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N.C. State Romps to Win

From the Associated Press

An incredibly stingy defense. A nearly perfect balance of scoring from the paint and the perimeter.

In short, another solid effort from No. 19 North Carolina State. The only surprising thing might have been the opponent.

Cameron Bennerman led five players in double figures with 17 points, Cedric Simmons got his second career double-double and the Wolfpack easily handed No. 12 George Washington its first loss of the season, 79-58, Friday night at Raleigh, N.C.

Simmons had 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, and point guard Engin Atsur tied a career high with nine assists for the Wolfpack (11-1), which gave Coach Herb Sendek the best start of his nine-year tenure.

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The best field-goal-percentage defense in NCAA Division I held the Colonials (8-1) to 31%, by far their worst effort of the season.

“They’re one of the best teams in the country, and it shows in almost every statistical category,” George Washington Coach Karl Hobbs said. “They’ve got a heck of a basketball team.”

Perhaps a 12-day layoff might explain part of the Colonials’ problems, but the Wolfpack did its part too.

It was North Carolina State’s first home victory over a ranked, nonconference opponent since Feb. 8, 1986, when it beat No. 16 Louisville, 76-64, under Coach Jim Valvano.

The Wolfpack held George Washington without a basket for an 8 1/2 -minute stretch of the first half to take control.

No. 2 Connecticut 111, Quinnipiac 75 -- Hilton Armstrong scored a career-high 26 points and Craig Austrie set a school freshman record with 14 assists to lead the Huskies past the Bobcats (5-5) at Hartford, Conn.

The Huskies (11-0) cruised through a seven-game homestand against overmatched opponents, winning by a margin of 39 points a game.

No. 4 Memphis 90, Purdue 70 -- The Tigers (11-1), using pressure defense to cause backcourt turnovers, closed the half at Memphis, Tenn., with an 18-2 run for a 45-26 lead.

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Memphis, which shot 51%, extended the lead to as many as 28 points in the second half. Even after a 12-2 run by the Boilermakers (6-5) when the Tigers got sloppy with about eight minutes left, Purdue never got closer than 16 points.

No. 5 Florida 84, Florida A&M; 47 -- The Gators (12-0) extended the best start in school history by routing the Rattlers (4-8) at Gainesville.

The Gators closed out the first half with a 21-5 run to lead, 49-23. They opened the second half with a 23-2 run to push the lead to 72-25.

Joakim Noah, a 6-foot-11 sophomore and son of tennis Hall of Famer Yannick Noah, scored 18 points to lead Florida. He was in double figures for the sixth consecutive game.

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No. 6 Illinois 84, Tennessee Martin 46 -- The Skyhawks (5-5) were outclassed from the opening tip at Champaign, Ill. The Illini (14-0) led, 17-0, before Bubba Tolliver put the Skyhawks in the scorebook with a free throw with 14:45 left in the half.

No. 15 Texas 110, Prairie View 38 -- The Panthers (3-7) shot 27% and had 31 turnovers, which led to 36 Longhorn points at Austin, Texas.

The 72-point margin of victory was the most for the Longhorns (10-2) since a 148-71 victory over Northern Montana in 1978.

No. 18 Kentucky 71, Ohio 63 -- The Bobcats (6-2) led most of the game at Cincinnati, building their lead to nine points three times. But they faltered after leading, 59-55, with 3:56 left.

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Rekalin Sims had a tip-in and a three-point play that gave the Wildcats (9-3) their first lead since the middle of the first half.

No. 22 Wake Forest 87, Charleston Southern 47 -- Shamaine Dukes had 11 points and tied the school’s freshman record with 10 assists in his first start to lead the Demon Deacons (10-2) past the Buccaneers (5-6) at Winston-Salem, N.C.

No. 25 West Virginia 80, Canisius 68 -- Kevin Pittsnogle scored a career-high 34 points and the Mountaineers (8-3) withstood a late rally by the Golden Griffins (1-8) at Morgantown, W.Va.

Pittsnogle matched his previous best of 27 points with 13:58 left. On the following possession, he made a three-point basket, one of West Virginia’s 12 in the game, that gave the Mountaineers a 28-point lead, their biggest, with 12:54 to go. Canisius then took advantage of seven turnovers to outscore the Mountaineers, 29-8, over the final 11 minutes.

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OTHER GAMES

Syracuse (11-2) defeated visiting Kent State, 78-66, for its eighth consecutive victory. The Orange used a balanced attack and pounded the ball inside repeatedly against the Golden Flashes (6-5), scoring 52 points in the paint.... Alabama Birmingham (8-3) beat South Florida, 59-47, at Tampa, Fla., for its fourth win in a row. The Blazers outscored the Bulls, 33-3, off turnovers.


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