Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hump Night ACC Hoops

Nolan Smith
#1 DUKE 85, UAB (Blazers, 12,101 students, Birmingham, AL) 64 – ACC Player of the Week Nolan Smith scored a career-high 33 points to help the Blue Devils beat Alabama-Birmingham on Wednesday night, giving Duke its 24th straight victory dating to last season’s run to the ACC and NCAA tournament championships.

Kyle Singler added 15 points, including his 2,000th career point during a game-opening 26-4 run that took the drama out of this one early. The Blue Devils (14-0) never let the Blazers (10-3) closer than 14 points after that in a performance that pleased coach Mike Krzyzewski considering it came in a nonconference game crammed between Duke’s first two ACC contests.

Smith finished 11 for 22 from the field to go with seven rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes. It marked the fifth straight game Smith had scored at least 22 points, a stretch during which he’s averaging 26 points while shooting 62 percent (45 of 73) overall and 63 percent (12 of 19) from 3-point range.

Harvard (Crimson, 21,125 students, Cambridge, MA) 78, BOSTON COLLEGE 69 – Laurent Rivard scored 23 points and Keith Wright had 15 as Harvard upset Boston College and for the third straight season on Wednesday night.

This one may have been payback for all those Ivy League losses. The Crimson beat Eagles first-year coach Steve Donahue, who led Cornell to three consecutive Ivy titles before coming to Chestnut Hill.

Travis McKie

 It was the Eagles’ second home loss to an Ivy school this season, the other a 75-67 setback to Yale on Nov. 18. That’s one more than the Big Red had in the league under Donahue all last season.

 WAKE FOREST 79, High Point (Panthers, 4,500 students, High Point, NC) 63 – J.T. Terrell scored 18 points off the bench and Wake Forest used a key second-half run to beat High Point, ending a four-game losing streak.

Travis McKie added 13 points and Gary Clark and C.J. Harris had 11 each for the Demon Deacons (7-8), who led by as many as 21 points late in the second half.

Nick Barbour scored 12 points for the Panthers (5-8), who lost their fifth straight despite fighting back from a 12-point halftime deficit to pull within four twice early in the second half.

The loss dropped High Point to 0-10 against ACC teams since moving from the NAIA to the NCAA Division I level in 1999.

N.C. STATE 87, Elon (Phoenix, 5,601 students, Elon, NC) 72 – Tracy Smith scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half of his return to the starting lineup, leading N.C. State past pesky Elon.

Tracy Smith

C.J. Leslie scored 19 points and fellow freshman Ryan Harrow added 17 for the Wolfpack (10-4), who twice trailed by 10 in the first half but shot 62.5 percent (30 for 48) and used a strong second half to win their fourth straight heading into the start of Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend.

Chris Long scored 20 points on 5-of-17 shooting for Elon (6-8), which shot 47 percent from 3-point range but was denied its first victory against an ACC team since 2005, falling to 0-4 against that league this season.

Smith, an All-ACC forward who missed 10 games with a knee injury, returned last week against San Diego and had 16 points off the bench in that one. This time, he helped key the Wolfpack’s 11-3 surge to begin the second half in which they were intent on running the offense through some of their most experienced players.

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