CHAPEL HILL — Armando Bacot has turned in plenty of big games for UNC, but nothing quite like this in a season opener.
Bacot scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the best opener of his career, helping No. 19 UNC to an 86-70 win over Radford on Monday night.
“This is my year and it’s our year,” Bacot said. “I knew I had to go out and play hard and really set the tone because it really starts with me.”
Bacot, a preseason All-American beginning his fifth season, scored 13 first-half points. His 25 points in an opener beat the 16 points he had last year against UNC Wilmington.
RJ Davis and Cormac Ryan both scored 13 points, and Harrison Ingram had 12 points for the Tar Heels.
UNC won its 19th straight season opener.
The Tar Heels had transfers Ingram (Stanford), Ryan (Notre Dame) and Paxson Wojcik (Brown) in the starting lineup. UNC is seeking a fresh start after last season began with a No. 1 national ranking and ended without a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Getting the ball to the 6-foot-11 Bacot makes sense in that quest.
“This game, especially, they did a great job of getting it to me early,” Bacot said. “That could open everything else for everybody.”
UNC hosts Lehigh on Sunday.
Wake Forest 101, Elon 78
WINSTON-SALEM — Cameron Hildreth scored 33 points, Andrew Carr had 24 points and nine rebounds, and Wake Forest rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat Elon 101-78 on Monday night in the season opener for both teams.
The Demon Deacons trailed by 21 with 7:04 left in the first half before going on a scoring spree. They outscored Elon 58-23 after halftime to win going away.
Hildreth made 13 of 18 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Carr’s total included 10 free throws. The Demon Deacons shot 60% after halftime.
Zac Ervin led four members of the Phoenix in double figures with 17 points. Max Mackinnon added 14 points, and Nick Dorn and TK Simpkins each added 13.
It was the 45th meeting of the schools — first since 2010 — and the 39th Wake Forest victory.
NC State 72, The Citadel 59
RALEIGH — D.J. Burns Jr. scored 16 points to lead NC State to a 72-59 season-opening win over The Citadel on Monday night.
Michael O’Connell added 14 for the Wolfpack, and Mohamed Diarra recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
NC State, which never trailed, shot 44% from the field (29 for 66), including 36% from 3 (10 for 28). The Wolfpack led by as much as 18 points.
AJ Smith led The Citadel with 15 points, nine of which came via free throws. Smith was the only Bulldogs player to finish in double-figure scoring.
The Citadel was limited to 24% shooting from 3 (4 for 17) and finished with 40% shooting from the field overall (21 for 52).
NC State has eight newcomers in its 114th season — including O’Connell, who transferred from Stanford — and five returnees, led by Burns.
The Wolfpack put the game away in the first 10 minutes of the second half. NC State, who had a 36-27 advantage at halftime, opened the second half by outscoring The Citadel 23-14 to extend its lead to 59-41.
UNC Wilmington 105, Mount Olive 66
WILMINGTON — Trazarien White had 23 points in UNC Wilmington’s 105-66 win over Mount Olive in Monday night’s season opener.
White also contributed seven rebounds and three steals for the Seahawks. KJ Jenkins scored 14 points, shooting 5 for 8, including 4 for 6 from beyond the arc. Nick Farrar had 12 points and was 4-of-8 shooting, including 2 for 3 from 3-point range.
The Trojans were led in scoring by Redford Dunton, who finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. Shane Peterson added 11 points for Mount Olive. Josiah Watkins also recorded eight points.
UNC Wilmington next plays Saturday at UNC Asheville.
East Carolina 91, Ferrum 61
GREENVILLE — Brandon Johnson’s 29 points helped East Carolina defeat D-III member Ferrum 91-61 in Monday’s season opener.
Johnson added nine rebounds for the Pirates. Ezra Ausar scored 13 points with five rebounds and three steals. Kalib LaCount finished with 11 points.
The Panthers were led in scoring by Jikari Johnson, who finished with 19 points. Ferrum also got 18 points from Alfredo Abel-Rivera. Kyree Ellis added 10 points and nine rebounds.
East Carolina hosts Campbell in its next matchup on Saturday.
Campbell 59, Navy 48
BUIES CREEK — Gediminas Mokseckas’ 16 points helped Campbell defeat Navy 59-48 on Monday night.
Mokseckas shot 7 of 11 from the field for the Fighting Camels. Anthony Dell’Orso scored 14 points and added five rebounds. Mason Grant went 5 of 8 from the field to finish with 11 points.
Austin Inge finished with eight points for the Midshipmen.
Davidson 86, Washington & Lee 63
DAVIDSON — Angelo Brizzi’s 15 points helped Davidson open its season with an 86-63 win over Division III-member Washington & Lee on Monday night.
Brizzi was 4-of-12 shooting and went 6 for 6 from the line for the Wildcats (1-0, Atlantic 10 Conference). David Skogman scored 13 points while finishing 6 of 8 from the floor, and added eight rebounds. Bobby Durkin had 13 points.
Jack d’Entremont led the way for the Generals with 18 points and two blocks. Robert DiSibio added 17 points and seven rebounds for Washington & Lee. In addition, Drew Harrell finished with nine points.
High Point 105, St. Andrews 51
HIGH POINT — Abdoulaye Thiam scored 18 points as High Point beat St. Andrews 105-51 on Monday night in a season opener.
Thiam added five rebounds for the Panthers. Denzel Hines had 15 points while going 4 of 6 from the floor with 15 rebounds. Kimani Hamilton went 5 of 6 from the field to finish with 12 points.
Jalen Mcafee-Marion led the Knights in scoring, finishing with 19 points. Escamilla Mateu added seven points and Garrett McRae had six points.
High Point next plays Saturday at Wofford.
Gardner-Webb 98, Erskine 58
BOILING SPRINGS — Brendan Mykalcio had 15 points in Gardner-Webb’s 98-58 season-opening victory over D-II member Erskine on Monday night.
Mykalcio added 11 rebounds for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Darryl Simmons II scored 15 points while shooting 5 for 7, including 4 for 6 from beyond the arc. Caleb Robinson added 14 points with six rebounds.
The Flying Fleet were led by Moses Cheek, who posted 10 points. Jalen Robinson added nine points for Erskine. In addition, Jaylen Prioleau had eight points.
Gardner-Webb plays Friday at Arkansas.
Charlotte 69, Maine 52
CHARLOTTE — Nik Graves scored 15 points as Charlotte beat Maine 69-52 to open its season Monday night.
Graves added five rebounds for the 49ers. Dishon Jackson added 13 points, and Lu’Cye Patterson finished with 11 points.
AJ Lopez finished with 13 points for the Black Bears. Maine also got nine points and three steals from Ja’Shonte Wright-McLeish. Peter Filipovity also had seven points.
Charlotte’s next game is Friday against Liberty.
No. 1 Kansas 99, North Carolina Central 56
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Hunter Dickinson had seven points, two rebounds and a block in the first 90 seconds of his Kansas career Monday night, then made a trio of 3-pointers that showed the 7-foot-2 transfer from Michigan is more than just a beast on the block.
Not surprisingly, his newfound fans inside Allen Fieldhouse responded with waves of adulation.
“I was telling somebody, ‘I’m used to the opposing fans being this loud and more boos than cheers,'” Dickinson said after leading the top-ranked Jayhawks to a 99-56 wipeout of North Carolina Central on college basketball’s opening night.
“It was real fun to have people on my side for once,” added Dickinson, whose decision to leave the Wolverines left angry fans in his wake. “The atmosphere was insane. I’ve been hearing about it during my recruiting and when I committed, and I was hearing so much about Allen Fieldhouse. And it lived up to it.”
Dickinson lived up to the hype, too, finishing with 21 points, eight boards and five assists.
Nic Timberlake had 13 points, KJ Adams scored 12 and Dajuan Harris Jr. dished out 10 assists for the Jayhawks, who led 59-17 by halftime before coasting over the final 20 minutes to their 51st consecutive home-opening win.
Ja’Darius Harris had 12 points to lead the Eagles.
“We have 10 new guys who really, none of them have really played Division I basketball,” longtime NC Central coach LeVelle Moton said. “You play this type of game, you get their attention early.”
NC Central plays Virginia-Lynchburg on Thursday night.
Pittsburgh 100, North Carolina A&T 52
PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Freshman Carlton Carrington recorded Pittsburgh’s first triple-double since 1998 and the Panthers beat North Carolina A&T 100-52 in the opener for both teams Monday night.
Carrington finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in just 29 minutes. He was 7 for 12 from the field and made four 3-pointers for the Panthers. Federiko Federiko added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The last ACC freshman to debut with a triple-double was Dennis Scott of Georgia Tech in 1987.
Jorge Diaz Graham added 14 points, and Blake Hinson had 13 points and eight boards for Pitt.
Kyle Duke led North Carolina A&T with 15 points and six rebounds, and freshman Uchenna Kellman-Nicoles scored 11.
The Panthers put the game away quickly, leading 50-15 by the half after making their last seven field-goal attempts and limiting the Aggies to 27% shooting.
Pitt finished with a 58-28 rebounding advantage.
Marshall 87, Queens 73
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Kevon Voyles had 18 points in Marshall’s 89-73 victory over Queens on Monday night.
Voyles added six rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Thundering Herd. Nate Martin scored 15 points while shooting 7 of 11 from the field and added nine rebounds. Kamdyn Curfman was 5-of-13 shooting (3 for 9 from 3-point range) to finish with 15 points.
Deyton Albury led the way for the Royals with 19 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Chris Ashby added 15 points for Queens. AJ McKee also put up 14 points, six rebounds and three steals.