Thursday saw a light evening of action for John R. Wooden candidates, but the players had key roles in their nationally ranked teams giving key wins.
Matt Bouldin of #15 Gonzaga was held in check, but the Bulldogs rolled to an 88-51 win over Santa Clara. He had seven points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Bouldin made two of nine shots from the field and three of four free throws.
John Wall and Patrick Patterson of #2 ranked Kentucky led the Wildcats to an 82-61 win over South Carolina. The Gamecocks had upset Kentucky earlier this season, giving them their only loss of the year.
Freshman guard Wall made four of 15 from the field and all four attempts from the line as he finished with twelve points, five rebounds and four assists.
Patterson made ten of twelve shots from the floor and two of three attempts from the charity stripe as he finished with 23 points, eight boards and four blocked shots.
Duke’s Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler led the #5 Blue Devils to a 70-52 win over Tulsa. The senior Scheyer struggled with his shooting, making just five of 16 from the field. However, he was three of five from beyond the arc and made both attempts from the free throw line and added four rebounds and three assists to go along with his 15 points.
Singler finished with 17 points and five rebounds. The junior forward made four of twelve from the field and nine of eleven free throws.