Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MNH: MONDAY NIGHT HOOPS

NO. 9 NORTH CAROLINA 81, Rutgers 67 – Rutgers is 1-11 against UNC. The Scarlet Knights haven’t beaten the Heels since 1921, and…they still haven’t. But, this time they made it interesting.

Carolina Freshman Dexter Strickland scored a season-high 18 points, including a key 3-pointer and Deon Thompson added 14 points for the Tar Heels (10-3), who played without injured fifth-year senior Marcus Ginyard.

North Carolina turned in a relatively ho-hum performance coming out of a five-day Christmas break, gradually increasing a six-point halftime lead to 17 points midway through the second half.

But the Tar Heels never put away Rutgers (9-3), which hung in and even inched as close as four points with about 2 minutes left. Strickland responded by burying a 3 with 1:54 left that pushed the margin to 74-67 and ultimately helped the Tar Heels pull away late.

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WAKE FOREST 75, UNC Greensboro 60 – Al-Farouq Aminu had 23 points and 17 rebounds and Wake Forest blocked a school-record 16 shots in a victory over North Carolina-Greensboro on Monday night.

Ari Stewart and L.D. Williams had 11 points apiece for the Demon Deacons (9-2). Wake Forest shot 44.6 percent, hit 37.5 percent of its 3-pointers and used a late 16-6 run to break open a surprisingly tight game and win its fifth straight.

Ben Stywall had 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Spartans (2-9). They shot 30 percent and lost their fifth straight, at least in part because they at times struggled to generate good looks against Wake Forest's block-happy front line.

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