NCAA

Virginia scores dramatic win over Miami in final seconds

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Virginia scores dramatic win over Miami in final seconds

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Michael Rocco threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee with 6 seconds remaining Saturday and Virginia rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun Miami 41-40.

Rocco threw four touchdown passes and Virginia (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its second in a row after a six-game losing streak. It was the Cavaliers third straight win against the Hurricanes.

The victory kept the Cavaliers' slim bowl hopes alive. Virginia still has to beat North Carolina and Virginia Tech to become bowl eligible.

Miami (5-5, 4-3) lost despite three touchdown passes from Stephen Morris and a brilliant performance by Duke Johnson. The freshman ran for 150 yards, returned a kickoff for a touchdown and threw a TD pass. The victory also cost the Hurricanes control of their Coast Division title race.

But in the end, it was Miami's defense that let the Hurricanes down.

Rocco led a 16-play, 87-yard drive, keeping it alive with a 9-yard completion to Dominique Terrell on fourth-and-7 from his own 44. Penalties also hurt Miami. There was a late flag for holding against cornerback Thomas Finnie on another fourth down pass that Terrell did not come up with at Miami's 20.

Four plays later, Rocco found the 6-foot-5 McGee in the back of the end zone for the game-winner. He finished 29 of 37 for 300 yards and also threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to Miles Gooch, and 6 and 5 yards to Darius Jennings. The second TD to Jennings pulled Virginia within 38-35 with 5:33 left in the game.

Morris threw for 179 yards with three touchdowns: a 12-yarder to Allen Hurns, 9 yards to Clive Walford and 35-yard strike to Phillip Dorsett, which gave the Hurricanes a 38-28 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Then Virginia coach Mike London ditched the quarterback rotation he had been using all day, put the ball back in Rocco's hands and the junior's pinpoint passing led two touchdown drives.

Rocco even appeared to get a break that went Virginia's way.

He was called for intentional grounding from the end zone under heavy pressure, giving Miami a safety and the ball with just over 4 minutes to play. Replays showed that Rocco was not in the end zone when he threw the ball away, but a review did not overturn the call.

Virginia had to kick the ball to Miami, but its defense held, setting up the finish.

Miami's Johnson would have stolen the show in the first half if the Hurricanes have stopped Virginia. Still, the freshman was impressive.

Johnson ripped off a 52-yard run on the Hurricanes' opening possession, dodging at least three defenders along the way. Two plays later, he threw a perfect 8-yard halfback option pass to Hurns for the touchdown.

Virginia took a 7-0 lead on Rocco's 7-yard pass to Miles Gooch, and after Johnson's scoring pass, Rocco drove the Cavaliers downfield again, and Jennings took a swing pass 6 yards for the TD.

Johnson followed with his big return to tie the score at 14, and Sims came on at quarterback as part of London's rotation. He led the team on a 52-yard march, capped by his 6-yard run to make it 21-14.

Morris hooked up with Hurns from 12 yards to tie the game at 21 on the first play of the second quarter, and the Hurricanes got a break when Virginia tailback Perry Jones unwisely threw a halfback option pass into double coverage and Brandon McGee intercepted and returned it to the Miami 48.

It was the first drive of the game that didn't end in a touchdown, and when the Cavaliers stopped Miami's progress at the 13, Jake Wieclaw kicked a 30-yard field goal for Miami's first lead.

After the wild first half, Walford's touchdown catch was the only scoring of the third quarter, and Virginia cornerback Maurice Canady kept the Cavaliers in the game when he stripped Morris of the ball as he headed for the end zone on a 22-yard run, and also recovered for Miami's only turnover of the day.

Morris atoned with his touchdown to Dorsett on the next series, but then Rocco took over.

The Cavaliers' only first-half drive that didn't end in a touchdown was ended by a halfback option pass that Perry Jones threw into double coverage and Brandon McGee intercepted and returned 26 yards. 

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)