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Carter scores 24, No. 9 WVU beats Texas Tech 83-74 in 2 OTs

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia’s Jevon Carter and Tarik Phillip weren’t in the mood for another debilitating loss after the Mountaineers let a late lead slip away at the end of regulation for the second straight game.

Carter scored the go-ahead basket in the second overtime, and Phillip had six of his 15 points after regulation to help No. 9 West Virginia beat Texas Tech 83-74 on Saturday.

Unlike an overtime loss at No. 3 Kansas on Monday after the Mountaineers blew a big lead, West Virginia got the momentum back with some help from Texas Tech, which went scoreless for more than 4 minutes spanning both overtimes.

“We’ve been in this position all year,” said Carter, who finished with a season-high 24 points. “All of our losses have been close games. We just kept going after them. We just kept attacking.”

West Virginia (21-6, 9-5 Big 12) outscored Texas Tech 13-4 in the second overtime.

“We just weren’t going to let this game slip away,” Phillip said. “It was a matter of getting stops. We got stops when we needed them.”

Texas Tech (17-10, 5-9) went cold from the field in both overtimes and wasted solid efforts from Keenan Evans and Niem Stevenson.

Evans tied a career high with 28 points and Stevenson added 17, although he went scoreless after halftime.

Texas Tech came from seven points down to send the game into overtime tied at 64. Evans scored nine points in the final 1:11, including a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left. He then made four free throws in overtime, but Carter’s free throw with 19.9 seconds left sent the game into the second overtime.

BIG PICTURE

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders had a chance to cap off a huge week after beating No. 4 Baylor on Monday. Instead, Texas Tech still doesn’t have a road win over a ranked team to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee. The Red Raiders slipped to 1-7 in road contests.

“Whether we do our part and have a resume worthy is yet to be determined, but you guys saw it,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “We have a good team.”

West Virginia: The Mountaineers won their first overtime game in four tries this season. They blew a 14-point lead in the final 3 minutes of regulation before losing in overtime at Kansas. This win has to give them a small sense of relief.

KEY STRETCH

Carter alertly threaded the Texas Tech defense for a layup 5 seconds into the second overtime and West Virginia led the rest of the way. Daxter Miles Jr. then got the sellout crowd roaring when he scored on a wild tip-in, and a minute later he dunked off a miss by Nathan Adrian.

MACON THE DIFFERENCE

West Virginia outrebounded Texas Tech 43-30, due in large part to Elijah Macon. Macon had a season-high 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

“He’s the difference maker,” Beard said. “We got pounded on the boards tonight and I think he was the lead person in that effort for them. He’s another one of Coach Huggins’ really aggressive, hard-playing guys that fits their mold. We had a lot of respect for him coming into the game and even more now.”

Bob Huggins said, “That’s the Elijah Macon that everybody thought we recruited.”

UNFRIENDLY OVERTIME

Texas Tech shot 58 percent (25 of 41) from the field in regulation, then shot 13 percent (2 of 15) in the two overtimes.

FOUL DIFFERENTIAL

After getting outscored badly from the free throw line in its two previous games, West Virginia outscored Texas Tech 24-13 from the line. West Virginia was called for 19 fouls against the Red Raiders, compared with 31 against Kansas on Monday and 30 against Kansas State a week ago.

UP NEXT:

Texas Tech hosts Iowa State on Monday

West Virginia hosts Texas on Monday.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Florida State picks up late commit from McDonald’s All-American

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The losses sustained by Florida State have been numerous and significant. Three players declared early for the NBA Draft. Another two contributors were lost to graduation. All in all, the Seminoles haven’t had the greatest of springs.

Wednesday, though, they got some good news.

McDonald’s All-American wing M.J. Walker committed Leonard Hamilton’s program to give Florida State a late, and important, addition to its 2017 recruiting class, beating the likes of Ohio State, Georgia Tech and UCLA.

Walker, a 6-foot-5 guard, gives the Seminoles yet another five-star prospect after landing Dwayne Bacon and Jonathan Isaac in the last two recruiting classes. Walker will help Hamilton and Co. reboot after both Bacon and Isaac, along with Xavier Rathan-Mayes, all left school to pursue professional careers after the Seminoles’ 26-9 season that saw them advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Walker becomes the sixth member of Hamilton’s 2017 recruiting class that was previously headlined by four-star 7-footer Ikechukwu Obiagu. That group will be tasked to retool a team losing not only major NBA-level talent, but also major production. The Seminoles won’t return a single player who averaged double-digit points per-game last year and just one who played at least 20 minutes per night.

Michigan returns Mo Wagner, loses D.J. Wilson

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The best-case scenario did not take place for Michigan this week.

The Wolverines waited for four weeks to hear back from their pair of mobile big men, and the news on Mo Wagner was positive. The 6-foot-10 junior from Germany announced on Wednesday that he will return to school after testing the NBA Draft waters.

The news was not as fortunate with D.J. Wilson, who announced less than ten hours before the deadline that he will be signing with an agent and turning pro. Wilson is projected as a late first round or early second round pick.

Without Wilson in the fold, Michigan lacks some front court depth, which will probably be enough to keep them out of the preseason top 25.

Gonzaga to return Johnathan Williams III

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Losing Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins to the professional ranks probably torpedoed Gonzaga’s chance of making another run to the NCAA tournament national title game, but after Johnathan Williams III announced on Wednesday that he will be returning to school and withdrawing from the NBA Draft, Gonzaga does appear to be a favorite to win the WCC title again.

Williams is now Gonzaga’s leading returning scorer and rebounder, anchoring a front court that also loses Przemek Karnowski to graduation. He was expected to go undrafted.

With Williams back in the fold, the Zags should be right there with Saint Mary’s in the race for the WCC title. Josh Perkins, Silas Melson and Killian Tillie all return as well.

ESPN was the first to report the news.

Injured Gamecocks point guard Blanton gives up basketball

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina guard TeMarcus Blanton is giving up basketball after struggling with a serious hip injury he suffered before his freshman season.

Gamecocks coach Frank Martin says Blanton told him he could not get his body to respond to a level that would allow him to continue playing basketball. Blanton is a 6-foot-5 junior from Locust Grove, Georgia, who hurt his hip during preseason for the 2014-15 season. He needed surgery and could not return to the court until his sophomore year.

Blanton played in 29 games, averaging 1.4 points a game.

He said on social media he is grateful to his coaches, teammates and South Carolina fans, “but my journey of basketball has come to an end.”

Blanton received a medical exemption from the Southeastern Conference to remain part of the Gamecocks’ program moving forward.

North Carolina’s Tony Bradley to remain NBA Draft

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For the first time in a decade and just the third time in 14 seasons as UNC’s head coach, Roy Williams has a one-and-done player.

North Carolina’s Tony Bradley will sign with an agent and remain in the NBA Draft.

Bradley had an impressive freshman season, averaging 7.1 points and 5.1 boards in less than 15 minutes per game as the sixth-man for the national title-winning Tar Heels. He initially declared for the draft without signing with an agent, testing the waters, and the feedback was positive: He’ll likely be a late first round or early second round pick.

As the process dragged on, it became fairly evident that Bradley would keep his name in the draft, and that is a massive blow for a UNC team that is already losing Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks, not to mention Justin Jackson.

As it stands, Roy Williams will likely start the following lineup next season: Joel Berry II, Kenny Williams and Theo Pinson on the perimeter with Luke Maye and either Brandon Huffman or Garrison Brooks, both freshmen, alongside him. Williams is one of the few coaches left in the sport that still relies on playing two bigs and utilizing an overwhelming front court to win games, and that is not going to be an easy thing to do with that group of bigs.

UNC’s perimeter is strong. Berry will likely be a preseason all-american while Pinson and Williams are both above average role players on the wings.

But without that hoss in the paint — Bradley, like Berry, would have popped up on preseason all-american teams — the Tar Heels are going to have a tough time making a run at an ACC title, let alone a third straight trip to the national title game.

North Carolina is currently ranked 18th in the NBC Sports preseason top 25.