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COLLEGE HOOPS ROUNDUP: No. 21 Georgia Tech falls; No. 6 UNC tops No. 15 OSU

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Paul Williams' summer of work paid off for No. 18 Dayton.

The sophomore guard hit the go-ahead 3-pointer and went 4 for 4 from the free throw line in the last minute to seal the Flyers' 63-59 comeback win over No. 21 Georgia Tech in the opening game of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday.

"All summer we were working out shooting free three throws, a thousand after a thousand, and that shows you I can hit it," Williams said.

Dayton coach Brian Gregory was not surprised by his reserve guard's performance.

"He's going to be an impact guy for us, which is what we thought from the beginning," Gregory said.

Williams finished with 13 points for Dayton (2-0), which got 47 points from its backups, including 19 from Chris Johnson.

The Yellow Jackets (1-1) trailed the Flyers 31-22 at the half, but rallied with a string of dunks and layups by Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal.

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No. 6 NORTH CAOLINA 77, No. 15 OHIO STATE 73:

Deon Thompson had 15 points and 12 rebounds and No. 6 North Carolina managed to hold on for a 77-73 victory over No. 15 Ohio State in the 2K Sports Classic semifinals on Thursday night.

The Tar Heels (4-0), who led by 19 points with 10:23 to play, will face Syracuse, which beat No. 13 California 95-73, in Friday night's championship game of the tournament that benefits Coaches vs. Cancer.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams hadn't been overly pleased with the Tar Heels' play in their three double-digit victories, including ones over Florida International and North Carolina Central, to advance to New York.

He couldn't find much to be upset with early against Ohio State (2-1) as the defending national champions -- only one starter returned from the team that beat Michigan State in April -- were in charge for most of the game.

The Buckeyes finally started hitting from the outside at the same time the Tar Heels starting missing free throws, and Ohio State was within 75-73 on a 3 by Jon Diebler with 11 seconds left.

Larry Drew II, who missed four of his previous six free throws in the final minute, then made two from the line with 11 seconds left for the final margin.

Evan Turner, who had a triple-double in Ohio State's opening win over Alcorn State with 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, matched that feat against the Tar Heels but it was a lot different as he finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 turnovers.

The 6-foot-7 junior swingman, who had 17 rebounds in each of the first two games, couldn't go anywhere on the court without Marcus Ginyard, North Carolina's defensive specialist who missed most of last season with a stress fracture in his left foot.

Turner's time was limited as well by foul trouble, and his second personal was an offensive drawn by Ginyard.

Ohio State chipped away at the lead and were finally within single digits when David Lighty scored on a drive that made it 68-60 with 2:09 to go. Ginyard hit a 3 with the shot clock winding down to make it 71-60 with 1:36 to go, but the Buckeyes finally hit from the outside as William Buford and Lighty hit 3s as Drew struggled at the line.

Will Graves had 14 points for North Carolina, and Drew finished with 11 points and eight assists and was 6 of 10 from the line.

Diebler had 17 points for Ohio State, which finished 6 of 21 from 3-point range after going 1 of 10 in the first half.

The Tar Heels had the lead to 10 points within the first 6 minutes, and it reached 16 points three times, the first at 29-13 on a 3-pointer by Ginyard with 5:40 left in the half.

Ohio State missed its first nine 3-point attempts, and the Buckeyes finished 1 of 10 from beyond the arc and shot just 29 percent (9 for 31) overall in falling behind 38-24 at the half.

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NO. 5 VILLANOVA 69, GEORGE MASON 68:

The first shot of Isaiah Armwood's college basketball career was a big one.

The freshman hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 17 seconds left, rallying fifth-ranked Villanova past George Mason, 69-68, on Thursday in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

"He was the last one I wanted to take the shot. I'll be honest," Villanova coach Jay Wright admitted.

The Wildcats (3-0) trailed by 13 points in the first half and were behind 68-66 with time ticking down.

Armwood hit his only shot, connecting from the top of the arc. He played just four minutes, coming off the bench after Antonio Pena and Taylor King both fouled out.

"It felt good when it left my hand. It felt even better after the game," Armwood said.

Wright, by the way, said Armwood now "definitely" has a green light to shoot away.

The Wildcats never led until late in the second half. They were down, 67-63, in the final minute, then freshman Maalik Wayns hit a 3.

After Sherrod Wright made one of two free throws for George Mason, Armwood made his 3. The Patriots (2-1) did not get off another shot.

Scottie Reynolds scored 18 points despite relentless pressure from George Mason's guards, who contributed to his eight turnovers. He said he was eager to improve in the second round of the tournament Friday.

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NO. 4 KENTUCKY102, SAM HOUSTON STATE 92:

DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points and 18 rebounds to help No. 4 Kentucky outlast Sam Houston State in the Cancun Challenge.

Patrick Patterson had 20 points and nine boards and John Wall added 21 points and six assists as the Wildcats (3-0) overcame a record-setting shooting performance by the Bearkats (2-1).

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SYRACUSE 95, No. 13 CALIFORNIA 73:

Scoop Jardine scored a career-high 22 points, Wes Johnson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Syracuse raced past No. 13 California 95-73 on Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic.

Arinza Onuaku added 12 points for the Orange, who made Madison Square Garden feel like home in the tournament benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Syracuse will play No. 6 North Carolina or No. 15 Ohio State for the championship on Friday night.

Syracuse confounded the Bears (2-1) from the tip with coach Jim Boeheim's trademark zone defense, building a double-digit lead by halftime.

Cal star Jerome Randle finished with 25 points, while Jamal Boykin had 14 and Patrick Christopher 12.