ACC Tournament: Duke advances in first round; Wake Forest ousted

Published 8:35 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Associated Press

GREENSBORO — DJ Steward scored 17 points, Mark Williams added 13 points and 10th-seeded Duke beat Boston College 86-51 on Tuesday to begin its quest of winning five-straight games in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

No team has won five ACC tournament games in five days — but Duke (12-11) likely must do so to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995.

Steward, Williams and Jeremy Roach — all freshmen — combined for 27 of Duke’s 41 first-half points. Steward scored 13 points with three of Duke’s eight 3-pointers and Williams was 5 of 6 from the field for 11 points.

Jordan Goldwire closed the first half with a 3-pointer, and he made 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, capping an 11-2 run, to give Duke a 22-point lead with 12:31 remaining.

The Blue Devils, starting the tournament with their lowest seed ever, made six of their first 10 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 15, while 15th-seed Boston College was just 1 of 15. Duke had 17 2-point baskets en route to posting its second largest margin of victory in an ACC tourney game.

Goldwire, a senior, scored 12 points on a career-high four 3-pointers for Duke, which snapped a three-game skid. The Blue Devils advance to play No. 7 Louisville today, looking to stop a three-game losing streak in the series. The Cardinals won 70-65 on Jan. 23, and 80-73 in overtime on Feb. 27 to spoil Matthew Hurt’s 37-point performance.

Boston College (4-16), under interim head coach Scott Spinelli, did not have a player score in double figures after shooting just 39.1%. Makai Ashton-Langford had nine points and DeMarr Langford and James Karnik each added eight.

Duke has won 16 of the last 17 meetings between the schools, including an 83-82 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium earlier this season. BC’s CJ Felder scored a career-high 24 points in that contest, but was held to just four points on 2-of-8 shooting in the tournament.

Notre Dame 80, Wake Forest 77

GREENSBORO (AP) — Trey Wertz hit a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap a 17-2 closing run and No. 11 seed Notre Dame rallied past 14th-seeded Wake Forest in a first round game.

Tied at 77, Wake Forest’s Daivien Williamson drove the lane but his floater was blocked by Cormac Ryan, who dribbled the other way to find a trailing Wertz for a winning 3. Wertz celebrated by finding Ryan in the corner for a chest bump before getting mobbed by teammates.

Wertz also made a step-back 3 and Prentiss Hubb added nine points during a 14-0 run to give the Fighting Irish a 77-75 with 1:54 remaining, their first lead since the opening bucket.

The Fighting Irish move on to face sixth-seeded North Carolina, which beat Notre Dame 66-65 in their only regular-season meeting on Jan. 2.

Wertz finished with 16 points, and Juwan Durham had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Notre Dame (11-14), which trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half and finished 30-of-58 shooting from the floor. Hubb and Ryan added 14 points apiece. Wertz, Hubb, and Ryan combined for eight of the Irish’s 12 3-pointers.

Williamson scored 21 points to lead Wake Forest (6-16). Isaiah Mucius had 20 points and Carter Whitt 12 points and seven assists.

Miami 79, Pitt 73

Isaiah Wong scored 20 points to lead five Miami starters in double figures as the Hurricanes ousted Pittsburgh in the tournament’s opening game.

Nysier Brooks converted a three-point play with 53.8 seconds left — his only points of the half — to cap a 9-0 run for a three-possession lead at 73-66. Wong added four free throws in the final 29 seconds to seal it as Miami made 22 of 28 at the stripe compared to 5-of-14 shooting for Pitt.

Pitt also turned it over 14 times, leading to 22 Miami points.

Anthony Walker had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Elijah Olaniyi and Kameron McGusty each added 14 points for Miami (9-16). Brooks finished with 12 points and Wong reached 20-plus for an ACC-leading 10th time this season.

No. 13 seed Miami, which played a league-high 19 games of a 20-game conference slate, advances to face No. 5 seed Clemson today. The Hurricanes are winless in two meetings with the Tigers this season, dropping a 66-65 contest on Jan. 2 and 66-58 on Feb. 27. Clemson’s leading scorer Aamir Simms had 25 and 19 points in those two games.

Freshman Femi Odukale scored a career-high 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting for Pittsburgh (10-12). Nike Sibande added 24 points and Justin Champagnie had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Champagnie, who received two votes for ACC player of the year behind Georgia Tech senior Moses Wright’s 10, struggled from the field making just 5 of 20 shots. His basket gave Pitt a two-point lead (66-64) with 3:36 left. It was his first basket since 8:36 left in the first half. The Panthers didn’t score again until Champagnie’s dunk with 44 seconds left.

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