Career Nights: Austin Rivers, Kris Joseph, Jeff Withey Help Their Teams To Big Wins
Last night in College Basketball felt like early glimpses of March Madness. The night got kicked off with #10 Kansas heading into Waco, Texas to play the #6 Baylor Bearcats. The next game had the #11 Georgetown Hoyas invading the Carrier Dome to take on the #2 Syracuse Orangemen. The night cap, which was one to remember, was the instant classic between #9 Duke and #5 North Carolina. In each game, the winning teams had career nights from one of their players.
WACO, TX — The Kansas Jayhawks were looking to bounce back after a frustrating late collapse Saturday night at Missouri. They not only bounced back, but bounced forward handling the #6 Baylor Bearcats on the road, 68-54. What a perfect night and game for Junior Jeff Withey to have a career night. The seven foot Withey ended with 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
“Coach definitely got into my head and just told me that I need to be able to play,” Withey said. “I can’t go games where I don’t score. … My teammates definitely trusted me. They made great plays and got me open.”
SYRACUSE, N.Y — Syracuse is one of the top teams in the nation, and proved its depth last night with a win against the under the radar Georgetown Hoyas, 64-61 in overtime. Both Syracuse and Georgetown played a 2-3 zone most of the game, which slowed things down and tested the shooting capabilities of both squads. The player who passed the test was Senior Forward Kris Joseph. Joseph finished with a career-high 29 points, shooting 6 of 11 behind the 3 point arc.
“I was getting open shots. I was just taking them,” Joseph said. “I wasn’t trying to force the issue or do anything out of character. I was just playing ball.”
CHAPEL HILL, N.C — Last night belong to one player and one player only in College Basketball, Austin Rivers. The freshmen guard for Duke hit a buzzer beater 3 pointer that will be remembered forever in the Tobacco Road rivalry. Duke edged North Carolina 85-84 from a career night by Rivers with 29 points, 5 rebounds, and shooting 6 of 10 behind the 3 point arc.
“Obviously this is my favorite win I’ve ever had in my entire life,” Rivers said. “And it’s because we were down the whole game. The whole game, we were down. They just kept it on us — 10-point lead, 10-point lead. And then there was 3 minutes left and probably everybody thought we were going to lose, and we just kept fighting. To get a W, it’s amazing.”