ACC roundup: Booker powers Clemson past Miami

Senior scores 18 points to lead Tigers

Tar Heels break 4-game losing streak

February 14, 2010|By From Sun news services

Trevor Booker scored 18 points and Clemson won back-to-back games for the first time in almost a month with a 74-66 victory over visiting Miami on Saturday.

The Tigers (18-7, 6-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) hadn't won consecutive contests since taking three straight the first half of January and had been in danger of falling out of the ACC chase.

Instead, Booker's inside play and Clemson's outside shooting touch were too much for the Hurricanes (17-8, 3-8).

Andre Young had four of the Tigers' nine 3-pointers.

Malcolm Grant had 13 points to lead Miami, which has lost seven of its past nine games.

Clemson took a page from Miami's gameplan, using three straight 3s to breakaway from a 40-all tie midway through the second half.

Young began with a long-range basket, and, after Grant answered with a 3 of his own, Demontez Stitt regained the lead for Clemson with a 3-pointer. Then, Tigers freshman Milton Jennings, who had missed 18 straight from beyond the arc, followed with a 3 that brought the Littlejohn Coliseum crowd to its feet.

North Carolina 74, North Carolina State 61: Larry Drew II had 15 points and the host Tar Heels ended their four-game losing streak by beating the Wolfpack.

Deon Thompson added 12 points for the Tar Heels (14-11, 3-7), who gained some measure of relief with their first victory since beating the Wolfpack nearly three weeks ago. It was also their first home win since beating Virginia Tech more than a month ago.

More importantly, the victory kept the defending national champions from doing something unthinkable in the preseason: falling into last place in the ACC standings with just a handful of games left to play.

Instead, that dishonor fell to N.C. State (14-12, 2-9), which lost its fourth straight game overall and its eighth in a row to the Tar Heels.

Tracy Smith scored 20 points to lead the Wolfpack and Javi Gonzalez added 13, but they got little help. Senior Dennis Horner, the team's second-leading scorer at 12 points per game, finished with two points and one rebound in 24 minutes.

Wake Forest 75, No. 20 Georgia Tech 64: Al-Farouq Aminu had 19 points and 10 rebounds and the host Demon Deacons beat the slumping Yellow Jackets to move into sole possession of second place in the ACC.

Ishmael Smith had the clinching hoop with just over a minute left and surpassed 1,000 career points for the surging Demon Deacons (18-5, 8-3), who won their fourth straight game. Smith had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds as Wake Forest moved within a game of league-leader Duke.

The Yellow Jackets (17-6, 5-6) went the final 8:50 without a field goal and were done in by 17 turnovers.

Gani Lawal had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Brian Oliver and Maurice Miller scored 12 each for Georgia Tech, which dropped to 1-5 in ACC road games.

Virginia Tech 61, Virginia 55: Jeff Allen broke a tie on a 3-pointer with 1:14 to play and made a key defensive play seconds later, helping the host Hokies beat the Cavaliers.

Allen scored six straight points for the Hokies (20-4, 7-3), erasing a 51-48 deficit with a 3-point play off a drive with 1:51 to play, then hitting a 3-pointer - just his fourth of the season - from the right side to give them the lead.

On the ensuing possession for Virginia (14-8, 5-4), Allen came away with the ball when Cavaliers guard Sammy Zeglinski lost the handle. Virginia Tech's J.T. Thompson was fouled and made both free throws with 45.5 seconds left, and the Hokies earned their fourth win in a row.

It also gave them a season sweep of the Cavaliers, including a 76-71 overtime victory in Charlottesville earlier in the year.

Dorenzo Hudson led the Hokies with 15 points, and Allen and Malcolm Delaney (Towson Catholic) had 13.

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