College basketball roundup: Wake, UNC, Duke pick up victories

Published 10:36 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM — Alondes Williams scored a career-high 36 points and Wake Forest needed to rally in beating VMI 76-70 on Tuesday night.

The Demon Deacons (10-1) are off to their best start since the 2008-09 season.

Wake Forest needed a 10-0 run to start the second half to reduce its deficit to 42-39. A 13-0 run gave the Demon Deacons their first lead of the game at 66-65 when Isaiah Mucius made a 3-pointer with 3:10 left.

Williams was 11-for-20 shooting and missed just one of 13 foul shots. Cameron Hildreth scored 12 points off the bench for Wake Forest and Mucius had 11.

VMI scored 27 (9 for 23) of its 42 first-half points from 3-point range and led by 13 at intermission. Kamdyn Curfman scored 16, going 4 for 7 from the arc, before the break. His 3-pointer with 12:04 before the break was his second of the half and the Keydets led 21-7.

Curfman finished with 24 points, Honor Huff scored 13 off the bench and Jake Stephens scored 12 with 10 rebounds for VMI (7-5).

Wake Forest has won 16 straight against VMI, and improved to 20-4 in the series. It was the first meeting between the programs since the 2013-14 campaign. VMI last beat Wake Forest 44-43 during the 1940-41 season.

Dawson, Bacot double-doubles

CHAPEL HILL — Dawson Garcia scored 20 points and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds, Armando Bacot had his sixth double-double of the season and North Carolina pulled away in the second half to be beat Furman 74-61 on Tuesday night.

Bacot finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Brady Manek scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Caleb Love added 10 points for North Carolina (8-2). The Tar Heels have won five games in a row — allowing 63 or fewer over that span after giving up at least 83 points in the previous four.

Bacot threw down back-to-back dunks to spark a 13-2 run that he capped with a pair of layups 22 seconds apart to give the Tar Heels the lead for good and made it 54-43 with 15:51 to play. Furman (7-4) twice trimmed its deficit before RJ Davis made a jumper with 14:29 left and the Paladins trailed by double figures the rest of the way.

Alex Hunter led Furman with 21 points. Jalen Slawson added 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Garcia scored the game’s first seven points as UNC jumped to an 11-3 lead before the Paladins caught fire. They made eight straight field-goal attempts and finished the first half shooting 15 of 28 (53%) from the field and hitting eight 3-pointers. The Tar Heels outrebounded Furman 21-10, including a 9-1 advantage on the offensive glass, and scored 13 second-chance points before going into halftime tied at 39-all.

UNC is 24-2 all-time against the Paladins, though it was the first meeting between the programs since December 22, 1986.

No. 2 Duke shakes off rust against SC State

DURHAM — AJ Griffin scored 19 points as No. 2 Duke cruised past South Carolina State 103-62.

In 21 minutes of play off the bench, Griffin connected on 7 of 8 shots and tallied four rebounds and four assists. He was one of six Blue Devils to score in double digits. Trevor Keels had 14 points, Joey Baker scored 13 points, and Paolo Banchero had in 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Wendell Moore Jr. scored 11 points and Mark Williams had 10 points and three blocks for Duke (8-1), which returned to the court after a two-week break for exams.

The game was tied at 6 before the Blue Devils embarked on a 29-8 run. Duke led by 33 points at halftime and increased its lead to as many as 47 points in the second half.

Edward Oliver-Hampton had 13 points, four rebounds and three steals to lead the Bulldogs (3-8).

The Blue Devils hadn’t played since their loss to Ohio State on Nov. 30 but were able to shake off the rust and capture a convincing win.

Duke remained sharp defensively, holding the Bulldogs to 4-of-20 shooting from 3-point range.

The Bulldogs had won two straight entering the game, but couldn’t keep up with one of the top teams in the country.

S.C. State carries two upperclassmen on its roster, and its inexperience showed as the Bulldogs committed 17 fouls and 17 turnovers. The youthful squad will aim to be more competitive in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play.

In the second of four straight home games, the Blue Devils host Appalachian State on Thursday.