Smith powers BC into ACC title game
Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) – Craig Smith scored 23 points and pulled down
15 rebounds to lead No. 11 Boston College to a 85-82 win over 10th-ranked
North Carolina in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
at Greensboro Coliseum.
Jared Dudley added 21 points and Sean Marshall tallied 14 for the third-seeded
Eagles (26-6), who will play Duke for the title on Sunday. The Blue Devils
beat Wake Forest, 78-66, in the other semifinal.
The Eagles made it to the final in their first appearance in the ACC
Tournament, as they had moved from the Big East prior to the start of the
Tyler Hansbrough had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the second-seeded Tar
Heels (22-7), who saw their attempt to win a conference championship for the
first time since 1998 fall short. David Noel had 18 points and Reyshawn Terry
added 17 in the loss.
Boston College had a slim 43-42 lead going into the second half, but continued
to pull away throughout the final 20 minutes.
With the Eagles holding a 54-52 advantage, the squad ripped off a 16-4 run and
held a 70-56 lead after Smith put in a layup with 8:36 to play.
The Tar Heels, though, didn’t quit and mounted a spirited comeback to make a
game of it.
With the score 78-67 after Dudley put in a layup with 5:35 remaining, Noel
hit a three-pointer, Terry put in a layup and Hansbrough connected on two
from the line to make it a 78-74 game with a little over three minutes
However, Boston College regained its nine-point advantage, 83-74, after Tyrese
Rice drained a trey with a bit over two minutes to play.
The game was close at the end, though, as Terry nailed a jumper and Noel put
in a layup with 2.7 seconds remaining to make a 85-82 game.
After the inbounds pass, Rice was fouled and went to the line. He missed the
free throw, but Smith came down with the offensive rebound to kill off the
rest of the clock.
It was a tight first half most of the way.
The Tar Heels were trailing 19-17 when Wes Miller drained a trey as they
scored seven straight points and had a five-point lead, 24-19, after Bobby
Frasor hit a free throw.
Boston College continued to keep it close, but North Carolina again had a
five-point lead, 33-28, when Miller nailed another three-pointer with 3:13
The Tar Heels still had the five-point lead with 36 seconds left, but Dudley
hit a trey and Rice drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Eagles a
43-42 lead going into the locker room.
Boston College shot a blistering 66.7 percent in the first half and finished
the game connecting on 61.1 percent of its shots. North Carolina made 46.9
percent of its attempts from the floor.
Boston College leads the series, 3-2…Miller finished with 12 points…Rice
put in 10 points…The Eagles won the battle of the boards, 36-28…The Eagles
shot 8-of-16 from beyond the arc, the Tar Heels made 12 of their 27 long range