College Basketball Nation: Chris Cooper

Thursday recap: Racers rally, remain perfect

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
11:30
AM ET
Player of the Night: Isaiah Canaan
Trailing at the half and down 11 points with 17 minutes to go, Murray State’s undefeated season was in serious jeopardy. That’s when Canaan took over, scoring 24 points in the final 16:30. During that same stretch, Southeast Missouri State scored just 27 points. Canaan finished with 32 points as the Racers won, 81-73. It was Murray State’s fourth win after trailing at halftime.

Scoring Star Part I: Lamont Jones
Iona cruised to a 105-86 win over Canisius behind a career-high 43 points from Jones. The Arizona transfer went 16-for-23 from the field, including 7-for-12 from 3-point range. His 43 points set a Hynes Center record that had held up since 1984. It’s also tied for the second-highest scoring game in school history, and the most points since Sean Green’s 43 in 1991.

Scoring Star Part II: Damian Lillard
The nation’s leading scorer had one of his best games of the season, scoring 40 points in a 92-79 win over Portland State. The win moved Weber State to 9-1 in the Big Sky Conference. It was Lillard’s second 40-point performance of the season, the only player who can make that claim. Last season, only Jimmer Fredette (four) and Marshon Brooks (two) had multiple 40-point games. Lillard is on track to be the first player to average 25 points, five rebounds and three assists per game since Lester Hudson in 2008-09.

Scoring Duo: Kevin Murphy and Jud Dillard
Murphy (33) and Dillard (29) combined for 62 points in Tennessee Tech’s 94-88 win over Austin Peay. Both players are averaging more than 18 points per game. The only other team with multiple players averaging 18 points per game is Central Connecticut, which actually has three. Murphy and Dillard average a combined 39.8 points per game, which makes them the second-highest scoring duo in the nation behind Weber State’s Lillard and Scott Bamforth (40.7).

Strange Line of the Night: Chris Cooper
In Old Dominion’s 80-71 win over James Madison, Cooper grabbed 22 rebounds – matching the second-most rebounds in a game this season. The last ODU player with more rebounds in a game was Clifton Jones in 2001. Now for the strange part. Cooper went 1-for-7 from the field. The last time a player grabbed 20 rebounds and shot less than 15 percent? Marshall’s Tyler Wilkerson in 2009.
Player of the Night - Kyle Downey
Less than five minutes into the game, Siena trailed Iona 20-2. But the Saints climbed back in it on the back of Kyle Downey. When Siena went into the break down by 10, Downey had two points, three turnovers and three fouls. The second half was a different story. He scored 14 points on 6-8 from the field. That included seven points in the final five minutes, as Downey put Siena up for good.

Filling Up the Stat Sheet – Thomas Robinson
Robinson had 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in Kansas' 64-54 win over Texas A&M. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of Robinson’s evening? He went 10-for-10 from the free throw line. Not bad for a player with a career 54.6 free throw percentage. It’s the most makes without a miss by a Jayhawk since Wayne Simien in 2005.

Breakout Performance - D.J. Brown
Brown scored a career-high 33 points (nearly 27 more than his season average) as San Jose State snapped a five-game losing streak with a 78-70 win over Cal State Bakersfield. The performance set a school record for points by a freshman. He came into Monday averaging 6.4 ppg with an ugly 34.3 field goal percentage. But on this night, Brown couldn't miss. He went 9-for-11 from the field, including 6-for-7 from long distance.

Bench Star – Chris Cooper
There are 24 Division I players averaging a double-double. Only one comes off the bench. Old Dominion's Chris Cooper had 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in Monday’s 69-57 win over Northeastern. He’s come off the bench in the last 10 games after starting the first 11 of the season. In the 10 games in which he’s come off the bench, Cooper has five double-doubles. That’s two more than any other bench player this season.

Ugly Stat Line of the Night - Humpty Hitchens
Hitchens went just 6-for-17 from the field and committed 10 turnovers as James Madison fell to Georgia State 74-58. It's just the seventh time this season a player has had double-digit turnovers, and the fifth time one of those players also shot under 40 percent. Hitchens had never had more than seven turnovers in a game.

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