WEDNESDAY’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL GAMES
No. 12 North Carolina 78, Syracuse 59
Theo Pinson had 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Kenny Williams scored 17 points as No. 12 North Carolina beat Syracuse to advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. The sixth-seeded Tar Heels (23-9) face third-seeded Miami on Thursday night in the quarterfinals at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Oshae Brissett scored 20 points and made five 3s for 11th-seeded Syracuse (20-13). North Carolina controlled the last 10 minutes of the first half and built a 39-29 at intermission. Then the Tar Heels used a 12-4 surge to start the second half, with Williams dropping in a 3 to prompt a timeout by Syracuse, to take a 51-33 lead with 15:35 left. North Carolina shot 44 percent against the Syracuse zone, with Pinson picking through the seams and hitting the boards and Williams doing damage in on the break. The lead was up to 21 a minute and a half later when Williams slipped a pass to Cameron Johnson trailing in transition for a layup.
Notre Dame 71, Virginia Tech 65
Bonzie Colson banked in a go-ahead, 3-point heave that barely beat the shot clock with two minutes remaining, and Notre Dame rallied from 21 down in the second half to stun Virginia Tech at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Matt Farrell scored 22 points for the 10th-seeded Fighting Irish (20-13). The game got a little testy as the Irish picked up the intensity and the Hokies went cold on offense. A technical foul on Virginia Tech swingman Chris Clarke for shoving Farrell led to four Notre Dame free throws that trimmed it to 54-50 with 7:45 to go. Colson kissed three fingers on each hand and gestured to the crowd after his desperation shot from the right wing gave the Irish a 60-59 edge. Rex Pflueger had 14 points and nine rebounds, and T.J. Gibbs added 13 points and seven assists. Justin Robinson and Justin Bibbs each scored 15 for the Hokies.
Bucknell 83, Colgate 54
Stephen Brown scored 22 points and reserve Nate Sestina added 16 as Bucknell won its second straight Patriot League Tournament championship with a victory over Colgate. The top-seeded Bison (25-9) head to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in program history and sixth time as the Patriot League representative. Four of those six titles have come in the last eight years. The second-seeded Raiders (19-13) lost to Bucknell for the third time this season. Colgate was playing in the league championship game for the first time in 10 years and gunning for its first league championship since 1996. The Bison finish the year with a 15-1 record at home. They have won 18 of 19 entering the NCAA Tournament. Brown, who made five 3-pointers, was named tournament MVP. Bucknell shot 46 percent from beyond the arc (13-for-28). Will Rayman, Colgate’s leading scorer coming in and a second-team all-Patriot League pick, scored 17 points. Jordan Burns added 12 for the Raiders. Nana Foulland had 12 points for the Bison.
Buffalo 72, Kent St. 50
No. 10 seed Kent State was unable to earn its second upset in three days and fell to No. 2 seed Buffalo in a Mid-American Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals contest at Quicken Loans Arena. The Golden Flashes played with the Bulls for more than 20 minutes running out of gas. Junior Alexa Golden made two free throws to get within 32-31 at the 9:15 mark of the third quarter. Buffalo, however, responded with seven straight points to push its lead to eight. Despite trailing by as many as 26 during the fourth quarter, the Flashes continued to fight until the tank went empty and found a way to get it down to 16 with just over three minutes to play. McKenna Stephens led Kent State with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Jordan Korinek also scored 16 points to finish the season with 634 points, which ranks third on the program’s single-season scoring list.
Miami (OH) 69, Ohio 66
The Ohio women’s basketball team missed a potential game-winning 3 with seven seconds left in a loss to Miami (OH) in the Mid-American Conference Quarterfinals. Taylor Agler led the Bobcats, scoring 18 points. Dominique Doseck was also solid, adding 17 points. Agler tied her career-high with 18 points, going 7-of-12 from the field, 1-of-2 from three and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. She also grabbed three rebounds, dished out five assists and had two steals in 40 minutes. Ohio’s Lauren Dickerson scored 23 points, including two free throws with three seconds left to seal the game.
Robert Morris 60, Central Connecticut 54
MOON TOWNSHIP, PA.
The Robert Morris women’s basketball team topped seventh-seeded Central Connecticut in the Northeast Conference Tournament quarterfinals, advancing to the semifinal round for the eighth time in the last nine years. The win is Robert Morris’ 24th of the season, tying the school record originally set in 2006-07. RMU only trailed for a period of 1:19 in the first quarter. Honoka Ikematsu and Megan Smith each scored 11 points to lead the Colonials. Nneka Ezeigbo added 10 on 5-of-10 shooting off the bench. Andi Lydon and Kiana Patterson shared scoring honors with 16 points apiece. Lydon added 10 rebounds to complete a double-double. Smith became the program’s all-time leader in starts, making her 123rd career appearance as a starter. Robert Morris will play sixth-seeded LIU Brooklyn on Thursday.