Men’s Basketball Roundup: Louisville Routs No. 12 North Carolina in Chapel Hill
The Louisville men’s basketball team went from suffering a confidence-jarring loss against a long-struggling Atlantic Coast Conference program to handing Roy Williams his worst home loss in 16 seasons with North Carolina.
Tough to explain? Even Williams had a hard time with that.
“We never really got into the game,” he said after Saturday’s 83-62 defeat to the Cardinals in Chapel Hill, N.C. “I’d like to give you a brilliant answer as to why, but I can’t give you that brilliant answer.”
It was as mystifying a performance from No. 12 U.N.C., which had started league play with two road wins, as it was a strong effort from Louisville following Wednesday’s overtime loss to Pittsburgh.
Louisville’s first-year coach, Chris Mack, said there was “some soul-searching” after that setback, which snapped Pitt’s 23-game losing streak in A.C.C. regular-season games. The Panthers had lost by 25 points at home to the Tar Heels a few days earlier.
Louisville (11-5, 2-1) responded by strolling into Chapel Hill, jumping on North Carolina (12-4, 2-1) early and turning a 43-34 halftime lead into an unexpected rout.
“I’ve been around the game enough to know you can be humbled on any given night and then erase a bitter feeling a few nights later,” Mack said. “I don’t know how football coaches do it; they get one game a week.”
The Connecticut transfer Steven Enoch had season highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Cardinals, causing all kinds of matchup problems with his 6-foot-11 frame and strength to post up deep in the paint. Dwayne Sutton added 17 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists to flirt with a triple double, helping the Cardinals shoot 52 percent while hitting 11 3-pointers.
More important, the Cardinals controlled the boards (40-31) against one of the nation’s best rebounding teams, keeping the Tar Heels from getting loose in transition (4 fast-break points) with solid defense.
“Angry should be the motto for this team — playing angry and aggressive,” Enoch said. “That’s how it’s always been for Louisville basketball.”
VIRGINIA 63, CLEMSON 43 Kyle Guy had 13 points, De’Andre Hunter scored 12 and No. 4 Virginia improved to 15-0 with a victory at Clemson. The campus started the day with a national championship football parade, but the basketball team (10-6, 0-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) could not add to the good feelings. Instead, the Cavaliers turned up their trademark defense to maintain their run as the A.C.C.’s only undefeated squad at 3-0. The Cavaliers lead the country with 51.8 points allowed a game this season, and they smothered the Tigers early. Clemson missed 14 of its first 15 shots to fall behind, 15-4.
DUKE 80, FLORIDA STATE 78 Cam Reddish hit a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to lead No. 1 Duke at No. 13 Florida State. Reddish caught the ball on the wing off the inbounds pass and made an open 3-pointer to ensure that Duke (14-1, 3-0 A.C.C.) would win its ninth straight game. He finished with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Duke played the second half without the star freshman Zion Williamson, who left the game after being poked in the eye late in the first half. He did not return, and had 11 points and 8 rebounds in 17 minutes. P.J. Savoy made a pair of free throws with 15.8 seconds left, just seconds after forcing a turnover, to put Florida State (13-3, 1-2) ahead, 78-76. R.J. Barrett, who finished with 32 points on 10-of-19 shooting, then hit the first of two free throws with five seconds left. He missed the second, but the Blue Devils retained possession after a review overruled a call on the floor that the ball had gone out of bounds off a Duke player, setting up Reddish’s shot.
KANSAS STATE 58, IOWA STATE 57 Barry Brown hit a layup with four seconds left and visiting Kansas State handed No. 20 Iowa State its second straight loss. Brown had 23 points to lead the Wildcats (12-4, 2-2 Big 12), who closed the game on a 10-2 run for their first road win of the year. Iowa State, which has not won since routing Kansas last week, was up 7 with five minutes left. But Brown hit two free throws with 16 seconds left to make it 57-56 Iowa State — and Lindell Wigginton missed the front end of a subsequent one-and-one for the Cyclones (12-4, 2-2). Brown, who finished 9 of 20 from the floor, then drove through the paint for the game winner.
GEORGETOWN 96, PROVIDENCE 90 Jessie Govan scored a career-high 33 points with 14 rebounds and host Georgetown (12-5, 2-2 Big East) got two clutch 3-pointers before beating Providence (10-6, 0-3) in two overtimes. Govan had two free throws early in the second overtime to put Georgetown ahead, and added three in the final minute to help seal the victory. James Akinjo added 20 points for the Hoyas. Akinjo made three free throws with 15.6 seconds left in the first overtime before knocking down a long 3-pointer at 3.4 seconds to tie it at 86-86, forcing the second overtime. Mac McClung had 16 points, including a long, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to tie the score, 73-73, at the end of regulation.
PRINCETON 62, PENN 53 Devin Cannady scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead Princeton at Penn. Cannady sank all 10 of his free throws for the Tigers (9-5, 2-0 Ivy League), who shot 90.5 percent from the free-throw line. Richmond Aririguzoh added 17 points and 9 rebounds and Myles Stephens had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Princeton, which beat Penn at home, 68-65, in overtime last week in the Ivy League opener — had a 55-34 rebounding advantage over the Quakers (10-6, 0-2).