Burdick leads Tennessee past Kentucky in SEC semis 75-64
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Cierra Burdick had 20 points and 11 rebounds as No. 5 Tennessee pulled away to reach the women’s Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game with a 75-64 win over Kentucky on Saturday night.
It’s the 23rd time in 35 seasons the defending tournament champion Lady Vols (27-4) have reached the final, where they’ll face No. 3 South Carolina on Sunday. They have won the tournament 17 times.
Burdick was 8 of 14 from the field as Tennessee won for the fifth time in six games since All-SEC center Isabelle Harrison was lost for the season with a knee injury.
Jordan Reynolds added 13 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Lady Vols, who were 9 of 19 overall from behind the arc.
Bria Goss led the No. 12 Wildcats (23-9), who lost in the championship game last year, with 16 points.
Furman upsets 2nd-seeded Chattanooga 69-67, gains semifinals
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Stephen Croone and Geoff Beans combined to shoot 11 of 12 at the free throw line in the final minute, and 10th-seeded Furman upset No. 2 seed Chattanooga 69-67 in the Southern Conference tournament quarterfinals on Saturday.
The Paladins (10-21) will play either No. 3 seed Mercer (17-14) or sixth-seeded VMI (11-18) in the semifinals on Sunday.
Chattanooga (22-10) held a 31-26 halftime lead but a scoreless 4:17 span to start the second allowed Furman 10 straight points and a 36-31 advantage. The Mocs got back in front, and with 6:17 to play led 49-45, but Furman answered with a 7-0 run to take the lead for good.
Croone made six straight and Geoff hit 5 of 6 free throws to hold off a threatening Ronrico White, who scored all 11 of Chattanooga’s points in the final 32 seconds.
Croone had 13 points and Devin Sibley 16 for the Paladins.
CAA-COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON-NC-WILMINGTON
UNC-Wilmington blows Charleston out of tournament 79-53
BALTIMORE (AP) — Cedrick Williams had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Freddie Jackson added 19 points as No. 2 seed North Carolina-Wilmington got off to a strong start in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament with a 79-53 win over No. 10 seed College of Charleston on Saturday.
Williams made 7 of 9 field goals and Jackson hit 8 of 13 attempts. Addison Spruill added 12 points for UNCW (18-12).
Charleston, which knocked off No. 7 Drexel 56-48 in the opening round Friday, could not run with UNCW.
The Seahawks, which had an opening-round bye, led 36-25 at the break and had a 14-0 run in the second half to go up 54-31 with 12:05 remaining in the game. The Cougars never challenged in the second half.
Joe Chealey led Charleston (9-24) with 12 points.
The Seahawks will face the winner of the Delaware-Northeastern game, played later Saturday, on Sunday.
South Carolina storms back to down LSU 74-54 in SEC semis
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Alaina Coates had 16 points to help No. 3 South Carolina rally in the second half and reach its first Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game with a 74-54 win over LSU on Saturday.
The top-seeded Gamecocks (29-2) trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, but they were 18 of 23 (78.3 percent) from the field in the second while winning their first SEC tournament semifinal game in three chances.
Tina Roy added 15 points for South Carolina, which was upset as the top seed by Kentucky in the tournament semifinals last season.
The Gamecocks will face the Kentucky-Tennessee winner in the championship game on Sunday.
Raigyne Moncrief had 20 points to lead the Lady Tigers (17-13), while Dashawn Harden added 19 — including 17 in the first half. LSU was trying to reach its first tournament championship game since 2012.
SC CLASS 3A BOYS
Midland Valley holds off A.C. Flora 62-56 for 3A boys title
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Kameron Brown scored 16 points to lead Midland Valley to its first-ever boys basketball state championship in the Class 3A title game with a 62-56 victory defending state champion A.C. Flora Saturday night at the Colonial Life Arena.
The Mustangs were making their first-ever championship game appearance.
The two teams met in a holiday tournament in December with the Falcons earning a 13-point victory but it was a different story this time around.
Midland Valley (26-4) took control with a 15-0 run that sandwiched the first and second quarters. That helped them hold a 29-21 lead at the half. A.C. Flora (25-5) twice trimmed the deficit to four points in the second half but the Mustangs responded each time.
Midland Valley shot 55.6 percent, including a blistering 64.3 percent (9-of-14) in the second half.
Daniel Carr added 13 points for the Mustangs.
Kendale Hampton had 17 points to lead A.C. Flora. James Murray-Boyles added 12 and Rion Davis finished with 11 in the Falcons eighth appearance in the championship.
SC-CLASS 3A GIRLS
Lancaster rallies, beats Lakewood 44-42 for 3A title
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Malia Rivers and Kaela Robinson each hit a single free throw in the final 1:13 to rally Lancaster to a 44-42 victory over Lakewood in the Class 3A girls basketball state championship Saturday evening at the Colonial Life Arena.
The Bruins trailed by 10 points, 40-30, with 6:31 remaining. They closed the game on a 14-2 run that included them scoring their final seven points from the free throw line. Lakewood had a chance to win it but Hayden Thorne drew a charge with three seconds remaining to seal it.
Lancaster (27-0) capped the first perfect season in school history and won a girls basketball state championship for the first time since 1947.
Malia Rivers paced the Lancaster attack with 11 points while Zaria Woods added 10 rebounds. Nine different Bruins scored.
Lakewood (22-5) was led by Sonora Dengokl with 17 points. Taja Randolph added 13 points. It was the first title game appearance for the Gators since forming in 1995.
South Carolina beats Tennessee 60-49 for rare win over Vols
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Michael Carrera scored 14 points and shot 6 of 7 on Saturday as South Carolina defeated Tennessee 60-49 to end a 15-game losing streak in this series.
South Carolina (15-15, 6-12 SEC) capped the regular season by beating Tennessee (15-15, 7-11) for the first time since an 81-64 triumph in Columbia on Feb. 17, 2007. The Gamecocks hadn’t defeated the Volunteers in Knoxville since Jan. 23, 2002.
Duane Notice had 12 points and Tyrone Johnson and Sindarius Thornwell each added 10 for South Carolina, which pulled ahead for good with a 21-4 run in the first half. Josh Richardson and Robert Hubbs scored 14 points each for Tennessee. Richardson, playing his final scheduled home game, also had six rebounds and six assists.
Tennessee continued its home struggles in conference play. Although Tennessee is 5-4 in conference road games, the Vols are just 2-7 in SEC home matchups.
Grant scores 19, No. 12 Notre Dame beats Clemson 81-67
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Jerian Grant had 19 points and eight assists, Zach Auguste added 19 points and No. 12 Notre Dame shot 55 percent as the Fighting Irish cruised to an 81-67 victory over Clemson on Saturday.
Jaron Blossomgame kept Clemson in the game for a while, scoring the first seven points and 13 of the Tigers’ first 17. But Blossomgame added just nine more points the rest of the way after Steve Vasturia started defending him, finishing with 22 points.
Auguste scored five points during a 7-0 run late in the first half to open an 11-point lead and the Irish hit three 3-pointers early in the second half and used a 10-3 spurt to go ahead 55-38.
Notre Dame (26-5, 14-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) finished with the most regular-season victories in school history. Clemson (16-14, 8-10) lost for the sixth time in its last eight games.
BKH-SC CLASS 2A BOYS
Holmes’ 27 points lead Keenan to Class 2A championship
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Antwan Holmes scored 27 points to lead Keenan to its third state championship in the last six years with a 69-46 victory over Ridgeland-Hardeeville in the South Carolina Boys Class 2A finals Saturday.
The Raiders (21-8) also got 12 points and six assists from Tariq Simmons.
Keenan jumped to a 21-15 lead after one quarter and cruised in the second half to complete a season which started 2-5 for the Raiders and ended on a 16-game winnjng streak.
Keenan’s previous state championships came in 1975, 1991, 2000, 2001, 2010 and 2011. Coach Zach Norris has now won five state championships with the Raiders since 2000. The seven overall championships are tied for fourth most in state history.
Ridgeland-Hardeeville (26-3) was making its first championship game appearance since Hardeeville and Ridgeland merged to begin the 2011 school year.
Kevon Williams led the Jaguars with 19 points. DeVante Robinson and Treivon Anderson each had 10.