Bonzie Colson leads Notre Dame past Wake forest 88-81

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson and Wake Forest’s Josh Collins waged an epic battle Tuesday night, but it was Colson and the Irish who came out on top.

The forwards battled on both ends of the floor, but Colson’s 27 points and 16 rebounds helped the Irish snap a four-game losing streak with an 88-81 win, Notre Dame’s first since Jan. 15.

“It’s been awhile,” Colson said. “That’s a good feeling.”

Despite giving up five inches to Collins, Colson grabbed 11 rebounds in the second half and recorded his 15th double-double of the season. He also set a career high with five blocked shots and knocked down two second-half 3-pointers to spark an Irish comeback from nine points down.

“Unbelievable what he does only being (6-foot-5),” said Irish point guard Matt Farrell. “Against guys like that, and he’s got to do it every night, I honestly think it’s incredible what he does.”

Not to be outdone, Collins had 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead Wake Forest, his seventh straight 20-point game.

“He’s starting to understand how good he is,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said of Collins. “We thought this was one we had an opportunity to have some type of success, but we weren’t able to capitalize.”

V.J. Beachem had 19 points and a career-high four blocks (the Irish had 12 blocks total) and Steve Vasturia added 17 points and seven boards for Notre Dame (18-7, 7-5 ACC), which had lost five out of its last six and fell out of the Top 25 this week.

“We needed that, baby!” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey yelled as he entered the postgame interview room. “We haven’t won in a while, so it feels good to get a win.”

Bryant Crawford added 19 points and Keyshawn Woods had 16 for the Demon Deacons (14-10, 5-7). Collins’ run of 20-point games is the longest such streak in the ACC since North Carolina State’s T.J. Warren had 15 in a row in the 2013-14 season.

Wake Forest went up by nine after the Irish missed their first six shots of the second half, but consecutive 3-pointers by Beachem and Vasturia got them back within three.

Colson knocked down a 3 during a 10-2 Irish run four minutes later that gave them a 58-54 lead with 11:34 left.

Wake stayed close, but never led the rest of the way. Beachem, Vasturia and Farrell all hit 3s down the stretch at key moments to hold the Deacons off. Farrell finished with 16 points.

BIG PICTURE

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons failed to win consecutive ACC road games for the first time since 2008-09, and have now lost four straight to Notre Dame.

Notre Dame: On a short turnaround after their previous game at North Carolina was moved from Saturday to Sunday in Greensboro following a water crisis in Chapel Hill, the Irish managed to get back on track.

“I’m dead,” Brey said. “We used a lot of juice in Greensboro the other day.”

KEEP IT LOOSE

Looking to change things up, the Irish went to their alternate gold-and-green uniforms, which they wore during their run to the ACC tournament title in 2015, for the first time this season.

Brey also tried to keep it loose in practice for his players on Monday, but acknowledged it was just a facade.

“It was a total show,” Brey said. “I was tied up in knots inside, man, but I faked it like a son of a gun.”

FACES IN THE CROWD

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly and his new defensive coordinator, Mike Elko, took in the game from the front row. Elko was hired away from Wake Forest in December.

UP NEXT

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons welcome in North Carolina State on Saturday.

Notre Dame: The Irish host No. 14 Florida State on Saturday.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.