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Tuesday’s Things to Know: Baylor, Maryland earn key conference wins; two ranked teams lose on road

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College basketball saw quite a bit of action go down on Tuesday night. 

Marquee matchups in the Big Ten and Big 12 kept things interesting. Upsets with ranked teams losing on the road completed a strong night of games. 

No. 12 Maryland slows down No. 11 Ohio State

The night started with a clash of top-12 teams in the Big Ten. It resulted in a quality home win for the Terps as Ohio State’s freefall continues.

Senior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. led a balanced offensive night for Maryland. The team’s stifling interior defense did the rest. The Terps limited touches for Ohio State big man Kaleb Wesson. And the Buckeyes couldn’t make Maryland pay from the perimeter with a poor shooting night.

I have more on Maryland’s win here. Ohio State, meanwhile, has dropped three straight after previously being No. 1 earlier this season.

No. 4 Baylor holds off No. 22 Texas Tech for Big 12 road win

The second top-25 matchup of the night had the Bears holding off the Red Raiders to start 2-0 in the Big 12.

Spreading the ball all over on offense, Baylor blitzed the offensive glass for 16 boards to maintain a big advantage on the glass. Davion Mitchell was the only double-figure scorer for the Bears with 14 points. It’s another great early-season win for Baylor as they continue to look like a major Big 12 contender.

Texas Tech struggled to score from all over the floor on a poor shooting night. The Red Raiders were 37 percent from the floor and a dismal 41 percent from the charity stripe. Even with a good effort from freshman Jahmius Ramsey, Texas Tech came up short at home.

Baylor heads to Allen Fieldhouse for another Big 12 showdown with No. 3 Kansas this weekend.

Boston College, Rutgers score upset home wins over ranked teams

It wouldn’t be a normal night of college hoops during the 2019-20 season without some upsets.

Boston College took down No. 18 Virginia in the ACC. Meanwhile, Rutgers earned an impressive Big Ten home win, sans Geo Baker, over No. 20 Penn State.

Previously getting blown out by Duke in ACC play, the Eagles bounced back because of strong perimeter defense and a huge late shot from Jared Hamilton. They move to 3-1 in the ACC behind only Duke and tied among a pack of teams.

Rutgers is now an intriguing 12-3 and 3-1 in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights kept pace with Maryland and only trail Michigan State in the early Big Ten standings — just as we all predicted… Playing with Baker, Ron Harper Jr. put together an impressive night to lead Rutgers with 20 points. Winners of six straight, Rutgers has wins over Wisconsin, Seton Hall and now Penn State during that span.

Boston College upsets No. 18 Virginia, 60-53

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BOSTON — Sloppy. Lethargic. Lukewarm effort. Lack of composure.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett knows what the problems were in Tuesday night’s loss to Boston College. Now he’s got to fix them.

“I think the tape’s going to reveal some things that are going to hurt and sting,” Bennett said after unranked BC beat the 18th-ranked Cavaliers 60-53. “But you move on and get ready for the next one.”

Jared Hamilton hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 37 seconds left and added a pair of free throws to clinch it as the Eagles sent the defending national champions to their first Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season.

Jay Heath scored 17 for BC (9-6, 3-1), which had not beaten Virginia in six tries since 2013. It was BC’s first win over a ranked team since beating No. 11 Florida State last January, and Virginia’s first loss to an unranked ACC opponent in almost two years.

“We’re trying to do the same thing as everyone else,” BC coach Jim Christian said, whose team was a 10 1/2-point underdog coming off a 39-point loss to Duke. “These guys are not surprised they won this game.”

Braxton Key scored 16 points with eight rebounds for the Cavaliers (11-3, 3-1). The 2019 champs, who a year earlier were the first team to lose as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, have now lost two of their last four games.

BC scored eight of the first 10 points in the game and still led 42-30 with 14 minutes left before Virginia scored 10 in a row. With about seven minutes left, Key missed a layup and Mamadi Diakite slapped the rebound out to the top of the key, where Kihei Clark hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 45-all.

Diakite followed with a three-point play to give Virginia its first lead since the opening basket of the game. Clark scored seven points during the 20-3 run, while BC was held to just one basket over almost nine minutes.

BC took a 53-51 lead with just over two minutes left, but Key scored from underneath to tie it. Hamilton scored from in front of the Eagles bench to put them ahead, then leaned back into the embrace of his teammates to celebrate.

“Feeling the support of the guys,” Hamilton said. “That was a great feeling.”

UNDERMANNED

Boston College was without starting point guard Derryck Thornton, who injured his ankle, and Nic Popovic, who has been out a month with a sore back. Forward Steffon Mitchell, who was nauseated and had migraine headaches, needed two IVs to get ready for the game.

Christian said he didn’t know if Mitchell would be available until about five minutes before the tipoff. He played almost 30 minutes and scored 10 points with eight rebounds.

“There’s a beauty to it,” Christian said. “It’s effort, it’s character, it’s determination.”

EARLY STRUGGLES

The Cavaliers committed four fouls in the first 67 seconds, and Diakite went to the bench with two. The biggest man in Virginia’s starting lineup — and the only one listed as a forward, along with four guards — played just 4:36 in the first half, with two points and two rebounds.

After making its first shot, Virginia missed the next seven, and it was still just 8-2 with almost six minutes gone.

“I thought we were kind of lethargic in the beginning of the game,” Clark said. “And once you dig yourself that big of a hole … it’s hard to get back in it.”

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: After climbing as high as No. 5 in the AP Top 25, the Cavaliers have now lost to South Carolina and Boston College in the last two weeks. They have lost as many games as they did all of last season.

Boston College: The Eagles were able to quickly forget about their 88-49 loss to Duke on Dec. 31.

“We had a week to get ready for this game, so we had the benefit of time to get it out of our system,” Christian said. “When you’re playing great teams in this league, if you dwell too much on one game, you’re going to struggle.”

UP NEXT

Virginia: Hosts Syracuse on Saturday.

Boston College: Hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Hurt, Jones help No. 2 Duke beat Boston College 88-49 in ACC

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DURHAM, N.C. — Duke had Tre Jones back healthy at the point and freshman Matthew Hurt rolling with a confident stroke. Just the way the second-ranked Blue Devils wanted to dive into the bulk of the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.

Hurt scored 20 of his season-high 25 points before halftime to help Duke beat Boston College 88-49 on Tuesday night, while Jones had 10 assists in his return from a foot injury that had cost him two games.

Hurt made 10 of 16 shots and was 5 of 10 on 3-pointers to lead the Blue Devils, who shot nearly 52% and hit their last five shots of the first half as they blew the game open shortly before the break. Duke (12-1, 2-0 ACC) also had little trouble clamping down with its defensive pressure.

“They played like they practiced,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “so that’s a neat thing if you practice well.”

Jones had missed the past two games with what was described as a mild sprain of his left foot. Krzyzewski had said before the Wofford win on Dec. 19 that the sophomore would’ve likely played had it been an ACC game.

Well, now that’s all that’s in front of the Blue Devils: 18 straight league games as part of the ACC’s first 20-game conference slate.

CJ Felder scored 13 points for the Eagles (8-6, 2-1), who had won four straight games coming in to Cameron Indoor Stadium. But they never mounted much of a response to Duke’s defensive pressure that turned away driving lanes and forced BC to settle for tough looks.

BC shot just 34% and made 3 of 18 3-pointers, including a six-minute stretch in the first half without a basket that helped Duke stretch out its lead.

“We did a really poor job today of keeping the floor spaced and then making plays for other people,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “We tried to do way too much finishing plays, and they did a great job recovering and blocking shots or forcing us to miss. … We needed to move the ball better, the whole game really. So it was real big problem for us the whole night.”

BIG PICTURE

Boston College: BC fell to Duke for the 13th time in 14 meetings and is 0-11 all-time in Cameron.

Duke: Jones’ return was the biggest positive for a team that needs his on-floor leadership and on-ball defensive pressure.

“Early on there was definitely some rust, just not being able to be in a game for a few weeks,” Jones said, adding: “After the first few minutes of getting my feet back under me and everything, I felt good the rest of the game.”

BACK AGAIN

It was a rough return for Derryck Thornton, who spent his freshman year at Duke before transferring to USC and ultimately ending up at BC as a graduate transfer. He was averaging a team-best 13.8 points but finished with six on 3-for-12 shooting while also leaving briefly in the first half with a right leg injury.

“Nobody on the team played very well,” Christian said. “It’s not about Derryck Thornton or anybody else.”

BIG FINISH

Hurt and the Blue Devils closed out the half in a flurry, ending when Jones found Hurt alone in the corner to bury a 3 just before the halftime horn. By that point, Hurt — who held his release to mark the make — had matched his season-high scoring output and outscored BC as Duke led 45-19 at the break.

“I made a third 3, I felt really good, and then the fourth 3 right before halftime, that really set it off,” Hurt said. “I just want to win, so I just tried to go in the second half and try to make the right plays and just try to win especially.”

TIP-INS

Duke earned its 300th victory of the decade (dating to January 2010) and its 899th all-time victory at its famously hostile home arena. … Duke has held opponents to fewer than 50 points in consecutive games for the first time since December 2010. … BC senior forward Nik Popovic (11.8 points) missed his fifth straight game. He is out indefinitely with a back problem. … Duke hit a season-high 12 of 28 3s (.429).

UP NEXT

Boston College: The Eagles host No. 19 Virginia next Tuesday.

Duke: The Blue Devils visit Miami on Saturday night.

No. 3 North Carolina beats Boston College 79-66

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BOSTON — North Carolina forward Luke Maye grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds in an easy victory over Boston College, and then he was off in transition.

Quickly turning his attention to the No. 3 Tar Heels’ regular season finale against archrival Duke, Maye said of Saturday night’s game with the Atlantic Coast Conference title at stake: “It’s huge for us.”

“We wanted to put ourselves in a position to win it,” he said after Carolina beat BC 79-66 on Tuesday to set up a showdown with the Blue Devils in Chapel Hill. “And we have that opportunity.”

Maye scored 17 and Cameron Johnson had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Tar Heels (25-5, 15-2 ACC), who won their sixth straight game and went unbeaten on the road in the conference for the first time since it began playing an 18-game schedule in 2012-13.

It was also Carolina’s first season with 15 ACC wins. No. 2 Virginia is also 15-2 in the conference, with its finale against Louisville.

Next up for the Tar Heels: fourth-ranked Duke, which escaped with a 71-70 victory over Wake Forest on Tuesday — again without Zion Williamson. Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterward he didn’t expect Williamson, who sprained his knee when his shoe exploded in the previous game against Carolina, to play in the rematch.

Maye said he wants Williamson, who is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, “to be as healthy as he can for his future.”

Johnson said Williamson’s absence won’t affect their preparation.

“The more you get caught up in that stuff, the worse off you’ll be,” he said. “And your mental approach will get thrown off. You’ve got to stay level and be ready to compete under any circumstance.”

Ky Bowman scored 23 points with nine rebounds and Nik Popovic scored 20 for Boston College, which has not beaten the Tar Heels in 12 tries since 2010. The Eagles (14-15, 5-12) have lost four of their past five games overall, and eight of their past 11.

North Carolina outrebounded BC 60-35.

The game was tied 16-all before the Tar Heels ran off 12 straight points, holding BC without a basket for more than five minutes. In all, Carolina scored 32 of the last 41 points in the first to head into halftime with a 48-25 lead.

The Tar Heels led by as many as 25 points early in the second half and led 63-42 with 12 minutes left before Bowman hit a 3-pointer and Popovic scored twice from the inside to make it a 14-point game. But Johnson scored in the lane, Carolina scored on back-to-back fast breaks and then Kenny Williams made a layup to open a 22-point lead.

“Very rarely have you seen our team get down and not fight back, just roll over. That’s the start of it,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “That’s what we’re playing for. What we’re playing for is each other. What we’re playing for is culture. What we’re playing for is to keep getting better.”

STANDING STRONG

Carolina coach Roy Williams had to turn the bench over to assistant Steve Robinson in his previous trip to Chestnut Hill after feeling dizzy and collapsing in the second half. The coach has been diagnosed with vertigo; he also had a spell in the Saturday’s victory against Clemson.

“First of all, I’m thrilled to finish a game,” Williams said. “Especially thrilled to finish a game here.”

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: Needs to beat Duke to share the regular-season ACC title; a Blue Devils win would give them a chance to share the title.

Boston College: The Eagles had a chance to play spoiler and ruin the Tar Heels’ chance at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Instead, BC needs a win in the finale and in the conference tournament to finish .500.

UP NEXT

North Carolina: hosts No. 4 Duke in regular-season finale on Saturday.

Boston College: Finishes its season at home against North Carolina State.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Reddish scores 24, No. 2 Duke pulls away to beat BC 80-55

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DURHAM, N.C. — No. 2 Duke has the highest-scoring duo in the country — and if Cameron Reddish can stay hot, yet another effective scoring option.

Reddish scored 24 points, helping the Blue Devils pull away to beat Boston College 80-55 on Tuesday night.

Zion Williamson had 16 points and a season-best 17 rebounds, RJ Barrett finished with 19 points and Tre Jones added 11 points for Duke (20-2, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Williamson and Barrett average a combined 45.4 points — the most by two teammates in Division I.

Reddish averages 13 but is capable of putting up big numbers, too. This was his fifth 20-point game.

“Obviously, we’ve got a great team around me,” Reddish said. “Everybody can contribute. Tonight was just my night, and I was making shots. It happens.”

The Blue Devils overcame some shaky early shooting by shooting 63 percent after halftime to claim their sixth straight win, and they will be no worse than tied for first in the league standings when they visit No. 3 Virginia on Saturday night.

Jordan Chatman scored 16 points while North Carolina native Ky Bowman finished with 11 — he averages 20.8 — on 5-of-17 shooting while facing constant pressure from Jones. BC (11-10, 2-7) gave Duke fits for a half before fading down the stretch of its third straight loss.

“They ramped it up all over the floor,” coach Jim Christian said. “We knew that. We needed to meet their intensity, and I thought the first five minutes of the second half, all the things we did really, really well in the first half, we didn’t do well on the defensive end.”

Reddish finished one point shy of his previous high, set Nov. 11 against Army, and this was his best game since scoring 23 at Florida State on Jan. 12 and hitting the game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

He scored 10 points in less than four minutes, hitting two 3s three possessions apart while starting the 23-8 run that put the Blue Devils in control. The lead gradually grew from there, with Alex O’Connell making it a 20-point game with his jumper with about five minutes left.

Reddish’s best play might have been the one that started that decisive burst: He stripped Bowman in the backcourt and hit a layup in the final second of the half — one of his two steals.

“It reminded me of (NBA star Grant Hill), what he was doing, because he’s 6-foot-8 and he’s so long,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “And I think that helped him offensively. Because you’re moving strong, you’re playing strong, and it translates to other aspects of your game.”

BIG PICTURE

Boston College: Bowman saves some of his best performances for the four ACC schools from his home state — he scored 33 points two years ago against North Carolina and 30 in last year’s victory over Duke, and helped them take a 30-28 halftime lead. But until now he never had to contend with Jones, one reason why the Eagles remained winless at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke: The Blue Devils were at both extremes with their enigmatic 3-point shooting. Duke, which entered shooting a program-worst 30.9 percent from long distance, missed 14 of 15 3s in the first half while trailing 30-28 at the break. And then the Blue Devils hit four of their first six in the second half while they pulled away.

ZIONLIGHT

Even Williamson’s missed dunks draw oohs and aahs. It looked like it was showtime when he stole a pass near midcourt with about nine minutes left and had a breakaway. But when the ball slipped off his wet hands, he sent his reverse dunk hard off the iron — his first miss on a breakaway all season.

“The ref would tell me, `Z, tuck your jersey in,’ and I’d be like, `Mr. Ref, my jersey’s wet. I sweat a lot,” Williamson said. “I wasn’t mad at the ref. I was mad at myself for trying to go too fast.”

TRE BIEN

Jones has locked down on two high-scoring guards in a four-day span. He held St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds — who averages 20.9 points — to 11 points before leading the defensive effort against Bowman.

HE SAID IT

“I say it would have been a 9 1/2. Not a 10 yet. . It would need another spin. He knows what I’m looking for.” — Sophomore guard Mike Buckmire, Williamson’s sidekick in the locker room, on how he would have rated that dunk if Williamson hadn’t missed it.

UP NEXT

Boston College: Visits Syracuse on Saturday.

Duke: Visits the Cavaliers on Saturday night in a rematch of the Blue Devils’ 72-70 victory three weeks ago.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Virginia Tech tops Boston College 77-66 for 8th straight win

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BLACKSBURG, Va. — Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 25 points to lead No. 10 Virginia Tech to a 77-66 victory over Boston College on Saturday.

Alexander-Walker made 9 of 14 from the floor for the Hokies (13-1, 2-0 ACC), who overcame a cold-shooting first half to win their eighth straight game. Virginia Tech shot 55.6 percent in the second half (15 of 27).

Boston College (9-4, 0-1) led early in the second half, but Virginia Tech took control with an 11-0 run. Alexander-Walker scored six of those points as the Hokies took a 43-36 lead and never trailed. Alexander-Walker set a career high in scoring in an ACC game.

Virginia Tech led by as many as 16 in the second half and maintained the lead because of its proficiency from the free-throw line. The Hokies made 9 of their final 11 attempts in the final 9:16 and finished 21 of 25 for the game.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. added 20 points for Virginia Tech, hitting 6 of 7 from the floor and 8 of 9 from the free-throw line. Justin Robinson scored 12 and had five assists.

Jordan Chatman paced the Eagles with 18 points. Boston College shot just 39.6 percent (19 of 48).

TIP-INS

Virginia Tech: Alexander-Walker has scored in double figures in all 13 games he’s played this season and scored at least 20 points in seven games.

Boston College: The Eagles will need improved play from star guard Ky Bowman to compete in the ACC. Bowman entered the game averaging 20.9 points, but scored just 14 against the Hokies. He didn’t hit a field goal in the final 18:31 and scored just two points on free throws.