Top 25 men's and women's college basketball roundup
No. 21 North Carolina 82, No. 9 Duke 78
North Carolina went from looking a step slow and struggling to keep Duke’s touted freshmen off the boards to roaring out of halftime with an aggressive edge on the way to a rousing win.
Maybe the Tar Heels just needed their fiercest rival to bring out something that had been missing for weeks.
Joel Berry II scored 21 points and UNC hung on late to beat the Blue Devils on Thursday night, capping an emotional performance that included a comeback from a dozen down in the first half.
The Tar Heels (18-7, 7-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) had recently emerged from their first three-game losing streak in four years by beating the only team (Pittsburgh) yet to win a league game. And they had struggled to find much of a confidence-building flow.
Until Thursday, with the Blue Devils (19-5, 7-4) in the Smith Center in front of a crowd operating at ear-ringing levels.
“Once everybody got going,” said Kenny Williams, who matched his career high with 20 points, “we proved to ourselves how good we can be.”
The Tar Heels had four players score at least 15 points, including Pittsburgh graduate transfer Cameron Johnson going for 18 points and 13 rebounds in his first taste of the Duke-UNC rivalry. And that helped the Tar Heels reverse a first-half rebounding struggle against Duke’s bigger front line of Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr., and dominate the glass after halftime.
“Everybody crashed the boards,” said senior Theo Pinson, who had seven rebounds. “We told them at halftime: Me and Luke (Maye) are going to do everything we can to keep Carter and Bagley off the boards. You have to come in and rebound.’”
UNC finished with a 28-17 rebounding advantage after halftime that included 15 offensive rebounds, a sign of how the Tar Heels were outworking the Blue Devils as they turned the game out of the break.
“The start of the second half, they played great,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “and we were awful.”
The Tar Heels opened the second half on a 16-2 run to erase what was left of Duke’s early lead and go ahead for good. UNC led 61-51 at the end of its run and played from in front the rest of the way.
“We turned a four-point lead into a 10-point deficit,” Duke senior Grayson Allen said. “That’s hard to come back from against a really good team.”
The Tar Heels were tough enough to win despite going just 2 for 18 from the field in the final 8 minutes, while they tied a program record by having just two turnovers for the entire game.
Berry overcame a 7-for-20 shooting day and finished with six assists, four rebounds and two steals in his matchup with touted freshman point guard Trevon Duval. Duval had nine points on 2-for-9 shooting before fouling out with 3:23 left, including a flashy first-half dunk that fired up Berry.
“That’s why I started picking him up full-court and just trying to get into him,” Berry said, “letting him know that you’re still a freshman and I don’t care how good you are, one and done, that doesn’t scare me. I’m a competitor and I’m going to come to compete each and every day.”
Duke got as close as 74-71 late, and freshman Gary Trent Jr. (team-high 16 points) missed a corner 3-pointer for the tie with 3:33 left. Johnson responded with a huge 3 for the Tar Heels, who got Pinson’s dunk off the press break with 11.1 seconds left to all but seal it.
The Blue Devils were coming off Saturday’s loss to a St. John’s team that was 0-11 in the Big East — the Red Storm stunningly followed that with a road upset of No. 1 Villanova — in a performance that Krzyzewski described as “disgusting” and not up to the program’s standards. It looked like Duke was ready to bounce back in the first half, but the Blue Devils couldn’t match UNC’s second-half surge.
No. 11 Saint Mary's 83, Loyola Marymount 62
Jock Landale scored 21 points and Jordan Ford had 20 points and nine rebounds to lead Saint Mary's.
The Gaels (24-2, 13-0 West Coast Conference) have won 19 straight games. Their last loss was in November. Landale added nine rebounds and four steals.
Eli Scott had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Loyola Marymount (7-17, 2-11).
No. 12 Gonzaga 71, Pacific 61
Killian Tillie had 21 points and 10 rebounds and made a key tip-in with 1:39 remaining in Gonzaga's victory Pacific.
Johnathan Williams added 10 points and 13 rebounds to help the Bulldogs (22-4, 12-1 West Coast Conference) win their sixth straight.
Roberto Gallinat had 15 points for the Tigers (12-14, 7-6).
UCLA 82, No. 13 Arizona 74
Aaron Holiday scored 17 points, Gyorgy Golomon added a career-high 16 and UCLA shot its way past Arizona.
UCLA (17-7, 8-4 Pac-12) attacked the Wildcats from the opening tip, repeatedly getting to the rim, opening up shots at the perimeter. The Bruins shot 52 percent from the floor and were 11 of 24 from the 3-point arc to win for the third time in their past five games at McKale Center.
Holiday added eight assists, and Thomas Welsh finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Allonzo Trier led Arizona (19-6, 9-3) with 17 points, and Deandre Ayton had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
No. 16 Clemson 72, Pitt 48
Gabe DeVoe matched his career high with 25 points, helping Clemson beat Pittsburgh.
DeVoe was 7 for 11 from 3-point range. Shelton Mitchell made three 3s on his way to 12 points, and Elijah Thomas had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers (20-4, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Terrell Brown led Pitt (8-17, 0-12) with 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
No. 2 Mississippi State 98, Florida 50
Roshunda Johnson scored 22 points and Mississippi State stayed undefeated with a victory at Florida.
The Bulldogs (25-0, 11-0 Southeastern Conference) never trailed, hitting three 3-pointers to open the game and doubling up Florida (10-14, 2-9) on the scoreboard by the end of the third quarter.
Victoria Vivians added 17 points for Mississippi State, and Morgan William chipped in with 15. Teaira McCowan had her 17th double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Funda Nakkasoglu led the Gators with 17 points.
No. 7 South Carolina 79, Alabama 66
A’ja Wilson scored 21 points and had nine rebounds for South Carolina.
The Gamecocks (19-5, 8-3 Southeastern Conference) shot 67 percent in the first half to build a 15-point lead. They were coming off losses against the nation’s top two teams, No. 1 UConn and No. 2 Mississippi State, but were in control against the Crimson Tide (14-10, 4-7).
Tyasha Harris had 17 points and five assists for the Gamecocks. Hannah Cook and Shaquera Wade each scored 13 points for Alabama.
No. 10 Maryland 76, Michigan State 68
Kaila Charles had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Maryland.
Maryland (21-3, 10-1 Big Ten) won its sixth straight and avenged an 82-68 home loss to Michigan State on Jan. 11. Stephanie Jones and Kristen Confoy each had 14 points.
Victoria Gaines led Michigan State (14-11, 4-8) with 15 points, and Taya Reimer had 15.
No. 11 Tennessee 90, Arkansas 85
Rennia Davis had 33 points and 14 rebounds, both career bests, and Tennessee made 9 of 10 free throws in the last minute to hold off Arkansas.
Meme Jackson also had a career high with 21 points for the Lady Vols (20-4, 8-3 Southeastern Conference). Jaime Nared added 16 points.
Devin Cosper had 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting for a career high 29 points for the Razorbacks (12-12, 3-8). Malica Monk made all four of her 3s and added a career-high 25 points.
No. 12 Florida State 77, Virginia 62
Shakayla Thomas scored 20 points, and A.J. Alix added 17 for Florida State.
Imani Wright had 14 points to help the Seminoles (20-4, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) reach 20 wins for the 12th time under coach Sue Memrau
Felicia Aiyeotan had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavaliers (15-9, 8-3).
No. 13 Ohio State 90, Rutgers 68
Kelsey Mitchell scored 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting and reached another milestone to lead Ohio State to a 90-68 win over Rutgers on Thursday night.
Mitchell had four assists to surpass 500 for her career, making her just the fourth player in NCAA history with 3,000 points and 500 assists. She was 5 of 6 from 3-point range.
Sierra Calhoun scored 17 points for the Buckeyes (20-5, 9-3 Big Ten). Tyler Scaife had 27 points for the Scarlet Knights (18-8, 6-6).
No. 14 Texas A&M 83, Mississippi 54
Chennedy Carter scored 20 of her 26 points in the first half and Texas A&M gave coach Gary Blair his 350th win with the Aggies.
Khaalia Hillsman added 16 points, and Danni Williams had 13 for the Aggies (19-6, 8-3 Southeastern Conference).
Freshman Promise Taylor blocked 10 shots, setting the Rebels’ single-game record that was held by Susan Byrd (7, 1993-94) and the all-time season mark with 71, surpassing Shawn Goff (67, 2007-08). Taylor also scored 14 points and had eight rebounds. Alissa Alston scored 17 to lead the Rebels (11-13, 1-11).
No. 15 Missouri 83, Kentucky 78
Sophie Cunningham scored 29 points on 8-of-10 shooting for Missouri.
Cierra Porter had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers (19-5, 7-4 Southeastern Conference), and Jordan Frericks had 15 points and nine rebounds.
Taylor Murray led Kentucky (12-13, 4-7) with 23 points.
No. 18 Georgia 67, Vanderbilt 55
Taja Cole had 11 points, seven assists and a career-high five steals for Georgia.
Mackenzie Engram also had 11 points and Que Morrison added 10 on 5-of-6 shooting for the Bulldogs (21-3, 9-2 Southeastern Conference).
Kayla Overbeck had a career-high 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting for the Commodores (6-19, 2-9).
No. 21 Michigan 84, Northwestern 63
Katelynn Flaherty scored 36 points, making nine 3-pointers, and No. 21 Michigan snapped a two-game skid.
Flaherty made five 3-pointers in scoring 15 points in the second quarter when the Wolverines (20-6, 9-4) outscored the Wildcats 22-9 to take a 40-24 halftime lead.
Flaherty, who made 9 of 16 from behind the arc, was two points shy and one 3-pointer shy of career highs. Halloe Thome added 25 points.
Jordan Hamilton had 21 points for Northwestern (9-16, 2-9).
Miami 52, No. 23 North Carolina State 48
Keyanna Harris scored nine of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to help Miami upset North Carolina State, snapping the Wolfpacks’ seven-game winning streak.
Harris matched her career high on 7-of-11 shooting. Kelsey Marshall added 14 points, and Emese Hof had 13 for the Hurricanes (17-7, 7-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Erika Cassell had a career-best 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead NC State (19-6, 8-4). Kiara Leslie and Chelsea Nelson each chipped in another 11 points for the Wolfpack.
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