Historically, the ESPN-created ACC/Big Ten Challenge has been less of a challenge and more of a route for the ACC. The Dukies maintained their perfect record in the tourney, advancing to 9-0 with an 82-58 cramming of Wisconsin. The Badgers’ life at No-20 in the national rankings will be shortlived, as the Blue Devils shot them out of Cameron Indoor, netting 11 treys on 46% 3-point shooting (9-16 3FG in 1st half). Taylor King led the barrage with five triples for the second consecutive game. “It started this summer, when [King] would shoot shots from halfcourt,” said Jon Scheyer after the game. “He can really shoot the ball so well. Some of the shots you think, ‘Oh wow, that’s a bad shot,’ but he can make a lot of those tough shots. Today, he had one from the corner and I was really pumped when he made that. He can really shoot it. I’m used to it now, but it still surprises me sometimes.”
Indiana needed 38 free throw attempts to slice past Georgia Tech at Assembly Hall last night. The Hoosiers looked lackadaisical on the perimeter at times, enabling Yellow Jackets’ runs of 10-3 in the first half and 9-0 to start the second period. Eric Gordon was the main culprit, standing stationary on one side of the court when the Hoosiers toiled on the opposite wing. Kelvin Sampson needs to bring in Rip Hamilton to teach the freshman how to run his man through the hamster wheel to get more open looks. Within the last eight minutes, he scored 13 points, eight of which came from the stripe (on ten attempts). Gordon finished with 29 points (7-14 FG, 13-16 FT) but committed eight turnovers.
Purdue nearly spoiled the ACC’s party, playing absurdly intense defense on Clemson for forty minutes. But the Boilermakers spoiled a one-point advantage with less than two minutes to play. Clemson’s Trevor Booker (7 points, 13 rebounds) sealed his defender on the block to tie the game at 58-58. On the subsequent possession, Booker sent a Tarrance Crump layup to the frank man for his fourth swat of the game, enabling K.C. Rivers to deliver the difference-maker with 0:33 on the clock, for a 61-58 win. Without James Mays, the Tigers full-court 1-2-2 press lost some of its tenacity. But it still helped to generate 19 turnovers, compensating for Clemson’s 10-26 (38.5%) night from the free throw line.
Memphis 104, Austin Peay 82
Chris Douglas-Roberts had 23 points (11-15 FG), Derrick Rose notched 19 points and 12 assists, and the Tigers upped their season average of 15.2 assists with 33 assists on 43 buckets.
“What about Shawn Taggart. He jogged the floor, and I took him out. I told him you were out. If you don’t have a sense of urgency, then you’re out. He goes back in, he dives three times on the floor and the place gives him a standing ovation. Now he had baskets, blocks and rebounds, and everybody clapped. He dove on the floor three times and people give him a standing ovation.” â€“ Coach Calipari (Taggart scored 17 points)
Pittsburgh 80, Boston University 53
“To be honest, not really beyond St. Louis have we been challenged. That still doesn’t mean there aren’t things that we can’t take away from each opponent. Tonight for example, we have to get better at sustaining our intensity and level of play. We thought we had a solid first half, but that they outplayed us in the second half, which is not something we’re happy with. That has to get better.” â€“ Pitt’s Ronald Ramon (15 points, 5-5 3FG)
Tennessee 93, North Carolina A&T 59
“Chris Lofton was aggressive during his streak tonight. He hit better in the tournament at Newark, N.J., and that was a good sign. He had mostly pretty good shots, and it was good to see him hitting them so well. Early in the game I jumped Lofton for turning down some 3-pointers.” â€“ Bruce Pearl (Lofton finished 8-20 from three-point range)
Kentucky 62, Stony Brook 52
Billy Gillispie is not happy with his team:
“We couldn’t make a shot. We didn’t move the ball quick enough. Sometimes I think that happens, especially to an inexperienced team.
“They’re not thinking enough. We had 10 or so turnovers, and I think we had at least that many tipped balls as well…You have to think. Like I said, we were able to get a win. Hopefully we’ll get smarter, and we’ll start playing smarter.”