ACC Basketball Game Stories, Dec. 18


Check below for game stories from all the ACC basketball action on Wednesday. While we’re in non-conference play, stories will be listed in alphabetical order, by which ACC team is involved.

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Texas upends No. 14 North Carolina 86-83

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Demarcus Holland scored on a stickback of his own free throw with 4.1 seconds left to help Texas hold on and beat No. 14 North Carolina 86-83 on Wednesday night.

Holland finished with 15 points for the Longhorns (10-1), who survived a missed 3-pointer from UNC’s Marcus Paige on the final play to earn their sixth straight win.

Isaiah Taylor scored 16 points to lead Texas, while Javan Felix added 12 – including two key baskets in the final 2 minutes to answer a tying spurt from the Tar Heels (7-3).

Texas shot 38 percent after halftime and 40 percent for the game, but dominated the boards and scored 21 second-chance points to beat the Tar Heels for the sixth time in seven meetings.

Paige scored 23 points to lead UNC, which got senior Leslie McDonald back for the first time after missing the first nine games due to NCAA eligibility issues.

But in the end, the Tar Heels struggled to overcome a flat start as well as 23 missed free throws in what has become a recurring theme this season.

North Carolina, which had beaten highly ranked Michigan State, Kentucky and reigning national champion Louisville in the past month despite playing without McDonald and leading scorer P.J. Hairston due to those NCAA issues, trailed by as many as 13 points and spent much of the game fighting uphill.

UNC tied the game at 77 on Kennedy Meeks’ three-point play with 2:14 left, but Felix knocked down a tough shot in the lane over Paige with1:59 left. Two possessions later, he buried a 3-pointer over Paige to push the lead to 82-77 with 1:06 left.

The Tar Heels clawed within 84-80 on two free throws from Paige with 25.2 seconds left, then Paige followed with a 3 with 12.1 seconds to go to close the deficit to one. UNC put Holland on the line with 7.2 seconds left and he missed both, but he snatched the rebound in the lane and put up a shot that bounced around the rim before dropping through the net.

Paige got a good look on the final possession from in front of the UNC bench, but the shot rimmed out as the horn expired.

Texas and coach Rick Barnes suffered through a miserable 16-18 season last year, ending with a first-round loss in the CBI. But the Longhorns entered this one with five players averaging in double figures and had held seven of 10 opponents to under 40 percent shooting.

The Longhorns did more of the same against UNC, with four players reaching double figures while they held the Tar Heels to 39 percent shooting.

Most impressively, Texas took a 51-42 rebounding advantage, pulling down 20 offensive rebounds.

Jonathan Holmes added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Texas.

For UNC, McDonald scored 15 points with four 3-pointers after the NCAA announced hours before tipoff that the senior was cleared to return to competition after missing the first nine games.

The NCAA said McDonald must repay $1,783 to a charity of his choice for receiving improper benefits from “numerous individuals” during this spring and summer. That included the use of luxury cars, payment of parking tickets, a cellphone and lodging.

After the game, UNC issued a statement from athletic director Bubba Cunningham saying the school was still working with the NCAA on Hairston’s status and expected to have the matter resolved by the end of the week.

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NC State beats Vols 65-58 for sixth straight win 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – T.J. Warren scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds Wednesday as North Carolina State beat Tennessee 65-58 for its sixth consecutive victory.

North Carolina State (8-2) hasn’t lost since getting stunned 82-72 in overtime by North Carolina Central on Nov. 20. This marked the Wolfpack’s first road win of the season, as they had fallen 68-57 at Cincinnati on Nov. 12 in their only previous away game.

Anthony Barber had 12 points and Desmond Lee added 10 points for North Carolina State, which pulled away down the stretch after allowing a 17-point halftime lead to shrink to five.

Jordan McRae scored 21 points for Tennessee (6-4), which shot 29.4 percent (20 of 68) overall and 12.5 percent (3 of 24) from 3-point range. Jeronne Maymon had 17 points and 16 rebounds for Tennessee. Jordan Stokes added 10 points and 13 rebounds as the Vols absorbed their first home loss.

With students on winter break, Tennessee didn’t have as much of a home-court advantage as usual. The fans that did show up at Thompson-Boling Arena didn’t have much to celebrate.

North Carolina State led throughout the first half while capitalizing on Tennessee’s poor shooting and all-around sluggish performance. Tennessee made just one basket and scored five points in the last 9 ½ minutes of the half and headed to the locker room trailing 37-20, the largest deficit the Vols had faced all season.

One sequence late in the first half exemplified Tennessee’s frustrations. Jarnell Stokes made a defensive rebound and went the length of the court for an apparent momentum-changing dunk, but officials disallowed the basket and called a charging foul on the 6-foot-8 forward. Eleven seconds later, Warren sank a 3-pointer to give the Wolfpack a 28-15 lead.

The Vols didn’t get much first-half offense from anyone other than Maymon, who had the Vols’ last seven points of the half. Maymon was the only Tennessee player to score in the final 10 minutes, 11 seconds of the first half.

Tennessee missed its first 11 shots from 3-point range before McRae connected from beyond the arc with 15:39 left. McRae, the Vols’ leading scorer this season, scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half.

The Wolfpack had blown most of an 18-point lead Saturday before squeaking out an 82-79 victory over Detroit, and they let a double-digit advantage shrink again Wednesday. Tennessee outplayed North Carolina State for much of the second half and cut the Wolfpack’s lead to 48-43 on Darius Thompson’s steal and layup with 8:30 remaining.

North Carolina State was still clinging to a five-point lead with less than six minutes left when it pulled away again. Jordan Vandenberg, who had spent much of the night on the bench in foul trouble, started a 6-0 spurt with a dunk. The 7-foot-1 center also made some key blocks down the stretch to preserve North Carolina State’s advantage.

The Wolfpack blocked 12 shots in the game.

Warren and Lee followed Vandenberg’s dunk with baskets that returned the lead to double digits with 2:36 remaining. Tennessee wouldn’t seriously threaten again.

Tennessee had a moment of silence before the game to honor former Vols forward Dyron Nix, who died Sunday. Nix led the Southeastern Conference in scoring in 1987-88 and ranks eighth on the school’s all-time list for career points with 1,877.

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