NCAA

Georgia Southern rally ousts Old Dominion 49-35

Georgia Southern rally ousts Old Dominion 49-35

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Dominique Swope ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 2:36 remaining, and Georgia Southern's defense helped erase a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter and beat Old Dominion 49-35 in the FCS quarterfinals.

Jerick McKinnon ran for four touchdowns for the Eagles (10-3), who completed just two passes all day but ran for 602 yards in pursuit of their seventh national championship. They trailed 35-21 entering the final quarter, then scored the final 28 points to reach the semifinals.

Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who broke Steve McNair's single-season passing yardage record during the game and became the first quarterback with over 5,000 yards in a season, fumbled to set up the Eagles' tying drive in the fourth quarter, then threw incomplete on fourth-and-6 from his own 39.

Three plays later, Swope's second touchdown run put Georgia Southern in front to stay. It was the second consecutive season the Eagles have dispatched the Monarchs (11-2) from the playoffs in a thriller.

Last season, the Eagles won 55-48 at home.

Swope finished with 186 rushing yards, and McKinnon had 171.

This time, the Monarchs seemed in control when they stopped the Eagles on four consecutive drives spanning the halves and opened a 35-21 lead on Heinicke's third touchdown pass, 8 yards to Nick Mayers, with 2:53 remaining in the third quarter. But then the Eagles defense rose to the occasion.

The Eagles capped an 86-yard drive with McKinnon's 4-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter, then got the ball back when Dion DuBose stripped Heinicke on third-and-7 from the Eagles' 13.

McKinnon drove his team 79 yards in 12 plays, capping it himself with a 2-yard run with 5:32 remaining, and putting the pressure back on the Monarchs. After getting a 15-yard roughing the passer call to move the ball to their 41, Heinicke faced a fourth-and-6 from his 39 and ODU opted to go for it. Heinicke's pass to Tyree Lee was behind him, fell incomplete and the Eagles drove for the winner.

It took them just three plays, Swope providing the finisher with a run up the middle.

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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