent from the line. Its 35 free throws are the most by the Cougars since December 2000. Over his past three games, Fredette is shooting just 36.1 percent from the field, but 87.9 percent from the line. On the season, only Xavier’s Tu Holloway has made more free throws than Fredette. Scoring 20-plus points for the 13th straight game, Fredette also moved ahead of Devin Durrant as the school’s third all-time leading scorer.

5. Alabama shot a mere 26.2 percent, but a JaMychal Green tip-in with 0.3 seconds left was the difference in a 51-49 win over Auburn. It’s the fifth-worst shooting percentage by an Alabama team in the last 15 seasons. The last time the Crimson Tide shot this poorly and won was February 12, 1997 when they beat Ole Miss despite shooting 25.8 percent. Green finished with 17 points, but the rest of the starting lineup combined to shoot 3-of-22 from the field. Nevertheless, Alabama improved to 15-0 at home this season.