A clean sweep yesterday, huh? Really nice to see FSU pull out a big win and Clemson win a thriller against Butler. Those wins are going to look great for the conference come March. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge starts tonight with Virginia vs. Penn State, so start getting geared up now.
NC State 69, New Orleans 52
State's defense really helped in this game, holding New Orleans to 35% shooting and just 24 points in the second half. The Wolfpack shot 8-16 behind the arc, with CJ Williams and Javi Gonzalez hitting a combined 5-10. Tracy Smith led the way with 20 points and 8 rebounds on 8-12 shooting. The Pack draw Northwestern next in the Challenge.
UNC 80, Nevada 73
Here we go again. The Tar Heels let a team hang around and end up pulling out a victory by under a dozen points. This is going to haunt them if it keeps happening this way. Deon Thompson stepped up again with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Larry Drew II had a solid game as well, getting a career-high 10 assists to go with 12 points. Ed Davis had his most effective game this season too, finishing with 16. UNC went through a 5 minute drought that netted only two FTs and eight missed shots.
Clemson 70, Butler 69
Clemson needed this one. The loss to a solid Texas A&M team actually may have been a blessing in disguise, as it probably loosened the Tigers up. This one came down to the wire as Demontez Stitt (19 points, 3 assists) netted both FTs with 3.3 seconds to put the Tigers up one with 3.3 seconds. Butler went the length of the floor and called time out and got one last chance, but Trevor Booker (12 points, 8 rebounds) blocked the shot and gave Clemson the win.
The stats were in Butler's favor, with the Bulldogs outshooting and outrebounding Clemson, but the Tigers hit 5 more FTs and hit 2 more threes, which was just enough. Gordon Hayward led Butler with 20 points and 12 rebounds. The Bulldogs are going to walk away really hoping that they had taken at least one against Minnesota or Clemson, but will have another chance to prove themselves against Georgetown and Ohio State later on.
Florida State 57, Marquette 56
In another exciting finish, Solomon Alabi came through with about 12 seconds left and FSU's defense held, with Marquette turning it over on their last possession. This was the shocker of the weekend. Marquette looked downright great their last two games against Xavier and Michigan.
Florida State, despite their 6-1 record, has looked shaky at times and got blown out of the gym against Florida. It's great to see them put it together though. Alabi is a beast and Chris Singleton (18 points, 10 rebounds) is looking very good so far. Lazar Hayward led the Golden Eagles with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The 'Noles will take on Ohio State next in another chance to prove what they're made of.