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Top 25 roundup: Ex-Razorback helps Hofstra topple No. 24 Arkansas

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Dec 18, 2021; North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA; Hofstra Pride guard Aaron Estrada (4) celebrates after scoring in the second half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Simmons Bank Arena. Hofstra won 89-81. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2021; North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA; Hofstra Pride guard Aaron Estrada (4) celebrates after scoring in the second half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Simmons Bank Arena. Hofstra won 89-81. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Ray scored 22 points Saturday night and former Arkansas player Abayomi Iyiola produced a double-double to lead Hofstra to an 89-81 upset of the No. 24 Razorbacks in North Little Rock, Ark.

Iyiola added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Pride (7-5), who nearly stunned Top 25 foes Houston and Maryland last month before dropping those games by a combined 10 points. They finished this one with balanced scoring and excellent rebounding.

Aaron Estrada stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Hofstra, and Darlinstone Dubar chipped in 11 points. The Pride won this one without leading scorer Zach Cooks (17.4 ppg), who sat out with a hip injury.

JD Notae scored 20 points for Arkansas (9-2) before fouling out in the final minute, and Chris Lykes came off the bench to add 19. But the Razorbacks made just 44.6 percent of their field goal tries and lost the rebounding battle 40-33.

No. 1 Baylor 78, Oregon 70

Kendall Brown scored 17 points — 15 in the second half — as the Bears ground out a victory over the host Ducks in Eugene to remain undefeated.

Baylor (10-0) extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 16 games and won its 34th straight contest against nonconference teams. Adam Flagler added 16 points (15 in the first half) for the Bears, with James Akinjo hitting for 17 and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua scoring 10 and taking a game-high nine rebounds. Baylor won despite going just 8 of 18 from the free-throw line.

De’Vion Harmon led the Ducks (6-6) with 18 points while Will Richardson scored 16 and Jacob Young tallied 11 for Oregon, which has lost three of its past four games.

No. 2 Duke 87, Elon 56

Trevor Keels poured in 19 points and the Blue Devils overwhelmed the visiting Phoenix to end the nonconference portion of its schedule with a victory at Durham, N.C.

Paolo Banchero and Wendell Moore Jr. chipped in with 12 points apiece and Jeremy Roach had 11 points for the Blue Devils (10-1), who begin Atlantic Coast Conference play next week at home against Virginia Tech.

Elon (3-9) was the third team to fill the opponent’s line for Duke on Saturday’s schedule. Earlier in the week, the original foe, Cleveland State, backed out because of COVID-19 protocols. Loyola (Md.) was set to be the replacement, but Friday it was announced that the Greyhounds had similar issues, so Elon was brought on.

No. 3 Purdue 77, Butler 48

Jaden Ivey scored 22 points and made a career-high six 3-pointers without a miss to help the Boilermakers steamroll the Bulldogs in the Crossroads Classic on a neutral floor in Indianapolis.

Zach Edey recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season for the Boilermakers (10-1). Trevion Williams added 10 points and six rebounds as Purdue shot 52.9 percent from the field and made 11 of 22 from 3-point range.

Bryce Golden scored 17 points for Butler (7-4), which had a four-game winning streak halted. Jayden Taylor added 11 points. The Bulldogs played without leading scorer Chuck Harris (11.6 points per game) due to a non-COVID illness.

No. 5 Gonzaga 69, No. 25 Texas Tech 55

Andrew Nembhard had a game-high 16 points and six assists as the Bulldogs defeated the Red Raiders at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix.

Rasir Bolton added 15 points, making five 3-pointers, and Anton Watson scored 10 for the Bulldogs (9-2) in the matchup of the past two NCAA Tournament runners-up.

Kevin McCullar and Adonis Arms each scored 14 points for Texas Tech (8-2), with McCullar also grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds.

No. 6 Alabama 65, Jacksonville State 59

Keon Ellis had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Crimson Tide held off the Gamecocks for a nonconference victory in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jahvon Quinerly scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half as the Crimson Tide (9-2) took control with an 18-2 run to turn a two-point deficit into a 14-point lead and from there held off a JSU comeback. Darius Miles added 10 points in the win.

Darian Adams scored 18 points, Jalen Gibbs scored 12 and Kayne Henry added 10 to lead the Gamecocks (5-6). Both teams struggled with their shooting, but Alabama enjoyed a 19-2 advantage in fast-break points.

No. 7 Kansas 80, Stephen F. Austin 72

Remy Martin nailed a 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining to give the Jayhawks the cushion they needed to ride out the final minute and avoid an upset bid by the visiting Lumberjacks at Lawrence, Kan.

Christian Braun, who grabbed a key offensive rebound before the Jayhawks (9-1) found Martin for his 3-pointer, scored a game-high 21 points.

Kansas won its fifth straight, though the outcome was much closer than the 24-point average margin of victory the club enjoyed in the previous four blowouts. Dajuan Harris went 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute to close out the win.

No. 8 Arizona 84, California Baptist 60

Azuolas Tubelis scored 12 points in the second half to help the Wildcats pull away from the Lancers in Tucson, Ariz.

Tubelis finished with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting for the Wildcats, who remain undefeated at 11-0. Tubelis also secured seven rebounds. Bennedict Mathurin scored 14 points, Christian Koloko scored 12 points with 10 rebounds, and Oumar Ballo also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

The Lancers (8-3) started strong and kept things close in the first half, thanks to 8-of-15 shooting from 3-point range. Arizona led just 40-33 at halftime. But the Wildcats clamped down in the second half, forcing the Lancers into 0-for-12 from deep.

No. 10 USC 67, Georgia Tech 53

The Trojans rode an early run to remain one of seven unbeaten teams in Division I as they downed the Yellow Jackets in the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix.

Boogie Ellis led the Trojans (12-0) in scoring with 16 points and collected seven rebounds. Drew Peterson added 14 points, Chevez Goodwin tallied 13 and Isaiah Mobley and Ethan Anderson each had 11.

An early 14-8 Georgia Tech lead was quickly erased by the hot shooting Trojans, who made four 3-pointers as part of a 25-4 run and shot 9 of 19 (47.4 percent) for the game from deep. Peterson (four) and Ethan Anderson (three) spearheaded the effort with seven combined 3-pointers.

No. 13 Auburn 74, Saint Louis 70

Walker Kessler feasted on dunks throughout the night and helped the Tigers dig themselves out of a major second-half hole to defeat the host Billikens.

Kessler led the Tigers (10-1) with 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots, going 8-for-12 with six dunks. Wendell Green Jr. finished with 15 points and eight assists and Jabari Smith scored 13 points.

Saint Louis (8-4) led by as many as 13 points at the tail end of a 23-5 stretch with 9:13 to go. Auburn crept back, utilizing multiple alley-oop dunks to the 7-foot-1 Kessler, until a Lior Berman corner 3 put Auburn back ahead 67-66 with 2:14 left. Auburn avoided what would have been its first loss in regulation this season.

No. 14 Houston 72, Oklahoma State 61

Jamal Shead battled foul trouble but came alive late, burying three jumpers as the Cougars defeated the Cowboys in Fort Worth, Texas.

Shead finished with 18 points and eight assists. His floater with 4:14 left to play silenced a run by the Cowboys (7-4) that cut what was a double-digit lead to two points, and then added a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws that allowed the Cougars (10-2) to reclaim control.

Fabian White and Marcus Sasser scored 15 points apiece for the Cougars, with White adding 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Bryce Williams led the Cowboys with 17 points, and Isaac Likekele had eight points, four rebounds and four assists.

No. 19 LSU 66, Louisiana Tech 57

Tari Eason scored seven of his game-high 21 points in the final 2 1/2 minutes to lead the Tigers past the in-state rival Bulldogs in Bossier City, La.

The Tigers (11-0) trailed for most of the game, but Eason led a 14-2 run to finish the game. Darius Days added 13 points and 18 rebounds. Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Amorie Archibald scored 13 points each and Exavian Christon added 11 to lead the Bulldogs (8-3), who made just one field goal in the final 10 minutes.

Louisiana Tech had won its previous four games and scored at least 78 points in each of its last eight games, but couldn’t maintain that streak against the stingiest scoring defense in the country (53.2 ppg entering the game).

Providence 57, No. 20 UConn 53

A.J. Reeves scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half to lift the Friars over the Huskies in Hartford, Conn., in the Big East opener for each team.

Reeves highlighted his performance by making four 3-pointers in the first half to send the Friars (11-1, 1-0 Big East) to their sixth straight victory. Ed Croswell scored 11 points off the bench and Nate Watson added 10 points and seven rebounds for Providence.

R.J. Cole collected 16 points and eight assists for the Huskies (9-3, 0-1), who shot just 31.1 percent from the floor en route to sustaining their second loss in three games. UConn’s Tyrese Martin scored 15 points in his return from a four-game absence due to an avulsion fracture of his left wrist.

No. 21 Kentucky 98, North Carolina 69

Sahvir Wheeler scored 26 points and Kellan Grady 18 as the Wildcats rolled past the Tar Heels in Las Vegas in a game that wasn’t supposed to happen.

The game was part of the annual CBS Sports Classic and was to have featured No. 4 UCLA vs. North Carolina in the opener before the Wildcats played No. 15 Ohio State. But COVID-19 issues forced both the Bruins and Buckeyes to pull out of the event earlier in the week.

Oscar Tshiebwe had 16 points for the Wildcats and the nation’s top rebounder (14.4 per game entering the game) grabbed 12 for his eighth double-double of the season.

No. 22 Xavier 80, Marquette 71

Dwon Odom had a career high in points and Nate Johnson scored in double figures for the fifth time in his last seven games as the host Musketeers defeated the Golden Eagles in Cincinnati in the Big East Conference opener for both teams.

Odom led Xavier (11-1, 1-0 Big East) with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting to lead the Musketeers to their seventh straight win. Johnson finished with 17, and Jack Nunge added 13 to go along with 12 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season.

Following a 22-point performance against No. 4 UCLA, Greg Elliott paced the Golden Eagles (8-4, 0-1) with 18 points on 6-of-10 (60.0 percent) shooting. Justin Lewis chipped in 15 and seven rebounds, and Darryl Morsell posted 14 points.

–Field Level Media