ACC Basketball Game Stories, Dec. 8

 Check below for game stories from all the ACC basketball action on Sunday. Conference games will come first, and then for non-conference game, stories will be listed in alphabetical order, by which ACC team is involved. 

We will continue to update as Sunday’s games wrap up.


Virginia Tech beats Miami 61-60 in OT 

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Jarrell Eddie helped lead the comeback and then put the finishing touches in Virginia Tech’s conference opening win.

Eddie scored 24 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 61-60 overtime victory against Miami in the opening ACC game for both teams on Sunday.

Down for most of the game, the Hokies (7-3) went ahead when Eddie hit a jumper with 19 seconds remaining in overtime to break a 59-59 tie. Garrius Adams converted the first of two free throws for the Hurricanes (5-5) with seven seconds left but missed the second. His jumper 21 seconds into overtime gave Miami a 58-56 lead, after which the Hurricanes missed their next nine shots.

“We’re having a hard time making open shots,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “We need to figure out a better way to play better together.”

Eddie shot 6-of-14 from beyond the arc and has converted six 3-pointers in three games this season for Virginia Tech.

“I wanted to step up, it was crunch time,” said Eddie, who scored 15 points in the second half. “I just tried to step up and make plays.”

Virginia Tech moved ahead 59-58 for its first lead since early in the contest after Marshall Wood made a 3-pointer with 4:14 remaining in overtime.

“This is ACC time, you had two teams going tough at each other,” Hokies coach James Johnson said. “We were able to come down and get a hard-fought win on the road.”

Eddie’s corner 3-pointer with 46 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 56. Miami had a chance to re-take the lead but Davon Reed’s 3-point attempt with 14 seconds left failed to hit the rim and went out of bounds.

“When we worry, we don’t have an experienced player to go to for a basket,” Larranaga said. “It requires a great team effort.”

The Hokies had one final regulation attempt at the game-winning basket but Joey Van Zegeren’s short bank shot with .03 seconds left was ruled after the buzzer.

“That was tough, but I got them in the huddle and just told them we have five more minutes and it starts with defense,” Johnson said.

Adams scored 14 points and James Kelly finished with 12 points for the Hurricanes.

The Hokies rallied from a 13-point deficit early in the second half with a 14-4 run. Eddie’s 3-pointer with 12:31 left capped the surge and cut Miami’s lead to 41-37. Virginia Tech again closed to within four points at 43-39-on Van Zegeren’s tip-in with 11:57 remaining. Van Zegeren finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

“It just shows the heart we have on this team – the will to win, fighting back,” Eddie said. “Being able to come back and get the win, it’s tremendous for us.”

Adams’ 3-pointer with 4:11 remaining put Miami ahead 55-48 before Eddie hit his fourth 3-pointer with 3:24 left and put Virginia Tech within 55-51.

Miami built an eight-point lead at halftime with a brief 6-1 surge early in the second half. Donnavan Kirk’s tip-in 16 seconds into the second half gave the Hurricanes their first double-digit lead at 33-23.

The Hurricanes erased a 13-11 deficit and outscored the Hokies, 16-5, during a 7:50 span in the first half. Manu Lecomte scored six points in the Hurricanes’ spurt. James Kelly’s layup with 3:42remaining ended the run and gave Miami a 27-18 lead.


USC beats Boston College 78-62 to go 5-0 at home 

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Turns out double-digit losses to ranked Villanova and Wake Forest were a good thing for Southern California.

The Trojans rebounded from those two defeats to beat Xavier before leaving the tournament in the Bahamas, and followed it up with a 78-62 win over Boston College on Sunday.

Freshman Julian Jacobs led five players in double figures with 16 points and the Trojans improved to 5-0 at home for the first time since 2009, when they won their first eight played at Galen Center.

USC (6-3) got 15 points from Nikola Jovanovic, 14 each from Roschon Prince and Pe’Shon Howard, and 12 from Byron Wesley. Prince made all six of his free throws and Jovanovic hit all three of his as USC went 18 of 23 at the line.

“We got more confidence from the two losses in the Bahamas,” said Howard, a Maryland transfer. “We learned a lot. We were in those games and were able to battle.”

Boston College (3-6) was led by Ryan Anderson with 13 points. KC Caudill and Joe Rahon added 11 points each. Olivier Hanlan, who came in averaging a team-high 20.9 points, was held to six after not starting for the first time this season because of disciplinary reasons, according to coach Steve Donahue.

“It was no big thing,” Donahue said, adding Hanlon would start Thursday against Maryland.

The Eagles lost their second in a row, having lost to Purdue by 21 points in their previous game. They were held to season lows in points as well as field goal (37) and free throw (60) percentages. They came in as the nation’s top free throw shooting team at 84 percent.

“They were trying to push it and get layups on transition. I thought we did a pretty good job in the first 30 minutes not allowing them to get out on the open floor because they’ve got some great athletes over there who can finish above the rim,” Rahon said. “In the last 10 minutes we kind of allowed them to leak out for a few baskets. That gave them some energy and we weren’t able to recover.”

The Eagles earlier lost to ranked Connecticut by two points.

“The number of tough games that we’ve played away from home have worn on the guys,” Donahue said. “We’re just not playing with much confidence right now. You can see it on their faces. You could see it in the second half.”

USC led the entire second half after trailing by seven in the first 20 minutes. The Trojans built their largest lead, 64-52, on a basket by Omar Oraby with 4:40 to play.

They outscored BC 26-17 over the final 10:41, with Jacobs and Wesley dunking to end the game.

“Boston College is way better than their record,” Howard said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The main thing was to keep putting pressure on.”

The Eagles got no closer than two points early in the second half; a three-point play by Caudill cut their deficit to four before Howard hit a 3-pointer in the Trojans’ first game in eight days.

“We finally got to beat somebody else up besides ourselves,” Howard said.

Jacobs dunked after Howard threw the ball off the backboard in a highlight play of the second half. USC dominated the boards, 44-27, and outscored BC 38-22 in the paint.

“We did a good job of using our size,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “We need our guards to rebound at that type of level for us to be successful.”

Anderson, Caudill, Rahon and Lonnie Jackson, who started in place of Hanlan, are all from Southern California.

“Some of us had family in the stands who hadn’t seen us play a college basketball game in person before so it was motivating for some of us,” Rahon said. “We’re kind of disappointed that they didn’t see a better performance from us.”

Trailing by seven points early, the Trojans twice tied the game before taking their first lead on a layup by Prince with 3:42 left. It was part of their 12-7 run that ended the first half with the game tied at 32-all.

Prince scored six of USC’s 12 points, including a pair of free throws that gave them a four-point lead before the Eagles scored the final two baskets, one of which came on a goaltending call against Oraby.


Florida State tops Jacksonville State 77-53 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida State center Boris Bojanovsky hasn’t missed a field goal attempt in three games. Now coach Leonard Hamilton would like to see a little more aggression from his 7-foot-3 sophomore center.

The Bratislava, Slovak Republic native scored a career-high 15 points as Florida State cruised to a 77-53 victory against Jacksonville State. Bojanovsky was a perfect 5 for 5 from both the floor and the free-throw line.

“I’m playing more confident, I think that’s about it,” Bojanovsky said. “I’m getting easy lay-ups that come from assists and my teammates find me. I’m just trying to play my role.”

The Seminoles relied on their three-point shooting to take an early 19-point lead and simply overwhelmed their Ohio Valley Conference counterpart Sunday night.

Okaro White scored a game-high 17 points for Florida State (6-3) while shooting 7-for-9 from the field, including three 3-point baskets. Montay Brandon finished with 14 points while Bojanovsky added four blocks.

Teraes Clemmons led the Gamecocks (3-7) with 14 points while Avery Moore chipped in 10.

Florida State welcomed the return home after losing 3 of 5, including it last two contests, on a road trip that included losses to No. 22 Michigan, No. 15 Florida and Minnesota. The Seminoles have 11 days off before facing Charlotte.

“A lot of times it’s easier and you’re more relaxed when you’re out in front by a big margin,” White said. “You’re not forcing anything. You’re not jumping out on defense trying to make anything happen. You’re just trying to extend the lead little by little.”

Florida State put Jacksonville State in an early hole thanks to one of their best efforts of the season from three-point range. White hit two while Brandon and Jarquez Smith both knocked one down during a 20-7 start to the game. White then worked the inside with a pair of dunks and a put-back on an offensive rebound. The Gamecocks fell behind 30-11 and never recovered.

“I think you could probably sum it up in two words by saying: Too much,” Jacksonville State coach James Green said. “That’s how we feel. … Early in the game we’re trying to set the tone of how we’re going to play the entire game. … Their defensive pressure just ran us completely out of that.

“The biggest problem we had was with their size and their ability to get out in passing lanes and force us away from the basket.”

The Seminoles entered the day shooting 33.3 percent from behind the arc – tied for the No. 10 3-point shooting team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They had four combined 3-point baskets in losses to Minnesota and Florida, but hit four in the first nine minutes Sunday.

Florida State shot 54.5 percent from the field and held Jacksonville State to 38.5 percent. As much as the Seminoles dominated, they continued to have problems with turnovers. The Gamecocks were the beneficiaries of 15 turnovers, though many were unforced. Florida State finished with 13 assists and took eight fewer shots than Jacksonville State.

The Seminoles entered the game averaging an ACC-high 16.8 turnovers.

“I don’t think we necessarily have a great passing team,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “The unforced errors are the things that concern me. … Those are things that are a lack of concentration.

“We’re trying to play as aggressive as possible on the offensive end. Sometimes what’s been happening is once we get in the half-court, we’re not gearing down and executing. … Sometimes we’re trying to force the action as opposed to allowing the defense an opportunity to break down so we get high-percentage shots.”


George Washington edges Maryland 77-75 at buzzer 

WASHINGTON (AP) – Maurice Creek didn’t look nervous as he prepared to drain what would be a buzzer-beating step-back jumper for George Washington. And that was probably because he asked for the chance to take it three times in the preceding timeout.

“I called a timeout and Mo’s like ‘I want the ball,’ in a respectful way. He said it like three times, I said to (Isaiah Armwood) ‘alright, let’s give him the ball,'” Colonials coach Mike Lonergan said. “Once he cleared the defender, I thought it was going in.”

Creek’s basket capped a 77-75 Colonials victory over Maryland in Sunday’s BB&T Classic.

“They made plays for me and I wanted to make big plays for them,” Creek said. “When we get comfortable with each other, and with our offense, it’s great.”

Early in the game, George Washington (8-1) was comfortably in the lead. After a back-and-forth first few minutes, the Colonials used a 9-1 run to take a 12-point lead.

“We tried hard. We don’t have a lot of things going our way right now. Balls are going in-and-out. Guys are making tough shots against us. We never quit and had a chance to win it,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.

George Washington’s frontcourt took a serious blow midway through the second half when both of its bigs were effectively sidelined with foul trouble.

Rattling the Colonials with a strong press, the Terps (5-4) used a 19-2 run to tie the game with a minute left, forcing George Washington to turn it over eight times down the stretch.

“They gained momentum,” Lonergan said. “And we lost our composure, no doubt about it. Joe (McDonald) is a heck of a point guard, but he’s not the quickest guy to get open. And we needed other guys to come back and get open.”

Creek was one of four Colonials to score in double-digits, pacing the team with 25 points. Armwood added 11 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double, Kethan Savage had 14 and McDonald had a near triple-double with 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

“I think Kethan did a really good job taking advantage of some of those mismatches. We didn’t think (Evan) Smotrycz, some of those guys, could guard him,” Lonergan said.

Dez Wells had 16 points and eight rebounds for Maryland. Jake Layman added 13, while Evan Smotrycz and Roddy Peters each had 11.

At first, Maryland struggled to find a cohesive offensive front in the face of George Washington’s press defense. The Terps couldn’t seem to make shots fall for most of the game, shooting 39.1 percent and tallying only seven assists.

“When we get down by more and more points, our heads start to hang a little bit for some guys,” Layman said. “It’s all a learning experience right now. We’re only nine games in. We’re not too worried right now.”

In contrast, the Colonials’ strong inside-out offensive game helped them get out to a 12-point lead at the half, and shooting 44.4 percent on the game. They displayed much more offensive depth than the Terps, counting 15 assists over play.

That was key for George Washington as Maryland’s press took hold, dropping the Colonials’ second-half 3-point percentage to zero.

Maryland’s frustration was clear. Turgeon was slapped with a technical foul after an expletive-filled rant during the second half. Later, when Wells fouled out with six minutes to play, he punched his chair in frustration.

“Oh boy. I can’t really say what I want to say,” Turgeon said when asked about his technical. “I was just trying to make it fair.”

George Washington had the depth and grit necessary to hold its narrow lead over Maryland. The Colonials crashed the boards and took hard cuts through the paint, showcasing the clear increase in skill and toughness in this year’s squad.

After wins over Creighton and Rutgers, George Washington’s victory Sunday continues to increase its national profile, with a match against Boston University next for the Colonials. The struggling Terrapins next head to Boston College.

“I grew up a Maryland fan. I’m a GW fan right now, it’s my number one team, but I’m not going to lie to you, I love Maryland,” Lonergan said. “Growing up in this area, and Bowie (Md.), where I live now, some of my best friends were telling me they wouldn’t cheer for us. I couldn’t believe it. So I’m going to charge my phone and I’m going to make some calls tonight.”