Tar Heels roll without defensive stopper

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ATLANTA — North Carolina shook off an injury to defensive ace John Henson and pulled away from Maryland in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, winning 85-69 on Friday behind the playmaking of Kendall Marshall – with plenty of help from his healthy teammates.

North Carolina's Kendall Marshall (left) heads to the basket as Maryland's Nick Faust defends. Marshall had 13 points and 12 assists in the Tar Heels' 16-point win.  JOHN BAZEMORE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
JOHN BAZEMORE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
North Carolina's Kendall Marshall (left) heads to the basket as Maryland's Nick Faust defends. Marshall had 13 points and 12 assists in the Tar Heels' 16-point win.

Reggie Bullock hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second half, quickly extending a 10-point halftime lead to 42-26. Behind 30 points from Terrell Stoglin, the Terrapins (17-15) sliced the deficit down to seven points a couple of times before the fourth-ranked Tar Heels (28-4) pulled away again.

Henson, the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year went down hard when fouled driving to the basket early in the game, landing on his left wrist. He flexed it repeatedly and finally came out of the game with 13:51 left in the first half. After going off to the locker room to get checked out, he returned to the bench to big cheers from the largely pro-North Carolina crowd, his wrist heavily taped.

It’s not known if Henson will be available for today’s semifinal against North Carolina State, though X-rays at halftime showed there was nothing broken.

Marshall scored 13 points, knocking down three attempts from 3-point range, and had North Carolina putting on a dunking show at the rim with 12 assists. Bullock and Harrison Barnes finished with 15 points. Tyler Zeller chipped in with 14.

NO. 6 DUKE 60, VIRGINIA TECH 56

Tyler Thornton scored a career-high 13 points, Austin Rivers hustled for a clinching three-point play and Duke survived an ugly performance against cold-shooting Virginia Tech.

Seeking their fourth consecutive tournament title, the Blue Devils (27-5) will play Florida State in today’s semifinals.

But this was a struggle.

Duke didn’t put away the 10th-seeded Hokies (16-17) until the closing seconds, even though Virginia Tech went more than 8 minutes without making a field goal in the second half.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE 67, VIRGINIA 64

C.J. Leslie had 19 points and 14 rebounds and North Carolina State (21-11), attempting to remove all doubt about its NCAA Tournament status, beat Virginia (22-9) to the semifinals.

Mike Scott had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Joe Harris finished with 18 points for Virginia.

The Wolfpack knew this was a huge game, celebrating as the buzzer sounded as though they had just punched their NCAA Tournament ticket.

Virginia, the No. 4 seed, had a first-round bye but was denied its first spot in the semifinals since 1995, extending the league’s longest drought.

NO. 17 FLORIDA STATE 82, MIAMI 71

Florida State fans chanted and chopped in the final minute as the Seminoles beat short-handed Miami.

Michael Snaer scored 20 points and Ian Miller had 18 to lead Florida State (22-9).

Miami was without its leading scorer, Durand Scott. The university ruled Scott ineligible Friday for receiving impermissible benefits.


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