State Line Hoops
THE TOP TEN
Duke ... The Blue Devils used offensive
balance against Wake Forest as Jason Williams led the way with 23
points. Dahntay Jones added a season-high 22 points. Carlos Boozer’s
effort included 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.
“Our whole team played well,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“Carlos’ rebounding was certainly a key. ... It was a very efficient
basketball game by both teams and then we hit our shots there at the
end. The execution was really good at the end.”
Duke hit 54 percent from the field and had just eight turnovers.
Duke has played 140 games as the nation’s No. 1 team under Krzyzewski
and has won 125 of them.
Wake Forest ... The Deacons shot 56 percent
in the first half at Duke, made just four turnovers and trailed 61-49
at the break. Wake rallied within 76-73 with 10:41 to go before Duke
went on a decisive 16-0 tear.
“We played as hard as can be,” said Deacons coach Skip Prosser.
“They just played better.”
Darius Songaila scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds and didn’t
shoot a free throw despite playing in the low post against the
physical Blue Devils. At one point in the first half, Wake had been
called for 11 team fouls to three for the Blue Devils. The Deacons
finished with 21 fouls to 16 for Duke. Wake hit just 3 of 16 behind
the arc, compared to 11 of 25 for Duke.
Road losses to Virginia and Duke last week dropped Wake from No. 13
to No. 16 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll.
3. N.C. State ... Coach Herb Sendek
got his 100th win with the Wolfpack as State rallied to beat Georgia
Tech 84-71 on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets led 45-34 early in the
“I thought our guys showed tremendous intestinal fortitude,” Sendek
said. “And our crowd was absolutely fabulous. Our crowd wouldn’t let
us lose today and I can’t tell you how good that made us feel.”
Anthony Grundy had 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists and
three steals in a well-rounded effort.
4. Charlotte ... The 49ers trailed
72-65 at South Florida with 3:50 to play on Friday night but rallied
for an 81-78 win. Senior Jobey Thomas led the scoring with 28 points
as he hit 6 of 12 three-point attempts. Cam Stephens added 21 points
as he made 10 of 15 field goal attempts. The Niners made 11 of 25
shots from behind the arc as they improved to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in
5. South Carolina ... The Gamecocks
fell behind Vanderbilt 19-3 at home on Saturday night and went on to a
60-51 win. After USC had pulled within four points at the half, 23-19,
the Commodores surged again as they opened the second half with a
decisive 15-0 run. Coach David Odom’s club fell to 11-7 overall and
1-4 in the SEC despite coming back again to trail 50-45 with 3:29
left. Aaron Lucas had 20 points in the loss. USC had won three
straight against Vandy.
6. College of Charleston ... The
Cougars won their fourth straight, 63-55, at VMI on Saturday as Troy
Wheless scored 19 points and had four assists. Wheless is hitting 46.9
percent of his three-point attempts. The Cougars are averaging 70.7
points per game while allowing an average of just 60.4. Coach John
Kresse’s club faces a challenge at 7 p.m. tonight with a home game
against The Citadel, a matchup of the top two teams in the Southern
Conference’s South Division. C of C is 14-3 overall and 4-2 in the
7. UNC Wilmington ... Brett Blizzard’s
23 points paced the Seahawks’ 63-59 win over James Madison at Trask
Coliseum on Saturday night.
“This was the most forceful Brett Blizzard has shown in his three
years here at UNCW,” said Seahawks coach Jerry Wainwright. “He took
the game over when we needed him to. His work ethic, his game
knowledge, and his relentlessness are truly remarkable.”
Blizzard made 10 of 18 field goal attempts as UNCW improved to 11-6
overall and 6-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. UNCW hosts Old
Dominion at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
8. The Citadel ... Travis Cantrell
scored 24 points in a 72-64 win over Chattanooga on Saturday as the
Bulldogs won their third straight. Cantrell is leading The Citadel in
scoring with a 17.8 average and is hitting 88.6 percent of his free
throws. He’s averaging 3.0 assists but has struggled with his ball
handling, averaging 2.9 turnovers per game. Cliff Washburn averages
10.6 points and a team high 7.1 rebounds for Coach Pat Dennis’ club,
which is 13-4 on the season and 5-1 in the Southern Conference. Its
league loss was at Wofford, 73-64 on Jan. 7.
9. UNC Greensboro ... The Spartans
can’t afford to dwell on an 87-77 loss at Western Carolina on Saturday
night, not with Davidson coming up for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday. The
Wildcats and UNCG are the top two teams in the North Division of the
Southern Conference. Davidson leads the division with a 5-1 mark while
the Spartans are 4-2. UNCG trailed Western Carolina 45-25 early in the
second half but the Spartans came back to cut the lead to 59-52 with
10:47 to go. Courtney Eldridge scored a season-high 25 points and had
four steals but despite his performance the Spartans had their winning
streak halted at five games. Coach Fran McCaffery’s club is 11-6
10. Davidson ... The Wildcats will
hope to maintain the momentum of a 73-66 home victory over East
Tennessee State on Saturday night. Junior Chris Pearson scored a
career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Davidson won its
fifth in a row. The streak has upped the Wildcats’ record to 12-5.
Pearson made 12 of 17 field goal attempts in his second straight
THE NOT-SO-SWEET 17
13. North Carolina
15. East Carolina ... The Pirates lost
85-72 at Saint Louis on Saturday in a much closer game than ECU’s
90-54 road loss to the Billikens last season. Coming off its first
Conference USA win, 87-77 over Louisville on Jan. 16, the Pirates led
10-6 before Saint Louis went on a 17-0 run. Billikens junior guard
Drew Diener had seven of his career-high 21 points in that flurry. It
was Saint Louis’ defensive effort that got the attention of Pirates
coach Bill Herrion.
“They’re aggressive,” Herrion said. “They contain the three-point
line. ... By denying and really getting out on our wings, that
disrupted our offense. We need to pass it, get it into our post and
play inside out, but they took us out of that.”
Erroyl Bing had 16 points in the loss and Kenyatta Brown scored 14.
Foul trouble limited Gabriel Mikulas to 16 minutes and he had just
four points. Brandon Hawkins, who made all five of his field goal
attempts against Louisville, sustained a thumb injury and didn’t score
at Saint Louis, missing all three of his shots from the floor.
Bing leads ECU with a 15.7 scoring average, Mikulas is next at 12.5
and Brown is hitting 10.8 per game. Bing is also averaging a team high
in rebounds with 8.7, including 3.6 on the offensive end. Freshman
Moussa Badiane is blocking 4.4 shots per game and Travis Holcomb-Faye
is averaging 4.0 assists.
The Pirates host DePaul on Wednesday and then go to Charlotte for a
3 p.m. game at Charlotte, an 84-75 winner in Greenville on Jan. 12.
17. Western Carolina
19. South Carolina State
20. UNC Asheville
21. Appalachian State
24. Charleston Southern
25. High Point
26. Coastal Carolina
27. North Carolina A&T