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COLLEGE HOOPS ROUNDUP: UGA, Ga. Tech bounced in tourney openers

Boston College star newcomer Olivier Hanlan — the ACC’s Freshman of the Year — drives to the basket against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Chris Bolden during the second half of their first-round ACC tournament game Thursday at Greensboro Coliseum. Despite trailing, 15-0, to start the game, Hanlan brought the Eagles back, scoring an ACC Tournament record 41 points, including 8 of 10 from 3-point range.

Boston College star newcomer Olivier Hanlan — the ACC’s Freshman of the Year — drives to the basket against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Chris Bolden during the second half of their first-round ACC tournament game Thursday at Greensboro Coliseum. Despite trailing, 15-0, to start the game, Hanlan brought the Eagles back, scoring an ACC Tournament record 41 points, including 8 of 10 from 3-point range.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Shavon Coleman, who was sick and throwing up throughout the game, scored 24 points on 9 of 11 shooting and the ninth-seeded LSU Tigers held off Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the Georgia Bulldogs in the second round of the SEC tournament in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday, 68-63.

SEC Player of the Year Caldwell-Pope scored 25 of his career-high 32 points in the second half but No. 8 seed Georgia (15-17) could not overcome a 20-point halftime deficit — despite cutting LSU’s lead to two points with less than two minutes to play. The sophomore guard’s 3-pointer with 2:43 left cut it to 63-59, but the Bulldogs did not make another field goal.

Freshman Charles Mann also contributed 15 points, including 12 of 14 from the free throw line.

“Certainly, a hard-fought game,” UGA head coach Mark Fox said. “I have to congratulate LSU. They came with a much more aggressive mentality to start the game and really had us on our heels and we really fought back courageously, but we just can’t wait that late in the game to start playing like that, and you’ve got to give their team credit and wish them well.”

After trailing by as many as 23 points, Georgia roared back and had the ball trailing, 66-63, with 12 seconds left, but Caldwell-Pope couldn’t connect from distance to tie the game.

After the miss, LSU’s (19-11) Andre Stringer made two free throws to secure the win.

“I didn’t shoot it straight up and down,” said Caldwell-Pope of his final-shot attempt. “I was leaning a little bit on the shot. It was well contested and I (didn’t) create any space (to get an open shot).”

Caldwell-Pope, who likely will head to the NBA after this season, nearly brought UGA back all by himself. He cut the LSU lead to 54-44 midway through the half on a third chance 3-pointer from the wing.

At the five-minute mark, Georgia began to put together a 10-0 run to pull within two, 63-61.

LSU controlled the first half taking a 39-19 lead into the halftime break. In the first half, the Tigers shot 5-of-12 from behind the three-point arc, forced nine first-half Georgia turnovers, and shot nearly 50 percent from the field.

The Tigers were led by Shavon Coleman and Stringer who scored 24 and 16 points, respectively.

Andre Stringer scored 16 points and Johnny O’Bryant III collected 12 and 11 rebounds for LSU (19-11), which avenged a regular-season loss to Georgia.

LSU switched up its regular lineup for before the game, inserting sixth man Coleman into a starting spot and pushing center Andrew Del Piero to the bench in a smaller unit. Coleman responded by scoring 10 points in the opening half as the Tigers took a 39-19 edge into the break.

LSU advances to play No. 1 seed Florida in the SEC tournament quarterfinals today at 1 p.m..

The Tigers suffered a 74-52 home loss to Florida in the lone regular-season meeting Jan. 12.

Tennessee 69, Mississippi State 53: Jordan McRae scored 17 points and Trae Golden added 15 as the fifth-seeded Volunteers held off the Bulldogs in the second round of the SEC tournament at Nashville, Tenn.

Jarnell Stokes collected 10 points and nine rebounds and Quinton Chievous scored 10 off the bench Tennessee (20-11), which will face No. 4 seed Alabama in today’s quarterfinals.

Craig Sword scored 19 points and Colin Borchert chipped in 12 for No. 13 seed Mississippi State (10-22). The Bulldogs had won three of their previous four games, including a first-round victory against South Carolina on Wednesday.

But the Volunteers locked down on defense in the opening half, holding Mississippi State to 25.9 percent shooting to take a 35-19 lead into the break.

Vanderbilt 75, Arkansas 72: Junior forward Rod Odom tied a career high with 20 points on 5-for-8 3-point shooting as the defending champion Commodores held off the Razorbacks to advance to Friday’s SEC tournament quarterfinals against Kentucky.

Vanderbilt (15-16), which must repeat in order to reach the NCAA Tournament, was also boosted by junior guard Kyle Fuller’s 19 points. Sophomore guards Kedren Johnson (13) and Dai-Jon Parker (11) also scored in double digits, while Odom grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

Sophomore guard BJ Young had 16 points to lead Arkansas (19-13), which likely saw its at-large bid chances ruined. Junior forward Marshawn Powell finished with 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while freshman guard Michael Qualls scored 10.

The Commodores grabbed the lead for good on Fuller’s layup with 12:50 to go in the first half and took a 38-30 lead into the break. Fuller and Odom combined to score 25 of Vanderbilt’s first-half points.

The Razorbacks cut the deficit to four with 1:34 left in the game and Odom missed two free throws, allowing Arkansas to pull within 70-68 off two Young foul shots. But two Johnson free throws stretched the Vanderbilt lead back to four, and the Commodores survived.


Hanlan, B.C. ends Tech's season

ATLANTA — Olivier Hanlan scored a career-high 41 points to break the Atlantic Coast tournament record for a freshman and made his final 12 shots as the Eagles shook off a slow start to roll in the first round at Greensboro, N.C., against Georgia Tech, 84-64.

Hanlan made 8 of 10 from 3-point range in scoring more points than anyone in the conference this season, moving Boston College (16-16) into the quarterfinals against top-seeded Miami today.

Boston College lost twice to Miami, including a 60-59 defeat at home.

Hanlan, the ACC Freshman of the Year, broke the record of North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, who scored 40 in the 2011 tournament semifinals.

Joe Rahon chipped in with 15 points and seven assists, Ryan Anderson had 11 points and Patrick Heckmann added 10 for the Eagles, who trailed, 15-0, out of the gate. Freshman Marcus Georges-Hunt led the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds for Georgia Tech (16-15), which shot 32 percent.

Boston College, which has won four straight, missed its first nine shots to put itself in a hole before Hanlan helped bring the Eagles back. The 6-4 guard made 4 of 6 from 3-point range and scored 21 points in the opening 20 minutes as Boston College forged a 38-33 lead at intermission.

Hanlan scored eight of Boston College’s first 11 points in the second half to push the lead to 49-37. Georgia Tech trimmed the deficit to eight at 51-43 before Hanlan nailed another 3-pointer and the Eagles were on their way.

Boston College made 14 of 24 from 3-point range and shot 50.8 percent overall, scoring their second-most points in an ACC game this season as Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory was denied his 200th victory. He has won 27 in two seasons with the Yellow Jackets.

North Carolina State 80, Virginia Tech 63: Richard Howell recorded 22 points and 12 rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season as the Wolfpack held off the Hokies in the first round of the ACC tourney.

C.J. Leslie contributed 15 points, while T.J. Warren and Scott Wood each added 13 apiece for fifth-seeded North Carolina State (23-9), which plays Virginia in the quarterfinals today. Lorenzo Brown chipped in with nine points and 12 assists for the Wolfpack, who shot 52.8 percent.

Jarell Eddie led the way with 21 points for 12th-seeded Virginia Tech (13-19), which has dropped 13 of its last 15 games. National scoring leader Erick Green had 15 points for the Hokies, converting only 5 of 19 shots.

There were nine lead changes in the first half before Warren ignited a late 10-2 run for North Carolina State with a pair of baskets, including a dunk. Howell scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting as the Wolfpack settled for a 38-32 lead at intermission.

Maryland 75, Wake Forest 62: Sophomore Dez Wells had 21 points as the seventh-seeded Terrapins pulled away late in the first round of the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Wells had 14 of his game-high points in the second half for the Terrapins (21-11), who will play No. 2 Duke in one of Friday’s quarterfinals. Sophomore Alex Len and freshman Seth Allen each added 11 points while junior Pe’Shon Howard and sophomore Nick Faust chipped in 10 points apiece.

Senior C.J. Harris led the 10th-seeded Demon Deacons (13-18) with 19 points. Freshman Devin Thomas added 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

Len’s dunk with 7:18 left broke a 54-all tie and the Terrapins outscored Wake Forest 12-4 during the next 4:39 to build a double-digit lead. Wake Forest missed three field goals and went 4-of-8 at the free-throw line during that stretch.

Thomas’ back-to-back layups tied the game at 15 with 8:30 left in the first half and Harris hit two 3-pointers during a 14-4 run that pushed Wake Forest to a 29-22 lead with 3:43 left. Maryland got within a point, but Wake Forest took a 35-30 lead into halftime after a 6-2 run during the last 1:40.