Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year’s Day ACC Hoop

Tracy Smith
N.C. STATE 76, San Diego (Toreros, 7,832 students, San Diego, CA) 54 – Tracy Smith had 16 points in his return from knee surgery to help North Carolina State beat San Diego on Saturday.

Lorenzo Brown added 14 points for the Wolfpack (9-4), who closed a six-game homestand with an easy victory. N.C. State scored the first eight points, led by 22 in the first half and pushed that to as many as 29 points after halftime.

N.C. State won five games during the homestand, but Smith’s return was probably the biggest success of that stretch. The preseason all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick had missed 10 straight games while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, robbing Sidney Lowe’s team of a reliable post scorer who operates at the center of the Wolfpack’s offense.

Smith didn’t start, but he looked close to full speed against the Toreros (3-11) and eager to make up for lost time.

BOSTON COLLEGE 85, South Carolina (Gamecocks, 29,597 students, Columbia, SC) 70 – Joe Trapani had a season-high 23 points as Boston College won for the eighth time in nine games with an 85-70 victory at South Carolina on Saturday.

Trapani had three of his team’s 13 3-pointers. The 6-foot-8 senior also had his way underneath with the Gamecocks’ young lineup, continually outracing them for easy buckets.

Boston College (11-3) came South prepped for a sturdy test against a Southeastern Conference opponent. Instead, the Eagles’ experienced lineup was no match for South Carolina (8-3), which started three freshman and a sophomore.

Biko Paris added 18 points and Corey Raji had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Boston College.

Bruce Ellington had 21 points to lead South Carolina, which has lost three of its past four games.

The Eagles were picked 10th in the ACC, yet already own a conference win at Maryland and figure to carry a lot of momentum into league play when it resumes next week.

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