Luke Hancock scored 19 points and Russ Smith had 18 points and six steals and No. 2 Louisville looked more like itself with an 84-61 victory over No. 13 Missouri Friday night in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
The Cardinals had a rougher-than-expected opening-round game, a 51-46 victory over Northern Iowa, and coach Rick Pitino looked and sounded upset after the game.
Louisville was back to being one of the better defensive teams in the nation against the Tigers, forcing 23 turnovers that the Cardinals turned into 31 points. Missouri’s Phil Pressey, considered one of the better point guards in the country, had eight turnovers.
Missouri’s shooting percentage (46.0) looked better than it was considering the Tigers were able to get off 50 shots, 13 less than Louisville which shot 49.2 percent.
The Cardinals (5-0) will face No. 5 Duke in Saturday night’s championship game.
Ohio State 91, UMKC 45 — Deshaun Thomas scored 15 of his 21 points as the No. 3 Buckeyes coasted to a huge first-half lead on the way to victory against the overmatched Kangaroos in Columbus, Ohio.
Michigan 71, Kansas State 57 — Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points before he left late in the game after he was kneed in the head, and the No. 4 Wolverines beat the Wildcats to win the NIT Season Tipoff in New York.
Duke 67, VCU 58 — Mason Plumlee, a 6-foot-10-inch center who helped break VCU’s pressure, had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the No. 5 Blue Devils over the Rams in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Florida 79, Central Florida 66 — Kenny Boynton scored a season-high 24 points, Scottie Wilbekin added a career-best 17, and the No. 7 Gators downed the Knights in Gainesville, Fla.
Kentucky 104, LIU-Brooklyn 75 — Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin each scored 22 points and the No. 8 Wildcats ran away from the winless Blackbirds in Lexington, Ky.
Creighton 84, Wisconsin 74 — Doug McDermott had 30 points and eight rebounds to lead the No. 14 Bluejays past the Badgers for a spot in the Las Vegas Invitational final.
Michigan St. 70, Oakland 52 — Keith Appling shook off a sprained right ankle in the first half and finished with 20 points to help the No. 15 Spartans beat the Golden Grizzlies in East Lansing, Mich.
N.C. State 82, UNC Asheville 80 — Richard Howell scored 23 points, including the go-ahead basket with 3:06 left, to help the No. 16 Wolfpack rally past the Bulldogs in Raleigh, N.C.
Gonzaga 72, Oklahoma 47 — Elias Harris scored 18 points and the No. 17 Bulldogs beat the Sooners in a semifinal matchup at the Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Oregon 83, UNLV 79 — Damyean Dotson scored a team-high 19 points, including a short jumper from the key to give the Ducks the lead for good, in an upet of the No. 18 Rebels in the semifinals of the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas.
Minnesota 84, Memphis 75 — Andre Hollins scored a career-high 41 points to lead the Golden Gophers over the No. 19 Tigers in the consolation semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Cincinnati 78, Iowa State 70 — Sean Kilpatrick scored 32 points, leading the No. 22 Bearcats over the Cyclones in the semifinals of the Global Sports Classic.
Northeastern 74, Belmont 71 — Joel Smith had 26 points, including six 3-pointers to lift the Huskies over the Bruins and into the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage.
Providence 66, Fairfield 47 — Bryce Cotton scored 8 of his 21 points during a game-breaking 17-0 run that carried the host Friars over the Stags.
Loyola (Maryland) 58, Rhode Island 54 — Robert Olson hit a go-ahead layup with 1:57 left in overtime and the Greyhounds held off the host Rams.
UConn 81, Marist 39 — Freshman Breanna Stewart had 20 points and 10 rebounds to help the No. 2 Huskies continue to roll through the Paradise Jam tournament in St. Thomas with a victory over the Red Foxes.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 15 points for UConn while Kelly Faris and Moriah Jefferson each had 10.
Baylor 92, Liberty 60 — Kimetria Hayden scored 12 of her 18 points in the game’s first 5½ minutes and the third-ranked Lady Bears cruised over the Lady Flames in Waco, Texas.
Duke 90, Valparaiso 45 — Elizabeth Williams scored 18 points to help the No. 4 Blue Devils beat the Crusaders in Durham, N.C.
Notre Dame 76, UCLA 64 — Freshman Jewell Loyd had 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, Kayla McBride scored 18 points, and the No. 5 Fighting Irish overcame a subpar performance by All-American Skylar Diggins to beat the No. 19 Bruins in Los Angeles.Continued...