Raleigh, N.C. — Markell Johnson scored a career-high 28 points, including his third halfcourt shot this season, to help North Carolina State to beat sixth-ranked Duke 88-66 on Wednesday night.
Devon Daniels added a career-high 25 points for the Wolfpack (17-9, 8-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led by 15 at halftime and by as many as 27 late in a surprisingly lopsided win against the ACC-leading Blue Devils (22-4, 12-3).
It was a desperately needed marquee win to boost the NCAA Tournament resume for the Wolfpack, who never trailed on the way to extending Duke’s recent frustrations in Raleigh. Duke has now lost six of eight in PNC Arena dating to 2010, with five of those coming against the Wolfpack and one being an NCAA Tournament loss to Mercer in 2014.
Vernon Carey Jr. scored 27 points to lead Duke, which shot 38% and struggled both at the line and from the arc. The Blue Devils made just 4 of 17 3-pointers and 10 of 22 free throws, part of an all-around shaky showing that included a complete inability to slow Johnson and Daniels in the first half.
The two combined for 33 first-half points to single-handedly outscore the Blue Devils (29), the last coming when Johnson banked in a runner from just beyond halfcourt for a 44-29 lead at the break.
Duke got as close as 11 with about 11 minutes left, only to see Johnson answer with a 3 then D.J. Funderburk follow with a three-point play to push the margin back to 67-52 with 8:31 left.
The lead only grew from there, with Wolfpack fans storming the court to celebrate when the horn finally sounded.
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(At) No. 11 Louisville 90, Syracuse 66: Jordan Nwora scored 17 points, Dwayne Sutton added 16 and Louisville routed Syracuse 90-66 to end a two-game losing streak.
The Cardinals (22-5, 13-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) never trailed against the Orange after losses at Georgia Tech and Clemson dropped them six spots in the rankings and out of the conference lead. They stretched a 41-34 halftime lead to double digits early in the second half and an 18-2 run made it 69-44.
Buddy Boeheim had 15 points for Syracuse (14-12, 7-8). The Orange have lost five of six.
No. 12 Villanova 91, (at) DePaul 71: Saddiq Bey and Collin Gillespie each made five of Villanova’s 18 3-pointers and the Wildcats used their long-range shooting to beat DePaul,
Villanova went 18 for 26 from deep in its 20th straight victory against DePaul. The Wildcats (20-6, 9-4 Big East) have made at least nine 3s in their last five games, including 17 during Sunday’s 76-56 victory at Temple.
Bey finished with 20 points and seven assists. Gillespie and Justin Moore had 17 points apiece.
DePaul (13-13, 1-12) dropped its eighth straight game. The Blue Demons took the Wildcats to overtime in a 79-75 loss on Jan. 14, but the rematch was a blowout. Jalen Coleman-Lands had 17 points for DePaul.
(At) Georgia 65, No. 13 Auburn 55: Anthony Edwards scored 18 points for Georgia, including a late 3-pointer to slow Auburn’s comeback attempt, and the Bulldogs beat the Tigers.
Auburn (22-4, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) suffered its second straight loss to a team with a losing record following seven straight wins. The winning streak ended Saturday with an 85-73 loss at Missouri.
Edwards’ 3-pointer with 2:15 remaining stretched the advantage to eight points.
J’Von McCormick led Auburn with 22 points. Samir Doughty, who had 15 points, cut Georgia’s lead to 58-53 with a three-point play with 1:02 remaining. Toumani Camara sank seven of eight free throws in the final 1:01 to help protect the Bulldogs’ lead.
It was a much-needed win for Georgia (13-13, 3-10), which had lost eight of nine, including four straight under second-year coach Tom Crean.
(At) No. 16 Seton Hall 74, No. 21 Butler 72: Sandro Mamukelashvili hit an off-balance shot in the lane at the buzzer to give Seton Hall a stunning victory over Butler.
The winning shot came on an inbounds play after the officials reviewed a missed shot by Quincy McKnight and added two tenths of a second, putting 0.6 on the clock.
McKnight inbounded the ball and Mamukelashvili caught it and tossed it at the basket. It hit the rim and rolled. Knight led the Pirates (19-7, 11-3 Big East) with 18 points.
Kamar Baldwin had 20 points for Butler (19-7, 7-7).
(At) No. 22 Houston 76, Tulsa 43: Caleb Mills scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half to help Houston rout Tulsa..
Mills shot 9 of 16, making 5 of 9 on 3-pointers. Nate Hinton added 15 points for Houston (21-6, 11-3 American).
Martins Igbanu had 15 points for Tulsa (17-9, 9-4).
Indiana 68, (at) Minnesota 56: Trayce Jackson-Davis had 27 points and 16 rebounds, both career highs, to lead Indiana’s second-half takeover of Minnesota.
Race Thompson added nine points and 10 rebounds and Devonte Green scored 11 points for the Hoosiers (17-9, 7-8), who moved out of the bottom four of the Big Ten with just their second win in their last seven games.
Payton Willis and Marcus Carr each scored 12 points for the Gophers (12-13, 6-9), who went just 4 for 25 from 3-point range and 10 for 19 from the free-throw line. Daniel Oturu added 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Gophers, who have lost five of their last seven games.
Thompson’s pair of free throws with 16:06 left gave the Hoosiers the lead for the first time in more than 19 minutes, and they fired up their defense from there. Kalscheur, who’s shooting almost 8% worse from long range this season than in his freshman year, missed three 3-pointers on the same possession. Oturu grabbed the rebound of the third clank, drew a foul and, fittingly, missed both free throws to yield zero points for all that hustle.
Jackson-Davis teamed with Thompson to play stifling defense around the rim on Oturu, who has had his way with most Big Ten big men. The lanky freshman made just as much of an impact with the ball, of course, including a one-handed slam off a slick one-handed pass to the paint from Green.
Every time the Gophers were in position to surge back in front, they simply couldn’t produce a swish. With 3:32 remaining, Thompson put the seal on his inspired performance in his home state by muscling his way past Oturu for a layup and a three-point play after the foul for a 60-54 lead.
Both teams badly needed to win this game for the viability of their NCAA Tournament bids. Though there was more inherent value in victory for Hoosiers on the road, the Gophers were in the market for a morale boost after the crushing loss to Iowa on their home court three days ago. The Hawkeyes outscored them 11-0 over the final 5:25 of that game to win 58-55.
The Gophers have played steady defense this season, which helped them build a 23-13 lead over the first quarter of the game. The Hoosiers, on the other end, started sluggishly. They twice gave up baskets to the Gophers off out-of-bounds plays that particularly agitated coach Archie Miller.
Minnesota just didn’t make enough baskets to take control, though, in a first half marked by their missed jumpers, Indiana’s missed layups and even a handful of apparent misses by the officials that had the fans howling about perplexing fouls called on the Gophers.
(At) Central Michigan 71, Kent State 58: Molly Davis scored 26 and Micaela Kelly 16 for Central (20-4, 13-0 MAC). Kent State is 14-10 and 7-6.
(At) Michigan 80, Illinois 59: Akienreh Johnson scored 22, and Amy Dilk and Naz Hillmon 15 each for Michigan (17-9, 8-7 Big Ten), which outscored Illinois (11-15, 2-13) in the second half, 39-17.
(At) Western Michigan 69, Bowling Green 55: Breanna Mobley had 23 points and 13 rebounds for Western (14-10, 7-6 MAC). Bowling Green is 8-17 and 1-12.