Check below for game stories from all the ACC basketball action on Tuesday. While we’re in non-conference play, stories will be listed in alphabetical order, by which ACC team is involved.
Clemson downs SC State 65-49
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – For Clemson coach Brad Brownell, Devin Coleman’s offensive struggles were “mind-boggling.”
The Tigers’ sophomore shooting guard struggled in his return from a redshirt season to rehab a torn Achilles tendon, so much so that Brownell wondered if Coleman would ever make another shot in practice.
Coleman is putting those worries in the past, and his Clemson teammates are benefiting.
Coleman made the most of his first career start Tuesday, scoring a career-high 16 points as Clemson overcame early sluggishness for a 65-49 win over South Carolina State.
After failing to score in Clemson’s first five games, it was Coleman’s third consecutive game in double figures.
“Everyone wants to play,” Coleman said. “If I got minutes, I went out there and I wasn’t producing or playing hard, it wouldn’t mean anything. If I play hard and more minutes come with it, great. If coach feels someone else is better for the job that night, that’s fine with me, as long as we go out there and get us a win.”
Clemson improved to 7-1, while South Carolina State fell to 2-6. Landry Nnoko had his second career double-double for the Tigers with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Devin Joint paced the Bulldogs with 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Brownell said Coleman has “played well and practiced well” to earn playing time.
“We just wanted to give him an opportunity,” Brownell said. “I know it’s a big surprise to you guys because he wasn’t playing a lot. I have never said he was out, and tonight we wanted to give him a shot. (Fellow guard) Jordan Roper has been out (missing a win over Coastal Carolina with a concussion before playing 16 minutes Tuesday) and Devin has been practicing a lot and playing well. He is coming off a couple of good games and is rolling right now, so he is probably taking minutes that Jordan had.”
The Tigers travel to Arkansas Saturday, while S.C. State hosts Georgia Southern.
Clemson fought through some early offensive struggles to take a 34-31 halftime lead on guard Rod Hall’s 3-point play with 44 seconds left. The Tigers trailed 20-11 with 8:39 to play, with no points from leading scorer K.J. McDaniels.
But they finished the half on a 23-11 run, with nine points coming from Coleman.
Clemson started the second half on a 13-6 run to push the lead to double figures and kept it there the rest of the way.
Clemson built on its lead after halftime, using improved defense and solid post play from sophomore forwards Nnoko and Josh Smith. When the Bulldogs called for a timeout with 15:02 left, the Tigers led 44-37, with Nnoko scoring five of his team’s 10 points.
“There are going to be growing pains with him,” Brownell said of Nnoko. “Some games like this he plays very well, plays confident. And there are games where he doubts himself. I had to get after him tonight to light a fire, get going to get some tough plays.”
McDaniels’ first points of the game – a 3-pointer from the left wing – gave Clemson its first double-digit lead of the game, at 47-37.
Six consecutive points from Smith and Nnoko extended the lead to 53-41 with 7:59 to play.
After shooting 45.2 percent in the first half, S.C. State made only five of its first 21 shots from the field after halftime, a 23.8 percent clip. The Bulldogs finished with just seven field goals for the second half, shooting 23.3 percent for the half and 34.4 percent for the game.
“In the second half we played more like we need to play,” Brownell said. “We defended better and we followed our game plan much better. We caused them some problems and we just struggled our way throughout on offense. Some days aren’t going to be pretty and you aren’t going to make shots and you just have to tough through it.”
Coleman enjoyed his third consecutive double-figure scoring night. After failing to score in Clemson’s first five games, he has become an important part of the Tigers’ guard rotation, scoring 10, 14 and 16 points in Clemson’s last three outings.
“I’m just trying to take my opportunities when they’re there, as far as shots,” he said. “If it’s not there, I don’t want to shoot it. Start, come off the bench, it doesn’t matter to me. Whatever I can do to go out there and help us win. That’s what matters.”
The Tigers survived despite an off night from McDaniels, their leading scorer. The junior forward entered averaging 18.6 points per game and had scored at least 20 in five of Clemson’s seven games. But he never got on track Tuesday, finishing with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, adding seven rebounds.
No. 10 Duke beats No. 22 Michigan 79-69
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Duke played the defense its Hall of Fame coach wanted to see, while Quinn Cook turned in an all-around floor game to keep the 10th-ranked Blue Devils rolling in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Cook had 24 points – all in the second half – and nine assists to help Duke beat No. 22 Michigan 79-69 on Tuesday night, improving the Blue Devils to 13-2 all-time in the annual interconference competition.
Freshman Jabari Parker added 15 points to help the Blue Devils (7-2) regroup from last week’s loss to Arizona by grinding out a tough win against the Wolverines. Duke didn’t shoot the ball well early but frustrated Michigan’s offense, turning away every spurt and keeping the Wolverines (5-3) at arm’s length much of the game.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said his team played “an outstanding defensive game,” which began with forcing the Wolverines to miss 17 of their first 21 shots to put them in a hole they never escaped.
“Each of the teams I’ve coached here has to develop its own identity, even though we’re given a place that’s very high before we ever accomplish anything because of our history,” Krzyzewski said. “… We’re not a great basketball team. We have great kids and they’re trying hard. We have a really tough schedule and we have to just keep trying to get better.”
The positives for Duke started with Cook, who finished with just two turnovers in 37 minutes in what Krzyzewski called a “magnificent” performance. It also included Andre Dawkins, who hit two straight 3-pointers midway through the second half to spark Duke’s clinching rally after Michigan had pulled within six points.
“Guys are stepping into their roles, roles are changing,” Cook said. “It’s a long season. You can’t just stay the same the whole season. We kind of want to keep getting better and keep teams on their toes. We’ve got a long ways to go.”
Duke’s 13-2 record in the Challenge is by far the best for a team in either conference, including 6-0 at famously hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Caris LeVert matched his career-high with 24 points for Michigan, though leading scorer Nik Stauskas struggled all game.
Mitch McGary finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds for Michigan, while Stauskas – who missed the last game with an ankle injury – finished with four points.
After five straight 20-point games before sitting out against Coppin State, Stauskas missed his only two shots and managed just one 3-point attempt in 34 minutes.
Michigan shot 57 percent in the second half, though that number was inflated by the Wolverines hitting seven shots in the frantic final 2 minutes after Duke had built an 18-point lead.
“They did a good job of denying Nik and making it tough for him to score,” LeVert said. “… We didn’t knock down shots. We didn’t do the things we needed to win.”
Michigan twice cut a 32-22 halftime deficit to six, the last time at 46-40 on LeVert’s three-point play with 9:01 left.
But Dawkins entered the game and quickly hit two 3s for his first baskets that started an 11-2 run, which ended with his driving layup over Zak Irvin to push Duke’s lead to 57-42 with 6:43 left.
“Big makes by them,” Michigan coach John Beilein said, “and we couldn’t come back after that.”
Cook knocked down a 3 during the spurt that finally put the Blue Devils in control and he came up with a spinning layup in the lane to beat the shot clock to make it 66-50 with 2:52 left.
It marked the first time all season that Parker or Rodney Hood didn’t lead Duke in scoring. Parker came in averaging 23 points and finished with a season-low for the second straight game, going back to his 19 points against Arizona. Hood was averaging 20 and finished with 14.
“I personally don’t want to score all the time and shoot all the shots,” Parker said. “I just want to do what we’ve got to do to win. If it’s there, take it, but if I know guys are closing in on me, somebody else is going to be open.”
Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon didn’t play for the first time this season. Krzyzewski said only that Sulaimon – who averaged 11.6 points last season – has “got to play better than the guys who played tonight” when asked about the sophomore’s playing time.
Hollinses helps Minnesota top Florida State 71-61
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The shot clock was winding down and Minnesota was clinging to a four-point lead as DeAndre Mathieu, all 5-foot-9 of him, turned the corner and was met by 7-foot-3 Boris Bojanovsky in the paint.
The little guy didn’t back down, and neither did the rest of his teammates against the big guys from Florida State. Mathieu’s windmill layup gave the Golden Gophers a six-point lead and a rare made field goal in a foul-filled slugfest.
Andre Hollins scored 21 points and Mathieu’s big shot proved to be the difference maker in Minnesota’s 71-61 win on Tuesday night.
“I got my shot blocked all night,” Mathieu said. “I was pretty tired of that.”
Austin Hollins added 16 points for the Gophers (7-2), who grabbed 13 offensive rebounds to help them bounce back from a disappointing showing at the Maui Invitational. The Gophers only turned the ball over six times and hit seven 3-pointers to overcome 34 percent shooting.
Okaro White had 16 points and eight rebounds and Ian Miller added 16 points and seven assists off the bench for the Seminoles (5-3). Florida State shot 46.5 percent, but turned the ball over 17 times and missed 10 free throws.
There were 67 foul shots taken and 52 fouls called in the game.
“I don’t really know what to say tonight about all the whistles,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I really don’t.”
No other Gophers scored in double figures, but they made 28 of 38 free throws to bounce back after losing to Syracuse and Arkansas and struggling with Chaminade in Maui last week.
The game lacked any discernable flow thanks to the constant whistles, with officials clamping down on the clutching and grabbing that many observers believe is squeezing the life out of the college game. Both teams were in the bonus early in each half. Four players fouled out, two on each side.
“Of course it was tough. But you can’t leave it in nobody’s hands,” Miller said. “You can’t leave it in ref’s hands, can’t leave it other team’s, you can’t even leave it in our coach’s hands. We’re the people out on the court playing so we need to make the right plays.”
The Gophers led 52-42 midway through the second half, overcoming woeful shooting with some tough defense and a couple of three-point plays from Mathieu and Oto Osenieks to build the cushion. The Seminoles didn’t even attempt a shot for the first 3:07 of the second half as the turnovers kept coming.
But Florida State hung around, hitting the shots they did take and clamping down on defense themselves to cut it to 57-53 on a lob from Miller to White with under six minutes to go.
Then it turned into a foul-shooting contest, and the Seminoles couldn’t quite keep up. When the Gophers desperately needed one shot, Mathieu delivered.
“Just playing at home, playing at the park, always being smaller than everybody else, I had to attack the rim,” he said. “I never really shot jumpshots, so attacking the rim is what I do. I can’t stop if they’re bigger in there. I’ve just got to score over the bigger players.”
The Seminoles have high hopes this season, which appeared to be validated with a convincing victory over VCU and narrow losses to Michigan and Florida late last month. They’re physical, fast in the open court and have a pair of post players in Bojanovsky and Michael Oto who are over 7 feet tall.
The Gophers were giving up size and strength to the Seminoles at virtually every position, so their best chance to hang in there came from behind the 3-point arc. They came out firing, hitting five of their first seven from long range. The Hollinses each hit one during a 12-0 run that gave Minnesota a 23-12 lead midway through the first half.
But Florida State‘s defense, undeterred by a closely called game, started to flex its muscle as the half wore on. They squeezed the Gophers and baited them into taking contested jumpers and Miller jumpstarted the team off the bench to help them creep back in it.
The lightning quick senior scored on two coast-to-coast drives and the Seminoles chipped away at the foul line to cut the deficit to six points at halftime.
“Of all of our games that we’ve played,” new Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said, “that was the toughest we’ve played.”
Georgia Tech charges back to beat Illinois 67-64
ATLANTA (AP) – For a stretch of the second half, Georgia Tech had no answer for Illinois junior Rayvonte Rice.
The Yellow Jackets finally showed they could overcome Rice with better team play.
Georgia Tech closed the game with a 19-4 run to rally from a 12-point deficit and beat Illinois 67-64 on Tuesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, giving the Illini their first loss.
Rice scored 24 points, including a personal 8-0 run in the second half that gave Illinois the lead.
Asked if he had advice for his players on how to guard Rice during the hot streak, Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said, “Prayers.”
“At that point, you can’t stop him. You can only hope to contain him,” Gregory said. “He was good, because he made a couple of tough ones.”
Georgia Tech’s Marcus Georges-Hunt said Rice is “a great player” but couldn’t beat the Yellow Jackets alone.
“He couldn’t beat us one-on-five, so we kept battling,” Georges-Hunt said. “We told each other let’s stick together.”
Illinois (7-1) led 60-48 before Georgia Tech (6-3) began its comeback. Georges-Hunt’s drive with 1:48 remaining tied the game at 60-all. Daniel Miller’s layup with 21 seconds remaining gave Georgia Tech a 65-64 lead.
Illinois forward Joseph Bertrand, who had 10 points, missed a jumper and Georgia Tech’s Robert Carter Jr. sank two free throws with three seconds remaining.
“It was amazing, just being able to put everything together when we needed it,” said Carter, who led Georgia Tech with 21 points and nine rebounds. Georges-Hunt had 20 points.
Georgia Tech recovered from back-to-back losses to Mississippi and St. John’s in New York. With their comeback against the Illini, the Yellow Jackets showed coach Brian Gregory the grit he said he wants to be a trademark of his team.
“When I think of Georgia Tech and the way I want our team to play, that’s the way I envision it, that kind of toughness,” Gregory said.
Georgia Tech became the first team to score more than 63 points against the Illini this season.
“They never gave up,” said Rice of the Yellow Jackets. “They competed the whole 40 minutes. They were down 12. They fought, and give them credit, they were the better team tonight.”
The Yellow Jackets led 36-33 at halftime after trailing by nine points in the first half.
Rice scored eight unanswered points early in the second half as the Illini reclaimed the lead. He started the run with a free throw before hitting a 3-pointer, and then scoring off his steal. A 9-0 run midway through the second half gave the Illini their biggest lead.
Illinois coach John Groce said the Illini couldn’t overcome breakdowns at the end of each half.
“They out-executed us at the end of both halves,” Groce said.
“I give them a lot of credit. They made some plays and didn’t flinch when they were down 26-17. Then we come right back and have a 12-point lead and repeat: It happens again. … I thought our attitude was great, body language was great and our toughness was better … but I thought our execution was absolutely pathetic. It was awful. Out of timeouts, it was bad. Bad passing. Bad catching, not the toughness about us to execute what we need to execute.”
Georgia Tech avenged a loss at Illinois in last year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Bertrand said it was a wasted opportunity for the Illini.
“It’s really disappointing,” Bertrand said. “We had the game and kind of let it slip through our fingers.”
Rice, a junior transfer from Drake, is the first player to score in double figures in his first eight games at Illinois since Kiwane Garris opened his career with 10 straight games of 10 or more points in the 1993-94 season.
The Illini made 5 of their first 10 3-pointers and led 26-17 before Georges-Hunt led the Yellow Jackets to a 9-0 run to tie the game. Georgia Tech missed its first five 3-pointers before making its final three long-distance attempts.
Solomon Poole’s 3-pointer gave the Yellow Jackets their first lead at 31-28, and Carter added a 3 and a dunk for the halftime lead.
Notre Dame show resilience in 98-93 loss at Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – No. 23 Iowa was deeper than Notre Dame. The Hawkeyes were also playing in front of a raucous home crowd and were bolstered by a strong showing in last week’s Battle 4 Atlantis.
That the Fighting Irish took Iowa to the final second showed the strides they have made since that ugly loss to Indiana State two weeks ago.
Aaron White scored 20 points, Devyn Marble and Jarrod Uthoff added 17 each and Iowa held off Notre Dame 98-93 on Tuesday night.
Marble had 13 straight points in the second half for the Hawkeyes (8-1), who bounced back from an overtime loss to No. 14 Villanova with just their third win in 13 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games.
Garrick Sherman led Notre Dame (5-2) with a career-high 29 points. Eric Atkins added 23 for the Irish, which lost despite shooting 51.5 percent from the field.
“We need him to be a main guy for us. Last year he was a little bit up and down. For him to have a night like this in this atmosphere I think is very important,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of Sherman. “I think this will be something he can really grow from.”
Iowa shot 56.9 percent from the field. Still, the Hawkeyes couldn’t put away the Fighting Irish until the final second.
White answered a 3-pointer by Atkins by drawing contact with Sherman and converting from the free throw line to put the Hawkeyes ahead 90-83 with 1:50 left.
But Uthoff blew an easy layup and didn’t get a loose ball that Atkins put home to pull Notre Dame within 91-88. Uthoff soon made up for those mistakes, but the Fighting Irish were still alive until White’s free throw with 0.8 seconds left.
Jerian Grant had 13 points and 10 assists for Notre Dame, which committed just seven turnovers despite a frenetic pace.
“I’m really impressed by Iowa. But I love my team,” Brey said. “We just didn’t have much at the end.”
The Hawkeyes had no answer for Sherman in the first half. He had 18 points, repeatedly beating Iowa’s interior defense for easy baskets.
The way the Hawkeyes were scoring, it didn’t matter all that much.
Iowa shot 19 of 33 from the field – including an 18-foot turnaround jumper from Uthoff to beat the shot clock – and took a 52-43 halftime lead.
But the Hawkeyes were playing their fourth game in six days, and it showed at the start of the second half. Sherman helped Notre Dame quickly tie it at 55-all, reaching his career high in points with 16:53 left.
Marble kept Iowa ahead with those 13 straight points, but the Fighting Irish closed within 76-75 on Grant’s dunk with 6:46 left.
“You knew they were going to make a run. You just didn’t want it to be that quickly. They erased our lead within the first couple minutes of the second half. We were sideways,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
Pittsburgh pulls away from Penn State 78-69
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh center Talib Zanna backed his way into the post before nearly losing the ball. When a teammate appeared ready to race in and grab it, Zanna held up his right hand as if to say, “it’s OK.”
A second later, Zanna was back in control. A moment after that, his baby hook shot from 5 feet slipped through the net. Just as quickly, it seemed, the Panthers were still unbeaten and Penn State was still playing the role of little brother in a basketball rivalry that remains one-sided, at least for now.
Zanna scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Pitt pulled away late for a 78-69 victory over the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
“I think the first half we kind of forced a lot of shots,” Zanna said. “The second half we came in just changed some principals. They went small. We had to adjust some stuff. The paint was wide open.”
Yes it was. All but two of Pitt’s 17 field goals in the second half came in the lane, six of them by Zanna. The senior is a bit of a late bloomer for the Panthers (8-0), but showcased his newfound maturity when he spent most of the first 20 minutes as a bystander.
“He is an emotional kid,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “He plays hard with a lot of energy. Patience is something we want him to continue and develop and grow with.”
Lamar Patterson added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Panthers while James Robinson shook off foul trouble to finish with 10 points, including consecutive fast break layups with less than 3 minutes to play to turn aside one final rally by the Nittany Lions (6-3).
Tim Frazier led Penn State with 27 points but the Nittany Lions fell to Pitt for the sixth straight time. D.J. Newbill chipped in 18 but Penn State couldn’t keep up when the Panthers turned up the pressure down the stretch.
The Nittany Lions took a 59-58 lead on a layup by Donovon Jack with 5:15 left but Pitt responded with an 11-3 burst to take control.
“They had fresh legs, I’ll give them credit,” Penn State coach Pat Chambers said. “We looked like we wore down a little bit at the end.”
Zanna and Robinson had a little something to do with it.
Robinson hit a pair of free throws to give the Panthers a 60-59 lead. The teams traded 3-pointers when Zanna blocked a Newbill layup attempt, starting a fast break that ended with Robinson snaking in for a basket. The Nittany Lions called timeout to settle things down, but Robinson knocked the ball away from Frazier then chased it down on his way to a lay-up that pushed the lead to 67-62.
The Nittany Lions missed on their next possession when Zanna quickly recovered from the near turnover to push the advantage to seven.
“They really did a great job, Jamie did a great job developing him,” Chambers said. “He looked terrific.”
Frazier responded with a quick layup, but the Nittany Lions would get no closer.
Pitt shot just 2 of 11 from 3-point range but overcame it by outrebounding the Nittany Lions 38-29 and having its way in the lane in the second half.
The teams used to meet sporadically over the last three decades before the series hit pause indefinitely eight years ago when then Penn State coach Ed DeChellis opted to stop playing the Panthers after Pitt ripped off five straight relatively lopsided wins.
Chambers said he and Dixon have talked about making it an annual event, though Dixon cautioned “there are 50 games I’d like to play.”
The renewal served as more as a litmus test for where both programs are after promising Novembers than a true showdown.
The Panthers came in 7-0 for the eighth time in the last 13 years led by a versatile offense that came in averaging 82 points game.
The going would be considerably tougher in the early going against the Nittany Lions, who slowed the game, often handing the ball to Frazier in the waning seconds of the shot clock and asking him to go to work.
It wasn’t a problem. Frazier had little trouble getting to the basket, breaking down the Panthers off the dribble and attacking whoever happened to be in the way. He scored 13 points before the break, including a twisting layup that gave Penn State a 30-28 lead at half and marking the first time all season the Panthers haven’t led heading into the final 20 minutes.
The Nittany Lions, however, couldn’t keep it going.
“We’ve just got to come down to execute down the stretch,” Frazier said. “We showed it in other games where we made game-winning plays. We need to do it consistently.”
No. 4 Syracuse beats Indiana 69-52
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – Last March, Syracuse shut down Indiana in the NCAA tournament with coach Jim Boeheim’s signature 2-3 zone defense.
Different season, same result for the Hoosiers.
The Orange backcourt of Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis combined for 38 points, nine assists and eight steals, and No. 4 Syracuse beat Indiana 69-52 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday night.
“Because it’s Indiana, it’s kind of like a rivalry, and they’re a really good team,” said Cooney, who scored 21 points. “We wanted to come out and prove to everyone that we’re a good team.”
Syracuse, fresh from winning the Maui Invitational, registered seven blocked shots, 10 steals and matched the nation’s top team on the glass with 29 rebounds with just a 12-11 deficit on the offensive glass. Indiana shot 15 of 41 (36.6 percent) and was 6 of 13 from the field in the second half in getting outscored 36-23.
“We finally got our offense going a little bit, made a couple of baskets, but our defense was really the difference for the first time this year,” Boeheim said. “Coming back from Hawaii, I thought the way everybody held their legs was pretty good. Our energy level was pretty good.”
So, too, was that of the crowd of 26,414, whose deafening roars in the second half rocked the Carrier Dome as the Orange assumed control.
“We just get up for these games,” Ennis said.
Syracuse (8-0) has won 46 straight nonconference games at home, and there was no love lost in this rematch from last season’s East Regional semifinal won handily by the Orange. Indiana was called for two flagrant fouls Tuesday, the second coming in the second half as the game was slipping away.
Syracuse used a 25-4 run to break open a tie game after holding just a 33-29 halftime lead despite scoring the game’s first 10 points.
“The first three, four possessions. I’m not a big believer in the first 5 minutes, but this one was,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “This is one of those games where the first few possessions were going to be absolutely crucial in the second half, and they were. And it totally went the other way. I’m unbelievably disappointed in the lack of fight in the second half.”
The youthful Hoosiers (6-2) had only lost, 59-58, to No. 12 Connecticut at Madison Square Garden in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
After Indiana’s Noah Vonleh tied it at 33-all early in the second half, Syracuse went on a 12-0 run.
Dajuan Coleman started the run with a putback and Cooney followed with a steal and 3-pointer, then went 3 of 3 from the free throw line after being fouled on another 3-point attempt.
C.J. Fair’s driving layup with 13:18 gave the Orange a 45-33 lead. Ennis had three steals during the spurt and the Orange forced the Hoosiers into a shot-clock violation as they could muster nothing offensively.
“We had a stretch where we had a lot of turnovers,” said Indiana guard Yogi Farrell. “We were very quiet. Maybe some guys didn’t believe the game was winnable.”
Fair finished with 15 points but had to sit 5 minutes in the second half after picking up his fourth foul, one of four Syracuse players who finished the game with four.
Vonleh had 17 points for the Hoosiers, 13 from the free throw line, and Ferrell added 12 points, only three in the second half – a 3-pointer with 1:59 remaining.
The first-ever meeting between Indiana and Syracuse was for the 1987 national championship, and Indiana won 74-73 on a baseline jumper by Keith Smart with 4 seconds left. Boeheim said he never got over that loss until he won the 2003 national championship with Carmelo Anthony, and he’s been perfect against Indiana since, winning five straight.
In March the Hoosiers were like most of the nonconference teams on the Syracuse schedule, not used to seeing Boeheim’s trademark 2-3 zone, and it showed right from the outset. The team that finished third in the country last season in scoring at 79.5 points per game while shooting 48.6 percent had no answer for the zone and lost 61-50 as Syracuse limited the top-seeded Hoosiers to their lowest output of the season while forcing 19 turnovers and blocking 10 shots.
The lineups have changed for both teams, but that zone is still OK.
Indiana came in leading the nation averaging 50.3 rebounds a game and in rebound margin at plus-18.
Indiana was fifth in field goal percentage defense (35.1) and the Orange shot 51.1 percent (24 of 47).
Indiana, which trailed 10-0 to start the game, went on a 15-5 run over a span of about 3 minutes late in the opening half to take its first lead, going 5 for 5 from the free throw line. A three-point play by Will Sheehey and two 3s from the top of the key by Ferrell, the second as the shot clock was about to expire, gave Indiana a 27-26 lead with 3:28 left.
“The second half we just got away from what we were doing in the first half,” Vonleh said.
Eddie’s 34 lead Va Tech past Winthrop, 81-63
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – Jarell Eddie missed his first two shots on Tuesday night, and he hardly missed anything else.
Virginia Tech’s senior swingman scored a career-high 34 points, making runners, fadeaways, 3-pointers and catch-and-shoot baseline jumpers. He also sparked two key runs as the Hokies finally dispatched pesky Winthrop 81-63 for their third consecutive victory.
“After I made one, I kind of got in a zone,” Eddie said after hitting 13 of 18 overall, and 6 of 8 3-pointers. “My teammates were finding me in real good areas and after that, I started feeling it and I just rolled that way. … When you’re feeling it a little bit more than other nights, you can take a little crazier shots.”
Eddie’s array of jumpers included several that might not have qualified as good shots most nights, but coach James Johnson has no issues after going into the game with two of his better players sidelined. The Hokies played without guards Adam Smith (calf strain) and Ben Emelogu (concussion).
Johnson laughed at the suggestion the performance caused flashbacks to last year, when the Hokies’ Erick Green led the nation in scoring.
“He got in a zone and we went to him and he delivered,” Johnson said of Eddie, whose previous high was 28 points last season. “He made some nice plays. I didn’t think he forced anything. He was very efficient. That was a performance. That was a performance by him tonight.”
Winthrop was determined not to let happen, Eagles coach Pat Kelsey said.
“It doesn’t look like it, but he was the focal point of the scouting report,” Kelsey said, adding that he recruited Eddie. “He scared the bejeepers out of us on tape. … I think the basket looked really, really big to that kid tonight. … I think that’s probably a performance he’ll tell his grandkids about.”
Even so, the Hokies didn’t take command until late.
Eddie scored 20 points in the first half, including 17 straight for the Hokies (6-3) in one stretch, but Virginia didn’t pull away until a 20-7 run opened a 70-56 lead with 5 minutes remaining. It came after the Eagles closed to within 50-49 on a 3-pointer by Josh Davenport, quieting the crowd at Cassell Coliseum.
Devin Wilson started the run with a free throw and C.J. Barksdale hit an 18-footer. After Joab Jerome scored for Winthrop, Eddie hit a runner, then a 12-foot turnaround. He later added his second four-point play of the night, and he added seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in 37 minutes.
“Every time he shot the ball it seemed like it was going in,” Cadarian Raines said. “He was feeling it tonight and we needed it.”
Freshman Keon Johnson scored 15 points to lead the Eagles (5-2) and Jerome had 13.
Eddie’s hot night was critical for the Hokies, who shot 60.4 percent (29-48) but also turned the ball over 18 times. The sloppy play allowed the Eagles to stay close even after going scoreless for nearly 4:30 in one stretch of the second half. It was late in the Eagles’ scoring drought that the Hokies took command.
Eddie led a 21-7 spurt in the first half during in which he scored the first 14 points, capping his personal run of 17 straight Virginia Tech points.