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BC rallies late to topple No. 25 Miami 72-70

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BOSTON — Miami coach Jim Larranaga never made it out of the locker room. The rest of the No. 25 Hurricanes shut things down with about six minutes to go.

With Larranaga a late scratch due to illness, the Hurricanes went scoreless for the final 6:17 on Saturday as Boston College rallied from a seven-point deficit to win 72-70.

Jerome Robinson scored 29 points and Ky Bowman had 12 rebounds with 24 points, including a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds left to put the Eagles in front.

“Hopefully, coach is feeling better, we’ll get him back,” said associate head coach Chris Caputo, who subbed for Larranaga after his longtime mentor told him just before the tipoff he was sick. “He was needed today.”

After a first half with 11 lead changes and neither team going up by more than four, the Hurricanes went ahead 70-63 for their biggest lead of the game. They then missed their last nine shots and turned the ball over five times while BC scored the final nine points.

Guard Lonnie Walker IV said it was different not having Larranaga on the bench, but that the assistants did a good job.

“It’s always going to be strange not having the head coach on your sideline, motivating you and coaching you in a certain way,” he said.

DJ Vasiljevic scored 17 and Chris Lykes had 16 for Miami (18-6, 7-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), which snapped a three-game winning streak.

HOW THEY SCORED

Bowman hit a free throw before Robinson had the next six points, making a pair of foul shots with 99 seconds left to tie it 70-all. Miami had three chances to take the lead off a pair of offensive rebounds with about 30 seconds left before Bowman grabbed a rebound and BC called timeout.

The play was designed for Robinson, but he missed a 3-pointer at the top of the key and Miami’s Anthony Lawrence II grabbed the rebound. Bowman grabbed the ball away and was fouled.

After he made both foul shots, Walker’s desperation shot came after the buzzer (and was short anyway).

“It was just one of the `Will to Win’ games,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “We didn’t play great, but we had a great will today.”

BIG WINS

The victory snapped a 12-game losing streak against Miami for BC (15-10, 5-7). It’s the Eagles’ second victory over a ranked team this season; they also beat then-No. 1 Duke on Dec. 9.

BC’s outside shot at the NCAA tournament depends on quality wins and a strong finish.

“(Christian) preached to us: `February is where we want to be and where we want to win,” Robinson said. “Right now we’re 2-1 (in February) and these are important wins for us right now.”

SCOUTS HONOR

There were scouts from 10 NBA teams listed on the seating chart, with the hometown Celtics sending seven representatives to the game. Among them were president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and assistant coach Jay Larranaga, the son of the Miami coach.

BIG PICTURE

Miami: With a slim hold on the final spot in the AP Top 25, the Hurricanes will almost certainly fall out of the rankings.

BC: At the very least, the Eagles have established themselves as dangerous at home. They have beaten two ranked teams, including the top-ranked Blue Devils.

“That’s irrelevant,” Christian said. “We’re trying to win games like everyone in this conference to make the NCAA tournament.”

UP NEXT

Miami: Hosts No. 2 Virginia on Tuesday at 9 p.m.

BC: At Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Maye’s huge night helps North Carolina top Boston College 96-66

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Luke Maye had career highs of 32 points and 18 rebounds while No. 20 North Carolina’s small lineup got off to a fast start in a 96-66 win against Boston College on Tuesday night.

Cameron Johnson added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (13-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who were trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak since January 2014. UNC coach Roy Williams juggled his starting lineup to move in Johnson over freshman forward Garrison Brooks — and that wing-heavy unit responded by getting out in transition and on the attack in their active opening minutes.

Maye became the first North Carolina player with at least 30 points and 15 rebounds at home since Antawn Jamison in 1997-98, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

UNC ran off an early 12-0 burst to go ahead for good, then relentlessly attacked the boards to address one of Williams’ primary concerns with going small for long stretches.

Ky Bowman scored 21 points to lead Boston College (11-6, 2-3), which has lost 11 straight against the Tar Heels.

BIG PICTURE

Boston College: The Eagles have proven they’re capable of big shooting days, most notably by making 15 of 26 3-pointers to hand then-No. 1 Duke its first loss in December. But they got off to a 2-for-13 shooting start, then struggled to grab a rebound in UNC’s opening flurry. UNC grabbed 16 of the game’s first 18 rebounds, putting BC in a quick hole that its periodic bouts of warmed-up shooting couldn’t erase.

UNC: The Tar Heels lost on the road to two ranked league opponents last week, most notably when they struggled to find any daylight against No. 3 Virginia’s enveloping defense in a 61-49 loss. Things came much easier this time, with UNC doing a better job of spacing and getting out on the break early. And perhaps most importantly for Williams, UNC dominated the glass (58-23 advantage, 24 second-chance points) with Maye having a double-double by halftime and Johnson posting his second career double-double in his first start for UNC.

UP NEXT

Boston College: The Eagles step out of league play to host Dartmouth on Saturday.

UNC: The Tar Heels visit Notre Dame on Saturday.

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More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

Grantham’s 23 points, 14 boards helps No. 25 Clemson beat BC

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BOSTON (AP) — Clemson came onto the court with a national ranking for the first time in nearly eight years and completely controlled Boston College in the opening half.

In the second, they made just enough plays to hold off the Eagles.

Donte Grantham scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and Marcquise Reed hit two key free throws to help No. 25 Clemson beat Boston College 74-70 on Wednesday night.

“Our team just locked in defensively,” Grantham said. “Tonight, in the first half, it was special. When we get locked in like that, I don’t see too many teams beating us.”

Reed finished with 17 points for the Tigers (13-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). Clemson’s last time in the AP poll came on Jan. 23, 2010.

But the Tigers had to withstand an incredible shooting performance by BC’s Jerome Robinson in the second half. He went 10 for 14 from the field, hitting 6 of 9 from beyond the 3-point line.

“That’s why when you have a lead you need to keep building it because you never know when a guy can take over a game,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “Robinson had some unbelievable confidence. We couldn’t get him under control.”

Robinson led Boston College (10-5, 1-2) with 28 points, scoring 26 in the second half. Ky Bowman had 19 with nine rebounds and six assists.

Reed nailed his two from the line with 48 seconds left to move Clemson ahead 70-68. Robinson’s 3 from the right wing rimmed out on the next possession.

“I got some space and I was like: ‘I’m going to let it go,'” Robinson said. “I had already hit two or three from that spot and we needed that one and unfortunately it didn’t go.”

Gabe DeVoe and Shelton Mitchell each hit two from the line in the final 21 seconds for Clemson.

Bowman’s driving basket cut it to 68-66 with 2:19 to play, the third time BC sliced a big deficit to two points, before he tied it with two free throws with 1:02 left.

Trailing by 15 at halftime, the Eagles relied on a strong start by Robinson, a second team preseason all-ACC selection, after the break. The 6-foot-5 junior guard scored 19 points, including going 5-for-5 on 3-point attempts in the opening 10 minutes to slice the deficit to 53-50.

“We became who we are,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “In order to win in this league, you have to play more than 20 minutes.”

The Tigers had used a 16-0 run midway into the first half en route to their 38-23 halftime.

Grantham, who had a team-leading 11 points and nine rebounds in the half, scored eight straight points in the opening 20 minutes.

BIG PICTURE

Clemson: The Tigers’ emergence in the poll may last a while. Entering the game, they had all five starters averaging double figures in scoring. … Won its sixth straight against BC.

Boston College: Facing their third consecutive ranked team looked like it took a lot out of the Eagles. They appeared flat at the start – something an average team can’t afford. After that, they showed they can compete – like in their win over then-No. 1 Duke in the league opener and a one-point loss at No. 8 Virginia on Saturday.

“We can’t take our eye off the prize,” Christian said. “We can’t have a 3-minute lull or a 4-minute lull like we had in the first half. You can’t dig those type holes.”

NICE NUMBERS

Grantham, a 6-8 senior forward, became the sixth player in school history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists.

WEAK SHOWING

BC didn’t have an offensive rebound in the opening half, was outrebounded 20-10 overall and went over 5 minutes without a basket.

Eagles starting forward Nik Popovic picked up three fouls in 5 minutes in the half.

TWENTY SOMETHING

It was Robinson’s seventh game with 20 or more points.

UP NEXT

Clemson: Hosts Louisville on Saturday.

Boston College: Hosts Wake Forest on Saturday.

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More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

Justin Jackson, No. 9 North Carolina survive at Boston College

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No. 9 North Carolina’s trip to Chestnut Hill to play ACC cellar dweller Boston College was expected to be a routine one, with Roy Williams’ team taking care of business and heading back home. The game was anything but routine, beginning with Williams’ decision to start a completely different front court from the one that struggled in a loss at Notre Dame Saturday night.

Add in Williams having to leave the sidelines after collapsing in the second half and the Tar Heels’ struggles throughout the night against Jim Christian’s Eagles, and North Carolina was in position to suffer a stunning setback. Yet in the end North Carolina won 68-65, thanks to a timely four-point play from Marcus Paige and 20 points from sophomore forward Justin Jackson.

Due to his recent shooting slump Paige has been the most often discussed Tar Heel of late, but given his overall track record there were few who thought he wouldn’t find a way to turn things around. He is North Carolina’s best player, and ultimately how far the Tar Heels go this spring will depend upon how well Paige plays. But he can’t do it all alone, and in the case of Jackson the Tar Heels have a gifted wing capable of making plays offensively…when he chooses to do so.

Against Boston College an aggression that hasn’t been seen from Jackson on a consistent basis this season, since a stretch in late November of three straight games of 20 points or more, was present. He attacked the Boston College defense on a night in which North Carolina’s perimeter shots once again missed the mark (5-for-16 3PT), scoring 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field. The benching seemingly lit a fire under Jackson, giving North Carolina a much-needed boost in a game that turned out to be far more difficult than many expected.

The question now is what Jackson does to build on this performance. The skill is there, but this is a matter of having the mindset needed to make plays without being prodded. Brice Johnson has struggled with similar issues throughout his career, but he put forth the best basketball of his career earlier this season with Kennedy Meeks out of the lineup.

North Carolina struggled for much of the night, even before Williams had to leave the sidelines, and that cannot be glossed over. The Tar Heels have the talent needed to produce better performances than this, one that nearly led to them losing a game they were expected to win convincingly. But there is the positive of Jackson’s performance to take from it, as he looked to attack the Boston College defense consistently and experienced success in doing so.

The Tar Heels will face tougher competition in their remaining ACC games, and with that comes the need to have Jackson continue to play at this level. Tuesday night represents a step forward for Jackson, but how big of a step that is will be determined by what he does over the next month.

No. 19 Louisville rolls past Boston College 79-47

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Trey Lewis scored 16 points and Deng Adel added 13 as No. 19 Louisville routed Boston College 79-47 on Saturday, a day after the school imposed a postseason ban for recruiting violations.

The Cardinals (19-4, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) followed up Monday’s upset of No. 2 North Carolina with a lopsided win despite uneven stretches. The absence of leading scorer Damion Lee (bruised knee) impacted their rotation, but plenty of teammates stepped up to fill the void in an emotional game.

Several baskets by Lewis midway through the second half help spark a 10-0 run that got Louisville back out to a comfortable lead en route to keeping the Eagles (7-16, 0-10) winless in league play.

Donovan Mitchell added 10 points, Quentin Snider and Jaylen Johnson each had nine and Chinanu Onuaku added eight with 13 rebounds.

Sammy Barnes-Thompkins scored 11 points for Boston College before fouling out.

Even with their top scorer on the bench in street clothes, the Cardinals got the dominant win they wanted one day after an announcement by Louisville’s president that the team would not play in either the ACC or NCAA tournaments. President James Ramsey said an investigation revealed that violations did occur when the school reviewed allegations by escort Katina Powell that former staffer Andre McGee paid her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Lee and Lewis – graduate transfers who came to Louisville with hopes of playing in the tournament – said the team wanted to make the most of its nine remaining games with a focus on holding serve at home. Other than a few lapses that allowed Boston College to get within single digits, the Cardinals used most of their bench to that end.

The Cardinals made 16 of 26 from the field after intermission to finish at 51 percent. They controlled the paint 44-20 and out-rebounded Boston College 38-30.

Louisville’s reserves outscored the Eagles 24-12, chipping in some key points for a 32-14 lead at the break despite 42 percent shooting. Johnson’s seven points led nine Cardinal scorers and featured a 3-pointer by reserve David Levitch late in the half.

Boston College meanwhile started 1 of 7 from the field and shot just 30 percent in a first half, which included 11 turnovers leading to 12 Louisville points. Those struggles made it easy for the Cardinals to mount a 17-0 run over 4:05 for a 19-2 lead and an advantage that reached 19.

The Eagles showed some life early in the second half with five straight baskets to get within 37-28 and create some uneasiness before Lewis took charge.

TIP-INS

Boston College: Dennis Clifford added nine points for the Eagles, who shot 39 percent. … Saturday’s game ended a three-game road stretch against ranked teams.

Louisville: The Cardinals’ 1956 NIT Championship team was honored in a halftime ceremony that featured several members. … Louisville took a 4-3 lead in the series and remained unbeaten at home against BC.

UP NEXT:

Boston College: Hosts No. 2 North Carolina on Tuesday.

Louisville: Visits Duke on Monday.

No. 2 UNC rolls to 12th straight win, 89-62 over BC

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) No. 2 North Carolina kept taking the ball from Boston College. Marcus Paige finally saw it go through the net.

The Tar Heels won their 12th straight game, forcing a season-best 23 turnovers in an 89-62 victory over the Eagles on Saturday.

Paige had 12 points in his highest-scoring game in three weeks, hitting three 3-pointers after making just one in his previous four games. After swishing the first 3 he tried, he shot a look of relief toward the Smith Center roof.

“I want you to go to the gym, miss 20-some in a row, then make one and have the whole arena cheer for you, just so you know how it feels,” Paige said with a laugh. “I’ve never missed that many shots in a row in my life, so just to finally get people (cheering), it was very relieving.”

Brice Johnson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Joel Berry II added 13 points for the Tar Heels (19-2, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). After shaking off a slow start, the ACC’s leaders routed the league’s last-place team by turning those takeaways into 30 points.

Eli Carter had 19 points to lead the Eagles (7-14, 0-7), who were without guards Jerome Robinson (wrist injury) and Darryl Hicks (concussion). They shot 44 percent and hit 10 3-pointers but couldn’t overcome that season-worst turnover total while losing both their eighth straight overall and eighth in a row in the series.

“I thought defensively, we played hard, just offensively, we turned the ball over,” coach Jim Christian said. “We’re really short-handed. … A lot of them were on-ball turnovers, ballhandling turnovers. That was the difference in the game, obviously.”

The Tar Heels took care of the easy part of their schedule, and now things are about to get tougher, starting with Monday’s trip to No. 16 Louisville. After facing no team ranked in the AP Top 25 through their first eight ACC games, the Tar Heels will have six against teams currently ranked during the month of February.

For Paige, a few shots finally started to fall. He finished 4 of 9 and was 3 of 8 from 3-point range, a drastic improvement over his last few games. He was 5 of 35 from the field and 1 of 22 from 3-point range during the four games that followed his 30-point outburst at Florida State on Jan. 4.

North Carolina took control of this one late in the first half, reeling off 15 straight points to build a comfortable lead. Johnson hit a jumper from the key one possession before he capped the run with two free throws that made it 39-23 with 3:45 left. Berry then pushed the lead into the 20s for the first time with his three-point play made it 50-30 with 15:03 to play.

A BIG GREEN ROOM?

Most of North Carolina’s students wore neon-green T-shirts and ski caps as part of the school’s recycling campaign, with the shirts made from recycled plastic bottles. It made for an odd juxtaposition with Tar Heels coach Roy Williams’ criticism a day earlier of ESPN’s “frickin’ green room” and how the network touts NBA prospects playing in college games.

TIP-INS

Boston College: The Eagles started what might be the toughest three-game conference road swing in the country. After this one, they go to No. 11 Virginia and No. 16 Louisville. Those three have an average rank of No. 6 in Ken Pomeroy’s advanced stat rankings.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels missed their first eight free throws and nine of their first 10. … Kennedy Meeks did not start because he was late to the team’s shoot-around. Isaiah Hicks started in his place, while Meeks finished with eight points in 15 minutes.

UP NEXT

Boston College: visits No. 11 Virginia on Wednesday night.

North Carolina: visits No. 16 Louisville on Monday night.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org