Men's Basketball ACCtion: Saturday, January 8

Jan. 8, 2011

Tar Heels Heat Up Late, Win ACC Opener 62-56

Tyler Zeller scored 12 points and North Carolina used a 20-7 second-half run to overcome a long scoring drought and beat Virginia 62-56 on Saturday.

The Tar Heels (11-4, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed by as many as 11 after going 8:53 between field goals spanning the halves. Nearly 5 minutes had been played when Zeller's hook fell for North Carolina's first point in the second half, pulling them within eight points, 40-32.

Virginia (10-6, 1-1) managed only two field goals over the next 13-plus minutes, falling behind for the first time at 52-50 on John Henson's driving layup with 3:15 remaining.

The basket was part of an 8-0 run for UNC that erased a 50-44 deficit.

KT Harrell led Virginia with 13 points and Jontel Evans and Mustapha Farrakhan had 11.

The victory was the seventh in eight games for North Carolina, but seemed increasingly improbable when they lost their touch from the field. After making 11 of their first 17 shots, they connected just twice in the next 20 until Zeller's hook shot bounced in.

Pack Dominates in 90-69 Win Over Wake Forest

NC State coach Sidney Lowe wouldn't go so far as to say Saturday's 90-69 victory over Wake Forest at the RBC Center was easy. But it sure was fun.

The Wolfpack scored its biggest win in ACC play in more than two seasons, opening its conference slate with a win for the first time in Lowe's five-year tenure at his alma mater. It was a dominating, confidence-building victory that the Wolfpack needs as it hits the road for its next two games, at Boston College Tuesday night and at Florida State next Saturday.

The Pack (11-4 overall, 1-0 in the ACC) couldn't have asked for a more productive win, topping its season high for points and scoring 50 second-half points for the second consecutive game. Earlier this week, Lowe and his team beat Elon 87-72 in Greensboro.

Smith, playing his third game in eight days after missing 10 games following knee surgery, helped his team dominate the boards, as it outrebounded Wake Forest 45-22, grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and scored 25 second-chance points. The Pack shot a sizzling 58.3 percent from the field in the second half and finished the game at 51.5 percent.

Freshman C.J. Leslie had 19 points and six rebounds in support of Smith, as the Wolfpack outscored the Deacons 46-24 in the paint.

Hokies extend winning streak with victory over FSU

Jeff Allen scored 18 of his season-high 24 points in the second half to lift Virginia Tech past Florida State 71-59 in an ACC game played at Cassell Coliseum on Saturday.

The Hokies broke open a close contest in the first half with a 12-0 run to end the half and took a 29-19 lead at halftime. They never trailed again. Florida State went scoreless in the final 6:43, turning the ball over six times and missing six shots on its final 11 possessions of the half.

In the second half, the Seminoles (11-5, 1-1) cut the Virginia Tech's lead to 46-42 with 7:32 remaining on a 3-pointer by Luke Loucks, but the Hokies scored the next eight points. The Seminoles got no closer than eight points the rest of the game.

Tech, which is to eight scholarship players because of injuries, played exclusively a 2-3 zone against the bigger, more athletic Seminoles and held Florida State to just 35.5 percent shooting from the floor (22 of 62). The Hokies also forced 19 FSU turnovers.

Greenberg, who usually has his teams play man-to-man defense, said it marked the first time as a coach that he had played 40 minutes of zone.

Raji Lifts Boston College over Georgia Tech, 86-75

Junior Reggie Jackson scored a game-high 25 points and senior Corey Raji registered 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Boston College to an 86-75 ACC victory over Georgia Tech before 6,516 fans in Conte Forum.

Jackson missed just one shot in the contest - shooting 8-for-9 from the floor (3-for-3 treys) and 6-for-6 from the foul line.

With the game tied at 39-39 at halftime, the Eagles used an early second-half run to gain the lead, withstood a Yellow Jacket rally and surged late in the contest to secure the victory.

BC began the second half with a 21-8 run to claim a 60-47 advantage with 14:09 to play. Jackson hit two treys and converted one old-fashioned three-point play, and Raji sank three field goals, including one three-point play to spark the run.

BC held off the visitors with a late 8-0 run that included five points from Raji.

Tigers Win Seventh Straight, 79-72 over Miami

Jerai Grant had 18 points and Demontez Stitt 17 as Clemson won its seventh straight game and gave coach Brad Brownell his first ACC victory, 79-72 over Miami on Saturday night.

Grant added 11 rebounds for his third double-double this season and Stitt had 11 of his points in the second half, including five in a 12-0 run to start the half, for the Tigers (12-4, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Miami (11-5, 0-2) got within 74-71 on Durand Scott's banker with 1:16 left, but Andre Young followed with a high, floating basket as the shot clock ran out to extend the Tigers' lead.

Scott finished with a game-high 24 points.

It was Clemson's fourth consecutive win over the Hurricanes.

The Tigers led by as many as 13 points in the second half before the Hurricanes tightened things up.

Malcolm Grant's 3-pointer drew Miami to 57-55 with 8 minutes left before Stitt and Milton Jennings hit a pair of long-range shots to increase Clemson's lead.