College Basketball Nation: Denver Holmes

Wednesday recap: Mavunga goes 19-19-8

February, 2, 2012
Player of the Night: Julian Mavunga
The senior carried Miami (Ohio) to a 62-57 overtime win over Eastern Michigan, leading all players with 19 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists. Both his rebound and assist totals are career-highs.

No player in the nation is relied upon more than Mavunga. Even though he’s not even in the top 50 in scoring, he’s put up 30.8 percent of the RedHawks' points. That’s fourth most in the nation according to

Mavunga also has 39.0 percent of Miami’s rebounds, which ranks second in the nation. The only other player who is even in the top 20 in both categories is West Virginia’s Kevin Jones.

Lofty Comparison: Thomas Robinson = Blake Griffin
Leading by just three points at halftime, Kansas pulled away in the second half to beat Oklahoma, 84-62. Once again, Robinson was huge with 20 points and 17 rebounds, numbers that would be eye-popping if he wasn’t doing it so consistently. Robinson now has four games this season with at least 19 points and 17 rebounds. No one else has three such games. The last major conference player with four 19-17 games in a season? Blake Griffin, who did it 10 times in 2008-09.

Bench Star: God’sgift Achiuwa
It’s hard to believe St. John’s could win a road game when Moe Harkless goes 2-for-15 from the field, but that’s just what happened Wednesday at DePaul. The Redmen got a career-high 29 points from D’Angelo Harrison. But the biggest boost came from Achiuwa, who scored 15 points in 18 minutes off the bench, hitting all seven of his shots. It was the best shooting performance for a Big East player off the bench this season.

Road Show: Evansville
The Aces put on an offensive display in a 93-62 win at Bradley. Not only did they shoot 60.3 percent from the field, but also combined on 31 assists -- 18 more than Bradley. (Colt Ryan and Denver Holmes combined for 47 points and 20 assists.) The last time a team had more assists in a true road game? UCF in February 2003.

Ugly Stat Line of the Night: Connecticut (except Andre Drummond)
The Huskies’ offense came up empty in a 58-44 loss at Georgetown. It was the fewest points for the Huskies since scoring 42 against Syracuse in 1999. Connecticut has failed to score 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1964. Drummond went 9-for-12 from the field, but the rest of the Huskies combined to shoot 18.8 percent (9-for-48).

Rapid Reaction: UNC 97, Evansville 48

December, 6, 2011

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A quick look at No. 4/6 North Carolina’s 97-48 victory over Evansville at the Smith Center on Tuesday:

What it means: After an emotional one-point loss at top-ranked Kentucky on Saturday, this might have been exactly what UNC needed to begin a nine-game homestand: an easy, emotionless blowout. Senior forward Tyler Zeller, with 12 points, left the game one point of 1,000 for his career. But coach Roy Williams was able to substitute liberally and play with different lineups, as even the walk-ons started checking in with 4:38 left.

How it happened: The Tar Heels looked focused from the outset, sharing the ball, playing good defense. By the 10-minute mark, Evansville had accumulated more fouls (10) than points (9) – and UNC systematically built its lead by making shots (60 percent in the first half) while shutting down the Purple Aces (23.3 percent in the first half).

Even when the Tar Heels made mistakes, they made up for it. Case in point: Point guard Kendall Marshall committed a silly foul on an Evansville 3-point attempt 5 seconds before halftime. After Colt Ryan made all three free throws, Marshall wiggled in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make sure the Tar Heels had a 30-point lead, 52-22, at halftime.

UNC only expanded on it from there.

Harrison Barnes finished with 17 points, John Henson added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Zeller had 10 rebounds. Reggie Bullock added 15 points off the bench. Denver Holmes led the Aces with 14 points.

Injury report: With 11:36 left, UNC reserve guard P.J. Hairston – his left wrist already taped after spraining it last week – appeared to roll his right ankle. He walked gingerly off the court, and eventually back to the locker room. He returned to the bench with about eight minutes left, his right shoe off and foot wrapped in ice.

Hubbub: Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee, in town to speak on his impact on the film industry, attended the game. During a timeout with 15:26 left, his image was flashed on the video boards and he was introduced as a “closet” Tar Heels fan.

What’s next: UNC continues its nine-game homestand on Saturday against Long Beach State. Evansville will play North Carolina A&T at home, also on Saturday.

Robbi Pickeral can be reached at Twitter: bylinerp.