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Area Sports Briefs: Blue Bears fall to Claflin

From staff and wire reports

RALEIGH — Livingstone fell to Claflin, 91-75, here Wednesday in men’s college basketball action at the Shaw University Classic.

The Blue Bears (2-7) were behind by nine points at halftime (40-31) and could never mount a challenge in the second half.

David Duncan led Livingstone with 15 points, followed by Roger Ray (13), Ramel Belfield (12), Emarri Bailey (12) and Jimmy Wilson (11).

Claflin (6-4) was led by Ryan McNeill-Moses with 16 points.Triston Thompson and Trevor Dantzler had 15 points each.

Tre Williams (Carson) scored six for Claflin.

The Blue Bears play again today in the classic, taking on Benedict at 5:30.

Claflin                   40     51 — 91

Livingstone        31     44 — 75

Women’s hoops

Longwood’s Khaila Hall (West Rowan) scored a career-high 15 points in an 88-77 win against Delaware State on Wednesday.

Prep hoops

In the Bank of NC Classic at Ledford, Jahare Taylor Thomas scored 18 points and led Thomasville past West Davidson, 58-45, on Wednesday in the tourney championship game.

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Lavar Batts scored 24 points to lead Robinson to a 66-47 win against Thornlea (Canada) in Raleigh on Wednesday.

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Central Cabarrus’ girls lost to Davidson Day 61-55 on Wednesday in tournament play at East Lincoln.

Mahaley Holit scored 16 for the Vikings. Elanna Peay had 12, and Kasey Rowdon scored 11.

ACC hoops

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  — Devon Hall scored 10 points and Kyle Guy added a key jumper with 2:02 remaining as 12th-ranked Virginia withstood a late rally in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools, 61-53.

The Cavaliers (11-1, 1-0) seemed headed to another lopsided win over Louisville before the Cardinals rallied from a 21-point second-half deficit to get within 57-48 with 3:51 left. Guy’s basket regained momentum for Virginia, which got two free throws from Mamadi Diakite with 28 seconds left to seal its fourth straight win overall and fourth in five games against Louisville (11-2, 0-1). He had nine points.

FSU 88, Wake 72

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  — Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 23 points apiece as Florida State opened Atlantic Coast Conference play.

Florida State trailed most of the game and was down 66-61 before it went on a run of 17 straight points over a 4:02 span. The Seminoles made seven straight shots from the field during the run while the Demon Deacons committed four turnovers.

Jonathan Isaac added 13 points and CJ Walker had 12 for Florida State (12-1, 1-0), which has won nine straight for the first time since 2003-04 and is off to its best start since going 16-1 in 1988-89.

NC State 99, Rider 71

RALEIGH —  Freshman Dennis Smith Jr. had 19 points and a season-high 16 assists to help the Wolfpack beat on Wednesday night in the team’s final tuneup before starting Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend.

Fellow rookie Omer Yurtseven added a season-high 16 points in his first start for N.C. State (11-2), which has won six straight — the past four coming by at least 21 points.

each time. The offense has been humming, the defense has been better and the team is whole after playing without Yurtseven (NCAA issue) and Maverick Rowan (concussion) for multiple games.

“I think our team’s farther along now,” Gottfried said. “You never know all the way for sure, but probably the way I look at it is the most important thing I see is: are we getting better? Are we getting better defensively? Are we getting better executing our offense? Are we getting better rebounding the ball? And I do think we are.”

The numbers would certainly say so.

N.C. State is averaging 96 points over the past four games and shot 56 percent in this one. The team came in with five players averaging in double figures, then had six get there Wednesday.

And defensively, the Wolfpack held Rider (8-5) to 24-percent shooting (9 for 38) in the first half and 37 percent for the game.

“We’re going into conference play and we’re rolling right now,” Smith said. “We’re beating teams how we’re supposed to beat them lately, and that’s a good sign.”

Smith had eight assists by halftime and had a highlight-reel takeoff and throwdown dunk early in the second half, extending his recent strong play by setting a PNC Arena single-game assists record and posting the most by a Wolfpack player in nearly 26 years.

“We got our behinds handed to us by those guys,” Rider coach Kevin Baggett said.

   

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