Friday, March 6
HAWKS VS LEBRON
East-leading Hawks face LeBron in possible playoff preview
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks are blowing away everyone in the Eastern Conference.
Yet, there's always a sense that LeBron James will be standing in the way when they get to the playoffs.
That scenario adds an extra bit of intrigue to Friday night's matchup in Atlanta between the Hawks and James' Cleveland Cavaliers.
The front-running Hawks (48-12) insist they're not treating this game any different. Of course, that's what you would expect from the team with a double-digit lead in the East, which has all but locked up home-court advantage throughout the conference playoffs with more than a month to go in the regular season.
The Cavaliers (39-24) are 10-1/2 games behind and more concerned at the moment with beating out Chicago and Toronto for the No. 2 seed.
Teheran, Simon make spring debuts; Tigers beat Braves 6-4
LAKELAND Fla. (AP) — Julio Teheran allowed one run in a two-inning spring debut, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
Teheran is expected to be the Braves' opening-day starter. He allowed three hits and walked one.
Joey Terdoslavich had a double and scored two runs for the Braves.
Alfredo Simon made his Tigers debut and didn't allow a run while striking out one in two innings. He came over to the Tigers in an offseason trade with the Cincinnati Reds, where he went 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA last season.
J.D. Martinez went 3 for 3 with an RBI for the Tigers.
T25-ACC-GEORGIA TECH-NORTH CAROLINA
No. 15 North Carolina women advance over Georgia Tech 84-64
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Stephanie Mavunga scored 23 points, matched her career-high with 16 rebounds and blocked a career-high eight shots on Thursday to lead No. 15 North Carolina, the sixth seed, to an 84-64 win over 11th-seeded Georgia Tech in the second round of the ACC tournament.
The Tar Heels (24-7) play third-seeded and 10th-ranked Louisville in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Allisha Gray scored all 14 of her points in the second half, reaching double figures for the 29th time in 31 games, and Latifah Coleman added 10 points for North Carolina.
Zaire O'Neil and Kaela Davis had 14 points, Aaliyah Whiteside added 13 and Roddreka Rogers 10 for Georgia Tech (18-14). Rogers had 11 rebounds and O'Neil 10 as the Yellowjackets had a 46-40 rebounding advantage but shot 35 percent and had 18 turnovers. They went outscored by 10 at the foul line, going 5 of 11.
North Carolina shot 50 percent for the game.
Georgia women beat Missouri 75-64 in SEC tourney's 2nd round
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Tiaria Griffin scored 21 points, Krista Donald added 13 points and 15 rebounds, and the 10th-seeded Georgia women beat No. 7 Missouri 75-64 in the SEC tournament second round on Thursday.
Griffin and Erika Ford made back-to-back jumpers to spark a 10-1 run that put Georgia (19-11) up 66-55 with 2:26 to play. The Bulldogs will play No. 2 seed and fifth-ranked Tennessee on Friday.
Georgia went in front for good with 10 straight points, leading 13-7 at the 11:24 mark of the first half.
The Bulldogs extended the lead to 11 before Missouri (17-13) closed the half within 32-27. The Tigers trailed 56-54 with 4:36 left but would get no closer.
Ford had 14 points and Mackenzie Engram added 11 for Georgia.
Sierra Michaelis had 20 of her career-high 29 points in the second half and Morgan Stock added 11 points for Missouri.
SAVANNAH ST-FLORIDA A&M
Florida A&M beats Savannah State 64-57
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Jermaine Ruttley scored 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting to lead last-place Florida A&M to a 64-57 comeback win over Savannah State Thursday in its regular season finale.
Quentin Bastian scored 11 points for the Rattlers, who are not eligible to compete in the postseason Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament this year
The Tigers, who entered the game tied in 11th place with Morgan State, led 16-11 in the first half despite scoring one basket in six minutes. Jorge Rosa's bucket pulled FAMU within 20-18, but Savannah State's Saadiq Muhammad dunked with 3:56 left and the Tigers led 28-23 at halftime.
The Rattlers rallied to a 43-42 lead with nine minutes to go in the second half, and then led 58-54 after Ruttley made one of two free throws with a minute left. Dalvin Roberts was fouled with 13.4 seconds left and finished 1 of 3 from the line.
Khaleen Pinkett led Savannah State with 12 points and Hikeem Champaigne had 10.
Georgia State races by Louisiana-Monroe, 58-50
MONROE, La. (AP) — Ryan Harrow scored a season-high 31 points to help lead Georgia State past Louisiana-Monroe 58-50 on Thursday night to keep pace with Georgia Southern atop the Sun Belt Conference standings.
R.J. Hunter added nine points and a career-high nine assists for the Panthers (21-9, 14-5), who have won six of seven and secured a double bye in the first round of the conference tourney with the win.
Georgia State trailed 29-26 at the break and by eight, 41-33, midway through the second half. But the Panthers roared back, ripping off a 16-2 run capped by a Hunter 3-pointer to steal the lead away for good with 7:39 left. Louisiana-Monroe never got closer than three the rest of the night.
DeMondre Harvey led the Warhawks (19-11, 13-6) with 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Georgia State will meet Georgia Southern on Saturday with the conference regular-season title on the line.
Georgia Southern defeats UT Arlington 76-64
STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Jelani Hewitt scored 18 points and Georgia Southern took another step closer to a Sun Belt Conference championship with a 76-64 victory over UT Arlington on Thursday night.
Mike Hughes added 16 points, Eric Ferguson 15 and Jake Allsmiller 10 for the Eagles (21-7, 14-5), who rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit.
Georgia Southern plays its final regular-season game at Georgia State on Saturday, with the co-leaders facing off for the regular-season title and top seed to the conference tournament.
Jamel Outler scored 23 points and Lonnie McClanahan 14 for the Mavericks (16-13, 10-9), who shot 62.5 percent in the first half but cooled off to 46.2 percent overall with 25 turnovers.
The Eagles scored 11 unanswered points to take a 53-47 lead with 10:45 left. They maintained the lead and Hewitt made four free throws over the final 1:32 to ensure the win.
GA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS-AAAA GIRLS
Anderson rallies Buford to 35-34 win over Carrollton
MACON, Ga. (AP) — Camille Anderson hit a clutch 3-point basket to spark a 7-0 run and lead Buford to a 35-34 win over Carrollton in the Georgia High School Association's Class AAAA Girls championship game Thursday at the Macon Coliseum.
Anderson, who has signed with North Carolina State, was hampered with a sore knee and scored only six points. But her 3-pointer put the Wolves ahead 33-31 and her assist on the ensuing basket by Zikaya Wright produced the winning points.
Carrollton had a chance to win the game with 0.6 seconds left, but freshman Erial Daniel missed a pair of free throws. Wright grabbed the rebound on the second miss to end the game.
Carrollton (25-8) was led by Emily Waters with 10 points and six rebounds. Alecia North scored seven.
Buford (29-3) was led by Corey Staples with eight points and Wright with seven points and eight rebounds. Katy Bisges had a game-high eight rebounds.
Buford won its first state championship since 2011.
GA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS-A PUBLIC BOYS
Calhoun County wins Ga. boys class A state basketball title
MACON, Ga. (AP) — DaJohn Williams scored on a drive to the basket with two seconds left to give Calhoun County an 84-82 win over Greenville in the Georgia High School Association's Class A boys championship game.
Williams scored 18 points to lead the Cougars (30-2) to its third state title. The game was tied at 82 with 28.2 seconds left when Greenville's Renault Griffin made one of two free throws.
Greenville's Kenzavier Tenny tried a desperation shot at the buzzer from just inside midcourt but it bounced off the rim.
Greenville (28-3) was led by Jamel McKee, who scored 29 points and had 12 rebounds. Tamarcus Jackson added 15 points, Tenny scored 11 and Brendarious Henry had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Calhoun County was led in scoring by Quenten Taylor and Sherrod Williams with 20 points apiece. Williams added eight rebounds and Taylor had six blocks and three assists.
GA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS-A PUBLIC GIRLS
Taylor County wins Georgia class A girls basketball title
MACON, Ga. (AP) — Juniors Kelsie Towns and Rasheka Simmons combined for 37 points to lead Taylor County to a 67-54 win over Turner County in the Georgia High School Association's Class A girls' championship game at the Macon Coliseum.
Towns had 19 points Thursday, which included five 3-pointers, and 10 rebounds. Simmons scored 19 points, with four assists and five steals. Destiny Mathis scored 11 for the Taylor County Vikings.
Taylor County finished 31-0 and won the school's 11th state championship. It was a dramatic turnaround for a team that lost a combined 27 games over the previous two seasons.
Turner County (28-3) got 28 points and 16 rebounds from Mylashia Yancey. Zakiyah Office scored 10 for the Rebels.
The teams were tied 14-14 after one period when Taylor County went on a 13-1 run. The Vikings continued to pour it on and led 41-24 at halftime.