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College basketball roundup: Radford men on COVID-19 pause after staff member tests positive
COLLEGE BASKETBALL

College basketball roundup: Radford men on COVID-19 pause after staff member tests positive

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Radford

Radford coach Mike Jones and his team will not host Gardner-Webb on Thursday and Friday. The games were postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the Radford program.

The Radford men’s basketball team announced Wednesday it is pausing activities for precautionary reasons because of COVID-19 protocols, forcing the postponement of the Highlanders’ home games Thursday and Friday against Gardner-Webb.

Radford learned Wednesday afternoon that a men’s basketball staff member tested positive, athletic director Robert Lineburg said in a text message. The team is undergoing contact tracing to determine if anyone must quarantine.

ESPNU, which had planned to air the second-place Highlanders’ game Thursday, will instead televise Longwood’s game at Winthrop on Thursday.

Radford men’s basketball coach Mike Jones had said earlier Wednesday that guard Quinton Morton-Robertson, who had missed the past four games while quarantining because of COVID-19 protocols, returned to practice Tuesday. Jones would not say if Morton-Robertson had tested positive.

Morton-Robertson had been the only player on the Highlanders (8-6, 7-1 Big South) to miss games this season because of COVID-19 protocols, although COVID-19 did affect the team in preseason practice.

“We did not practice the first seven or eight days we were allowed to practice because we had it run through a good portion of our team,” Jones said earlier Wednesday. “Since then Quinton was the only one. So we just wait and see every day; we get tested three times a week.”

The Radford women’s basketball team was already on a COVID-19 pause that has resulted in the postponement of six straight games.

— Mark Berman

NOTES

CAA men’s tournament moves to JMU

For the first time since 1986, the Colonial Athletic Association will crown its men’s basketball champion on a member campus. The league announced Wednesday that the tournament will be held March 6-9 at James Madison’s new Atlantic Union Bank Center rather than at Washington’s Entertainment and Sports Arena, where it was originally scheduled.

“In conjunction with our institution’s medical professionals, presidents and athletic directors, we are continuing to make decisions that provide our student-athletes with the safest means to participate in intercollegiate athletics during a very challenging period of time,” CAA commissioner Joe D’Antonio said in a news release.

Conferences around the country are studying comparable moves because of the impracticality of holding tournaments at neutral sites that are not expected to allow fans, and the associated costs of reserving those arenas.

VCU-Richmond game postponed

The Richmond men’s basketball team announced Wednesday the postponement of Saturday’s home game with VCU.

The postponement came a day after the Spiders paused activities for the second time this season because of the latest COVID testing and contact tracing in the Richmond program.

UConn star sidelined

STORRS, Conn. — Guard James Bouknight of No. 25 UConn will be out indefinitely after having surgery on his left elbow, the school said Wednesday.

Bouknight had been leading the Big East in scoring, averaging 20.3 points.

He hurt his elbow while diving for a loose ball in the Huskies’ win at Marquette on Jan. 5. He missed UConn’s last two contests.

TUESDAY’S GAMES

Oklahoma State 75, No. 6 Kansas 70

STILLWATER, Okla. — Cade Cunningham scored 18 points, and the Cowboys (9-3, 3-3 Big 12) held off a late rally to beat Kansas.

Kansas (10-3, 4-2) trailed by three in the closing seconds and had possession, but Oklahoma State’s Bryce Williams stole the inbounds pass, drove the length of the floor and and dunked as time expired.

No. 7 Michigan 77, No. 9 Wisconsin 54

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Mike Smith had 16 points and six assists, and Michigan (11-0, 6-0) became the first team in college basketball history to beat three ranked opponents in a row by at least 19 points.

UNC 81, Syracuse 75

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot each had a double-double, and North Carolina (8-4, 3-2 ACC) pulled away in the last three minutes to beat Syracuse (7-3, 1-2).

The Tar Heels became the first men’s basketball program to play 1,000 regular-season ACC games.

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