College Basketball Roundup: Ryan’s 18 help snap No. 10 UNC’s drought at Virginia

UNC's Elliot Cadeau drives to the basket during the Tar Heels' win over Virginia on Saturday, in Charlottesville. (Cal Cary / The Daily Progress via AP)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — With its two star players doing little in a challenging first half, No. 10 UNC needed someone to emerge as an alternative against Virginia.

Enter Cormac Ryan.

He scored 18 points — 15 in the first half — on six 3-pointers and the Tar Heels moved into first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 54-44 victory Saturday.

“Against Virginia, you’re gonna have to knock down some shots,” Tar Heels coach Hubert Davis said. “And he was the only one that consistently was able to shoot the ball from 3. And that was huge for us from the standpoint of him making them. But him making them I think stretched out their defense.”

Ryan, who made four 3s each in his last two games, led the Tar Heels in scoring for the first time, and his first-half shooting opened things up inside after halftime.

“We were able to get some baskets around in the paint because of Cormac and his ability to shoot the basketball,” Davis said.

RJ Davis added 12 points — all in the second half — and Armando Bacot had 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Tar Heels (21-6, 13-3), who moved into the top spot alone because No. 8 Duke lost earlier in the day at Wake Forest. The victory also ended an eight-game losing streak at John Paul Jones Arena for UNC, but Hubert Davis said his team’s mindset won’t change with four regular season games left.

“There’s more to be said and more to be done,” he said.

Jordan Minor had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers (20-8, 11-6), who could not recover from a 15-minute stretch in the first half during which they missed 22 of 23 field goals tries, leading to a 16-4 UNC run. More frustrating for Virginia was that it came with Bacot on the bench in foul trouble.

“The offense had a tough day. Yeah, it’s been a common thread the past couple games at that end,” coach Tony Bennett said while crediting his defense for keeping it close. “I think the defense, there was a couple breakdowns, crucial. And we put a lot of pressure on our defense down the stretch. We had the possession or we lost a guy, but the defense held us in there enough.”

UNC never trailed after the opening minute. It was just 26-16 at halftime, and Virginia closed to within six three times early in the second half, and to within 47-42 with just over two minutes to play, but Minor missed the front end of a one-and-one with 1:50 left and Harrison Ingram got free underneath for an easy lay-in at the other end to make it 49-42.

After a basket by Elijah Gertrude got Virginia within five again, Ingram made a free throw, the Tar Heels rebounded his miss and RJ Davis made a pair to seal it.

The Tar Heels were playing for the first time in a week since a 96-81 victory against Virginia Tech. Two night later, the Hokies beat the Cavaliers 75-41.

UNC is at home against Miami on Monday night.

Gardner-Webb 78, UNC Asheville 77

ASHEVILLE — Quest Aldridge hit a 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left, Julien Soumaoro scored 16 points and Gardner-Webb defeated UNC Asheville 78-77 on Saturday.

Drew Pember drove into the paint for UNC Ashville on the final possession, but Caleb Robinson ensured the win with a block.

Soumaoro shot 5 for 9 (4 for 8 from 3-point range) and 2 of 3 from the free throw line for the Runnin’ Bulldogs (14-15, 9-5 Big South Conference). Aldridge scored 13 points, and Ademide Badmus finished with 12 points.

Toyaz Solomon led the way for the Bulldogs (19-11, 11-4) with 16 points. UNC Asheville also got 16 points from Fletcher Abee. And Josh Banks finished with 15 points.

High Point 74, Charleston Southern 59

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Kezza Giffa had 20 points in High Point’s 74-59 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday.

Giffa added five rebounds for the Panthers (23-6, 12-2 Big South Conference). Duke Miles scored 17 points and added six rebounds. Abdoulaye Thiam finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Buccaneers (9-18, 5-9) were led in scoring by RJ Johnson, who finished with 19 points. Kalib Clinton added 15 points for Charleston Southern. A’lahn Sumler also had 10 points.

High Point hosts Winthrop on Wednesday.

NC State 81, Boston College 70

RALEIGH — D.J. Burns Jr. scored 19 points, Jayden Taylor added 15 and NC State defeated Boston College 81-70 on Saturday.

DJ Horne and Casey Morsell scored 13 points apiece for the Wolfpack (17-10, 9-7 ACC), who had only two more field goals than Boston College but made 21 of 24 free throws and outscored the Eagles 18-6 off 16 turnovers. They swept the season series, having defeated the Eagles 84-78 on Dec. 2.

Mason Madsen scored 21 points, Prince Aligbe 12 and Donald Hand Jr. 11 for Boston College (15-12, 6-10). Leading scorer and rebounder Quinten Post finished with just six points along with nine rebounds before fouling out in the final seconds.

NC State led throughout and maintained a double-figures lead throughout the second half, extending a 12-point halftime edge to 19 with an early 9-0 run kicked off with a Morsell 3-pointer. When B.C.’s Devin McGlockton was ejected for a flagrant-two foul with 11 minutes left after denying a dunk by Ben Middlebrooks.

NC State plays at Florida State on Tuesday.

Western Carolina 84, VMI 51

LEXINGTON, Va. — Russell Jones’ 15 points helped Western Carolina defeated VMI 84-51 on Saturday to hand the Keydets their 10th-straight loss.

Jones was 7-of-12 shooting for the Catamounts (20-9, 9-7 Southern Conference). Tre Jackson scored 15 points, and DJ Campbell finished with 14 points.

The Keydets (4-25, 1-15) were led in scoring by Tyran Cook, who finished with 18 points and four assists. Stephen Olowoniyi added 10 points for VMI. Devin Butler also had nine points.

Both teams play Wednesday. Western Carolina hosts Furman and VMI visits UNC Greensboro.

North Carolina Central 88, Maryland-Eastern Shore 55

DURHAM — Keishon Porter had 22 points in North Carolina Central’s 88-55 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Saturday night.

Porter added seven rebounds for the Eagles (14-11, 6-4 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). Po’Boigh King scored 16 points and added seven rebounds. Fred Cleveland Jr. also had 12 points.

The Hawks (8-16, 3-7) were led by Troy Hupstead, who posted 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Devon Ellis added 14 points and two blocks for Maryland-Eastern Shore. In addition, Damani Claxton had 10 points.

Appalachian State 65, Marshall 58

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Myles Tate had 25 points in Appalachian State’s 65-58 win over Marshall on Saturday night.

Tate added six rebounds and five assists for the Mountaineers (24-5, 14-2 Sun Belt Conference). Donovan Gregory added 15 points and eight rebounds. Terence Harcum finished with 12 points.

The Thundering Herd (12-17, 7-9) were led in scoring by Kevon Voyles and Kamdyn Curfman, both with 19 points and two steals.

Mercer 86, UNC Greensboro 72

MACON, Ga. — Jake Davis had 21 points in Mercer’s 86-72 victory against UNC Greensboro on Saturday night.

Davis was 6-of-10 shooting, including 5 for 8 from 3-point range, for the Bears (14-15, 7-9 Southern Conference). Jalyn McCreary added 19 points, and Robby Carmody finished with another 19 points.

The Spartans (20-9, 11-5) were led by Keyshaun Langley, who recorded 18 points and two steals. Mikeal Brown-Jones added 15 points and six rebounds for UNC Greensboro. Joryam Saizonou also had 12 points.

Rice 70, East Carolina 52

HOUSTON — Travis Evee’s 34 points led Rice over East Carolina 70-52 on Saturday.

Evee also contributed six rebounds for the Owls (11-16, 5-9 American Athletic Conference). Keanu Dawes added 14 points, and Mekhi Mason had 10 points.

RJ Felton led the way for the Pirates (14-13, 7-7) with 15 points, six rebounds and two steals. Jaden Walker added seven points and six rebounds for East Carolina. In addition, Brandon Johnson had six points and seven rebounds.

Monmouth 83, North Carolina A&T 67

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — Jaret Valencia, Klemen Vuga and Xander Rice scored 12 points each to lead Monmouth over North Carolina A&T 83-67 on Saturday.

Valencia was 5-of-7 shooting for the Hawks (16-13, 9-7 Coastal Athletic Association). Jack Collins added 10 points.

Landon Glasper led the way for the Aggies (7-22, 5-11) with 27 points. Jalal McKie added 19 points for N.C. A&T. Nikolaos Chitikoudis also had six points, 11 rebounds, two steals and three blocks. The Aggies prolonged their losing streak to seven in a row.

Tulsa 69, Charlotte 67

TULSA, Okla. — Jared Garcia scored 24 points to lead Tulsa and PJ Haggerty secured the victory with two free throws with two seconds remaining as the Golden Hurricane defeated Charlotte 69-67 on Saturday night.

Garcia also contributed five rebounds for the Golden Hurricane (14-13, 5-10 American Athletic Conference). Haggerty added 17 points with seven rebounds and seven assists. Cobe Williams finished with 14 points.

Lu’Cye Patterson led the way for the 49ers (17-10, 11-4) with 20 points and five assists. Jackson Threadgill added 12 points for Charlotte. Dishon Jackson also had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Garcia scored 14 points in the first half and Tulsa went into the break trailing 42-31. Williams scored 10 points in the second half. Tulsa outscored Charlotte by 13 points over the final half.

Richmond 66, Davidson 63

RICHMOND, Va. — Jordan King scored 15 points, including two free throws with two seconds left, as Richmond took down Davidson 66-63 on Saturday night.

Delonnie Hunt added 14 points for the Spiders (20-7, 12-2 Atlantic 10 Conference). Neal Quinn finished with 12 points.

Reed Bailey led the way for the Wildcats (15-12, 5-9) with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Angelo Brizzi added 12 points and two steals for Davidson. Connor Kochera also had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Hofstra 87, Elon 64

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Tyler Thomas’ 25 points helped Hofstra defeat Elon 87-64 on Saturday night.

Thomas also contributed seven rebounds and three steals for the Pride (18-11, 11-5 Coastal Athletic Association). Darlinstone Dubar added 17 points and nine rebounds. Jacco Fritz finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

TK Simpkins led the Phoenix (12-17, 5-11) in scoring, finishing with 24 points, six rebounds and four assists. Max Mackinnon added nine points for Elon. In addition, Sam Sherry had seven points and eight rebounds.

Both teams next play Thursday. Hofstra visits UNC Wilmington and Elon hosts William & Mary.

Florida Gulf Coast 90, Queens 81

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Zach Anderson’s 26 points helped Florida Gulf Coast defeat Queens 90-81 on Saturday night.

Anderson was 10-of-14 shooting (4 for 4 from 3-point range) for the Eagles (12-17, 6-8 Atlantic Sun Conference). Keeshawn Kellman scored 18 points with 14 rebounds and four blocks. Isaiah Thompson finished with 16 points.

AJ McKee finished with 22 points for the Royals (12-18, 6-9). Deyton Albury added 18 points and six rebounds for Queens. Chris Ashby also had 11 points.