ACC Basketball Game Stories, Nov. 28


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

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GEORGE WASHINGTON BEATS MIAMI 71-63 IN OT 

FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) – A career 39-percent shooter, Joe McDonald seemed an unlikely candidate to be the one to get the ball in his hands in a big moment.

But when that big moment arrived, George Washington‘s sophomore guard made sure he didn’t miss it.

McDonald hit a game-tying layup with three seconds remaining to help the Colonials avoid a monumental collapse, and GW beat Miami 71-63 in overtime in the opening game of the Wooden Legacy on Thursday morning.

“I talked to coach so I knew he was going to let us play it out and see,” McDonald said. “I felt like I could take advantage of their freshman guard who’s a little smaller and I waited for my shot.”

McDonald’s clutch layup tied the game at 59 after the Colonials (5-0) had blown a late double-digit lead, and then he opened the scoring in overtime with a three-pointer from the left elbow to start a 12-2 run that secured the victory and kept GW undefeated.

Nemanja Mikic scored a team-high 16 points off the bench and Isaiah Armwood had 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Colonials, who were up 47-35 with 10:47 remaining but couldn’t hold it. Maurice Creek (15 points), Kethan Savage (11) and McDonald (10) also reached double-figures for George Washington.

“It was a hard-fought game and it didn’t look good for us late,” Colonials coach Mike Lonergan said. “But our guys hung in there and made some plays and forced the game into overtime, where we played well.”

Garrius Adams scored a game-high 17 points for the Hurricanes (3-3), including 15 in the second half. Rion Brown added 16 points and nine rebounds and James Kelly scored 11 points off the bench

A series of big runs had staked GW to a 12-point lead with just over 10 minutes left, but Adams and the ‘Canes stormed back to take a 59-57 lead with a minute remaining.

Adams, a graduate guard, poured in 15 points in a 10-minute stretch to lead Miami on a 22-8 run, and it took its first lead of the second half when Brown nailed a pair of free throws to give the Hurricanes a 57-55 lead with 2:43 remaining, which they extended to 59-56 with just over a minute left.

But Miami couldn’t score on any of its final three possessions, and a Creek free throw and McDonald’s late layup sent it to OT.

“The last possession we had the ball and were really hoping to draw a foul, to really attack the basket,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “They went to that 1-3-1 zone and we never solved that. We were very tentative against that defense. We ended up giving them some open looks and they cashed in.”

McDonald fired the opening salvo in the extra period, nailing a 3-pointer from the left elbow to give GW the lead back. Armwood followed with an emphatic dunk, and a 3-pointer by Creek as the shot clock expired sunk Miami for good.

“I didn’t have a great shooting night, but with time running down I was just telling my teammates to get me the ball and Joe McDonald got the ball in my hands again,” Creek said. “That’s a prime example of having a great point guard that we have. He found me and he knew where I would be to knock down that shot.”

The Colonials shot 47.5 percent from the field, including 50 percent from 3-point range, compared to 36.2 percent shooting for Miami.

“It definitely sucks to lose the game,” Hurricanes forward Donnavan Kirk said. “We’ve just got to put more emphasis on getting stops and getting better on defense. We’ll see that turn around.”

The Colonials closed the first half on a 7-2 run to take a 27-26 lead at halftime, and then opened the second half on a 20-9 run give them that 47-35 lead.

George Washington‘s victory extended a pair of short winning streaks. The Colonials are now 3-0 all-time against Miami, beating them in 1971 and 1991 in addition to Thursday, and Lonergan is now 3-0 all-time against Larranaga. As the head coach at Vermont, Lonergan defeated Larranaga’s George Mason teams in 2007 and 2008.

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No. 2 Kansas tops Wake Forest, 87-78

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) – Winning ugly is nothing that Kansas coach Bill Self will complain about.

In fact, there’s times he finds it downright satisfying.

Like Thursday, for instance, when Andrew Wiggins was slowed by the flu, when the second-ranked Jayhawks used reserves more than starters in the second half and when the hottest scorer on the court happened to be wearing a Wake Forest uniform. No problem – Self was all smiles afterward, because above all else, a win always beats the alternative.

Wiggins scored 12 of his 17 points in the final 5:53, and Kansas held off previously unbeaten Wake Forest 87-78 in the quarterfinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis. A pair of reserves, Frank Mason and Joel Embiid, combined for 23 more points for the Jayhawks (5-0), who will face Villanova in the semifinals on Friday night.

“I’ve always taken great pride in winning ugly,” Self said. “I think it’s good to win ugly. I’d rather win pretty, but there’s nothing wrong with winning ugly. The thing about it that’s frustrating to me, and I think these guys will probably agree, we’ve always been a team that won ugly by not allowing the other team to score.”

That wasn’t the case Thursday, at least not in the final 20 minutes. Well, the last 20:01, really.

Kansas was up by 16 when Codi Miller-McIntyre got a layup to fall for Wake Forest just before the first half ended.

Before that shot, Miller-McIntyre had only four points. He finished with a career-best 26, and has scored at least 20 in five of Wake Forest‘s six games this season.

“I’ve been coaching for a long time and he’s one of the best I’ve ever been around,” Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “Great, great person. You’re seeing the fruits of his labor. … I’ve never seen a young man put the amount of time into his game as he has, both on the court, in the weight room and cerebral. He watches as much film as us as coaches.”

Miller-McIntyre was seated to Bzdelik’s right as he raved about his effort.

As his coach spoke, Miller-McIntyre’s facial expression barely changed. The Demon Deacons let a chance slip away, and Miller-McIntyre wasn’t thrilled about that realization.

“I hate the term ‘moral victory,'” he said.

The Demon Deacons (5-1) held Kansas to a season-low 47 percent from the field, but lost forward Devin Thomas after he was ejected for two technical fouls with 7:28 remaining.

Bzdelik said he was not given an explanation. And when told that Kansas was getting four free throws, even Self scoffed.

“I hated what happened with Thomas,” Self said.

Tyler Cavanaugh scored 11 points, while Madison Jones and Coron Williams each had 10 for Wake Forest.

When Thomas got ejected, Kansas’ Conner Frankamp made three of the four free throws to put the Jayhawks up 64-52. And when Wiggins, who was largely silent offensively for the first 35 minutes, made a 3-pointer for a 68-57 lead, the overwhelmingly pro-KU crowd might have sensed that Wake‘s upset bid had run dry.

The Demon Deacons had other ideas.

Miller-McIntyre kept attacking, and his 3-pointer with just under 2 minutes left got Wake Forest to 77-72. Desperately needing a stop, Wake Forest wound up losing Arnaud Adala Moto to his fifth foul when he got in Wiggins’ way on a drive with 38 seconds left.

Wiggins made the first free throw and missed the second, but the ball bounced out of bounds to Kansas. Naadir Tharpe hit a pair of foul shots to make it a three-possession game, and Kansas escaped.

“We’re happy we won,” Self said. “I thought Wake Forest really outplayed us in the second half.”

A three-games-in-three-days tournament is a chance for teams to show off their depth.

Kansas wasted no time in doing just that.

The Jayhawks had eight players score in the first 10 minutes, running out to a quick 24-13 lead. A 17-2 run put Kansas in early control, with the Demon Deacons getting only one field goal in a stretch that lasted nearly 8 minutes.

Kansas had seven players score in that burst, no one getting more than four points and Wiggins not even registering a field goal.

Wake Forest weathered that storm, and the score was 27-20 with 5:25 left until the break. That’s when the Jayhawks hit the gas again, scoring 13 of the next 17 points before winding up with a 40-26 edge at halftime.

Miller-McIntyre got a layup to fall just before the halftime buzzer, and then the Demon Deacons opened the second half on a 16-6 run. But the Jayhawks never lost the lead in the second half, even with reserves in there for long stretches.

“Our bench was really good,” Self said.

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