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Gritty Duke slips past UNC

Duke’s Brandon Ingram, left, pulls a rebound away from Grayson Allen and UNC’s Brice Johnson.

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Duke’s Brandon Ingram, left, pulls a rebound away from Grayson Allen and UNC’s Brice Johnson.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Grayson Allen scored 23 and freshman Derryck Thornton came up with the clinching block on the final play to help No. 20 Duke edge No. 5 North Carolina 74-73 on Wednesday night.

Allen hit two free throws with 1:09 left for the lead on a night when the Blue Devils (20-6, 9-4 ACC) trailed most of the way. Then Duke came up with two stops in the final minute, first on a shot attempt inside in traffic by Kennedy Meeks.

Then, on UNC's final possession, Thornton blocked Joel Berry II's shot in the lane. Allen rebounded the ball and flung it into the air to let the final seconds expire. The players raced to the bench to mob each other and celebrate.

Brice Johnson had 29 points and 19 rebounds in a dominating performance for the Tar Heels (21-5, 10-3), who came in with a decided edge in size and depth. But Johnson got little help outside of Justin Jackson's 13 points, with the Tar Heels sputtering down the stretch after leading by eight with about seven minutes left.

Most notably, UNC senior guard Marcus Paige — the preseason ACC co-player of the year — finished with seven points on 2-for-10 shooting, including 0-for-6 from 3-point. Paige had three turnovers.

It was a tough-nosed performance by the Blue Devils, who came in shorthanded with largely a six-man rotation in the wake of small forward Amile Jefferson's injury earlier this season then lost guard Matt Jones to a first-half ankle injury.

What was left was enough, with freshmen Brandon Ingram (20 points) and Luke Kennard (15 points) coming up with huge baskets down the stretch.

FSU LOSES AT HOME: The Seminoles fell behind 43-34 at halftime and nearly mounted a late rally, getting within 82-80, but lost 86-80 to Georgia Tech. FSU (16-10, 6-8 ACC) was led by Terance Mann's 18 points.

TEXAS TECH 65, NO. 3 OKLA. 63: Aaron Ross had 17 points for the host Red Raiders, who held the Sooners (20-5, 8-5 Big 12) to 38 percent shooting from the field. Oklahoma made just 6 of 23 3-pointers and lost its second straight game.

PENN ST. 79, NO. 4 IOWA 75: Donovon Jack scored 19 on 8-of-9 shooting, and the host Nittany Lions (13-13, 4-9 Big Ten) upset the Hawkeyes (20-6, 11-3) for their second victory over a ranked team in two weeks. Penn State beat No. 22 Indiana 68-63 on Feb. 6.

NO. 1 'NOVA 83, TEMPLE 67: Jalen Brunson scored a season-high 25 against his dad's old team, and the visiting Wildcats (23-3) won their sixth in a row.

NO. 8 XAVIER 85, NO. 23 PROVIDENCE 74: Trevon Bluiett scored 17 of his 23 during a big first half, and Myles Davis had a triple double for the host Musketeers. Xavier (23-3, 11-3 Big East) led for all but the opening minute and withstood a late run by the Friars (19-8, 7-7).

NO. 11 MIAMI 65, VA. TECH 49: Angel Rodriguez scored 14 for the host Hurricanes (21-4, 10-3 ACC), who overcame a seven-point first-half deficit and held the Hokies to a season-low 29.6 percent shooting.

NO. 12 ARIZONA 99, ARIZ. ST. 61: Allonzo Trier scored 20, Ryan Anderson added 15 and the host Wildcats (21-5, 10-4 Pac-12) earned their second most lopsided victory in the series.

ST. JOSEPH'S 79, NO. 15 DAYTON 70: DeAndre' Bembry had 16 points and 13 rebounds as the host Hawks won their its fourth straight and snapped a nine-game winning streak by the Flyers (21-4, 11-2 A-10).

NO. 18 L'VILLE 72, SYRACUSE 58: Damion Lee scored 15, Trey Lewis added 14 and the host Cardinals (20-6, 9-4 ACC) shot 56 percent in the second half to snap a two-game losing streak.

NO. 22 INDIANA 80, NEBRASKA 64: Troy Williams scored 18, Robert Johnson had 13 and the host Hoosiers (21-6, 11-3 Big Ten) pulled into a tie for the conference lead.

MEMPHIS 73, UCF 56: Dedric Lawson had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the host Tigers, who outscored the Knights (11-13, 5-8 AAC) 26-9 in the final 15:28 of the first half to take control and snapped a two-game skid.

MINNESOTA: Senior swingman Carlos Morris was dismissed for conduct detrimental to the team.


NO. 1 UCONN 88, CINCINNATI 34: Breanna Stewart scored 14 off the bench to lead the host Huskies (25-0, 14-0 AAC) to their 62nd straight win. Connecticut reached 25 wins for the 23rd straight season.

NO. 4 BAYLOR 66, NO. 17 OKLA. ST. 41: Nina Davis had 13 points and 13 rebounds as the host Bears (26-1, 13-1 Big 12) won their 13th straight and avenged a Dec. 30 loss to the Cowgirls (19-6, 9-5) in the conference opener.

NO. 6 MARYLAND 76, MICHIGAN 56: Brionna Jones scored 20 for the host Terrapins (24-3, 13-2 Big Ten), who overwhelmed the Wolverines in the second half after trailing at halftime for the third time this season.

NO. 8 TEXAS 58, KANSAS ST. 51: Brady Sanders had 12 points and the host Longhorns (23-2, 12-2 Big 12) overcame a 14-point second-half deficit.

W. VA. 63, NO. 20 OKLA. 55: Arielle Roberson had nine points, 14 rebounds, five steals and three blocks and made some key free throws down the stretch to help the host Mountaineers upset the Sooners (17-8, 8-6 Big 12).

FSU loses at home

The Seminoles fell behind 43-34 at halftime and nearly mount a late rally, getting within 82-80, but lose 86-80 to Georgia Tech. FSU (16-10, 6-8 ACC) was led by Terance Mann's 18 points.

Gritty Duke slips past UNC 02/17/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:33pm]
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