College basketball: Blue Devils hold off Virginia as Wolfpack, Deacs suffer defeats

Published 11:02 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2022

By Hank Kurz Jr.

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —  A.J. Griffin incurred the ire of coach Mike Krzyzewski when he passed on an open 3-pointer late in the No. 7 Blue Devils’ tight game at Virginia.

“What are you doing? Just shoot. Like, you should shoot all the time, whenever you get it, and you next shot is the first shot” Krzyzewski said he told Griffin, a freshman and one of the nation’s top long-distance shooters.

Griffin, who had missed seven of eight shots, got the message. He hit back-to-back 3-pointers and then scored on a drive, helping Duke hold on for a 65-61 victory Wednesday night.

“We have confidence that his next shot’s going to go in,” Krzyzewski said of Griffin, who has made 50 of 104 3-point tries this season. “Three of his next shots went in in the last four minutes and God Bless.”

Griffin’s first 3 gave the Blue Devils (24-4, 14-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 55-51 lead with 3:39 to play. His next one made it 58-53 with 2:41 left, and his driving basket made it 60-55 with just over two minutes to play. Trevor Keels’ basket with 56 seconds left and a free throw were just enough to finish it.

Kihei Clark made a career-best six 3-pointers, all in the first half, and scored a career-high 25 points for the Cavaliers (17-11, 11-7). They were trying to sweep the season series after winning 69-68 at Duke on Feb. 7.

“He kept us in it offensively,” Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said of Clark, whose also had seven assists and six rebounds.

Clark had never made more than four 3-pointers in a game, and made all six in a span of just over 11 minutes, scoring 18 consecutive points for Virginia. “They were going in so I kept shooting,” Clark said,

Jeremy Roach led the Blue Devils with 15 points, and Griffin and Keels added 13 each. Jayden Gardner had 16, and Reece Beekman 11 for the Cavaliers.

Roach also was assigned to defend Clark after his fast start, and Krzyzewski said “I thought his performance was the differentiator. … His verve on offense really lifted us.”

Duke is at Syracuse on Saturday and Virginia hosts Florida State.

Boston College 69, NC State 61

RALEIGH (AP) — Quinten Post scored 18 points, Jaeden Zackery added 16 and Boston College beat North Carolina State.

Post, wearing a face mask due to a broken nose, was 9 of 10 from the field and Zackery was one of three BC players with three steals. Zackery is tied with Troy Bell for the fourth-most steals in a season by a BC freshman.

James Karnik had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Makai Ashton-Langford added 10 points with three steals for Boston College (11-16, 6-11 ACC). DeMarr Langford Jr. accounted for all nine of Boston College’s bench points.

Boston College pulled away during a 12-0 run, with four points from Post, midway through the second half for a 49-39 lead. BC led by at least seven points the rest of the way.

Terquavion Smith had 21 points and seven rebounds for N.C. State (11-17, 4-13). Dereon Seabron added 20 points.

Smith made four 3-pointers to set a freshman record at NC State with 82 on the season. Seabron scored 17 points in the first half, but NC State still trailed 33-31.

NC State is at North Carolina on Saturday.

Clemson 80, Wake Forest 69

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Chase Hunter scored a career-high 21 points, Al-Amir Dawes added 19 and short-handed Clemson beat Wake Forest to snap a six-game losing streak.

Clemson was without leading scorer PJ Hall (15.5 points per game) due to a foot injury. But guards Hunter and Dawes helped carry the weight without the Tigers star big man.

Nick Honor had 13 points and Ian Schieffelin added 10 for Clemson (13-15, 5-12 ACC).

Damari Monsanto had 17 points and seven rebounds, Jake LaRavia added 15 points and eight boards, and Alondes Williams scored 13 for Wake Forest (21-8, 11-7)

Wake Forest hosts Louisville on Saturday.

Appalachian State 78,  Ark.-Little Rock 66

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Michael Almonacy had a season-high 26 points as Appalachian State defeated Arkansas-Little Rock. Adrian Delph had 18 points and eight rebounds for Appalachian State (18-12, 12-5 Sun Belt Conference). Justin Forrest added 11 points. Donovan Gregory had 10 points and seven assists. CJ White scored a career-high 20 points for the Trojans (8-17, 3-10).

UNC Greensboro 73, Western Carolina 64

GREENSBORO (AP) — Dante Treacy had a career-high 24 points as UNC Greensboro got past Western Carolina.

Kobe Langley had 14 points for UNC Greensboro (17-12, 9-8 Southern Conference). De’Monte Buckingham added 12 points and seven rebounds. Mohammed Abdulsalam had eight rebounds. Marcus Banks had 13 points for the Catamounts (10-20, 4-13).

East Carolina 64,  South Florida 60

GREENVILLE (AP) — Brandon Suggs had 15 points as East Carolina edged past South Florida.

Tristen Newton had 15 points for East Carolina (14-13, 5-10 American Athletic Conference), which broke its four-game home losing streak. Tremont Robinson-White added 13 points. Russel Tchewa had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls (7-20, 2-13).

High Point 78, NC A&T 58

GREENSBORO (AP) — John-Michael Wright had 18 points as High Point defeated North Carolina A&T.

Jaden House had 15 points and six rebounds for High Point (12-17, 6-9 Big South Conference), which ended its four-game losing streak. Kameron Langley had 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Aggies (11-18, 6-9).