College Basketball Roundup: Bacot leads No. 16 Heels past NC Central

NC Central's Deven Palmer and C.J. Keyser defend against UNC's Armando Bacot during the Tar Heels' 73-67 win on Saturday. (Robert Willett / The News & Observer via AP)

CHAPEL HILL — Armando Bacot had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 16 UNC stopped a two-game slide by holding off North Carolina Central for a 73-67 victory Saturday.

Caleb Love and Day’Ron Sharpe scored 12 points apiece for the Tar Heels (4-2), and Andrew Platek finished with 11.

NC Central (1-3) scored the final nine points of the game. C.J. Keyser had 19 points for the Eagles, and Justin Whatley finished with 13.

The Tar Heels missed their first 10 3-point attempts before Platek connected from the right wing on consecutive possessions for a 55-42 lead. The reserve guard then added a fast-break layup.

UNC scored the final 10 points of the first half for a 30-28 lead, holding the Eagles scoreless for the last five minutes.

Nicolas Fennell had 11 points for NC Central, and foul-plagued Jamir Moultrie finished with 10 points.

The game was added to the schedule in the middle of the week. UNC had an opening after a matchup with Elon was shelved when Elon’s program went on a coronavirus-related pause. NC Central had played only once since Nov. 26, with three games canceled.

UNC Asheville 80, High Point 67

ASHEVILLE —LJ Thorpe had 17 points and Coty Jude came off the bench to score 16 to lead UNC Asheville to an 80-67 win over High Point in the Big South opener for both teams. The Bulldogs went on an 18-0 run in the first half and never looked back, leading by 10 for nearly all of the remainder of the game.

Lydell Elmore had 18 points and nine rebounds, and John-Michael Wright added 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Panthers, who made just 2 of 16 3-point attempts.

The two teams will play for a second straight day on Sunday. The back-to-back games were originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday but pushed back a day.

Western Carolina 104, NC A&T 98 (OT)

GREENSBORO — Matt Halvorsen scored 23 points, Xavier Cork added 22 and Mason Faulkner had 20 as Western Carolina topped North Carolina A&T 104-98 in overtime on Saturday.

Halvorsen made 7 of 9 3-pointers, Cork had 14 rebounds and three blocks, and Faulkner posted six assists.

Tyler Harris had 19 points for Western Carolina (6-1), which won its fifth straight game.

Quentin Jones had 27 points for the Aggies (2-7), who have now lost five games in a row. Kameron Langley added 20 points, 16 assists and nine rebounds. Kwe Parker had 18 points.

Langley made 1 of 2 free throws to tie it at 88 in regulation.

Mississippi 78, UNC Wilmington 58

OXFORD, Miss. — Romello White scored 20 points, Devontae Shuler added 18 and Mississippi rolled to a 78-58 victory over UNC Wilmington on Saturday.

White, a 6-8 senior transfer from Arizona State, had 13 points in the first half without missing a shot. Shuler finished with six assists and 7-of-15 shooting from the floor with a pair of 3-pointers.

Luis Rodriguez had career highs with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Rebels (2-0), who shot 52% (30 of 58) from the floor.

Ty Gadsden scored 16 points for UNCW (3-3). Mike Okauru, the only player to start in each game this season for the Seahawks, added 15 points. Jaylen Sims had 13 points. The trio each had three of the Seahawks’ nine 3-pointers.

Pittsburgh 67, Gardner-Webb 50

PITTSBURGH — Justin Champagnie scored 24 points and set career highs with 21 rebounds and five assists to help Pittsburgh win its fourth straight with a 67-50 win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday.

Champagnie is the 11th player in program history to have at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game for the Panthers (4-1) and the first to do it in back-to-back games.

Gardner-Webb missed its first 18 shots from the field and was scoreless until Anthony Selden’s 3-pointer with 7:43 left in the half cut the Panthers’ lead to 14-3. The Bulldogs (0-2) closed within 25-18 before the end of the period but got no closer in the second half.

Xavier Johnson added 12 points for Pitt, including the Panthers’ only 3-pointer. Pitt finished 1 of 18 from 3-point range.

Jaheam Cornwall had 13 points and Lance Terry added 10 for the Bulldogs.

Pitt had a 58-38 edge in rebounding and held Gardner-Webb to 30% shooting for the game.