Jeff Dowtin scored 23 points, including four key free throws in the final seconds, as Rhode Island clinched a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title with a hard-fought victory at La Salle.
The Rams (22-4, 14-1 Atlantic 10) trailed 30-18 midway through the first half before going on a 14-0 run and taking a 39-37 halftime lead.
Rhode Island never trailed in the second half and led 81-78 with three seconds left. The Rams purposely fouled Pookie Powell, who made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. Tony Washington snared the long rebound and made the putback to tie the game at 81 at the end of regulation.
Cyril Langevine scored four straight points to give the Rams a 91-87 lead with 2:20 left in OT. Trailing 91-90, La Salle had two chances to take its first lead since the first half, but couldn’t convert.
Dowtin hit two free throws to give La Salle a 3-point lead, and the Rams again intentionally fouled Powell, this time with 3.2 seconds left. Powell again made the first — and accidentally made the second. After Dowtin made two more, the Explorers tried the same tactic yet again but were called for a lane violation.
Saul Phiri added 16 points, and Miles Brookins scored 13 for La Salle (11-17, 5-10).
at No. 2 Michigan State 81, Illinois 61: Miles Bridges scored 19 points, Joshua Langford had 16 and No. 2 Michigan State beat Illinois 81-61 on Tuesday night, sealing a share of the Big Ten championship.
The Spartans (27-3, 15-2 Big Ten) have won 11 straight and can claim the conference title outright if they win at Wisconsin on Sunday.
The Fighting Illini (13-16, 3-13) were coming off a win over Nebraska and looked like they were building momentum, competing well enough to trail the Spartans by just three points at halftime.
Michigan State, though, opened the second half with a 12-1 run to take control and went on to build 20-plus-point leads. The cushion allowed coach Tom Izzo to put his three seniors in and out of the game in the final minutes, giving each of them an opportunity to kiss the school’s logo at midcourt and get an ovation from the crowd.
at No. 16 Ohio State 79, Rutgers 52: C.J. Jackson scored 18 points to help Ohio State rout Rutgers.
Kaleb Wesson added 14, and Kam Williams, playing his last home game, had 13 as the Buckeyes (23-7, 14-3 Big Ten) got a feel-good win on senior night, coming on the heels of tough road losses to Penn State and Michigan that dropped them out of first place in the conference.
Corey Sanders had 12 points for the Scarlet Knights (13-17, 3-14). They’ve lost eight of their last nine games.
No. 21 West Virginia 71, at Baylor 60: Jevon Carter and Esa Ahmad both scored 15 points as West Virginia beat Baylor, ending the Bears’ five-game winning streak that had been the longest in the Big 12 Conference.
The Mountaineers (20-8, 9-6 Big 12) were pretty much in control throughout the game, and led by as many as 28 points early in the second half.
Baylor (17-11, 7-8) managed to get within 55-43 with after Terry Maston’s jumper. But that was the last of eight straight points for the Bears that capped off a 21-5 run.
Their momentum was gone when Daxter Miles made a 3-pointer while being fouled and converted the free throw for a four-point play with just under 7 minutes left. That was Miles’ only made 3-pointer in six shots from long range.
Sagaba Konate had 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks for West Virginia.
Cal State Fullerton at UC Riverside 7 p.m.