|No. 1 North Carolina holds off upset bid by Georgia Tech|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 17 January 2008 01:22|
The top-ranked Tar Heels have played two Atlantic Coast Conference games away from home and both have been cliffhangers they have managed to win to remain unbeaten.
``It says we have matured a lot,'' junior Danny Green said Wednesday night after his free throw with 22 seconds left proved the difference in North Carolina's 83-82 victory over Georgia Tech.
The game wasn't decided until Tyler Hansbrough blocked Elvis Peacock's shot and Peacock couldn't hit a follow jumper after grabbing the loose ball.
``I feel very lucky,'' Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said.
It was the second squeaker in two ACC road games for North Carolina (18-0, 3-0), which beat Clemson 90-88 on Wayne Ellington's 3-pointer with .4 seconds left in overtime.
``Last year this time, things were going the other way,'' North Carolina's Marcus Ginyard said. ``This year speaks volumes about how we have matured.
``We are making that extra effort.''
M 53; Massachusetts 82, No. 14 Dayton 71; No. 18 Mississippi 89, Florida 87; Temple 78, No. 20 Xavier 59; and No. 25 Villanova 76, DePaul 69.
Hansbrough scored 27 points and the one big block.
Georgia Tech (7-9, 0-3) had the one last chance at the upset but Peacock's shot rimmed out.
Peacock insisted that someone hit his hand on the first shot, but he made no excuses about the second attempt.
``It was the cleanest shot you'll ever get in a basketball game,'' he moaned. ``Next time, it's going in.''
Hansbrough finished 7-of-14 from the field and kept getting to the foul line, where he had more attempts (15) than Georgia Tech's entire team (10). The burly, 6-foot-9 junior made 13 free throws, and North Carolina needed every one of them.
``My face really got beat up,'' said Hansbrough, who also had 11 rebounds. ``It was really, really rough.''
North Carolina is off to its best start since the 1985-86 team began the season with 21 straight wins. Another encouraging sign for the Tar Heels: This is their first 3-0 start in the conference since 2004-05, and that team went on to claim the NCAA championship.
This season, they have won all but four of their games by double figures. North Carolina came into Atlanta averaging 92.2 points and winning by an average margin of 22.1.
The Tar Heels pulled even at 70 on Ty Lawson's three-point play with 8:52 remaining but the Yellow Jackets kept matching North Carolina shot for shot. Jeremis Smith hit two free throws with 1:13 remaining to make it 82-82.
Smith led the Yellow Jackets with 15 points and Peacock had 14.
The Tar Heels snapped a four-game losing streak against Georgia Tech in Atlanta by going 21-of-26 at the foul line while the Yellow Jackets were 8-of-10.
``We were lucky in a way,'' Hansbrough said. ``We didn't make our shots at the end of the game.''
No. 2 Memphis 77, Rice 50
Chris Douglas-Roberts and Doneal Mack both scored 16 points and Joey Dorsey had nine points and 14 rebounds for the visiting Tigers (16-0, 3-0 Conference USA), who have won 35 consecutive regular-season games and 26 in a row in league play.
Paulius Packevicius had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Owls (3-13, 0-3), who have lost six straight.
No. 7 Duke 70, Florida St. 57
Jon Scheyer scored 21 points and the Blue Devils (14-1, 2-0 ACC) made eight straight free throws in the final 1:34 to snap a two-game losing streak to the Seminoles.
Florida State took its only lead of the second half at 55-54 on Jason Rich's layup with 3:45 left before the visitors put the game away with a closing 16-2 run.
Rich had all 18 of his points in the second half for Florida State (12-6, 1-2).
Bob Knight became the first men's Division I coach with 900 wins when the Red Raiders (10-6, 1-1 Big 12) beat the Aggies for a third straight time when they were ranked in the top 10. The 67-year-old Knight has been a head coach for 42 years at three Division I schools. He got his 100th victory at Army, then moved to Indiana, where his Hoosiers went 662-239 and won three national championships from 1971-2000.
Martin Zeno scored 19 points for Texas Tech.
Josh Carter and Joseph Jones scored 11 points each for the visiting Aggies (15-2, 1-1), who had their worst shooting game of the season (34 percent) and committed a season-high 20 turnovers.
Massachusetts 82, No. 14 Dayton 71
Ricky Harris scored 22 points and Chris Lowe added 19 for the Minutemen (12-4, 1-1 Atlantic 10), who won in Dayton for a second straight season and snapped the Flyers' 13-game winning streak.
Brian Roberts had 21 points for the Flyers (14-2, 2-1), who finished 4-of-25 from 3-point range.
No. 18 Mississippi 89, Florida 87
Dwayne Curtis had 20 points and 12 rebounds and freshman Trevor Gaskins scored 19 points for the Rebels (15-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference), who ended a six-game losing streak to Florida. It was the first win for Ole Miss against the two-time defending national champions since 2002 and the Rebels are off to their best start since they started 16-1 in 1925-26.
Nick Calathes and Dan Werner had 16 points each for the visiting Gators (15-3, 2-1), who took advantage of poor free throw shooting by Mississippi down the stretch to wipe out most of a 16-point lead.
Temple 78, No. 20 Xavier 59
Dionte Christmas scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and Mark Tyndale added 22 points for the Owls (7-8, 1-1 Atlantic 10), who beat a ranked opponent for the first time in two years.
Derrick Brown had 14 points for the visiting Musketeers (14-4, 2-1), who had won six in a row by an average margin of 25.3 points since losing to Tennessee on Dec. 22.
No. 25 Villanova 76, DePaul 69
Scottie Reynolds scored 21 points and the Wildcats (12-3, 2-2 Big East) used a late 15-0 run to rally for the home victory. Reynolds' 3-pointer with 30 seconds left made it 72-66 and he made two free throws with 13 seconds left.
Draelon Burns scored 27 points for the Blue Demons (7-9, 3-2) who stunned the Wildcats with an 84-76 win in the conference opener on Jan. 3.