Johnson Guides No. 2 North Carolina To 75-70 Win Over Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Virginia, Sporting Alert – Brice Johnson grabbed a big double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds and No. 2 North Carolina hold out for a 75-70 win over Virginia Tech in an ACC college basketball battle on Sunday.

Brice Johnson of North Carolina

Brice Johnson of North Carolina in action in college basketball

BLACKSBURG, Virginia, Sporting Alert – Brice Johnson grabbed a big double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds and No. 2 North Carolina hold out for a 75-70 win over Virginia Tech in an ACC college basketball battle on Sunday.

NORTH CAROLINA STAYS UNTOUCHED IN ACC – Box Score

Johnson, who made 8 of his 15 shots, also collected 11 defensive rebounds, while finishing with three block shots and three steals for the Tar Heels (18-2, 7-0 ACC) who almost blew the game after giving away a massive 20 point first half lead.

Joel Berry II added 13 points for North Carolina, but star guard Marcus Paige struggled on Sunday, going 2-of-10 from the floor for just seven points.

He also had seven assists and three steals for the Tar Heels, who remain unbeaten in ACC play and extended their winning streak to 11 games.

Zach LeDay paced Virginia Tech with 17 points, four rebounds and three blocks, while Jalen Hudson ended with 14 points for the Hokies (12-8, 4-3 ACC).

Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 12 points and Seth Allen finished with 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals for Virginia Tech.

Ben Bentil scored 31 points, including 10 in overtime, and No. 16 Providence upset No. 4 Villanova 82-76 in a Big East contest at Wells Fargo Center, in Philadelphia.

Bentil, who shot 11-of-19 from the field, also grabbed 13 rebounds for the Friars (17-3, 5-2 Big East).

Kris Dunn added 13 points and 14 assists, Kyron Cartwright, who made a pair of free throws to give Providence a 66-63 lead with 0:16 left, ended with 13 points and Junior Lomomba scored 12 points for the Friars, who shot 46.2 percent.

Ryan Arcidiacono, who made a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, led Villanova with 19 points.

Josh Hart had 18 points, five rebounds and two steals for the Wildcats (17-3, 7-1) who had their 22-game conference winning streak snapped.

Kris Jenkins had 11 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two blocks and Jalen Brunson added 10 points, four assists and three steals for the Wildcats, who had led 37-35 at halftime.

Next up for Providence is a home fixture against No. 5 Xavier on Tuesday, while Villanova, which still leads the Big East Conference standings, returns to action a week from today at St. John’s on Jan 31.

NO. 8 SMU FINALLY LOSES THIS SEASON

At the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia as well, Devin Coleman made all eight of his field goal attempts, including all seven shots from 3-point range to score a career-high 23 points off the bench, and Temple ended the undefeated run of No. 8 SMU with an 89-80 win.

SMU entered the game looking for their 19th successive win on the season, but the Owls (18-1, 7-1 American Athletic Conference) jumped out to a 44-34 halftime lead and then hold out for the victory.

Quenton DeCosey added 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals to help Temple win three in a row and its fifth in the last six games, while picking up its seventh win against an AP top-10 team in the past eight years.

The Mustangs (18-1, 7-1 American Athletic Conference) who came into Sunday’s game as the only undefeated Division I team left this season, were led by Sterling Brown, who collected 19 points and nine boards in the defeat.

Jordan Tolbert had 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench, Ben Moore scored 13 points and Shake Milton and Nic Moore each scored 10 points for SMU.

College Basketball Top 25 Scores

No. 2 North Carolina 75, Virginia Tech  70
No. 16 Providence 82, No. 4 Villanova 76 OT
No. 8 SMU 80, Temple 89
No. 22 Purdue 71, No. 9 Iowa 83
No. 21 USC 70 Oregon State 85

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