Five things to know from Monday’s action:
1. A 22-point run is always impressive. But how about a 22-point run to start the game? That’s what happened Monday when Utah State got out to a 22-0 lead against Fresno State. The Bulldogs didn’t score until Mike Ladd knocked down a jumper with 10:09 left in the half. Fresno State missed its first 11 shots. An amazing start to be sure, but the Aggies didn’t set a record. In 1998, Seton Hall got off to a 34-0 start against Kean. Fresno State finished the game with just 39 points on 22.2 percent shooting. It’s the fewest points they’ve scored in a game since also putting up 39 in December 1988 against Santa Clara.
2. Texas was again saved by its bench in its 87-76 win over Oklahoma. Three Longhorns came off the bench to score in double figures, including Jordan Hamilton, who recorded his first career double-double. Hamilton, Gary Johnson, and J'Covan Brown combined for 41 points on 14-for-24 from the field. By contrast, Oklahoma got three points from its seldom-used bench. It marked the first time that Texas had three bench players in double figures in a Big 12 game since 2003 against Iowa State. Texas is averaging 32.0 ppg off the bench this season, third in the nation behind VMI and Missouri. Last season, the Longhorns were 155th in the nation at 18.5 ppg.
3. Now this is what you call going out with a bang. On his senior night, UNC Greensboro’s Ben Stywall exploded for a career-high 30 points to go with 11 rebounds, as the Spartans topped Georgia Southern 81-79. This performance comes directly after Stywall was held to just 1 point against Davidson. One of 22 players averaging a double-double, he is on track to be the first SoCon player to do that in nine years (VMI’s Eric Mann). Stywall also moved into second place on the school’s career rebounding list.
4. Also playing his final home game was West Virginia’s Da'Sean Butler, who celebrated with an 81-68 win over Georgetown. Butler scored 22 points and matched his career-high by dishing out 6 assists. The Mountaineers are now 19-2 in Butler’s career when he has 4 or more assists. On top of that, they are 17-0 this season when he shoots over 41 percent. Butler is now 64 points shy on 2,000 for his career and will finish his career as the school’s third leading scorer behind Jerry West and Rod Hundley.
5. Reggie Holmes only started 10 games in his first two seasons at Morgan State. Even as a junior, he came off the bench in seven of the first eight games before forcing his way into the starting lineup. Yet somehow, after scoring 32 points against North Carolina A&T, Holmes is just 42 points shy of 2,000 for his career. Holmes was 11-for 22 from the field, raising his field goal percentage to 38.7 on the season, which stands as a career high. So a 38-percent shooter who came off the bench for half his career is going to reach 2,000 points? More than anything, that is a reflection of the fact that Holmes is in the top five in attempted field goals, attempted 3s and free throw attempts over the last two seasons.