Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ACC Players Of The Week

JOHNSON (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)
Miami center Reggie Johnson, whose low-post presence helped the Hurricanes to a pair of overtime victories in conference play, has been named ACC Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday, Feb. 5.

In voting for Rookie of the Week, Duke guard Austin Rivers earned acclaim for the third consecutive week and for the sixth time in 13 opportunities.

Johnson, a 6-foot-10 junior from Winston-Salem, N.C., who missed this season's first nine games while recovering from a knee injury, scored a career-high 27 points and collected 12 rebounds as the Hurricanes defeated No. 7 Duke 78-74 on Sunday. The victory was the first for the Miami program at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where it had been 0-7.

The Hurricanes lost a 16-point second-half lead but regrouped behind the play of their center, whose field goal with 3:19 left opened the scoring in overtime and put Miami ahead to stay. Johnson later grabbed an offensive rebound, drew a foul and made both free throws to make it a 73-69 game. Earlier in the week, the Hurricanes earned a 90-86, double-OT win over Maryland as Johnson contributed 13 points and five rebounds.

Miami becomes the first ACC team to win back-to-back games in league play and in overtime since Georgia Tech defeated Duke 73-71 on Feb. 7, 1996 and earned a 92-83 victory over North Carolina three days later.
Rivers, a 6-4 freshman from Winter Park, Fla., delivered 20 points and a career-high nine rebounds while committing only two turnovers in 43 minutes against the Hurricanes. That performance followed a 4-for-6 shooting effort from the 3-point line in the Blue Devils' win at Virginia Tech on Feb. 2. For the week, Rivers averaged 19 points a game and was charged with four turnovers in 78 minutes of play.

In the previous 41 years of Rookie of the Week honors, only two players, 10-time winners Kenny Anderson of Georgia Tech in 1990 and Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina in 2006, have been cited more than six times. Rivers ties the Duke record for rookie honors held by Luol Deng, a six-time honoree in 2003-04.

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