NCAA

Larkin leads No. 14 Miami past Virginia Tech 73-64

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Larkin leads No. 14 Miami past Virginia Tech 73-64

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Shane Larkin scored 25 points and No. 14 Miami took command with a 13-2 second-half run Wednesday night, beating Virginia Tech 73-64 for its eighth consecutive victory.

Kenny Kadji added 18 points and Trey McKinney-Jones had 12 for the Hurricanes (16-3, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed by 12 in the first half before getting a 22-6 burst spanning halftime.

National scoring leader Erick Green led the Hokies (11-9, 2-5) with 30 points and Jarell Eddie had 14, but Virginia Tech's other scorers struggled after a fast start. The loss was the seventh in the last nine games for Virginia Tech.

Trailing by 12, however, Larkin led Miami back into it with 11 points in the big run spanning the halves, and the Hurricanes took a 38-34 lead with 16:43 left. The Hokies seemed on the brink of getting run out of their own building, but Green hit three 3-pointers in a span of under 2 minutes and Virginia Tech led again, 43-41.

Just as Cassell Coliseum whipped into a roaring frenzy, McKinney-Jones hit a long 3-pointer, and Larkin and Rion Brown followed with 3s after a bucket by Cadarian Raines for the Hokies. Two free throws by McKinney-Jones and a dunk by Kadji capped the 13-2 run and the Hokies were again playing catch-up.

They got within 60-53 with two minutes left, but Larkin calmly dribbled the clock down then swished a long 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:47 to play - his fifth 3 of the night. He finished 9-for-14 with three steals, three assists and two blocks.

Green and Brown each scored eight points during a 22-8 spurt that gave the Hokies a 28-16 lead with 5:57 left in the half, but a 3-pointer by Eddie and a free throw by Green was all Virginia Tech could manage the rest of the half.

Miami closed the first half with a 13-4 burst, including nine points from Larkin, to get within 32-29.

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Luwane Pipkins, Aplha Diallo lead Providence past Georgetown

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USA Today Sports Images

Luwane Pipkins, Aplha Diallo lead Providence past Georgetown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alpha Diallo had 18 points and eight rebounds and Luwane Pipkins added 16 points as Providence defeated Georgetown 73-63 on Wednesday night.

Kalif Young added 11 points and nine rebounds and Maliek White had 11 points and seven assists for Providence (15-12, 8-6 Big East Conference).

Georgetown led 34-30 at halftime and protected a slim lead through the first eight minutes of the second half. The Friars tied it at 49 on a putback by Diallo with 11:50 remaining and pushed their lead to eight points when Pipkins hit a 3-pointer near the seven-minute mark. In the final minute, Pipkins made three free throws and Diallo two to preserve the win.

Providence scored 43 points in the second half, shooting 60% after halftime, 44% for the game.

Jahvon Blair had 20 points for the Hoyas (15-11, 5-8). Terrell Allen added 16 points and Jamorko Pickett had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Friars improve to 2-0 against the Hoyas on the season. Providence defeated Georgetown 76-60 on Dec. 31.

Providence plays Marquette at home on Saturday. Georgetown plays at DePaul on Saturday.

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Report: NBA likely to use new All-Star format again, will discuss using it in G-League

Report: NBA likely to use new All-Star format again, will discuss using it in G-League

If you were a fan of the NBA's new format for the All-Star game, which featured a target score to decide the winner instead of a clock, you might be in luck. 

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the NBA is likely to use the target score format again in next year's All-Star game. The NBA's president of league operations Byron Spruell told Lowe it's a 'good assumption' we see this format again. 

In its maiden voyage, the target score was a smashing success. The NBA has struggled to make the All-Star game entertaining and intense enough for the best players in the world to try. By adding 24 points onto the leading team's score at the end of the third and saying, "First one to this number wins," it sparked the competitive fire in the league's biggest stars and made for an unforgettable basketball moment. 

The target score is very similar to the "Elam Ending," created by Ball State University professor Nick Elam. The Basketball Tournament, a winner-take-all event held over the summer, has used the Elam Ending for the last two years.

Chris Paul suggested using the format in the All-Star game to commissioner Adam Silver, and now the target score ending has a chance at making it to the G-League. 

Lowe also includes in the story that the NBA will discuss using the target score system in the G-League, the league's developmental league. However, concerns about making G-League play too different from play in the NBA make it unlikely for a full adaptation of the target score system. 

Spruell did say a possible first step would be using the system at the annual G-League Showcase, which usually takes place in December. 

To go even further down the rabbit hole of hypothetical changes to NBA games, the NBA will also reportedly discuss using target scores in the elimination rounds of a midseason tournament. In late December, the NBA propose massive schedule changes to the league's owners including shortening the regular season to 78 games and introducing a midseason tournament. 

The owners still have to approve the changes before any target scoring system can be implemented. 

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