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Ohio University’s tremendous run falls short in OT: “Ohio trailed 29-22 at the half as it shot just 22.9 percent in the opening stanza. The Bobcats trailed for the entire first half and were behind by as many as 15 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Coming out of the locker room, North Carolina opened up up a 10-point lead (37-27) at the 17:26 mark, but Ohio responded as they went on an 11-2 run to trim the Tar Heels’ lead to just one at 39-38 with 13:54 to go in the game. Ohio hit three 3-pointers during the stretch – two of which came from Offutt.
The Bobcats took their first lead of the game at the 8:30 mark of the second half following a 3-pointer from Kellogg. From that point, no team would lead by more than four points for the remainder of regulation. The game featured six ties in the final 8:30.
Ohio held a four-point lead with 3:49 to go in the game, but North Carolina fought back and grabbed a 63-61 advantage when Reggie Bullock connected on a trey with 42 seconds remaining. Offutt responded with a game-tying layup at the other end and drew a foul on the play. He was, however, unable to convert the free throw.
Taking possession with 26 seconds left, North Carolina worked the clock down under 10 seconds. Harrison Barnes then drove the lane, but Offutt clocked the jumper try. Cooper came up with the loose ball and launched a desperation half-court shot for the win. It drew rim but did not fall.
In the second half, Ohio outscored North Carolina 41-34, while holding the Tar Heels to just 38.7 percent shooting. UNC dominated overtime as Ohio failed to register a field goal and was outscored 10-2.
Tyler Zeller led North Carolina with 20 points (and career-high 22 rebounds). Joining him in double figures were Bullock (17 points, 10 rebounds), John Henson (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Barnes (12).” [MAC Report Online]
Magic perspective on Cavs loss last night in Orlando: “Cleveland made only one run to threaten the lead and got it down to eight or nine points. Orlando had the marksmanship throughout the game to keep Cleveland from really threatening. The Magic were 12 for 35 from beyond the arc, taking 22 in the first half. But it was not a case of just jacking up 3-pointers.
This was a case of some great ball movement. And that was key for the Magic in scoring 31 points in the first quarter. Orlando finished the evening with 24 assists on 31 field goals. There was rarely a made shot that did not come off of ball reversal or a drive and kick.
That is how this team is supposed to work when things are going well. You had Hedo Turkoglu turning the corner early and trying to get to the basket. He scored 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting and dished out seven assists to go with six rebounds. He did most of that damage in the first half before beginning to take some questionable shots and turnovers took over his play in the second half.” [Orlando Magic Daily / Philip Rossman-Reich]
Recapping Xavier’s loss to Baylor, one Ohio school left: “Xavier played from behind all night but never quit. The Musketeers cut the lead to just three, 71-68, with 22 seconds remaining.
“Down the stretch there, we made it a little closer than it needed to be with some careless turnovers, but credit them for not giving up and fighting through,” Drew said of Xavier.
Pierre Jackson had 16 and 10 assists for Baylor. Tu Holloway led Xavier with 22 points.
Xavier was hurt by poor shooting, especially from beyond the arc. The Musketeers were 0-for-11 on 3-pointers before Justin Martin ended the drought with 2 minutes remaining. He added another 3 40 seconds later, and Holloway’s 3 with 22 seconds remaining cut the lead the 71-68.
Heslip’s four free throws in the final 17 seconds protected the lead. Xavier (23-13) couldn’t advance after making the round of 16 for the fourth time in five years. Kenny Frease had 18 points and Mark Lyons had 16 for the Musketeers.
With Xavier stretching its defense and Baylor working the clock, Jackson sank a 3-pointer with 2:50 remaining to give the Bears their biggest lead of the half at 65-54. Following a missed free throw by Lyons, Acy’s basket pushed the lead to 13 points — too much for the Musketeers to overcome.” [AP / ESPN.com]
Heat hoodie photo in support of Trayvon Martin: “That was what James tweeted after today’s shootaround in Detroit, along with the hashtags #stereotyped and #wearetrayvonmartin. That will have far more power than anything James could have done on his own.
Turns out, according to sources, that James has been talking to teammates about this for several days, trying to pull it together.
(And, no, don’t read anything into Mike Miller’s absence from the photo. He’s not on this trip with the Heat. Nor is Shane Battier in the photo, because he had already gone to lunch with his in-laws in Michigan. He said before Friday’s game that he supports his teammates’ decision.)
This was a show of solidarity by the team, in support not only of a cause, but a teammate.” [Ethan J. Skolnick / Heat Zone]
On how many more games Varejao plays this year: “So what’s the Over/Under on how many games he ends up playing from now until the end of the season you ask? I’ll get to that in a moment, but the second week of April starts on Monday the 10th. The Cavaliers play the Bobcats that night, and should actually send the Canton Charge out onto the floor because I’m sure they could beat Charlotte just the same, but that’s besides the point and I’m getting off topic.
Including that Bobcats match-up, the Cavaliers would have 12 more games to close out the regular season from that date of April 10th. So I’m setting the Over/Under at SEVEN, (7) more games played by Anderson Varejao this season, and I’m betting the under. I don’t think he’ll play 8 or more games is what I’m saying, sorry for being repetitive there. I don’t think the playoffs factor into this at all either, because that ship sailed when Mike D’Antoni left New York.” [Stepien Rules]