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NCAA Basketball: Shabazz Wins in First Start, Indiana Defeats Georgetown, D-III Player Sets Point Record

On Tuesday, the Legends Classic in Brooklyn provided some great college hoops entertainment with highly-touted UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammed seeing his first start against Georgia.

The high expectations Hoosiers battled Georgetown and squeaked out an 82-72 OT win.

And over in Grinnell, Iowa, a new NCAA record was set for the most points in a game.

UCLA defeats Georgia 60-56

UCLA's Shabazz Muhammed

On Tuesday in his first collegiate start, UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad hit 21 points with seven coming in the game’s first half. This opportunity came after teammate David Wear had been scratched for an injury.

It wasn’t a pretty win for the No. 11 Bruins but thanks to free throws, they held off the Bulldogs.

Still getting acclimated to the offense, Muhammed moved around on the court for 28 minutes of play and tried different roles on Tuesday. He said of his debut to AP, “I just wanted to try to help our team out there because we were shorthanded. Mismatches down low and smaller guys down low, I wanted to take advantage of that.”

Not helping matters has been his absence from team workouts thanks to eligibility problems.

Last Friday, the NCAA said he was eligible after it initially found he had accepted travel and lodging in three unofficial Duke and North Carolina visits. UCLA sanctioned the player by requiring him to miss three games and pay back $1,600 of impermissible benefits.

Tuesday was just the beginning with expectations running high for Muhammad. He has 11 to 2 odds to win the 2012-2013 Associated Press Player of the Year award.

Hoosiers defeat Hoyas 82-72

Hoosiers Cody Zeller

Indiana entered the week as No. 1 in AP’s poll, defeated Georgia 66-53 at the start of the Legends Classic and then faced a reality check on Tuesday against Georgetown.

It was a rough night for star Hoosier Cody Zeller with his 17 points with eight rebounds.

The game’s first half went back and forth with three-pointers dominating the scoring for both teams. Combined, they shot 14 of them and at halftime, the Hoosiers led 36-32.

Lead changes and ties dominated the second half with a 61-54 Indiana advantage with around two minute remaining in the game. But the Hoyas came surging back with jump shots and three pointers to extend the game to OT.

Yogi Ferrell of Indiana got hot in OT and led his team for the win. For the night, the player had 14 points, with seven in OT.

Georgetown coach John Thompson III said of the game via ESPN, “We came here to win and we had our chances. So we’re extremely disappointed with how things turned out.”

With the win, weaknesses appeared for the Hoosiers while the Hoyas gained respectability.

After Tuesday’s game, will Zeller live up to his hype? For now he’s at the top for the AP Player of the Year at 7 to 2 odds.

New NCAA Record 138 Points

Over in sleepy Grinnell, Iowa where there was not a basketball tournament, talented Grinnell College player Jack Taylor lit up the boards with a record 138 points as his team won 179-104 over Faith Baptist Bible.

Taylor, a transfer to Grinnell this season from UW-La Crosse, went 52 for 108 (27 for 71 for three-pointers) and set a a new college record.

Was Taylor surprised? He knew something was brewing with his first-half 58 points but said at the end of the game via ESPN, “There was a point during the second half where I hit a number of threes in a row — maybe seven or eight — I felt like anything I threw up was going in. I’ve been in the zone before but I’ve never taken so many shots.”

This surpasses the previous record set by Bevo Francis of Rio Grande with his 113 points against Hillsdale back in 1954.

NBA players commented with Kevin Durant tweeting “Jack Taylor you deserve a shot of Jack Daniels after that performance lol…wow” and Kobe Bryant said, “That’s incredible.”

What’s next for Taylor?

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