ACC Basketball Game Stories, Nov. 24

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


No. 6 Duke Dodges Vermont’s Upset Bid, 91-90 

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – His roster is loaded with blue-chip talent and high school All-Americans. Yet Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski knows his sixth-ranked Blue Devils aren’t good enough to win by simply showing up.

Vermont proved it to them Sunday night.

Out-of-sync – and overconfident – Duke needed a free throw from Rodney Hood with 5 seconds left to dodge the Catamounts’ upset bid and win 91-90.

“They were terrific,” Krzyzewski said, “and we were awful.”

And that wasn’t even close to the harshest criticism Coach K had for his players.

He called it an “unacceptable performance,” said the Blue Devils “were lucky to win” and implored them to “respect the game more than we did tonight.”

Jabari Parker scored 26 points in his sixth straight 20-point performance. Hood finished with 22 for Duke (5-1), which extended its nonconference winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium to 106 games.


Duke blew a 15-point lead and allowed Vermont to shoot 64.8 percent before – depending on the perspective – it either got the one defensive stop it needed, or the Catamounts simply ran out of time.

“We played like a team that thought we would just show up and win,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s how you get beat.”

Candon Rusin’s four-point play with 10.4 seconds left for Vermont tied it at 90. Hood brought the ball downcourt, drove the lane and drew contact from Clancy Rugg. Hood bounced his first free throw off the rim, then swished the second.

Sandro Carissimo hurried the Catamounts downcourt and found Rusin in the corner, but he couldn’t get a shot off before the buzzer.

“We didn’t win this game,” Hood said. “We kind of deserved to lose the game, and we got lucky.”

Hector Harold scored 24 points and Rugg finished with 20 for Vermont (1-5). The America East favorites lost their fourth straight, dressed only nine healthy players but gave Duke all it could handle with by far its best shooting performance of the season.

The Catamounts – who hadn’t shot better than 44 percent all season – routinely found open passing lanes and created paths to the bucket against a lethargic Duke team that, for all of its athleticism, lacks a true big man. Vermont outscored Duke 50-24 in the paint.

Vermont “came into Duke with no pressure on us, and we played like there was no pressure on us,” coach John Becker said. “Maybe this is a lesson learned for our guys.”

For Duke, too.

“Every team is going to face us like we’re the best, because on paper it says that and across our chests it says that,” Parker said. “We just have to be prepared to treat teams, every time, to be competitors and be the best that we can be because they’re not going to shy up on us.”

Andre Dawkins scored 16 points and Quinn Cook added 14 for the Blue Devils. Cook broke a tie with a 3-pointer with just under 2 minutes left that made it 86-83.

They stretched their lead to 88-84 on Rasheed Sulaimon’s free throw with 40.8 seconds to play before Carissimo made it a two-point game with his tip-in with 29 seconds remaining.

Cook seemingly gave Duke a cushion when his two free throws with 19.4 seconds left made it 90-86 – but when Sulaimon knocked Rusin to the ground on his deep 3-pointer, the Catamounts had another chance.

Carissimo finished with 16 points and Luke Apfeld had 10 for Vermont, which fell to 3-17 against ACC schools and is winless against all of them except for Boston College.

Yet the Catamounts looked plenty capable of taking advantage of a ripe Duke team that struggled all night to stop them.

“We’re not connected on the defensive end,” Hood said.

When the Blue Devils built a 61-49 lead on Parker’s steal and fast-break dunk with 15½ minutes left, that looked like the spark that would get the sluggish Duke defense going.

Instead, Vermont reeled off 10 straight points after that as part of a 13-2 run. Harold’s three-point play pulled the Catamounts to 63-62 with just over 11 minutes left.

“Those are the kind of situations where we show our immaturity,” Krzyzewski said of the dunk by Parker. “Right after that (play) was our worst. And my feeling is, just like kids (saying) … ‘Now we got it. We’re good now.’ We’re not good now.”

Carissimo’s free throw with 7:50 left tied it at 71. Harold’s 3 from the key about a minute later put Vermont up 74-73 – its first lead since early in the first half – and neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way.

“We compete and play defense every game and every day at practice,” Becker said. “Tonight, the ball went through the basket, and we were able to hang around with a really good team.”


FSU Beats Northeastern In Dramatic Fashion 62-60 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – When he glanced at the field for the four-day Puerto-Rico Tip-Off, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said he anticipated to get three tough ball games.

After coming up short in the semifinals in an overtime loss to Michigan, the Seminoles ended their stay in San Juan with probably the dramatic finish of the tournament.

Devon Bookert hit a 10-foot fade away jumper off a missed layup with 0.5 seconds to give Florida State a dramatic 62-60 win over Northeastern in the third place game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Sunday.

Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton got off a desperation 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer, but it bounced harmlessly off the backboard.

“I thought for most of the game Northeastern outplayed us,” Hamilton said. “We were very fortunate to win the game. At the end these are the kind of games you look back at the end of the season and say ‘wow.’

“(Northeastern) is a tremendous team, they’re gonna give a lot of teams a lot of problems.”

Aaron Thomas had 16 points to lead Florida State, followed by Robert Gilchrist with 12.

The Seminoles (5-1) trailed the entire way before taking their first lead of the game with just under 14 minutes left in the game, then had to fight several final charges by the Huskies (2-4).

“It wasn’t as much about what we did do or they didn’t do,” Hamilton said. “Whoever had the ball at the end was gonna have a chance to win it.”

Eatherton finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds, his third double-double of the tournament. Reggie Spencer and David Walker each added 13 points.

The Seminoles shot just 38 percent for the game and said that the presence of Eatherton in the middle forced them to go with smaller lineups to maximize their quickness. They had to sacrifice inside, though, where Eatherton had his way and nearly came up with the rebound that was snared by Bookert.

Despite the loss, Eatherton said he is encouraged by his team as it prepares for conference play.

“I think we realized how good we can actually be playing against this competition and being able to compete,” Eatherton said. “If we have that effort, no matter who we compete against I think we can be a really good team.”

Florida State took its first lead of the game until 13:43 on a basket by Robert Gilchrist that made it 41-39

But the Huskies kept attacking the Seminoles’ pressure and got a dunk by Derrico Peck to nudge back in front 50-46 with 7:32 remaining.

The Seminoles came right back, and got a steal and layup by Montay Brandon, and then a driving layup by Ian Miller to go back ahead by a basket at 52-50.

It stretched out to 58-52, but Florida State soon lost Okaro White to his fifth foul at the 2:33 mark.

The Huskies took advantage and cut the lead to a basket on their next trip down the floor on another dunk by Peck. They then tied it at 58 in on a pair of free throws by Eatherton with just over a minute to play.

Florida State called timeout and took the shot clock down before getting Miller free for a short jumper. It rolled out, but Brandon was there for the tip to put the Seminoles back up.

Walker was fouled on the subsequent inbounds play and then tied it again with two free throws to set up Florida State’s final possession.

Northeastern led 29-28 at the half in pretty even opening 20 minutes that featured a pair of ties.

Scoring was spread out on both sides, with Eatherton leading all scorers with 10 points.

The Huskies also held a 20-18 rebounding edge over the Seminoles. Both teams also shot nearly identical percentages from the field. Northeastern connected on 41 percent of its attempts, and Florida State 42 percent.

Northeastern did have to play a chunk of the half without Peck, who was forced to the bench with his third foul after just eight minutes of action.

“One of the things we wanted to do coming down to this tournament was find out about ourselves and compete. In that regard we consider this trip a success,” Northeastern coach Bill Coen said. “We told our team if we could build on that, we can end up having a real special year.”


Georgia Tech Edges North Carolina A&T 78-71 

ATLANTA (AP) – Trae Golden’s bounceback game came at the right time for Georgia Tech on Sunday, scoring 12 of his game-high 20 points in the second half as the Yellow Jackets rallied for a 78-71 win over North Carolina A&T.

Tech trailed 49-38 after Denzel Keys put back an offensive rebound with 13:43 left in the game, and the Aggies looked to be in great position to become the second MEAC team in less than a week to upset an ACC squad.

After a Tech timeout, Golden took over and took to heart the message that head coach Brian Gregory delivered after the Tennessee transfer committed six turnovers in the first half of Wednesday’s 82-72 home loss to Dayton.

“Coach BG looked me in the face after the game and told me, ‘You got to do better; we expect better out of you and you’ve got to bounce back,’ ” Golden said.

He delivered.

The Yellow Jackets (4-1) went on a 14-3 run out of the timeout to tie the game at 52 on sophomore Robert Carter Jr.’s three-point play with 11:50 remaining. Golden drove deep, and assisted across the lane beneath the backboard on that play to finish a possession that he began at the other end with a defensive rebound.

From that timeout, Golden scored nine points with four of his seven assists, a rebound and a steal.

Tech needed everything he offered, nine points and 13 rebounds from Carter, 10 points and six rebounds from senior sub Kam Holsey, and 21-for-28 free throw shooting in the second half of a game where the teams combined for 77 free throws and 57 fouls.

Georgia Tech trailed 37-33 at halftime after missing 10 of 18 free throws, and then stumbled early in the second half as NCA&T’s Richaud Pack scored 19 points. Bruce Beckford added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Aggies (1-3) with freshman Khary Doby adding 17 points off the bench.

The Aggies last year won the MEAC tournament under first-year coach Cy Alexander, and beat Liberty in a first-round NCAA tournament game before being trounced by eventual champion Louisville.

They have seven freshman now, however, and six played Sunday.

“Let me commend Georgia Tech for having the resiliency and bounce-back after we took an 11-point lead,” Alexander said. “They made some shots, but we tried to force some things and they got turnovers and got in transition.”

Gregory jumped his team during that timeout.

“Yeah, I was one of them who got busted,” said Marcus Georges-Hunt. “I deserved it because I wasn’t playing so well . . . He had a lot of energy, and that energy picked me up and made me play better.”

Tech guard Solomon Poole and Georges-Hunt each hit treys in that 14-3 stretch.

The Aggies built another four-point lead before the Jackets rallied again to tie on Holsey’s 3-point play, and then took a 60-58 lead on Golden’s steal and layup with 8:06 remaining in the game.

There were two more ties before the Jackets pulled away with a 17-5 run to end the game.

NCA&T made 10-of-22 3-point shots to just five treys for the Jackets, as Doby hit 4-of-6 from distance. Ultimately, after a miserable first half at the free throw line the Jackets won there by hitting 21-of-28 in the second half and 29-of-46 in the game.

The Aggies were 21-of-31 for the game while missing a monumental upset. “It would have been huge for our program,” said Alexander, whose team will next play at Ole Miss. “These kinds of games can’t do anything but enhance our growth.”

Golden hit 9-of-10 free throws in the second half of the foul-marred contest. His coach still thinks there’s more where that came from.

“His stat line was good and at the same time I think he can play a lot better, and we’re going to need him to play a lot better,” Gregory said. “He can be a really good player for us. He can really help us. It’s just not ingrained in him. There are some different things that we do in certain situations, but he wants to learn.”


Maryland Beats UNI 80-66 

St. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) – Evan Smotrycz led all scorers and tied a career-high 20 points to help lift Maryland 80-66 over UNI Sunday night to earn a berth in the finals of the Paradise Jam basketball tournament.

Smotrycz grabbed 9 rebounds and scored three 3-pointers in leading Maryland (3-2) in a second-half surge over UNI (2-3). Maryland will face either Providence or LaSalle in Monday’s final.

Dez Wells scored 10 points in the first period, including a layup that gave Maryland a 33-30 halftime lead, and Smotrycz scored 17 points in the second period. Jake Layman scored 19 points, including a dunk to cap the game as time ran out.

It was a physical game, just as Maryland coach Mark Turgeon expected.

“It’s very physical,” Turgeon said at halftime. “It’s a great college basketball game.”

The lead changed hands eight times in the first period and neither team led by more than four points. UNI shot 36.7 percent from the field on 11-of-30 shooting in the period while Maryland shot 46.7 percent on 14-of-30 shooting.

The Terrapins tried, but weren’t able to sink a 3-pointer until the second half, which was fine with Turgeon.

“We want to beat them with twos not threes,” he said.

But the 3-pointers were needed.

Maryland jumped to a 44-35 lead in the second half and at one point led by 11, pulling away on aggressive play and 3-pointers by Nick Faust, Layman and Smotrycz.

But Maryland couldn’t deliver a knockout blow as UNI stayed close.

UNI’s Deon Mitchell took advantage of defensive mix-up and scored an easy layup in an open lane, capping a 7-point run and making it a 5-point game.

Smotrycz squelched the run with a layup, then Wells added a layup to make it 61-52. UNI drew to within five again on free throws by Deon Mitchell, but Layman replied with two of his own to make it 69-61 and the Terrapins cruised down the stretch.

Faust finished with 17 points for Maryland and Wells had 16.

Seth Tuttle led the Panthers with 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Mitchell had 13 points, Nate Buss added 11 and Chip Rank scored 10 and grabbed 9 rebounds.

Maryland beat Marist 68-43 on Friday to advance against UNI. Sunday’s game was the first-ever matchup between Maryland and UNI.


Paige Leads No. 24 UNC Over No. 3 Louisville 93-84 

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) – Louisville came into Sunday’s game with No. 24 North Carolina riding high on a 21-game winning streak.

Coach Rick Pitino says he hopes the defending national champions leave with a bit of humility after a 93-84 loss to the Tar Heels in the final of the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament.

“I think this loss is really good for us tonight,” he said. “I think that last year we were one of the most humble teams. To win 16 in a row you have to have great humility, not get stuck on yourselves. And this type of defense, it was a lack of humility.”

It was also a lot of Marcus Paige. The UNC guard scored 32 points, putting up a career high for the second straight day in the tournament. He had 26 Saturday in a win over Richmond.

Brice Johnson added 13 points and Kennedy Meeks had 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Tar Heels (4-1), who lost a week ago at home to Belmont.

“We just wanted to come here and give better effort. We had a bad taste in our mouth, cause we had to watch the whole film of the Belmont game,” Paige said. “We wanted to come here with the mindset that we can change our season and get back in the right mind frame that we’re one of the best teams in the country if we play together and hard.”

Russ Smith had 36 points for Louisville (5-1). Chris Jones added 20 points.

It was a three-point game with just over 13 minutes left when Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell picked up his fourth foul. North Carolina scored the next eight points.

Harrell fouled out driving to the basket with 7 ½ minutes left, exiting the game with just five points and 10 rebounds. With the sophomore star out of the game, North Carolina pushed the lead to 16 points at 83-67, outmuscling the Cardinals under the basket.

“They weren’t good fouls, especially that fifth one” said Pitino. “You give it to people open or you go around them, you don’t try to pull a Michael Jorden at that point.”

Harrell was coming off the first double-double of his career, a 14 point, 12 rebound effort in a 71-57 victory over Fairfield in the semifinals.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore from Tarboro North Carolina grew up idolizing Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough, and was looking forward to playing against the Tar Heels, who did not heavily recruit him.

“I’m a local kid from that area and they didn’t offer me,” he said. “You can’t dwell on things like that. You’ve got to move on.

The teams combined for 50 fouls and that affected Louisville’s press, forcing the Cardinals to play further off their men.

North Carolina also thwarted Louisville’s transition game, getting several easy baskets by keeping a big man back near half court.

“When I got my first outlet pass I got the sense they weren’t paying attention to it,” Meeks said.

Paige hit 9 of his 12 shots from the floor and was 11 of 11 from the foul line.

“I’m trying to stay in attack mode the entire time,” he said. “That makes our team harder to guard and frees up the big guys. I’m one of the leaders on this team so I feel the need to provide some outside scoring. I’m the only one who attempts 3-pointers pretty much.”

But it was the Russ Smith show early, as he had 22 points in the first half.

He and Jones were a combined 10 of 19 from the floor before intermission, while the rest of the Cardinals hit just three of 13 shots.

Both teams started hot, making a combined 10 of the first 12 shots taken from the floor. A pair of 3-pointers from Smith and one from Jones helped Louisville to an early 19-10 lead.

Brice Johnson’s block of a Harrell dunk attempt brought the surprisingly partisan UNC crowd into the game. His rebound dunk and foul shot cut the Louisville lead to 33-31, but Smith answered with his fourth 3-pointer of the half.

The Tar Heels scored the next six, taking the lead on a pair of free throws by Paige at 37-36.

The teams went back and forth from there before Paige buried a long 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to tie the score at 44.

“I think they made a good change in the second half,” Jones said. “They clogged the lane and played that high zone so me and Russ couldn’t penetrate. That’s something we have to learn. I don’t think we passed the ball as well was we have all year.”

Louisville, which was playing its first games away from home during this tournament, had not lost since last Feb. 9 when it dropped a five-overtime affair to Notre Dame.


Grant, Sherman Lead Notre Dame Past Army 93-60 

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — For a game that ended up a 33-point blowout, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey wasn’t exactly pleased with his team’s effort Sunday afternoon.

At least not with half of it.

Army hung around until the Fighting Irish turned it on in the second half of a 93-60 non-conference victory, their second in three days.

“I liked our energy level much better in the second half than in the first half,” Brey said. “I was disappointed in our juice in the first half.”

Jerian Grant had 19 points, eight assists and six steals to lead Notre Dame (4-1). Garrick Sherman added 19 points and seven rebounds as the Irish forced 22 Army turnovers and held the Black Knights (1-4) to 5-of-25 shooting from 3-point range.

Dylan Cox scored 11 points to lead Army, which has lost three straight.

The Black Knights, who came in averaging nearly 34 3-point attempts per game, missed their first nine 3-pointers before Kyle Wilson finally connected with 14:04 to play.

“We hugged the arc, big-time,” Brey said. “You were going to have to take that away, or it could have got really interesting.”

Up by just eight at halftime, Sherman scored 10 straight points for the Irish early in the second half to get their lead up to 13.

“We just came out with more of a sense of urgency,” Sherman said. “We started off kind of slow. We coasted a little bit, and coach got on us and fired us up.”

Sherman was 7-for-9 from the floor and did most of his work down low where the Black Knights didn’t have an answer for his size and quickness around the basket.

“He got some easy buckets,” said Army coach Zach Spiker. “To his credit, he got the ball where he could score, and he made plays.”

Notre Dame’s Eric Atkins was just 2-for-13 from the floor before he connected on a 3 with 14:35 left. His second 3 came near the start of an 18-0 Irish burst that put the game away, pushing their lead to 33 points with 3:40 to play. Army did not hit a field goal for over 6 minutes before ending the run.

“We were just sloppy and looked disinterested,” Atkins said of the Irish start. “I think that’s the main thing is cleaning up our defensive assignments.”

Atkins finished with 13 points, five assists and four steals. Zach Auguste came off the bench to score 14 forNotre Dame.

Grant scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, including a pair of fast-break dunks off Army turnovers.

“It just presented itself,” Grant said. “In the second half, guys were energized and Eric and Demetrius (Jackson) were telling us to pick up full court and we did that a little bit and it was easy to get some steals.”

The Irish started the game 1 of 7 from the field and missed their first four 3-point attempts until Pat Connaughton connected from deep, 6:26 in to give Notre Dame its first lead, which it would not relinquish.

Six straight points off the bench from Auguste pushed Notre Dame’s lead to seven midway through the half, but the Black Knights hung around by hitting the glass.

Army had as many offensive rebounds (16) as Notre Dame had total in the first 20 minutes. But Army also committed 13 first half turnovers, which led to 14 Notre Dame points.

“We didn’t take care of the ball,” Spiker said. “That puts us in a hole in the transition game, and that led to a number of easy looks.”