Syracuse’s Paul Harris defends against Coppin State’s Brian Chestnut during the first half Syracuse, N.Y., Monday.AP photo
GREENVILLE, N.C. — Al-Farouq Aminu had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 6 Wake Forest blew open a close game after halftime to beat East Carolina 95-54 on Monday night.
Chas McFarland had 14 points for the Demon Deacons (11-0), who are off to their best start since winning the first 11 games of 2003-04. Wake Forest led by four points at halftime before roaring out of the break with a big run that silenced the rowdy home crowd dreaming of an upset.
The Demon Deacons opened the second half with a 15-3 run that pushed the margin to double digits, then spent the rest of the game steadily increasing the lead while putting on a show of the fullcourt athleticism that has made them among the favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference. There were no shortage of contributors, from Aminu’s double-double to L.D. Williams’ lockdown defense on East Carolina sharpshooter Sam Hinnant.
There would be no repeat of the Pirates’ upsets of Dwyane Wade-led Marquette here in 2002 or last year’s win against instate rival North Carolina State for ECU’s first-ever victory against an ACC opponent.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Luke Harangody had 23 points and 13 rebounds in his worst shooting game of the season, leading No. 8 Notre Dame to a victory over Savannah State.
The Fighting Irish (9-2) led 37-21 at halftime despite shooting 34 percent, their second worst shooting half this season. Harangody started the half 1-of-9 from the field, but was 8-of-9 from the free throw line and made his final two shots to finish the half with 14 points and 11 rebounds. For the game, Harangody shot 5-of-14 from the field, but was 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — JaJuan Johnson had career highs of 21 points and nine rebounds to help No. 10 Purdue beat IPFW.
Johnson, a 6-foot-10 forward, blocked three shots. E’Twaun Moore scored 19 points and Marcus Green had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Boilermakers (10-2), who won their fifth straight.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Freshman B.J. Mullens, getting the most playing time of his brief career, scored 19 points to lead No. 15 Ohio State past UNC-Asheville.
The 7-foot Mullens had never played more than 20 minutes nor scored more than 11 points. But with coach Thad Matta trying out various combinations against an overmatched and undersized opponent, Mullens dominated. He was 8-of-11 from the field, including six dunks, and added eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Andy Rautins equaled a school record with nine 3-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points to lead No. 17 Syracuse to a victory over Coppin State.
It was the final nonconference game for the Orange (12-1), who begin Big East play at home next week against Seton Hall. Coppin State (1-8) lost its eighth straight road game and dropped to 0-22 against the Big East.
VILLANOVA — Dante Cunningham had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Scottie Reynolds added 23 points as No. 18 Villanova held off Navy.
Corey Stokes had 11 points and Antonio Pena contributed 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (11-1), who played their first game in eight days since winning at city rival La Salle on Dec. 14.
WACO, Texas — Curtis Jerrells had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and No. 21 Baylor survived its second scare in as many games, beating Hartford.
Jerrells’ triple-double was the first for a Baylor player since Brian Skinner of the Los Angeles Clippers had one on Dec. 29, 1995.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tyreke Evans scored 20 points and four other Tigers finished in double figures as Memphis pulled away early and easily defeated Drexel.
Evans was 8-of-14 from the field as Memphis rebounded from Saturday
Robert Dozier had 14 points for Memphis on 6-of-9 shooting including both 3-pointers, while Shawn Taggart finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Roburt Sallie added 11 for Memphis, while Doneal Mack had 10.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Dominic James’ 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining lifted Marquette past North Carolina State.
Jerel McNeal scored 20 points and James added 18 for the Golden Eagles (10-2).
RICHMOND, Va. — Justin Harper had 18 points to lead Richmond to a victory over Bucknell.
The Bison (3-7) hit 6 of their first 10 shots, helping them build a 16-6 lead with 12:16 left in the first half. Justin Castleberry’s 3-pointer gave Bucknell a 21-13 lead with 6:13 left.
NASHVILLE — Freshman Tia Gibbs had 15 points and four steals as No. 20 Vanderbilt defeated Liberty.
Gibbs made three of four 3-pointers, shot 5-for-7 overall, and had seven points and three steals during an 18-0 first-half run that put the Commodores ahead to stay.