Men's Basketball ACCtion: Tuesday, January 10

Jan. 10, 2012

Zeller Lifts No. 3 North Carolina Past Miami, 73-56

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)--Tyler Zeller scored 16 points to help No. 3 North Carolina beat Miami 73-56 on Tuesday night.

Dexter Strickland added 14 for the Tar Heels (15-2, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who closed a nine-game home stand with a perfect record to rebuild some momentum after early losses to UNLV and Kentucky. The Tar Heels led almost the entire night against the Hurricanes and blew the game open with a 17-0 run spanning halftime, which staked UNC to a 23-point lead.

That was the biggest deficit of the year for the Hurricanes (9-6, 0-2), who got no closer than 15 points from there. The lopsided loss followed a one-point loss at Virginia over the weekend in coach Jim Larranaga's first ACC game on the Miami sideline.

Frontcourt star Harrison Barnes struggled to a season-low six points on 2-for-12 shooting, but the Tar Heels' often-overlooked backcourt picked up some of the slack.

Much of that started with point guard Kendall Marshall, who seemed more aggressive in looking for his shot and finished with 12 points. The pass-first sophomore has always been eager to set up shots for teammates and came in averaging fewer than five shots per game. But he finished 5-for-7 from the field to earn his first double-figure scoring game of the season to go with eight assists.

FSU Tops Virginia Tech, 63-59

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BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Florida State couldn't afford to lose this one. Not with No. 3 North Carolina and the ESPN College Gameday cameras coming to town this Saturday.

Early in the season but already with their backs against the wall following a lopsided loss at Clemson, FSU needed a strong defensive performance and for Bernard James to put the team on his broad shoulders Tuesday night as the Seminoles earned a 63-59 win at Virginia Tech.

By tying his career high with 18 points and setting a new career best with 15 rebounds (nine of which occurred on the offensive glass), James made sure that FSU (10-6, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) picked up its first ACC win of the year and in the process generate some much-needed momentum as college basketball fans across the country prepare to turn their attention to Tallahassee.

The Seminoles also achieved a new season high with 15 blocks.