Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Strickland Drops 18 in Carolina Win; Caracter Puts Up Another Double-Double
Dexter Strickland had a breakout performance against a team from his home state.
The former Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick star scored a career-high 18 points Monday to lead No. 9 North Carolina to an 81-67 victory over Rutgers at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Rutgers (9-3) closed within four points with about 2 minutes left, but Strickland hit a 3-pointer with 1:54 left that pushed the lead to 74-67.
“I mean, down four points with two minutes to go, we really gave ourselves a chance,” Rutgers head coach Fred Hill said. “But we made a mistake on the defensive end there. We didn’t pick up Dexter Strickland in transition, we made him hesitate, but he still got an open look. But you have to give him credit, he knocked down a big shot.”
Strickland, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Rahway, N.J., whose game is coming along nicely after a rough start to the season, also had 4 assists, 2 steals and 3 turnovers.
Deon Thompson added 14 points and Ed Davis had 11 points and 15 boards for Carolina (10-3), which played without injured swingman Marcus Ginyard (sprained ankle).
Mike Rosario led Rutgers with 22 points on 1o-for-21 shooting and 1-for-9 from 3. Jonathan Mitchell added 14 points on 6-for-16 shooting.
Hill gave North Carolina native James Beatty his first start playing in his home state. He went 0-for-4 from the field but dished six assists.
“James and Mike [Coburn] have both been outstanding for us at the point guard position,” Hill said. “James, being home in North Carolina, gave him the start tonight. It was his first start of the year, but I look at home as a starter. He gives us great energy, he can really push the ball up the floor. We want to play fast and I think you all probably saw a much different style than we have played in the past. And James is one of the reasons for that. He can really get the ball up the floor and get the ball to our big guys.”
Rutgers returns to action Saturday at the RAC against Lance Stephenson and Cincinnati in its Big East opener (SNY, 8 p.m.).
CARACTER PUTS UP ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLEDerrick Caracter put up his fourth consecutive double-double with 15 points and a game-high 15 rebounds as UTEP routed Norfolk State, 93-56, in the first round of the 48th Sun Bowl Invitational at the Don Haskins Center.
Read my recent feature on Derrick here.
(Photo courtesy Gerry Broome / AP)
Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.