Duke's Austin Rivers reacts after his game-winning basket against North Carolina on Wednesday in Chapel Hill, N.C. Duke won 85-84.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Austin Rivers and his Duke teammates kept hanging around, doing just enough to keep North Carolina from blowing the game open until the Tar Heels finally gave them an opening.
The freshman took advantage, burying a shot that will live on in the lore of this fierce rivalry.
Georgia snaps losing skid with home win vs. Arkansas
ATHENS — Exactly three weeks after their last win, Gerald Robinson and his Georgia teammates finally snapped a four-game losing streak that had the Bulldogs sitting at the bottom of the SEC standings.
Robinson scored a career-high 27 points and Georgia beat Arkansas 81-59 on Wednesday night to keep the Razorbacks winless on the road.
“We were determined to get a win,” Robinson said. “We needed it bad.”
Robinson made 10 of 13 shots and added six rebounds and five assists.
“Gerald played phenomenal for us,” said Georgia coach Mark Fox. “We ask him to do so much for us, and when you look at it, it really isn’t fair how much we ask of him. Tonight he finished a lot of plays early for us and helped set the tone for us. Then he continued to finish and help us all game.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 18 points as Georgia (11-12, 2-7 Southeastern Conference) won its first game since beating Tennessee in overtime on Jan. 18. The Bulldogs led by 19 at halftime and stretched the lead to 27 points about 6 minutes into the second half.
Arkansas (16-8, 4-5) fell to 0-7 on the road, including 0-5 away from Fayetteville in SEC games.
It was a disappointing loss for the Razorbacks, who began the night tied for sixth in the SEC.
“I thought it was one of the worst performances; it was just flat,” said Arkansas coach Mike Anderson. “There was no energy. Out of all the people that are surprised, I would be the most surprised because I thought we’d come out and really defend and give ourselves a chance but we just didn’t.”
BJ Young led Arkansas with 16 points. Mardracus Wade made five 3-pointers and had 15 points for the Razorbacks, who have lost two straight and three of four.
“We’ve really been struggling on the road and we thought for sure that we’d come in and get a win, but it didn’t turn out that way,” Wade said.
“Georgia came out more aggressive than us. They came out knocking down shots. We were playing a little passive. I guess Georgia fed off that.”
Georgia, which had been held under 70 points in its first eight conference games, made nine 3-pointers.
“People just looked more confident out there,” Robinson said.
Arkansas never led and there was only one tie, at 8-8. At that point, Robinson scored to spark a 15-0 run. The Bulldogs kept the lead in double figures the rest of the game.
Georgia finished with a 44-21 advantage in rebounds, made 9 of 20 3-pointers and 30 of 57 shots overall (52.6 percent).
“That’s as well as we’ve played maybe all year, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Fox said.
Nemanja Djurisic had 14 points and Marcus Thornton added 10 for the Bulldogs. Robinson, a senior, scored Georgia’s first six points and easily topped his previous career high of 22 points.
Georgia starting guard Dustin Ware, usually the team’s top 3-point shooter, did not score while missing each of his eight shots. Ware led Georgia with six assists.
Fox said he had seen signs of improvement from his team in practice the last week.
“I felt like we were starting to get some confidence in what we’re doing,” he said.
Caldwell-Pope said the early 15-0 run was important to boost the Bulldogs’ confidence.
“It was big. We needed that,” he said. “We didn’t want them sticking around with us in the second half.”
Georgia, last in the league with its average of 56.2 points in SEC games, set a season high for points in a first half by leading 43-24 at the break.
The Bulldogs made five 3-pointers in the half, including three by Caldwell-Pope.
Arkansas, frustrated by missed layups, made only 6 of 23 shots from the field and was outrebounded 25-10 in the half.
Thornton, who had been held without a field goal in five straight games since missing five games following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, ended his drought by sinking a 3-pointer midway through the first half. Thornton beat the shot clock with another 3 in the second half.
Arkansas senior forward Michael Sanchez left with an apparent right shoulder injury with 11:13 remaining. He was escorted to the locker room and returned to the bench with ice wrapped around the shoulder.
Rivers hit a 3-pointer at the horn to give No. 10 Duke an 85-84 win over No. 5 North Carolina on Wednesday night, snapping the Tar Heels’ school-record 31-game home winning streak.
Rivers scored a season-high 29 points and hit six 3s, the last over 7-footer Tyler Zeller with the Blue Devils (20-4, 7-2) trailing by two in the final seconds. The ball swished through the net, sending Rivers running down the court in celebration while the rest of his teammates gave chase before mobbing him in front of a stunned UNC crowd.
Rivers’ 3 also sent his father, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, into jubilant celebration from the stands. And it capped a wild rally for the Blue Devils from 10 down in the final 2½ minutes.
“Obviously this is my favorite win I’ve ever had in my entire life,” Rivers said. “And it’s because we were down the whole game. The whole game, we were down. They just kept it on us — 10-point lead, 10-point lead. And then there was 3 minutes left and probably everybody thought we were going to lose, and we just kept fighting. To get a W, it’s amazing.”
Harrison Barnes scored 25 points for the Tar Heels (20-4, 7-2), while Zeller finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. But Zeller had just four points in the second half and missed two free throws in the final minute, including one with 13.9 seconds left that set up Rivers’ winner.
It was a finish befitting the rivalry, from Rivers’ shot to Barnes’ second-half surge to a strange play in which Zeller accidentally batted the ball into the Duke basket on a rebound attempt to bring the Blue Devils within a point with 14.2 seconds left after trailing all second half.
“They’re really good and they can knock you out,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “And we didn’t get knocked out. And as a result, we hung in there and we won the last round. I’m not sure we won the whole fight, but the last round, we did, and we won the game. But we fought the entire time. We fought a really good fight.”
North Carolina charged out of halftime to build a 13-point lead and seemed in control. But the Tar Heels never could land the finishing blow to a Duke team that had looked a bit lost in recent weeks, including its own crushing loss to Florida State on a last-second 3-pointer that snapped a 45-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 21.
Duke was coming off an overtime home loss to Miami over the weekend, but the Blue Devils — and Rivers, in particular — played with plenty of confidence all night against the Tar Heels. They shot 44 percent and matched a season high with 14 3-pointers.
And with Florida State’s loss at Boston College earlier Wednesday, the Blue Devils, Tar Heels and Seminoles are all tied again atop the ACC standings.
“We believe in our players, we believe in our coaching staff and they believe in us,” said Ryan Kelly, who had 15 points for Duke. “Not everything went perfectly, but when it came down to it, we made the biggest play.”
From the start, the Blue Devils seemed determined to rely on the 3-point shot to offset the Tar Heels’ dominance inside. They hit plenty early and led by eight in the first half, then cooled off as the Tar Heels charged out of halftime.
In the end, however, the Blue Devils’ shooters warmed up just in time to stop North Carolina’s long home winning streak.
“It really hurts just because of how we played the whole game,” said UNC’s John Henson, who had 12 points and 17 rebounds. “For us in the last three minutes just to give it up like that is really depressing.”
Rivers finished with a Duke freshman scoring record against UNC. Seth Curry added 15 points, including a 3 that made it 82-78 with 1:48 left.
Then Kelly followed with a jumper off his own missed 3 that closed the gap to 82-80. Then, after Zeller hit a free throw, Kelly launched a long shot that appeared to be a 3 over Henson. As the ball was falling short of the rim, Zeller tried for the rebound but accidentally deflected the ball up and into the basket to cut the deficit to 83-82.
Zeller got caught on a switch defending Rivers on the final possession and said he should’ve played him closer.
“I knew he was going to shoot a 3,” Barnes said. “I thought everyone in the gym knew. Z did a good job of contesting, but he made the shot.”
Then again, North Carolina probably never should’ve let it come to that.
After trailing most of the first half, the Tar Heels ran off a 14-4 run to start the second half. Barnes — who didn’t have a field goal in the first half — finally getting going with a pair of baskets and a 3-pointer off a crosscourt pass from Kendall Marshall to take a 57-44 lead with 15:08 left.
North Carolina maintained at least a seven-point lead until those final minutes, with Barnes’ last jumper giving the Tar Heels an 82-72 lead with 2:38 left.
North Carolina shot 59 percent in the second half, but went just 8 for 15 from the foul line after halftime to let this one slip painfully away.
“This one hurts,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “The kids really played and competed and did some very good things.”
No. 2 SYRACUSE 64, GEORGETOWN 61
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Kris Joseph scored a career-high 29 points, hitting a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute of overtime, and Syracuse beat Georgetown to give coach Jim Boeheim his 880th career win.
Boeheim took sole possession of third place all-time in Division I, one more than North Carolina’s Dean Smith, but it wasn’t easy against the Orange’s rival.
The game was tied at 55 after regulation, and freshman Otto Porter scored the first four points of overtime for the Hoyas, swishing two free throws and hitting a baseline jumper to give Georgetown 61-59 lead with 2:19 left.
Dion Waiters tied it with a pair of free throws for the Orange, and after Porter lost the ball out of bounds at the other end, Scoop Jardine fed Joseph in the left corner, and he buried his career-best sixth 3 of the game with 29 seconds left.
Jardine sealed it by forcing a turnover by Jason Clark with 4.9 seconds to go, allowing Syracuse (24-1, 11-1 Big East) to remain unbeaten at home at 16-0. Georgetown (18-5, 8-4), had won five of six entering the game.
No. 7 KANSAS 68, NO. 6 BAYLOR 54
WACO, Texas (AP) — Jeff Withey scored a career-high 25 points and Kansas went ahead to stay during a stretch without Thomas Robinson as the seventh-ranked Jayhawks had another convincing victory over sixth-ranked Baylor, winning 68-54 Wednesday night.
After a 14-3 run over the final 4½ minutes of the first half with Robinson on the bench to take its first lead, Kansas (19-5, 9-2 Big 12) scored 14 consecutive points early in the second half to take complete control of the game.
The Jayhawks, coming off a 74-71 loss at fourth-ranked Missouri on Saturday, grabbed a share of the Big 12 lead with the Tigers.
Baylor (21-3, 8-3) was 17-0 with the longest winning streak in school history before a 92-74 loss at Kansas just more than three weeks ago. The Bears followed that with a one-point home loss to Missouri, where they play their next game Saturday.
No. 11 MICHIGAN STATE 77, PENN STATE 57
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Draymond Green had 23 points and 12 rebounds and made some timely shots.
The Spartans (19-5, 8-3 Big Ten) are a game behind conference-leading and third-ranked Ohio State, setting up a big game Saturday on the road against the Buckeyes.
The last-place Nittany Lions (10-15, 2-10) have lost five straight and eight of nine.
Michigan State’s Adreian Payne matched a career high with 12 points and freshman Branden Dawson also had 12, scoring in double figures for the fifth straight game.
Tim Frazier scored 19 on 6-of-18 shooting for the Nittany Lions.
BOSTON COLLEGE 64, No. 15 FLORIDA STATE 60
BOSTON (AP) — Jordan Daniels scored a career-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers, to help the Eagles snap the Atlantic Coast Conference-leading Seminoles’ win streak at seven games.
BC (8-16, 3-7 ACC) had lost six in a row and nine of its previous 11. It had not beaten a ranked team in three years.
But the Eagles took the lead midway through the first half and fell behind only briefly in the second, running their lead to eight points and holding on.
Michael Snaer scored 16 for Florida State (16-7, 7-2). But he shot 6-for-18 from the floor and made one of seven 3-point attempts.
Matt Humphrey scored 15 points and Ryan Anderson had 14 points and six rebounds for the Eagles.
No. 19 VIRGINIA 68, WAKE FOREST 44
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Mike Scott made all nine of his shots and scored 19 points.
Joe Harris added 11 points and three other players were in double figures for the Cavaliers (19-4, 6-3 Atlantic Coast), who ended a six-game losing skid at the hands of the Demon Deacons.
Travis McKie scored 16 points for Wake Forest (11-13, 2-8), which has dropped five in a row and nine of its past 11. C.J. Harris scored 10.
No. 22 MICHIGAN 62, NEBRASKA 46
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Zack Novak scored 14 points to go over 1,000 for his career.
The Wolverines (18-7, 8-4) outscored Nebraska 15-4 to start the second half and went on to only their second win in six Big Ten road games. The Cornhuskers (11-12, 3-9) lost their third straight.
Stu Douglass had 13 points and Trey Burke 12 for Michigan. Bo Spencer scored 13 to lead Nebraska.
Michigan, playing on the road for the fifth time in six games, had no trouble against a downtrodden team that’s one game out of last place in its first season in the Big Ten.