ACC Basketball Game Stories, Jan. 7

Check here for game stories from all the ACC basketball action on Tuesday. Now that we’re conference play, stories will be listed in alphabetical order, by which ACC team won the game.


Hood scores 27, No. 16 Duke beats Ga Tech 79-57

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – No. 16 Duke debuted its lowest national ranking in six years – and spent half the game making a case for an even worse one.

But once Rodney Hood got rolling, the Blue Devils were back on track.

Hood scored 15 of his 27 points in the second half of Duke‘s 79-57 victory over Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.

Quinn Cook added 13 points and slumping freshman Jabari Parker had 12 on 4-of-12 shooting for the Blue Devils (12-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Playing their first game outside the top 10 since November 2007, they struggled for little over a half before Hood helped them pull away for their 25th straight win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“We were dead in the first half. We didn’t play like we just came off a loss,” Hood said. “In the second half, we just came back and played hungry. We played together.”

Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 18 points for the short-handed Yellow Jackets (9-6, 0-2), who shot 49 percent yet lost their second straight.

“Some good things to build on,” Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said. “Not satisfied because six, seven possessions (are) the difference in these games, and we’ve got to tighten up those.”

Duke had trouble getting any sort of separation until Hood hit 3-pointers 45 seconds apart down the stretch.

Hood – who was 5 of 5 from long range in the second half – hit a stepback 3 one possession before knocking down one with a hand in his face to put the Blue Devils up 66-50 with 6½ minutes remaining.

Rasheed Sulaimon scored 11 points and Andre Dawkins added 10 to help Duke win its 30th in 33 meetings in the series and avoid its first consecutive regular-season losses since February 2009.

Daniel Miller added 14 points for Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets were outrebounded for the first time this season on the same day the ACC’s top rebounder – Robert Carter Jr., who averages 9.3 boards- had surgery on the meniscus in his left knee. He has been out since tearing it Dec. 29.

The Blue Devils struggled for much of the game to slow down a Georgia Tech offense that entered 12th in the 15-team ACC in both scoring and field goal percentage, averaging 71 points and making under 43 percent of its shots.

Before pulling away late, the only thing resembling a Duke run came early in the second half when Sulaimon’s 3-pointer capped a quick 12-3 burst that gave the Blue Devils their first double-figure lead, 48-38, with 16½ minutes left.

“They were just so good for so long,” Miller said. “They were taking off, and we were coming back, but we just didn’t have it in us to finish.”

Duke‘s streak of 225 consecutive games as a top 10 team came to an end shortly after a 79-77 loss at Notre Dame that sent the preseason ACC favorites tumbling down the rankings.

The defeat led Duke to tweak its starting lineup, reinserting Sulaimon and forward Amile Jefferson in place of seniors Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton, who had both started the past eight games.

Early on, it didn’t seem to help.

The Blue Devils led 34-33 after sleepwalking through a first half in which they allowed Georgia Tech to shoot nearly 54 percent.

The struggles continued for Parker, a 20-point scorer in 10 of his first 12 games who found himself benched late in the Notre Dame loss following a 2-for-10 shooting performance.

“I’m human, too. I’m going to make mistakes,” Parker said. “We won the game, so that’s all. My time will come again, hopefully, but if it doesn’t, as long as we win, as long as I can do other things to help the team, that’s my focus.”

His only two field goals in the first half of this one were dunks, he didn’t hit a jump shot until midway through the second half and he didn’t play in the final 7:53 after he picked up his fourth foul.

“He’s learning a whole bunch of things, and as he’s doing that, we’re still Duke, and everyone expects us to be perfect and win everything and look great while we’re doing it,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “It doesn’t happen that way. We’re a work in progress, and I want to coach them that way without putting extra pressure on them.”


Warren scores 17 in NC State 77-70 win over Irish

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – North Carolina State didn’t have any second-half letdown against Notre Dame.

After squandering double-digit leads in two of its previous three games, and nearly doing so in the third, the Wolfpack never led by double digits against the Fighting Irish but also never let the Irish get ahead in the second half in a 77-70 victory Tuesday night.

“It’s a great bounce-back win,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. “We had a tough second half against Pitt and I liked the fact that our guys showed some resiliency and bounced back.”

T.J. Warren finished with 17 points, nearly seven points below his average, but got help as Anthony “Cat” Barber added 16 points, including hit a shot from near midcourt at halftime to give the Wolfpack (11-4, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 39-36 lead at halftime. Desmond Lee and Ralston Turner added 12 each and the Wolfpack bench outscored the Notre Dame reserves 23-9. The Wolfpack also outscored the Irish 25-9 from the free-throw line.

“It makes it a whole lot easier when everybody’s involved, being aggressive, making shots,” Warren said. “Everybody can’t focus on me, when we’ve got other guys making plays and making shots.”

Gottfried said the key was Warren let the game come to him.

“He missed some shots that I think we all count on him making every night, he’s so good. But I like that fact that we had good balance,” he said.

Lee got the Wolfpack going in the second half when he answered a 3-pointer by Connaughton with a 3 of his own, launching a 9-2 run by the Wolfpack. He followed that up with a pair of free throws and then Barber drove inside for a layup. Barber tried to go inside for another layup that was blocked by Austin Burgett. But Jordan Vandenberg scored on the rebound to give the Wolfpack their largest lead at 51-42.

Tom Knight made a pair of dunks and Connaughton hit a 3 to start an Irish rally. The Irish had a chance to cut the lead to 53-49 only to have Knight’s undefended dunk attempt clank off the rim. But the Irish tied it moments later at 54 on a 3 by Connaughton that capped a 12-3 run.

The Wolfpack responded with a jumper and a basket inside by Warren and moments later Turner converted on a three-point play when he was fouled on a fast break to give the Wolfpack a 66-59 lead.

The Irish used a 7-3 run to cut the lead to 69-66 when Steve Vasturia hit a 3-pointer with 1:29 left. But the Irish never got any closer as the Wolfpack made 8 of 10 free throws to hold on, making 25 of 32 free throws for the game.

It was the first loss in three games for the Irish (10-5, 1-1) since leading scorer Jerian Grant was dismissed from school for an academic violation.

“We just never could get into much of an offensive rhythm,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “I thought tonight, for the first time, you guys saw a little bit of growing pains with this group.”

Garrick Sherman led the Irish with 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Connaughton had 15 and Eric Atkins 14, who struggled after an impressive win against Duke.

“This game was different than the Duke game. They were a bigger team,” Atkins said. “We were not good with the ball today. We are going to have to clean that up if we want to win these types of games.”

Brey said the Irish had trouble inside against the Wolfpack, especially in the first half when they were outrebounded 23-13. The Wolfpack also forced the Irish into 11 turnovers and had a 16-10 advantage in points off turnovers.

“We had some really key turnovers, tough turnovers at key times,” Brey said. “It’s just young guys and being young. “

N.C. State, which lost its ACC opener 74-62 to Pittsburgh on Saturday, improved to 3-0 in ACC road openers under Gottfried.


Fair’s 17 lead No. 2 Orange past Hokies, 72-52

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – Tyler Ennis was standing at the top of the key when he suddenly found himself wide open, and as the small but suddenly energized crowd at Cassell Coliseum looked on, he swished a 3-pointer, one of his three in the game.

Ennis’ shot set off of a 16-0 run that silenced the crowd and helped No. 2 Syracuse to a 72-52 victory over Virginia Tech on Tuesday night.

“We got a little bit of a lead and we wanted to extend it as much as possible, keep making stops,” Ennis said after scoring 13 points for the Orange, whose lead ballooned to 60-40 before a putback dunk by the Hokies with 6:16 to play.

C.J. Fair led Syracuse (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 17 points, 12 after halftime.

“Once he hit that shot, I knew if we got a couple more stops, we could really step on their throats and run away with this,” Fair said. “They didn’t score for a long time period and I think that’s when we caught our rhythm on offense.”

Jerami Grant added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Trevor Cooley scored 11 points for the Orange, who were making their first visit to Blacksburg since Jan. 30, 1978. Coach Jim Boeheim remembered only that his team lost that first time.

This time, with the Hokies among the nation’s leaders in 3-point shooting, he made sure that wouldn’t happen again.

“We decided to extend the defense more probably than we have all year,” he said of the Orange’s famed 2-3 zone. “The danger when you play them in giving them good looks from the 3-point line. They got 24, but many of them were rushed.”

The Hokies made just seven of those 24 (29.2 percent).

C.J. Barksdale led Virginia Tech (8-6, 1-1) with 12 points and Ben Emelogu and Adam Smith had nine each. The Hokies were outrebounded 41-25 and shot 36.7 percent (18 of 49) to the Orange’s 46.7 percent (28 of 60).

Hokies’ leading scorer Jarell Eddie (17.4) managed just six points on 2-of-9 shooting.

“That run they made, that was a tough run,” Eddie said. “They were scoring every time down, and we couldn’t score.”

Syracuse went on its run just after five straight points by the Hokies pulled them within 44-40.

But Ennis hit the 3-pointer to spark the surge, and the Hokies went scoreless for 8 1-2 minutes. Grant and Fair scored four points each in the run and Ennis added another 3. When Joey van Zegeren finally ended the drought with a putback dunk with 6:16 to play, the Orange lead was 60-42 and the suspense was over.

Second-year Hokies coach James Johnson got some help in the way of returning players: Smith returned after missing two games and three of the last five with a strained left calf, and Barksdale and Marshall Wood both played a day after Johnson said he thought they were questionable with flu symptoms.

A 3-pointer by Eddie and Emelogu’s short jumper pulled the Hokies within 44-40 with 14:44 to play, but the Orange quickly extended the margin. A three-point play by Grant and Fair’s runner in the lane made it 55-40 with 8:24 to go.

The Orange used a 22-7 run to open a 27-15 lead. Cooney and Michael Gbinije hit 3-pointers in the run, and Fair made two jumpers. The Hokies outscored Syracuse 14-8 the rest of the half.