College Basketball Roundup: App State advances to Sun Belt title game

UNCG and Elon both advanced in their conference tournaments

Appalachian State Basketball

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Adrian Delph scored 20 points and Michael Almonacy 19 and streaking Appalachian State beat Coastal Carolina 64-61 in overtime Sunday night in a semifinal matchup of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

In search of its first berth to the NCAA Tournament since 2000, the Mountaineers will take on Georgia State in Monday’s championship game.

Appalachian State (16-11) has won three straight to open the tournament including beating Texas State which was the west division’s top seed.

RJ Duhart’s layup with 51 seconds left in overtime gave the Mountaineers a 59-57 lead and they led the rest of the way. After Duhart made 1 of 2 foul shots for a 64-61 lead with four seconds left, Donovan Gregory stole it from Ebrima Dibba as he tried to advance the ball to end the game.

DeVante’ Jones sank three free throws with 10 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 51. Appalachian State’s Justin Forrest missed a deep 3-point attempt as time expired to send it to overtime.

Jones led Coastal Carolina (16-7) with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Essam Mostafa scored 15 with nine rebounds, Dibba scored 10 with 10 rebounds and Garrick Green grabbed nine boards.

Winthrop 80, Campbell 53

Big South Tournament championship game

ROCK HILL, S.C. — D.J. Burns scored 22 points and Winthrop took off in the second half to a 80-53 victory over Campbell on Sunday for its second straight Big South tournament championship and automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

Burns finished the first half with consecutive baskets for a six-point lead and the Eagles (23-1) made their first eight shots of the second half in running away from Campbell for their 13th championship in 17 title-game appearances. They will be making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance.

By the time the top-seeded Eagles missed a shot in the second half they led 36-21. The blazing shooting continued as the lead reached a high of 31 and they eased to their seventh straight win during a season when they had a 21-game win streak before a two-point loss to UNC Asheville. They are 43-4 in their last 47 games.

Burns, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, forward finished 11 of 12 from the floor with the Eagles shooting 79% in the second half and 63% overall. Kyle Zunic added 13 points with 3-pointers. Chandler Vaudrin, who has three triple-doubles this season, had 10 rebounds and six assists to go with eight points.

Winthrop won the tournament title last year only to see their NCAA Tournament bid dissolve with the COVID-19 crisis.

“Oh man, it’s so great to be back here, knowing the opportunity we had last year and unfortunately events took it away from us,” said Burns, who transferred from Tennessee two years ago. “It feels good to back here and have a second shot to do it again.

“We work as hard or harder than anybody in the country and we’re gonna to go out and go play our game, play our style to speed them up or slowing down if you need to. We’re all gonna do whatever it takes to win. That’s a part of our culture that the coaches instilled in us from Day One.”

Third-seeded Campbell (17-10) came in on a nine-game win streak and looking for its first NCAA appearance in 29 years. Though the Camels lost a two-game series at Winthrop during the regular season, one of those losses came by just a point. But this time, they led only once — at 2-0.

Jordan Whitfield scored 18 points and Ricky Clemons 10 for Campbell.

Winthrop won its three tournament games by an average of nearly 26 points.

Elon 72, James Madison 71

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Hunter McIntosh was fouled grabbing a defensive rebound and his two free throws were just enough for Elon to survive a 3-point shot at the buzzer to defeat top-seeded James Madison 72-71 in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament on Sunday.

For the second straight year, Elon advanced to the CAA semifinals. The eighth-seeded Phoenix (9-8) meet No. 4 seed Hofstra on Monday. Hofstra is the defending tournament champion.

Ikenna Ndugba curled in from the right wing and laid the ball off the glass to put Elon ahead with 30.3 seconds on the clock, completing a rally from a 15-point second-half deficit over the last 14:34 on James Madison’s home floor.

Justin Amadi and Vado Morse led JMU (13-7) with 21 points apiece, with Amadi’s career high including 8-for-8 from the field with two blocks and three steals.

Elon connected on 13 3-pointers, including three from McIntosh, who scored 24 points, and four from Simon Wright, who scored 18 points. Ndugba added 14.

UNC Greensboro 77, East Tennessee State 65

Southern Conference Tournament

ASHEVILLE — Isaiah Miller scored 21 points, including a monster dunk with just over a minute left, and UNC Greensboro defeated East Tennessee State 77-65 in the semifinals of the Southern Conference tournament on Sunday.

Keyshaun Langley added 11 points and seven assists for top-seeded UNC Greensboro (20-8), which was making a third semifinal appearance in the last four seasons. No. 5 seed East Tennessee State (13-12) was the reigning SoCon champion.

Ledarrius Brewer pulled ETSU as close as 54-52 when he converted a three-point play with 12:23 remaining and, after UNCG rebuilt the lead to ten, Ty Brewer cut it to 65-60 with a 3-pointer at the 5:16 mark. The Bucs didn’t get any closer.

ETSU led for much of the first half before a Miller 3 put the Spartans up 40-39 at the break. Kaleb Hunter scored a 3 off the second-half tip and Miller followed with a steal and a layup as UNCG took over and led the entire final period.

Ty Brewer had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Buccaneers, David Sloan added 13 points and Ledarrius Brewer 11 with six rebounds.

UNCG will face No. 7 seed Mercer in Monday’s title game.

Cincinnati 82, East Carolina 69

GREENVILLE — Jeremiah Davenport and Mason Madsen scored 19 points apiece as Cincinnati got past East Carolina 82-69 on Sunday.

Keith Williams added 16 points and Mika Adams-Woods had 12 points for Cincinnati (10-10, 8-6 American Athletic Conference). Madsen also had six rebounds, while Williams posted six rebounds.

Jayden Gardner had 23 points for the Pirates (8-10, 2-10), whose losing streak reached four games. Tristen Newton added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Brandon Suggs had 13 points and eight rebounds.