LEXINGTON, Ky. – Julius Randle scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half to lead five Kentucky players in double figures and help the top-ranked Wildcats and their highly touted freshman class beat UNC-Asheville 89-57 on Friday night.
Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward, grabbed 15 rebounds.
Reserve sophomore forward Alex Poythress added 10 points and 13 rebounds. Reserve Marcus Lee added 17 points, James Young had 11 and Aaron Harrison 10 as Kentucky’s freshmen helped the Wildcats overcome a ragged start.
Kentucky shot 17 of 30 in the second half to finish 28 of 59 (47.5 percent).
Will Weeks’ 19 points led UNC-Asheville in the debut of Nick McDevitt as the Bulldogs’ head coach.
No. 2 MICHIGAN ST. 98, McNEESE ST. 56
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Gary Harris scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half and finished with a career-high 10 rebounds for the Spartans, whose next game is against No. 1 Kentucky.
Michigan State scored 10 straight points after trailing 13-12 early in the game and opened the second half with an 11-0 run to take a 63-25 lead.
Ledrick Eackles and Jamaya Burr led the Cowboys (0-1) with 11 points each.
No. 4 DUKE 111, DAVIDSON 77
DURHAM, N.C. – Jabari Parker scored 22 points in his debut for Duke.
Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood added 22 points in his first game with the Blue Devils.
The Atlantic Coast Conference favorites shot 70.4 percent – just the sixth time in school history that Duke was better than 70 percent for a game.
They effectively ended this one after a first half in which they shot 71 percent, held the Wildcats to one offensive rebound and scored 59 points – more than they had in any half in 2012-13.
Quinn Cook had 21 points, Rasheed Sulaimon added 20 and Amile Jefferson finished with 10 in Duke’s highest-scoring opener since rolling up 121 points on North Carolina Central in 2007.
Southern Conference preseason player of the year De’Mon Brooks led Davidson with 24 points.
No. 5 KANSAS 80, LOUISANA-MONROE 63
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points in his highly anticipated debut for Kansas.
Andrew White III and Perry Ellis added 12 points each for the youthful Jayhawks, who are replacing all five starters from last season and plays No. 4 Duke on Tuesday night.
Marvin Williams had 19 points and six rebounds for the Warhawks, who won just four games last season. They trailed 47-41 early in the second half before the quicker, more physical Jayhawks finally went on a 15-5 run to seize control.
The Jayhawks started three freshmen in Wiggins, Selden and Frank Mason, who got the nod at point guard with junior Naadir Tharpe serving a one-game suspension for playing in an unauthorized summer league game. Senior transfer Tarik Black also was in the starting lineup.
No. 6 ARIZONA 73, CAL POLY 62
TUCSON, Ariz. – Aaron Gordon scored 13 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked four shots in his collegiate debut for Arizona.
Arizona took the lead for good with just under 11 minutes left in the first half but the Mustangs, who beat UCLA last season, stayed close until the final minutes.
Gabe York scored 12 points, Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Nick Johnson had 11 apiece and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 10 for the Wildcats, who were 20 of 36 from the free throw line.
Kyle Odister scored 21 points for Cal Poly on 7-of-14 shooting from 3-point range. Chris Eversley added 17 points for the Mustangs, who were 11 of 26 on 3-pointers.
Arizona led 37-34 at halftime and didn’t get the lead to double digits until Gordon blocked a shot, then converted a three-point play at the other end to put the Wildcats ahead 56-45 with 9:47 to play. Cal Poly never got closer than seven points after that.
No. 7 MICHIGAN 69, MASS.-LOWELL 42
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Glenn Robinson III scored 15 points and Michigan pulled away in the second half to beat Division I newcomer UMass-Lowell.
Michigan raised its Final Four banner from last season before the game, but the River Hawks led by two points early in the second half. The Wolverines took control by scoring the game’s next 21 points, and that was the end of the upset bid.
Michigan was without star big man Mitch McGary, who missed the game because of a lingering back problem.
Akeem Williams scored 16 points for UMass-Lowell, which was making its Division I debut. The River Hawks aren’t eligible for the America East or NCAA tournaments until 2017-18.
No. 8 OKLAHOMA ST. 117, MVSU 62
STILLWATER, Okla. – Le’Bryan Nash had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead five scorers in double figures for Oklahoma State.
Phil Forte had 22 points, shooting 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and OSU went 12 of 21 from beyond the arc. Markel Brown and Brian Williams scored 14 apiece. Marcus Smart, the preseason Big 12 player of the year, had 11.
DeAngelo Priar scored 19 points and Anthony McDonald 16 to lead the Delta Devils.
The Cowboys outscored MVSU 34-10 over the final 9:07 of the first half to lead 63-29. Smart’s driving layup put the Cowboys up 100-47 with 7:02 remaining.
No. 8 SYRACUSE 82, CORNELL 60
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Trevor Cooney had seven 3-pointers and 27 points, both career highs, for Syracuse.
Syracuse, playing its first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, leads the all-time series against Cornell 88-31 and has won 34 straight against the Big Red.
It was the first game between the teams in three years, but the Big Red, 5-68 all-time against teams ranked in the Top 25, led by as many as 14 in the first half behind sharpshooting Nolan Cressler.
Syracuse turned the tables with an 18-5 run early in the second to take control. Cooney scored eight points in the surge that put the Orange up 60-48 with 11:38 to go and they steadily pulled away.
C.J. Fair finished with 19 points for Syracuse.
Cressler finished with a career-high 23 points but managed just three in the second half.
No. 10 FLORIDA 77, NORTH FLORIDA 69
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Casey Prather scored a career-high 28 points and Michael Frazier II added 19 for Florida.
The short-handed Gators won their 23rd consecutive opener – a much-needed tuneup before playing at No. 20 Wisconsin on Tuesday night.
Florida let North Florida hang around most of the game, backing up coach Billy Donovan’s assertion that there’s no way his team should be ranked 10th.
The Osprey, who hit nine of their final 15 3-pointers, made it a seven-point game with 19.2 seconds remaining. But the Gators closed it out from the free throw line. Florida finished 27 of 32 from the line.
Beau Beech led North Florida with 16 points, and Travis Wallace had 15.
No. 12 NORTH CAROLINA 84, OAKLAND 61
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – J.P. Tokoto scored a career-high 13 points in his first start for North Carolina, which was missing two key players.
James Michael McAdoo had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Tar Heels, who played without leading scorer P.J. Hairston and senior guard Leslie McDonald due to NCAA eligibility issues. Marcus Paige added 14 points and hit four 3-pointers, leading a dominating first-half performance that had UNC in control all game.
The Tar Heels ran off a 17-2 run to take a 19-point lead less than 9 minutes in, then nearly doubled that margin to 37 by halftime by shooting 74 percent (23 for 31) in their opening blitz.
Travis Bader scored 18 for the Golden Grizzlies, who shot 21 percent (6 for 29) in the opening half.
No. 14 VCU 96, ILLINOIS ST. 58
RICHMOND, Va. – Juvonte Reddic had 13 points and eight rebounds and VCU used a 33-7 first-half run to take command.
The Rams, ranked to start the season for the first time in program history, led 9-4 when Reddic started the suspense-ending blitz with a dunk off a feed from Rob Brandenburg. The burst included 3-pointers from five Rams, including three in a span of just 47 seconds by Melvin Johnson.
Transfer Terrance Shannon and Treveon Graham led the Rams with 14 points each.
The Redbirds, with 10 new players and only two on the roster with any Division I experience, looked very much like a team still getting familiar with each other. They committed a 10-second violation on their first possession, missed 15 of their first 16 shots and trailed 48-12 after 17 minutes.
Zach Lofton led Illinois State with 12 points.
No. 17 MARQUETTE 63, SOUTHERN 56
MILWAUKEE – Davante Gardner scored 25 points to help Marquette beat Southern in the season opener for both teams.
The senior forward, Marquette’s leading returning scorer and the top sixth man in the Big East last season, was 5 of 7 from the field and made 15 of 20 free throws. He was a point off his career high set last season against Syracuse.
Todd Mayo added 20 points for Marquette. The Golden Eagles won their 26th straight home game, the second-longest current streak in the NCAA. Marquette also won its opener for the 13th year in a row.
Malcolm Miller led Southern with 14 points.
No. 18 UCONN 78, MARYLAND 77
NEW YORK – Shabazz Napier scored 18 points, Niels Giffey had 13 and Connecticut survived Maryland’s second-half surge.
The Huskies nearly blew all of a 17-point lead over the final minutes at Barclays Center. Nick Faust scored five straight points on a layup and 3-pointer to bring the Terrapins within two with 2:28 left.
Tyler Olander drilled a 3 for UConn with 2 minutes left to make it 78-73. Napier was whistled for his fifth foul and Dez Wells made two free throws to cut it to 78-75. Wells hit a jumper out of a Maryland timeout and it was a one-point game.
UConn twice missed the front end of 1-and-1s but Maryland misfired from the floor on two potential go-ahead shots. Faust led the Terps with 17 points.
With former coach Jim Calhoun in attendance, UConn won the opener under second-year coach Kevin Ollie. The Huskies went 20-10 last season, but failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament because of poor academic progress rates that predated anyone on the current roster.
No. 19 OREGON 82. GEORGETOWN 75
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea – Joseph Young had 24 points and five rebounds for Oregon in a season opener played at a U.S. army base in South Korea.
Young, who made all 12 of his free throw attempts, and Jason Calliste, who scored 16 points and made all 11 of his free throws, led Oregon to a win before hundreds of soldiers at Camp Humphreys, a U.S. Army base south of Seoul, the country’s capital.
Joshua Smith scored 25 points but only had four rebounds for the Hoyas, who closed within four points with a minute left. But Georgetown missed key free throws in the closing minutes, while Oregon hit theirs.
Georgetown was outrebounded 40-32 and was just 1 of 15 from 3-point range. The Hoyas only led twice in the game – with the opening basket and then briefly early in the second half.
Markel Starks, a senior guard, helped keep Georgetown in the game, hitting the Hoyas’ only 3-pointer with 7:31 left and scoring 16 points.
No. 20 WISCONSIN 86, ST. JOHN’S 75
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Josh Gasser, who missed last season with a knee injury, scored 19 points and Wisconsin opened the season with a victory over St. John’s.
The Badgers, who had five players in double figures, never trailed and took control with an early 11-2 run and then went 11 of 23 from 3-point range.
The game was played in the 3,250-seat Sanford Pentagon.
Sam Dekker had 16 points for Wisconsin, which opened away from home for the first time in eight years.
D’Angelo Harrison had 27 points for the Red Storm and JaKarr Sampson added 21 points and seven rebounds. St. John’s was outscored 33-6 from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin led by as many as 18 in the first half. St. John’s pulled to 58-54 with about 8 minutes left before the Badgers hit consecutive 3-pointers.
No. 21 NOTRE DAME 74, MIAMI (OHIO) 62
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Jerian Grant scored a career-high 26 points to lead Notre Dame over Miami (Ohio).
Notre Dame jumped out to a 21-6 lead midway through the first half, but Miami kept the game competitive by playing tight man-to-man defense and hustling for rebounds and loose balls.
Sophomore guard Reggie Johnson led the Redhawks with 22 points.
Grant was 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Tom Knight added 13 points for Notre Dame and Pat Connaughton had 11.
No. 24 VIRGINIA 61, JAMES MADISON 41
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Anthony Gill scored 13 points in his Virginia debut and the Cavaliers held James Madison scoreless for nearly 7 minutes in the first half.
Mike Tobey added 10 points and Malcolm Brogdon had nine for the Cavaliers. Virginia got only five points from first-team all-ACC guard Joe Harris, but a pair of sophomores led the way.
Gill, a transfer from South Carolina, shot 5 for 5 from the field. Brogdon, who missed last season following foot surgery, hit a trio of 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes as Virginia built a 19-point cushion.
Tom Vodanovich had 11 points and four rebounds for the Dukes.
No. 25 BAYLOR 72, COLORADO 60
DALLAS – Kenny Chery scored 14 points and Cory Jefferson had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor.
The final game of a season-opening tripleheader at the downtown Dallas home of the NBA’s Mavericks featured last year’s NIT champion in Baylor and a Colorado team coming off the school’s first consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament in 50 years.
Brad Heslip had 12 points, all on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, including one with a defender in his face that gave the Bears their biggest lead at 56-43 with 8:38 remaining.
Josh Scott had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Buffaloes, who shot 33 percent and went 2 of 19 from 3-point range.
Taurean Prince had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Bears.