Men's Basketball ACCtion: Thursday, December 22

Kadji Notches Double-Double in Canes' 76-61 Win

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Kenny Kadji scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Miami pulled away in the second half to beat Charlotte 76-61 on Thursday night.

Durand Scott added 14 points and Reggie Johnson and Rion Brown added 11 each for the Hurricanes (7-4), who made up for the absence of leading scorer Malcolm Grant by shooting 54 percent (27 of 50) from the field and hitting 8 of 19 3-pointers.

All-ACC guard Grant was out of the lineup due to a death in his family.

Charlotte (7-3) managed to keep things close early, leading twice in the first five minutes - the last at 9-6 on two Braswell free throws with 14:53 to go in the first half. It then tied it at 18 on K.J. Sherrill's free throw with 8:02 left until halftime.

Wolfpack Rolls with 88-59 Win Over Northeastern

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Playing for the third time in just five days, NC State capped off a busy holiday stretch with an 88-59 home victory over Northeastern on Thursday night at the RBC Center.

Led by the scoring of sophomores C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown, the well-balanced Wolfpack broke away early against the Huskies by scoring nine straight points in the game's opening minutes and never looked back to hand Northeastern (3-7) its sixth consecutive loss.

Brown and Leslie both had 16 points for the Wolfpack, with Leslie also contributing eight rebounds and Brown adding nine assists. The Wolfpack seemed fresh throughout the game, never trailing, despite the quick turnaround from Tuesday night's dramatic last-second victory over St. Bonaventure in Rochester, N.Y.

The Wolfpack (8-4) shot 61.3 percent in the second half and 51.6 percent for the game. It built as much as a 30-point lead in the second half, allowing head coach Mark Gottfried to empty his bench in the game's final minutes.

First-half run propels Hokies to win over Eastern Michigan

BLACKSBURG - Erick Green scored 12 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 71-50 non-conference victory over Eastern Michigan on Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 10-3 overall on the season. Eastern Michigan fell to 5-7, losing for the fifth time in its past six games.

The Hokies head into the Christmas holiday having won five straight games and now take eight days off before a New Year's Eve date at Oklahoma State.

Tech put things away in this one by finishing the first half with a 16-0 run and then scoring the first six points of the second half for a 22-0 burst spanning both halves. Eastern Michigan's Kamil Janton scored with 11:22 left in the first half to cut the Virginia Tech lead to 11-9, but Green started the Hokies' run with a free throw at the 7:06 mark. The Hokies' point guard scored half of Virginia Tech's final 16 first-half points, as the Hokies took a 27-9 lead at the break.

FSU Falls to No. 11 UF, 82-64

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida State men's basketball team overcame a slow start but ultimately couldn't halt rival Florida Thursday night on the road as the Seminoles lost 82-64 to the No. 11 Gators.

FSU is now 8-4 on the season and will next play at home Dec. 30 against Princeton.

It looked like it was going to be an especially long night for the 'Noles against UF (10-2) as they started the ballgame in a 14-2 hole after hitting just one of their first 12 shots. But an 11-0 run made it a ballgame and Florida State trailed by just two points with just over 16 minutes left to play in the second half.

But fueled by a strong press defense and a stout inside-and-out effort by Patric Young and Bradley Beal, Florida churned out a 15-2 run and exploded for 50 points in the second half to secure the victory.

Georgia Tech Edged Out By Mercer, 65-59

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) - Travis Smith went 6 for 6 at the foul line in the final minute and Mercer overcame a seven-point second-half deficit to snap a nine-game losing streak to Georgia Tech with a 65-59 victory Thursday night.

Monty Brown scored 13 points to lead Mercer (8-5). Glen Rice Jr. had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets (7-5).

Mercer's last victory over Tech had come on Jan. 28, 1974, when the Bears won 102-85 in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets had won 20 of the past 22 meetings.

Tech led 51-44 with 7 minutes left to play, but Mercer closed the game with a 21-8 run.

Clemson Struggles Offensively, Falls 61-48 to UTEP in Opening Round of Diamond Head Classic

HONOLULU - Clemson began and ended the game cold from the field and as a result fell to UTEP, 61-48, in the opening game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. The Tigers went nearly 12 minutes without a field goal in the second half as UTEP put together a 14-3 run to ice the game for Tim Floyd's squad. With the win, UTEP improved to 5-5 on the season and Clemson fell to 6-5.

K.J. McDaniels led the Tigers in the game with a career-best 13 points. Milton Jennings, who was sick and missed practice Wednesday, added 10 in the loss. The Tigers shot just 30.4 percent for the game and made only 3-of-21 from behind the three-point line. For the second straight game, Clemson's leading scorer Andre Young was held in check, as he scored six points and did not make a three for the second straight game.

Scoring was difficult to come by early in the game for the Tigers. Clemson did not score until the 14:09 mark when McDaniels came off the bench to spark the Tigers. He scored the Tigers' first five points and 10 of the team's first 12 points in the game. Coming into Thursday, his previous best was seven points at Arizona.

McDaniels really put the Tigers on the back when he hit a three-point basket with 8:17 left in the half, and then followed moments later with a breakaway slam dunk to pull Clemson with 15-12. The Tigers again trailed 24-18, but scored the final six points of the half and held UTEP scoreless in the final 3:09. Rod Hall hit a pair of free throws to tie the score at 30.2 seconds left before the break.