Seminoles knock off Va. Tech


Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE — Al Thornton scored all of his 27 points in the second half and Florida State snapped a three-game losing streak with an 82-73 victory over No. 23 Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, the Hokies' first Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season.

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Florida State's Isaiah Swann dunks during the second half of Wednesday's game against No. 23 Virginia Tech in Tallahassee. The Seminoles won 82-73.

The Associated Press

Toney Douglas added 22 points for Florida State (13-5, 1-3), which nearly blew an 18-point second-half lead before Thornton took control of the game.

Florida State led 39-23 at halftime and built it to 41-23 on a dunk by Thornton following one of his 13 rebounds.

Virginia Tech (13-5, 3-1 ACC), which beat Duke and then-No. 1 North Carolina in an eight-day span, pulled within 52-51 midway through the second half on a jumper by Coleman Collins, but never took the lead.

Zabian Dowdell had 23 points for the Hokies, who moved into the Top 25 this week for the first time since 1996. They had won four straight and nine of 10.

Deron Washington added 18 points and Collins had 15 for Virginia Tech, which lost despite shooting 70.8 percent from the field in the second half.

The 6-foot-8 Thornton, the ACC's leading scorer in conference games, had 11 rebounds in the second half while going 8-of-13 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free throw line.

The Seminoles finished 31-of-34 from the line.

Thornton just beat the 35-second shot clock with a 30-foot turnaround jumper that gave Florida State a 68-57 lead with 4:09 left.

The Seminoles built a 34-18 lead in the opening 14:41 by hitting 10 of their first 15 shots from the field and making all 10 free throws.

Douglas, who scored 14 points in the first half, keyed a 20-5 run that gave the Seminoles a 17-point lead late in the half.

NO. 4 NORTH CAROLINA 77, NO. 19 CLEMSON 55

Brandan Wright had 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and the visiting No. 4 North Carolina Tar Heels recovered from the loss that knocked it from No. 1 with its sixth straight victory over No. 19 Clemson.

Wright, the Atlantic Coast Conference leader in field goal percentage, was only 1-for-8 in Saturday's 94-88 loss to Virginia Tech. This time, the 6-foot-9 freshman hit his first seven shots to lead the Tar Heels (16-2, 3-1).

Less than a week ago, Clemson had been 17-0 and the nation's only Division I unbeaten. The perfect record ended last Saturday with a 92-87 loss at Maryland. And the Tar Heels' speed and pressure made sure the Tigers (17-2, 3-2) wouldn't start another winning streak.

Clemson's defense, led by experienced guards in senior Vernon Hamilton and junior Cliff Hammonds, was supposed to frustrate North Carolina's young lineup.

Instead, it was North Carolina freshmen Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson pushing the pace with Wright on the other end to finish.

Wright had three inside baskets as North Carolina closed the opening half with a 20-9 run. The last of those field goals put the Tar Heels ahead 44-31.

Wright hit three baskets over the first 3 minutes of the second half as the lead increased to 54-35.

NO. 2 WISCONSIN 69, PURDUE 64

Michael Flowers scored 15 points to lead No. 2 Wisconsin to its 14th consecutive victory.

The Badgers (18-1, 4-0 Big Ten), who are enjoying the highest ranking in school history, led by 10 points midway through the second half.

Keaton Grant's fast break layup with 39 seconds left brought the Boilermakers (13-6, 2-3) within 67-62. Kammron Taylor made one of two free throws for Wisconsin with 36 seconds left. Purdue missed and rebounded two 3-point attempts, finally settling for a putback by Carl Landry that made it 68-64 with 4.3 seconds left.

Gordon Watt had 18 points for Purdue, which hasn't won on the road in nearly three years.

The Badgers' winning streak is tied with New Mexico State for longest in the nation.

NO. 7 OHIO ST. 73, NORTHWESTERN 41

Ohio State's point-guard tandem of Mike Conley Jr. and Jamar Butler showed they could do more than pass in leading the seventh-ranked Buckeyes past visiting Northwestern.

Conley scored a career-high 17 points, Butler added 16 and both had big baskets in the opening half as the Buckeyes (15-3, 3-1 Big Ten) pulled away to continue their home domination of the Wildcats.

Northwestern (10-8, 0-5) has not won in Columbus since Feb. 24, 1977 — a string of 24 consecutive losses on the Buckeyes' home court.

Othello Hunter added 10 points for the Buckeyes, who have won five of their last six. Conley had 10 assists — two more than Northwestern.

Ohio State freshman Greg Oden finished with five points, six rebounds and five blocked shots.

The Buckeyes have won the last 14 meetings with Northwestern, dating to 1998.

Craig Moore had 11 points for the Wildcats, who lost their fifth straight. They were coming off a 56-50 loss at home to No. 2 Wisconsin in which they led for much of the game.

The Wildcats played without leading scorer Kevin Coble, who missed his second game with a sprained ankle.

NO. 18 BUTLER 67, YOUNGSTOWN ST. 39

Pete Campbell scored a season-high 17 points and No. 18 Butler used its outside shooting to beat Youngstown State.

The Bulldogs (16-2, 4-1 Horizon League) were 14-of-24 from 3-point range and made seven straight in a 4-minute stretch that broke the game open midway through the first half. Campbell hit all five of his 3-point attempts in the first half to surpass his previous high of 12 points since he transferred from IPFW in 2005.

The Bulldogs were 10-of-13 on 3s in taking a 42-18 halftime lead. They widened it to as many as 33 points with under 2 minutes left in the game.

Mike Green added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who stretched their home winning streak to 18 games.

Keston Roberts had 11 points for Youngstown State (8-11, 3-4).

The Penguins, who have lost 11 of 13 games against Butler, trailed 13-7 after a 3-pointer by Quin Humphrey. A.J. Graves, back in the Butler lineup after missing the first game of his college career last week, then started the Bulldogs' streak of 3-pointers. Campbell hit three in a row, Graves added one and Campbell hit his fourth straight, finishing an 18-5 run for a 31-12 lead.

VILLANOVA 102, NO. 20 NOTRE DAME 87

Freshman Scottie Reynolds scored 27 points, Curtis Sumpter had 21 and Dante Cunningham added 19 to lead host Villanova to a victory over No. 20 Notre Dame.

Mike Nardi scored 18 points and the Wildcats (12-5, 2-3 Big East) hit 10 3-pointers to get a sorely needed conference victory heading into Saturday's game against No. 21 Texas.

Russell Carter hit six 3-pointers and scored 26 points, Colin Falls had five 3s and 17 points, and Luke Harangody scored 13 points for the Irish (15-3, 3-2) in their first trip to the Pavilion since 1996. Notre Dame lost for only the second time in its last 16 games.

Reynolds has been sensational lately, and he sparked the Wildcats down the stretch. He scored 12 of 17 points in one spurt late in the second half, helping the Wildcats keep the lead each time the Irish cut into it with another 3-pointer.

WEST VIRGINIA 69, SOUTH FLORIDA 58

Frank Young scored 17 points as host West Virginia beat South Florida for its 10th straight home win.

West Virginia (14-3, 4-2 Big East) hit four 3-pointers to take a 14-4 lead within the first five minutes, then scored nine of the next 12 points and built a 34-23 edge by the break.

South Florida (10-9, 1-4) made a 10-2 run, led by McHugh Mattis' five points midway through the second half, to cut the deficit to 43-40 with 13 minutes remaining. But USF missed six of seven free throw attempts in a key stretch and West Virginia built its lead back to double digits at 53-43 with 9:45 remaining.

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