Check below for game stories from all the ACC basketball action on Monday. While we’re in non-conference play, stories will be listed in alphabetical order, by which ACC team is involved.
Maryland tops Providence 56-52 to win Paradise Jam
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) – Dez Wells split a pair of Providence defenders for a running hook shot with 1:04 left and added a pair of clutch free throws as Maryland held off a furious comeback attempt by the Friars, 56-52, to claim the 2013 Paradise Jam tournament championship Monday night.
Wells was named the tournament’s MVP after a 13-point effort. Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz added another 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team.
The Terrapins held a 19-point lead with 12:30 remaining in the game only to have Providence’s Bryce Cotton spark a comeback by scoring 14 points in a run that cut the lead to two with 1:31 remaining after Cotton drilled a 3-pointer, was fouled and added a free throw to make it 51-49.
Wells drove past a defender at the top of the key, split a pair of Providence defenders at the free throw line and scored with a soft hook that answered the challenge and made it a four-point lead, 53-49, with 1:04 left.
Cotton hit a jumper with :31 remaining to cut the lead to 53-51, but Wells responded with a pair of free throws with :22 remaining.
Josh Fortune missed a Providence 3-point attempt with :12 left and Cotton missed another with :05 remaining. Batts went to the line with :02 left, hit the first of two free throws and missed the second, but Jake Layman pulled down the defensive rebound that sealed the win, adding a free throw to create the final margin of victory.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon told his team during a late time out to “Just win the game.”
The Terrapins responded by tightening up their defense and crashing the boards.
“We told each other that we’ve got to tighten up, defend and rebound,” Wells said. “We can celebrate later.”
The Paradise Jam championship marked the Terps first appearance in an in-season tournament championship game since 2006, and it was their first meeting with Providence in 22 years.
Cotton finished with 19 points to lead the Friars. LaDontae Henton and Tyler Harris each added 10 points.
Neither team shot well, and Providence flirted with a record for offensive futility until catching fire down the stretch. The Friars were just 16 of 59 from the floor and 3 of 16 from 3-point range.
Maryland was just 21 of 58 from the field, but the Terrapins used a 45-38 advantage on the boards and a string of clutch boards on the defensive end to hold Providence at bay.
Maryland has rounded in to defensive form following a 90-83 loss at home to Oregon State. In the tournament the Terps beat Marist and Northern Iowa, both by wide margins, to reach the finals.
Pitt Runs Away From Texas Tech, 76-53
NEW YORK (AP) – Pittsburgh had been known for a long time for its tenacious defense and it hasn’t stopped even with the emphasis on new rules that have made it harder to cover people than in the past.
“Defense is how you separate yourself,” Panthers senior forward Lamar Patterson said after scoring a career-high 23 points in a 76-53 victory over Texas Tech on Monday night in the semifinals of the Progressive Legends Classic.
Even with the new rules, the Panthers were allowing just 54.8 points on 36.8 percent shooting entering the game against the Red Raiders.
How do the Panthers adjust to the lack of hand-checking and contact?
“Just moving our feet. That’s all we can do,” Patterson said. “If we touch them it’s a foul and if we get two in the first half we’re coming out.”
No Panther would want to miss the first half lately.
This was the second straight game Pitt put an opponent away early. The Panthers took off to a 47-23 halftime lead over Lehigh last week on the way to a 77-58 victory.
On Monday, they opened the game on a 34-8 run on the way to a 41-18 halftime lead.
“I’m real excited how we played to start the game,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “We seem to be in a pattern of doing that now and that’s a good thing to have going for you.”
The Panthers (5-0) will play the winner of the Stanford-Houston game on Tuesday night at Barclays Center.
Cameron Wright added 12 points for Pittsburgh, which had a 36-10 record at Madison Square Garden, the arena across the river, since 2000-01 as a member of the Big East. The Panthers are in their first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“We definitely were excited to be on the road and get into Brooklyn and get tougher competition,” Wright said. “We approach every game the same way.”
Jaye Crockett had 19 points for the Red Raiders (4-2), who are playing their first season under coach Tubby Smith.
“We missed a lot of easy shots we usually make,” Crockett said. “We just missed too many easy shots.
“We knew they were a good team. They were hot, making every shot. They were on fire.”
The Panthers 12 for 26 from the field in the first half, including going 6 of 14 from 3-point range.
Patterson had 14 points and four assists in the first half, accounting for more points in the opening 20 minutes than the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech shot 25 percent in the first half (6 of 24) and committed 12 turnovers, its average for the first five games of the season. The Red Raiders shot 38.8 percent (19 of 49) for the game and finished with 17 turnovers.
“Pittsburgh was pretty impressive. They shot the ball and did things well and we seemed to be intimidated to start the game and missed some baskets,” Smith said. “I was impressed with their defense. We have some things to work on.”
Pittsburgh shot 47 percent (25 of 53) for the game, including 10 of 24 from 3-point range.
The Red Raiders opened the second half on a 7-2 run to get within 43-25 and they got as close as 18 points one other time – 47-29 with 15:43 to play – as they made five of their first six shots from the field with Crockett going 4 for 4.
“It’s very tough,” Crockett said of facing a 23-point halftime deficit. “Yu have to be mentally ready, it’s more mental than physical. You have to put the first half in the past and try to win the second half.”
Pitt’s biggest lead was 73-45.
This was the second meeting between the schools and both have been in the semifinals of the Legends Classic. The Panthers beat the Red Raiders 80-47 in 2008 and went on to beat Washington State 57-43 in the championship game.
No. 8 Syracuse Outlasts Minnesota 75-67 In Maui
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) – The Maui Invitational is built on celebrating upsets. No. 8 Syracuse avoided one against Minnesota on Monday with a gritty early-season finish.
A frenzied sequence that included three blocks and a missed dunk ended with less than two minutes left when C.J. Fair calmly hit a pull-up jumper, giving the Orange a four-point lead. That led to a 75-67 win and an inside track to the early-season tournament’s title as the favorite among eight teams playing in Hawaii.
Fair scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds Syracuse held off Minnesota. The reward: A game against California on Tuesday, then either No. 11 Gonzaga or No. 18 Baylor on Wednesday if both teams win later Monday.
“The danger is when you get pressed for 40 minutes, it’s difficult to bounce back,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “We’ll be ready. We’ll bounce back.”
The Orange (5-0) pushed through a late run by the Golden Gophers, who pulled within 67-65 with little more than two minutes left.But Minnesota (5-1) committed four turnovers in the final two minutes, scoring only once more when Austin Hollins hit a meaningless layup in the game’s final moments.
Trevor Cooney scores 15 points all on 3-pointers, while Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant scored 12 points each.
“It was a good test. Going forward we can still keep getting better.” Fair said.
Malik Smith had 16 points for Minnesota. Andre Hollins had 14 points while Austin Hollins had 11 points. Elliott Eliason led the Golden Gophers with nine rebounds.
Syracuse – which moved up one spot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll earlier in the day – led by only three points at halftime. But the Orange started the second half with a 13-2 run mostly led by Fair, who hit two jumpers, two free throws and a tip-in as Syracuse tallied 10 straight points.
Minnesota stopped short of fully coming back from the 14-point hole, though it cut the lead to 5 points in less than four minutes and got even closer on two free throws each from Austin Hollins and Andre Hollins.
“When you are building a program and you are at the early, early stages you want to show that you can compete on every single possession. Our guys did that tonight,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said.
The game was filled with big runs by both teams. Syracuse had two 7-0 runs and a 5-0 run in the first half, while Minnesota had a 12-0 run and a 7-0 run to take the lead 34-33 with just over two minutes remaining before halftime.
Syracuse will play California in the winner’s bracket of the Maui tournament, while Minnesota will play Arkansas in the consolation bracket. The tournament began Monday with eight teams, including No. 11 Gonzaga and No. 18 Baylor.