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Friday, March 4, 2011
The numbers you need to know

By Jeremy Lundblad, ESPN Stats & Info

Inside the numbers behind Thursday’s top performances:

1. Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor had 39 points and outscored the rest of his teammates combined as the Badgers beat Indiana 77-67. Only twice has a UW player scored more points in a game -- Michael Finley and Ken Barnes both scored 42. It ties the most points by a Big Ten player in a conference game over the past 10 seasons, and is the most on the road in at least 15 years. Taylor’s performance is all the more impressive considering the system he plays in. Wisconsin averages only 58.1 possessions per 40 minutes, fewest in Division I. Thursday was no exception, as the Badgers had only 53 possessions according to Taylor sat for one possession, meaning he scored 39 points in 52 team possessions for which he was on the court. For some perspective, it took the entire Wake Forest team 79 possessions to score 54 points on Thursday.

2. Seton Hall shot 64.3 percent from the field in an 84-70 win over 15th-ranked St. John’s. The Pirates came into the game with a 40.5 field goal percentage, and were coming off a 30.4 percent performance against Notre Dame. It was the highest field goal percentage for Seton Hall in the past 15 seasons, and the highest in any Big East game since Georgetown shot 68.2 percent against Seton Hall last season. Perhaps most impressive was their performance from long distance. The Pirates entered the game ranked 342nd in the nation with a 28.4 3-point percentage. On Thursday, they hit 12 of 18, including five of seven in the second half. This was all the starters, by the way. Not a single bench player attempted a shot in the game, the first time that’s happened for Seton Hall in the past 15 seasons.

3. DeAngelo Casto posted a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds as Washington State beat USC 85-77. Casto went 10-for-11 from the field for the second time this season, having also done so against Stanford. Those are the two best shooting performances in the Pac-10 this season for player with at least 10 attempts. Casto appears to be emerging as the clear second option (or perhaps the first now?) that the Cougars have lacked. This was his third straight double-double, and over the past six games he’s averaging 17.7 ppg and 8.0 rpg.

4. Not much has gone right for Arizona State this season. The Sun Devils endured a nine-game losing streak, and entered yesterday 2-14 in the Pac-10. So Thursday’s 73-53 win over Oregon is the exception to that -- the Sun Devils’ first decisive win in almost two months. The Sun Devils hit a season-high 16 3s, with the bulk of the damage coming from a pair of seniors playing their second-to-last home game. Ty Abbott and Rihards Kuksiks combined to go 13-for-27 from long distance. Meanwhile, Oregon went 6-of-25 (24.0 pct) from two-point range. That’s the worst by a Pac-10 team since Oregon shot 20.0 percent against Washington State in 2009.

5. Maybe Binghamton was just saving all its points for the conference tournament. The Bearcats hit an America East Tournament record 18 3s on their way to a 91-65 win over UMBC. Consider that Binghamton scored 93 points in its previous two games combined. On three occasions this season, the Bearcats have been held below 40 points. But Thursday was different thanks to a pair of seniors who didn’t want their college careers to end just yet. Moussa Camara (30 points) and Greer Wright (31 points) both put up career highs. At halftime, the two had outscored UMBC 31-29, and nearly finished the game with more points than the Retrievers. Camara tied a school record with 8 3-pointers.