Tennessee found out why Miami of Ohio’s homecourt is known as “Wally World” on Thursday night.
Wally Szczerbiak scored 34 points and had a game-high 12 rebounds as the RedHawks defeated the No. 18 Volunteers, 68-62, at Oxford, Ohio.
Miami (2-0) blew a 12-point lead and lost starting point guard Rob Mestas because of a sprained knee, but used Szczerbiak’s poise down the stretch to get one of its biggest wins of the decade.
Szczerbiak’s turnaround jumper put Miami ahead to stay at 61-60 with 3:16 left and his three free throws preserved the lead.
Many of the 8,840 fans rushed the court when the buzzer sounded and lifted Szczerbiak on their shoulders. He raised both index fingers and pumped his right fist to chants of “Wally! Wally!”
“I got caught up in the stampede,” Szczerbiak said. “I kind of lived it up for a while, I have to admit. It was great. I’ll remember it for a long time.”
Miami hasn’t been ranked in the Top 25 since March 1978. Tennessee could fall out of the Top 25 after a 2-2 start.
No. 2 Connecticut 77, Richmond 57--Richard Hamilton scored 32 points and fueled a key first-half run for the Huskies at Storrs, Conn.
Hamilton was 10 of 16 from the field and made all seven of his free throws. He also made five three-point shots and had six assists.
Scott Ungerer’s basket put Richmond (1-1) ahead, 21-18, but Hamilton scored nine points during a 12-0 run that helped Connecticut (2-0) take a 41-25 halftime lead.
The Huskies led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
No. 4 Kentucky 82, Mercer 51--Freshman Jules Camara continued his impressive play with 15 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats at Lexington, Ky.
Camara had 10 points and 11 rebounds in the season opener for Kentucky (2-0).
Wayne Turner had 15 points for the Wildcats, who led by 30 points at halftime.
Mercer (0-3) shot 32%.
No. 13 Oklahoma State 57, Marquette 54--Adrian Peterson made five three-point shots and had 23 points for the Cowboys in the VoiceStream Wireless Challenge at Honolulu.
Oklahoma State (2-0) won despite missing several layups and free throws, and committing a couple of turnovers in the final minutes.
Marquette is 2-1.
No. 17 Cincinnati 70, No. 25 Rhode Island 53--Kenyon Martin had 16 points and 16 rebounds at Providence, R.I., as the Bearcats won their 19th consecutive season opener.
It was the second consecutive loss for Rhode Island (2-2).
Cincinnati opened the second half with a 10-2 run to take a 41-29 lead.
No. 22 Syracuse 74, Coppin State 56--Jason Hart scored 17 points and Preston Shumpert had 12 for the Orangemen at Syracuse, N.Y..
The Eagles (0-3), who play most of their games on the road because they can’t get nonconference teams to play at the 3,000-seat Coppin Center in Baltimore, had difficulty with the Syracuse press in falling behind by as many as 16 in the first half.
Syracuse (2-0) defeated Colgate by 53 points in its season opener on Tuesday.
No. 24 Clemson 82, Western Carolina 56--Terrell McIntyre scored 25 points and became the Tigers’ career leader in three-point baskets (170) at Clemson, S.C.
The Tigers (3-0) took control with a 13-3 run for a 60-41 lead with 9:14.