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Syracuse holds off UConn; Scheyer, Duke whip Tar Heels

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Wes Johnson and Kris Joseph combined to make six straight free throws in the final 33 seconds, and No. 2 Syracuse held off Connecticut 72-67 on Wednesday night after squandering a 16-point lead in the second half.

Jerome Dyson’s 3-pointer for the Huskies tied it at 65 with 2:33 left, but Johnson put the Orange back in front by hitting two foul shots with 30.4 seconds to go.

It was the 11th straight victory for Syracuse (24-1, 12-1 Big East) and it snapped a six-game skid against the Huskies in the regular season.

Connecticut (14-10, 4-7) dropped to 0-6 on the road this season and 1-5 against ranked teams. George Blaney fell to 3-4 in place of coach Jim Calhoun, who took a medical leave of absence last month.

Rick Jackson led Syracuse with 15 points. Dyson paced Connecticut with 19.

No. 8 Duke 64,

North Carolina 54

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Jon Scheyer scored 24 points and Duke pulled away in the final minutes to beat rival North Carolina for the second time in the past eight meetings.

Kyle Singler added 19 points for the Blue Devils (20-4, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot poorly all night and couldn’t make much of anything in close. But boasting a bigger and tougher front line than in years past, Duke dominated the boards and got plenty of extra looks to make up for all those misses.

Duke hit nine 3-pointers, but shot 32 percent overall and went 13 for 51 (25 percent) from inside the arc.

The loss only added to the defending national champions’ misery in a season that is slipping away. North Carolina (13-11, 2-7) has lost eight of 10 since the start of 2010, including four in a row overall to fall near the bottom of the league standings.

Will Graves scored 13 points to lead the Tar Heels, who retired the No. 50 jersey of former star Tyler Hansbrough in a halftime ceremony.

No. 19 Northern Iowa 57,

Drake 48

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Adam Koch scored 12 points and Northern Iowa clinched at least a share of the Missouri Valley title by beating Drake.

Ali Farokhmanesh and Johnny Moran each added 10 points for the Panthers (22-2, 13-1), who can lock up the top seed in next month’s conference tournament with a win at Bradley on Saturday.

Northern Iowa fell behind by three with 6:36 left before putting the game out of a reach with a 15-0 run. Farokhmanesh keyed the spurt with two long 3-pointers.

Ryan Wedel and Josh Young each had 11 points to lead Drake (11-15, 6-8), which lost at home for the first time in five games.

Miami 64, No. 20 Georgia Tech 62

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — After missing a key free throw, James Dews made a 15-footer at the buzzer to give Miami a victory over Georgia Tech before a sparse crowd.

Dews missed the front end of a one-and-one with 19 seconds left, and Iman Shumpert sank a layup for Tech to tie it with 10 seconds to go. That capped a comeback by the Yellow Jackets, who trailed by 14 early in the second half.

Following a timeout, the Hurricanes moved the length of the court and Durand Scott fed Dews, who faked out a defender before swishing his shot.

The Hurricanes (17-7, 3-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for only the second time in the past eight games. Georgia Tech (17-7, 5-5) fell to 1-4 on the road in the league, while Miami improved to 11-1 at home this season.

No. 24 Baylor 55, Nebraska 53

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Ekpe Udoh scored the go-ahead basket with 25 seconds left and Quincy Acy made two big defensive plays at the end to give Baylor a victory over Nebraska.

LaceDarius Dunn scored 19 points to lead the Bears (18-5, 5-4 Big 12), and Udoh had six blocks to go with eight points and nine rebounds.

Myles Holley scored a career-high 11 points for Nebraska (13-11, 1-8).

Brandon Richardson’s 3-pointer put the Cornhuskers up 53-50 with 2:20 left. Udoh made two free throws, then dumped in a one-handed shot to put Baylor ahead.