Basketball roundup: Heels hold off NC Central

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 13, 2020

By Bob Sutton

Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL — Armando Bacot carried North Carolina in the first half. Then Andrew Platek stepped up for the Tar Heels.

Bacot had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 16 North Carolina stopped a two-game slide by holding off North Carolina Central for a 73-67 victory Saturday.

Caleb Love and Day’Ron Sharpe scored 12 points apiece for the Tar Heels (4-2), and Platek finished with 11.

“Just trying to do the same thing every game and just knowing what my role needs to be,” said Bacot, a sophomore forward. “Platek made a couple of big shots. … That made it easier for us to get the high-low passes and get the ball in the paint.”

N.C. Central (1-3) scored the final nine points of the game. C.J. Keyser had 19 points for the Eagles, and Justin Whatley finished with 13.

The Tar Heels missed their first 10 3-point attempts before Platek connected from the right wing on consecutive possessions for a 55-42 lead. The reserve guard then added a fast-break layup off a steal, giving him eight points in 75 seconds.

“I’m not scared to shoot the ball,” Platek said. “I just want to take good shots.”

North Carolina scored the final 10 points of the first half for a 30-28 lead, holding the Eagles scoreless for the last five minutes.

Bacot had 15 first-half points. He was 6 for 7 from the field for the game.

“The first half, he was the only offense,” coach Roy Williams said.

Nicolas Fennell had 11 points for N.C. Central, and foul-plagued Jamir Moultrie finished with 10 points.

“We’re confident. We believe in ourselves,” N.C. Central coach LeVelle Moton said. “We expected to win the basketball game.”

The game was added to the schedule in the middle of the week. North Carolina had an opening after a matchup with Elon was shelved when Elon’s program went on a coronavirus-related pause.

Other state games

UNC-Asheville 80,  High Point 67: In Asheville,  LJ Thorpe had 17 points as UNC-Asheville beat High Point. Coty Jude added 16 points for the Bulldogs, while Tajion Jones chipped in 15.

The game marked the first Big South Conference matchup for both teams.

Trent Stephney had six assists for UNC-Asheville (2-2, 1-0 Big South Conference). Lydell Elmore had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Panthers (1-3, 0-1).

Pitt 67, Gardner-Webb 50: In Pittsburgh, Justin Champagnie scored 24 points and set career highs with 21 rebounds and five assists to help Pittsburgh win its fourth straight.

Gardner-Webb missed its first 18 shots from the field and was scoreless until Anthony Selden’s 3-pointer with 7:43 left in the half. The Bulldogs (0-2) closed within 25-18 before the end of the period but got no closer in the second half as the Panthers (4-1) cruised.

Coastal Carolina 103,  Greensboro 45: In Conway, S.C., DeVante’ Jones had 25 points as Coastal Carolina romped. Essam Mostafa added 12 points and nine rebounds for Coastal Carolina (4-0).  Matthew Brown had 10 points for the Pride.

Mississippi 78, UNC Wilmington 58: In Oxford, Miss., Romello White scored 20 points, Devontae Shuler added 18 and Ole Miss rolled over UNC Wilmington.

White, a 6-8 senior transfer from Arizona State, had 13 points in the first half without missing a shot. The Rebels (2-0) shot 52% (30 of 58) from the floor.

Ty Gadsden scored 16 points for UNCW (3-3). Mike Okauru, the only player to start in each game this season for the Seahawks, added 15 points.

It was the first meeting between the teams.

Western Carolina 104, NC A&T 98 (OT): In  Greensboro,  Matt Halvorsen scored 23 points, Xavier Cork added 22 and Mason Faulkner had 20 as Western Carolina topped N.C. A&T  in overtime. Halvorsen made 7 of 9 3-pointers.

Tyler Harris had 19 points for Western Carolina (6-1), which won its fifth straight game.

Quentin Jones had 27 points for the Aggies (2-7), who have now lost five games in a row. Kameron Langley added 20 points and made 1 of 2 free throws to tie it at 88 in regulation.

Florida player collapses on court, taken to hospital

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s Keyontae Johnson, the Southeastern Conference’s preseason player of the year, collapsed coming out of a timeout against rival Florida State and needed emergency medical attention Saturday. He was taken off the floor on a stretcher and rushed to Tallahassee Memorial for evaluation. The team said he was in critical but stable condition and later said he would remain in the hospital overnight.

Johnson’s parents were flying in from Virginia to be with their son.

Johnson had just dunked in transition before he crumpled to the floor as the team broke its huddle. The 6-foot-5 junior from Norfolk, Virginia, averaged a team-high 14 points last season.

Notre Dame gets first win ever at Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Notre Dame made history as Nate Laszewski scored 21 points and the Irish held on for their first victory ever in Lexington, beating the Wildcats 64-63.

Notre Dame used a 19-0 run in the first half to open a 33-9 lead and were up 48-26 at the half. It was the largest halftime deficit in a home game in Kentucky’s history.

The Wildcats got back in it and trailed by one when Isaiah Jackson’s block of a Laszewski’s 3-pointer led to a shot-clock violation with 12 seconds left. Olivier Sarr missed an open 15-footer from the right wing with a second left and Devin Askew was too late flying in  for a putback. Sarr led Kentucky (1-4) with 22 points.

Prentis Hubb added 18 for Notre Dame (2-3).