GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Egor Koulechov scored 34 points, hitting six 3-pointers in his Florida debut, to lead the eighth-ranked Gators to a 116-74 victory against Gardner-Webb in the team’s season opener Monday night.
Koulechov, a graduate transfer from Rice, broke the school record for most points in a debut. Tom Baxley held the previous mark, scoring 32 points against Rick Barry and Miami in 1962. Florida ended up losing that game after Baxley fouled out in overtime.
Koulechov and the Gators had no issues against Gardner-Webb (0-2). Koulechov added five rebounds and five assists.
DJ Laster led the Runnin’ Bulldogs with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
No. 6 WICHITA STATE 81, COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 63
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Senior center Shaquille Morris had 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 22 minutes to lead Wichita State past College of Charleston.
Morris was 7 of 11 from the floor and part of the Shockers (2-0) dominating the interior. Fellow senior post players Rauno Nurger (16 points) and Darral Willis (14 points) found success inside and helped Wichita State to a 44-27 rebounding advantage.
Shockers starting guards Landry Shamet and Conner Frankamp each scored 10 points.
Grant Riller scored 20 points for College of Charleston (1-1).
No. 12 CINCINNATI 102, WESTERN CAROLINA 51
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) — Sophomore Jarron Cumberland scored 20 points for the second time in his career, and Cincinnati’s full-court pressure forced 22 turnovers as the Bearcats pulled away to a victory over Western Carolina.
Cincinnati (2-0) won its 28th straight home game — a streak that spans two arenas — with the type of defense that’s been the program’s hallmark. The Bearcats allowed 77 points during an opening win over Savannah State, making defense a point of emphasis.
Western Carolina (0-2) rarely got an uncontested shot and had trouble getting the ball up the court against Cincinnati’s trapping defense, which had 11 steals.
Kyle Washington added 14 points and seven rebounds for Cincinnati, which had four players in double figures. Matt Halvorsen led Western Carolina with 15 points.
The Bearcats are playing this season at BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University while their on-campus arena is renovated. They went 18-0 at Fifth Third Arena last season.
No. 13 NOTRE DAME 88, MOUNT ST. MARY’S 62
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Bonzie Colson had 27 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks while Notre Dame shook off a choppy opening half to roll past Mount St. Mary’s in the Irish’s home opener.
It was the 25th career double-double of his career. Rex Pflueger added his first with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Matt Farrell chipped in 12 points and five assists as ND improved to 18-0 in home debuts under coach Mike Brey.
Colson, an Associated Press preseason All-American, went 11-of-15 from the field and 4-of-4 at the line.
Junior Robinson, the Mountaineers’ 5-foot-5 senior guard, led the visitors with 14 points, but had just two after halftime.
No. 14 MINNESOTA 86, PROVIDENCE 74
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Jordan Murphy had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Minnesota outlasted Providence.
Murphy scored 15 points in the second half, leading the Gophers back from a three-point halftime deficit. Nate Mason added 17 points and Amir Coffey finished with 15.
The Gophers tied it up 55-55 in the second half, then used a 23-11 run to take control.
Minnesota had just six assists on 30 made baskets, but they made up for it by dominating on the inside. The Gophers outscored Providence 40-26 in the paint and held a 38-31 rebounding edge.
Kyron Cartwright and Nate Watson led the Friars with 12 points apiece.
No. 15 XAVIER 101, RIDER 75
CINCINNATI (AP) — Trevon Bluiett had 26 points and nine rebounds to lead Xavier to a victory over Rider in the teams’ first-ever meeting.
Tyrique Jones scored 19 points, J.P. Macura had 14, Paul Scruggs added 13 and Kaiser Gates 12 for the Musketeers (2-0), who won their 32nd straight nonconference game at home.
Jordan Allen and Stevie Jordan had 14 points each for Rider (1-1), which trailed by 19 in the first half before pulling within five early in the second half.
Gates hit a 3-pointer to start a 17-2 run that pulled Xavier out of danger with 13:28 to play. Bluiett contributed eight points in the stretch.
No. 20 NORTHWESTERN 75, SAINT PETER’S 66
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Bryant McIntosh scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half, and Northwestern held off Saint Peter’s.
The Wildcats placed each of their starters in double figures in their second straight lackluster win to begin the season. Dererk Pardon scored 15 points, Gavin Skelly finished with 14 and Scottie Lindsey had 12 points and six assists.
Northwestern (2-0) made the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time in school history. The Wildcats returned four starters, but they are still looking for a complete effort through two games. They finished with 17 turnovers, helping smaller Saint Peter’s stay competitive throughout the night.
Nick Griffin scored 19 points for the Peacocks, who lost 61-40 to La Salle in their season opener on Saturday.
No. 25 BAYLOR 70, TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI 46
WACO, Texas (AP) — Manu Lecomte scored 23 points and Baylor pulled away from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Bears (2-0) were down 20-19 late in the first half before scoring eight straight points to go ahead to stay. Terry Maston and Lecomte both had two free throws, before Lecomte hit a 3-pointer and Maston a jumper.
Maston finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for Baylor, which used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to take control.
Nuni Omot added 12 points for the Bears, punctuating the win with a thunderous one-handed dunk with 2:15 to go that brought the crowd to its feet.
Joseph Kilgore led the Islanders (1-1) with 10 points and 11 rebounds.