NCAA

Cincinnati stuns Virginia Tech on late TD

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Cincinnati stuns Virginia Tech on late TD

By Joseph White
AP Sports Writer

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Munchie Legaux hit Damon Julian for a 39-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds to play, and Cincinnati beat Virginia Tech 27-24 Saturday.

Trailing by four after a Hokies touchdown, the Bearcats (3-0) took over at their own 15 with 1:43 to play and moved downfield in nine plays for the score, capping a seesaw fourth quarter that brought to life a sleepy game.

Cincinnati dominated in every way but the scoreboard, piling on the yards all game, and managed to finally escape with the win. Legaux completed 19 of 42 passes for a career-high 376 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Kenbrell Thompkins also set career highs for Cincinnati with seven catches for 134 yards and a score.

Logan Thomas was 17 for 30 for 242 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the Hokies (3-2), who have lost two games to unranked Big East schools in one of the most trying Septembers in recent history under coach Frank Beamer. A 35-17 loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago knocked Virginia Tech out of the Top 25.

The game was played at the Washington Redskins stadium, with Cincinnati giving up a home game for a chance to play in the vicinity of the nation's capital. Still, the Bearcats fans were an overwhelming minority compared to the Hokies' faithful, who had to travel half the distance of their counterparts.

The teams combined for 21 points in the fourth quarter after putting up just 20 in the first three. Michael Holmes spun into the end zone from 3 yards out with 8:37 to play to put Virginia Tech ahead 17-13, but Ralph David Abernathy IV's 76-yard catch-and-run score put the Bearcats back in front less than a minute later.

The Hokies then responded with Corey Fuller's 56-yard touchdown catch with 1:49 remaining.

The Bearcats run a spread offense, but they had more success with conventional drop-back pass plays. They took a 13-7 lead midway through the third quarter when Legaux, with plenty of time to throw, hit Thompkins wide open over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown.

Virginia Tech was outgained 165 to 72 -- yet the Hokies had a just 7-6 lead to show for it. They didn't get a first down until Fuller's 15-yard reception with 5:17 to go in the half, and the offense struggled to capitalize even when linebacker Bruce Taylor shifted momentum with a couple of big plays.

Taylor stripped the ball from Travis Kelce for a fumble near midfield, but the Hokies ended up punting. On Cincinnati's next possession, Taylor tipped a pass that was intercepted by Kris Harley, giving Virginia Tech the ball at the Bearcats 13-yard line.

That set up the Hokies' only first-half touchdown, but it took four plays to accomplish, with Thomas scampering up the middle for a 5-yard scoring run on fourth-and-2 with 2:41 left in the half.

The day's blooper highlight was provided by Thompkins, who had an amusing pratfall when he tripped over the chains when they were brought out for a measurement after a fourth-and-1 run. Cincinnati got the first down, and the drive led to one of two first-half field goals by Tony Miliano.

Cincinnati had an even more unusual play in the first half -- a touchdown negated by a holding call on the quarterback. Legaux was whistled for giving Kyshoen Jarrett an extra shove while Abernathy was running 11 yards for a score on a double reserve. The drive ended when the Bearcats faked a field goal by throwing a pass to defensive tackle Silverberry Mouhon, who made only 16 yards on the fourth-and-18.

Old Dominion stuns No. 25 Syracuse, pulls off Carrier Dome upset

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USA TODAY Sports

Old Dominion stuns No. 25 Syracuse, pulls off Carrier Dome upset

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- B.J. Stith felt it necessary to apologize to his Old Dominion teammates at halftime Saturday after going scoreless and committing five turnovers against Syracuse.

"I made up my mind I couldn't let my guys down," Stith said. "I took full responsibility. No points, five turnovers. I said, `Look, I apologize for how I played in the first half. I'm going to step it up in the second half. Let's do it.' That's exactly what we did and didn't look back."

No apologies were needed after the game.

Stith scored all of his 18 points in the second half on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 at the foul line, and Old Dominion rallied to stun No. 25 Syracuse 68-62.

It was Old Dominion's first win over a ranked team since beating VCU 73-67 in 2014 and the Monarchs' first road win over a ranked team since defeating Georgetown in 2006.

"Number one, (Stith) was self-aware because he was right," Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones said. "In the second half, he wasn't trying to do his own thing. He stayed within the game plan. He got a couple of baskets and a couple of assists, found other guys and played stronger."

Xavier Green had 15 points and Marquis Godwin added 11 for the Monarchs (8-3), who trailed by 13 points late in the first half and by 11 early in the second before rallying for their sixth straight victory.

"What this game showed is that we can play with, if not better, than any team in the country on any given day," Stith said. "To come here into the (Carrier) Dome is a big-time win."

Said Jones: "I don't know what it will do for the program, but it's a certainly good win for our basketball team. Syracuse is a good team. A top 25 team. Doing it in this Carrier Dome. This program is a storied program."

After Elijah Hughes made a 3-pointer to put the Orange (7-3) ahead 39-28, Old Dominion went on a 13-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Goodwin that tied it at 41 with 10:19 remaining.

"We made a couple of adjustments (in the second half) but it was more about the players' mentality, playing with toughness and being strong with the ball," Jones said. "We stuck to the script a little bit better. We got the ball in some, it was hard to do, but we got it into the high post and were able to manufacture some baskets from there."

Syracuse pulled back ahead and led 50-46, but a jumper by Godwin and a 3-pointer by Ahmad Carter put the Monarchs on top again. Syracuse went ahead 53-51 with 4:15 to go, but that was the Orange's last lead of the game.

Three foul shots by Stith and five straight points by Green extended the Monarchs to a 59-53 margin with under three minutes to go. Six points by Stith down the stretch sealed the upset.

Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 23 points on just 5-of-14 shooting. Hughes had 15. Oshae Brissett had just nine, going 3 of 11 from the field.

Syracuse shot just 33 percent from the field for the game and 8 of 22 from 3-point range.

For the Orange, the offensive struggles were familiar. But something new was added against the Monarchs: missed opportunities at the foul line. Syracuse missed 12 of 34 free throws.

"We're not making anything," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We missed so many key shots. Playing at home, you have to make those shots. You can't miss 12 free throws."

Syracuse closed on a 12-3 run to take a 33-23 halftime lead. Battle, who scored 13 in the first 20 minutes, accounted for eight straight points during the run.

"We have to focus on every free throw," Brissett said. "We're a good free-throw shooting team, but we just haven't been able to find it the last two games."

BIG PICTURE

Old Dominion: The Monarchs are flying high. Six straight wins and a huge comeback at the Carrier Dome give Old Dominion momentum heading into its matchup with in-state rival Richmond.

Syracuse: Frank Howard isn't himself and Syracuse won't go far if its point guard doesn't contribute.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Syracuse centers Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe accounted for zero points and seven rebounds.

GREEN WITH ENVY

ODU's Green entered the game hitting 38 percent from 3-point range. He was 3-of-4 Saturday.

DESPERATE TIMES

Syracuse will be desperate for a win over No. 14 Buffalo on Tuesday. A defeat would damage the Orange's NCAA Tournament chances.

UP NEXT

Old Dominion travels to Richmond Wednesday.

Syracuse hosts Buffalo on Tuesday.

MORE NCAA NEWS:

Oral Roberts at Richmond College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Oral Roberts at Richmond College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Winners of two straight, Richmond plays host to Oral Roberts to try and get a third consecutive victory.

The Golden Eagles, on the other hand, have lost three in a row and will be looking to get back to winning ways when they visit the Robins Center in Richmond, Va. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

Oral Roberts at Richmond How to Watch

What: Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at Richmond Spiders
Where: Robins Center, Richmond, Va.
When: 4 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

Oral Roberts at Richmond Preview

Conference: Summit League (Oral Roberts), A-10 (Richmond)
Record: 3-9 (Oral Roberts), 4-5 (Richmond)
Last Game: 80-64 loss at Missouri 12/7 (Oral Roberts), 82-47 win vs. Coppin State, 12/5 (Richmond)
Leading Scorers: Emmanuel Nzekwesi, 15.1 ppg (Oral Roberts), Grant Golden, 19.9 ppg (Richmond)