All-ACC player Swartz transfers from BC to Georgia Tech

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 30 Womens - Boston College at Notre Dame
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ATLANTA – All-Atlantic Coast Conference guard Cameron Swartz has transferred from Boston College to Georgia Tech.

Yellow Jackets coach Nell Fortner announced Wednesday that the 5-foot-11 player from suburban Marietta would be playing closer to home next season.

Swartz was selected as the league’s most improved player and made the All-ACC first team after leading the Eagles in scoring at 16.1 points a game. She was the conference’s sixth-leading scorrrer.

“We welcome Cameron back home to Atlanta and the Georgia Tech women’s basketball family,” Fortner said. “Her game has consistently grown throughout her collegiate career and she has proven herself to be one of the best scorers in the ACC.”

Georgia Tech will be Swartz’s thjird school. She started out at Colorado, playing seven games as a freshman, before transferring to Boston College, where she played the last three seasons.

Swartz played her high school ball at Fellowship Christian, leading the state of Georgia in scoring at 32.1 points per game.

Miami beats BC at buzzer in OT to advance to ACC semis

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NEW YORK — Jordan Miller scored on a transition layup as time ran out in overtime to give fourth-seeded Miami a 71-69 win over 13th-seeded Boston College in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinal Thursday.

BC took possession with 33.7 seconds left in overtime but Makai Ashton-Langford’s shot in the paint was short. Sam Waardenburg grabbed the rebound and passed to Charlie Moore who hit a streaking Miller for the game-winner.

BC almost won in regulation after Brevin Galloway stole the ball and saw his heave from beyond midcourt hit the front of the rim, sending the game into OT tied at 65. Galloway scored BC’s four overtime points but missed a free throw before the Eagles missed their final five shots.

The Hurricanes, who beat the Eagles by 11 points eight days earlier, escaped to earn a semifinal matchup with top seed and seventh-ranked Duke on Friday.

Kameron McGusty scored 16 points, Moore had 15 points and six assists, Isaiah Wong 15 points and six assists and Miller 13 points for Miami (23-9), which had a double bye into the semifinals. Waardenburg grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to go with nine points.

Quinten Post scored 14 points, Galloway 12, Jaeden Zackery 11, and DeMarr Langford and James Karnik 10 each for the Eagles (14-18), who were playing their third game in three days including consecutive overtime contests.

Both teams shot over 50%. Miami outscored BC 18-9 off turnovers. BC made only 5 of 11 free throws.

Miami led 34-32 at halftime. Consecutive baskets by Karnik and a 3-pointer by Zackery gave the Eagles a six-point lead early in the second half. BC held on to that lead for nine minutes until three turnovers led to six points in a 9-0 Miami run and a five-point edge with four minutes to go. Zackery’s 3-pointer with 22 seconds left made it 65-all.

Tar Heels cruise past Boston College 91-65

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BOSTON- Caleb Love matched his season high of 22 points for the fifth time and three other Tar Heels scored 17 or more as North Carolina rolled past Boston College 91-65 on Sunday.

Love was 7-of-11 shooting with four 3-pointers. Armando Bacot added 18 points with 11 rebounds for his Atlantic Coast Conference-leading ninth double-double. RJ Davis, who made all five of his shots, and Brady Manek scored 17 points each. The Tar Heels (10-3, 2-0) shot 52.5%, including 48% from 3-point range, making 11 of 23 from the arc.

Jaeden Zackery scored 13 points and Makai Ashton-Langford 12 for the Eagles (6-6, 1-1).

The Eagles hadn’t played since Dec. 13 because of final exams and COVID issues with ACC games against Wake Forest and Florida State postponed and this meeting pushed back a day. The layoff was evident with the Eagles shooting only 16.7% in the first half and finishing at 31%, making only 8 of 28 3-point attempts.

North Carolina, however, was in fine form after a slow start. UNC missed its first seven shots but then went 9 of 13 to lead 27-11 after consecutive 3s by Manek. The Tar Heels went on to shoot 47% in the half and already had four players in double figures by the break, leading 49-20.

A 15-3 run in second half – with Love hitting three 3-pointers, made it a 35-point lead 5 1/2 minutes into the second half.

UNC starter Dawson Garcia left the game two minutes in after hitting his head on floor and did not return.

The Tar Heels were playing their first game since Dec. 21. A game against Virginia Tech on Wednesday was postponed because of COVID issues with the Hokies. North Carolina plays at Notre Dame on Wednesday. The Eagles are at Pittsburgh on Saturday.

UNC has won the last seven meetings in Boston and the last 13 of 14 overall.

Boston College hires Charleston’s Earl Grant as head coach

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BOSTON — Boston College hired Earl Grant as its basketball coach on Monday, bringing in the man who led the College of Charleston to the NCAA Tournament in the hopes he can do the same for the Eagles.

Grant, who had a 127-89 record in seven seasons with the Cougars, replaces Jim Christian, who was fired with three weeks remaining in his seventh season. BC hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2009.

“My family and I are really excited about the opportunity to start a new journey,” Grant said. “I look forward to representing such a prestigious academic institution, to coach in the top basketball conference in America, and do it in one of the best cities in the world.”

Under Grant, Charleston won the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season and tournament championship in 2018 for its first NCAA appearance in almost two decades. The school was one of 21 Division I programs with players selected in each of the past two NBA drafts.

Grant took over the Cougars in 2014, a year after they left the Southern Conference and went 14-18 (6-10 CAA). They won nine games his first season, 17 in his second and 25 in his third – the first of three consecutive 20-win seasons.

The news release announcing his hiring also noted that the academic progress rate at Charleston for 2018-19 was in the top 10% of men’s basketball programs nationally – a first for the school. Grant was a finalist for the 2019 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award, given to a coach who achieves success on the basketball court and displays moral integrity off of it.

“We set out to find a leader of young men, someone who shares our vision and our values, who could lead our program to championships while ensuring a world-class student-athlete experience and education for our players,” BC athletic director Pat Kraft said. “Earl is exactly what we were looking for and what our basketball program needs at this moment and I am confident he will have tremendous success in Chestnut Hill, on the court and off.”

A Charleston, South Carolina, native, Grant played for Georgia College before embarking on a coaching career that took him to The Citadel, Winthrop, Wichita State and Clemson. At Wichita State from 2007-10, he was on the staff of Greg Marshall when the Shockers went from 11-20 to 25-10 in three seasons.

Boston College has finished above .500 in the Atlantic Coast Conference just four times since leaving the Big East in 2005, the last in 2010-11.

Christian went 78-132 (26-94 ACC) in seven years in Chestnut Hill. He was fired last month with a 3-13 record (1-9 ACC); with assistant Scott Spinelli as interim coach, the Eagles won one of their final four games.

M.J. Walker leads Florida St.’s senior night rout of BC

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – MJ Walker scored 18 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and RaiQuan Gray added 16 points to help No. 11 Florida State win its 25th straight ACC home game, 93-64, over Boston College on Wednesday night.

Gray scored in double figures for an 11th straight game for the Seminoles (15-4, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who are in position to win the league’s regular-season title with a win at Notre Dame on Saturday.

Jay Heath scored a career-high 28 points and Makai Ashton-Langford added 14 points for BC (4-14, 2-10). Heath shot 8 of 14 from 3-point range.

Walker scored 12 points in the first half as the Seminoles cruised to a 53-35 lead at the break and were never challenged.

The Seminoles shot 35 of 63 (55.6%) from the floor and 13 of 27 (48.1%) from 3-point range.

BC shot 22 of 60 (36.7%) and 12 of 31 (38.7% from 3-point range.

Florida State started five seniors in what was their final home game. Senior guard RayQuan Evans scored six points and because of the unique lineup the Seminoles’ bench had a 78-13 advantage over BC’s reserves.

The Seminoles are 40-12 in the ACC the last three seasons.

TAKEAWAYS

Boston College: The Eagles were overmatched from the start and fell for the ninth time in 11 games in the series.

Florida State: The Seminoles shot 18 of 29 (62.1%) from the floor in the first half on their way to building a considerable lead and taking their 11th double-digit victory.

UP NEXT

Boston College plays at Miami on Friday

Florida State plays at Notre Dame on Saturday

No. 2 NC State women get hot from outside, beat Pitt 83-53

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Second-ranked North Carolina State rolled in its home finale while looking as comfortable as ever shooting from outside in the familiar Reynolds Coliseum setting.

Wes Moore just needs his Wolfpack to carry that into the postseason, too.

Raina Perez scored 14 points and helped N.C. State hit 16 3-pointers to beat Pittsburgh 83-53 in Thursday’s home finale. The Wolfpack matched the program single-game record for made 3s.

Jakia Brown-Turner also scored 14 points for the Wolfpack (16-2, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who made 16 of 26 3-pointers. The shots fell from throughout the lineup, too, a reminder of the outside punch for a team that already has a strong paint presence with Elissa Cunane.

“I hope we’re trending up,” Moore said. “Now again, when you shoot 16 out of 26 from 3, everything’s fine. I’m worried about on the day we’re 6 for 26. Are we going to defend well enough and rebound well enough to survive and advance when we get into postseason? That’ll be the real trick.”

Perez led the outside-shooting blitz by making 4 of 5 from behind the arc, helping N.C. State match its mark of 16 made 3s set in December 2014 against Mount St. Mary’s.

Kayla Jones and Kai Crutchfield each hit three 3s, among of the Wolfpack’s eight different players to hit at least one. That included freshman reserve Dontavia Waggoner knocking down her second 3 of the season to close the third quarter and give the Wolfpack a 71-34 lead.

“It keeps the defense on their toes,” Crutchfield said, adding: “Just for us to stay diverse is a big thing for us to keep doing.”

Freshman Sandrine Clesca had a season-high 12 points to lead the Panthers (5-12, 3-11), who missed 15 of 18 shots in the opening quarter to find themselves in an immediate hole. Pitt finished the game shooting 40%, a figure boosted by a 7-for-10 shooting performance in the final quarter with the outcome no longer in doubt.

“They started in the paint and then they have kids that can shoot it,” Pittsburgh coach Lance White said. “You’ve got to pick your poison.”

BIG PICTURE

Pittsburgh: The Panthers had lost seven of eight in the past month, the outlier being an 83-80 win at Boston College on Feb. 16, in a schedule that has included six postponements this season. Pitt was seeking the program’s first win against a top-5 team, but fell behind by double figures midway through the opening quarter while playing without No. 2 scorer Dayshanette Harris (12.4) and Gabbie Green due to recent injuries.

“For us, we looked out there and we had four freshmen on the floor a lot today,” White said. “Those kids obviously aren’t ready for the No. 2 team in the country.”

N.C. State: Moore keeps talking about trying to get this year’s team peaking entering the postseason while describing these final regular-season games as “dress rehearsals.” His team has won four straight and is still alive in the battle with No. 6 Louisville for the No. 1 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament.

“I have liked what we’ve seen the last few games,” Moore said.

TIP-INS

N.C. State blew the game open with a 20-0 stretch during the third quarter. … Pittsburgh has lost six straight meetings and hasn’t beaten the Wolfpack since February 2015. … Five players scored in double figures for the Wolfpack, including Cunane (13 points, eight rebounds) and Jones (10 points, six rebounds and seven assists). … Panthers leading scorer Jayla Everett (14.9) finished with seven points on 2-of-15 shooting.

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh: The Panthers close the regular season at Georgia Tech on Sunday.

N.C. State: Syracuse hosts the Wolfpack on Sunday to close the schedule.