North Carolina guard Kenny Smith, noted mostly for his ball-hawking and playmaking, put his offensive skills on display Monday night in the Dallas Morning News Basketball Tournament.
The senior guard scored a career-high 23 points to lead the fourth-ranked Tar Heels to a surprisingly easy 94-81 victory over previously unbeaten and second-ranked Purdue before a tournament record crowd of 15,605 at Reunion Arena.
North Carolina (9-1) will meet SMU, a 79-65 victor over Towson State, in tonight's tournament final at Reunion Arena. Purdue (7-1) and Towson State will play in the consolation game.
"I thought we were sharp until late in the game," said Tar Heel Coach Dean Smith said. "Then the coach got a little cocky with about six minutes left and a 25-point lead. I was disappointed with that stretch, but for the most part we played good, aggressive defense and won over a fine team.
"I thought Kenny Smith and Joe Wolf played very well. And J.R. Reid played the best game he has played for us. "
Purdue Coach Gene Keady said, "North Carolina came out ready to play and they outhustled us. I've said all along that I didn't believe the polls.
"We beat some young teams early and we needed to play a team like North Carolina to find out how good we are. We played like we practiced."
Doug Lee, who hit three three-point shots, led the Boilermakers with 21 points and Everette Stephens added 17. Todd Mitchell, Purdue's leading scorer entering the game with a 17-point average, had 14 points.
Nevada Las Vegas 104, Navy 79--The top-ranked Rebels routed the ninth-ranked Midshipmen in the championship game of the Holiday Tournament at Las Vegas.
UNLV ran its record to 11-0.
Navy center David Robinson got into foul trouble in the first half and wasn't a factor in the outcome.
UTEP 87, Auburn 82--Mike Richmond and Chris Sandle scored 20 points each as the Miners upset the previously unbeaten Tigers in the championship game of the Sun Bowl Tournament at El Paso, Tex.
Iowa State came from behind to defeat Texas, 58-57, in the consolation game earlier.
St. John's 62, Georgia Tech 53--Willie Glass scored 19 points as the 10th-ranked Redmen beat the 18th-ranked Yellow Jackets to win the ECAC Holiday Festival for the third straight year in New York.
St. John's (9-0) held Georgia Tech (6-3) scoreless in the first five minutes of the second half.
In the consolation game, John Johnson scored 17 points and Richard Morgan added 16 as Virginia cruised past Rutgers, 74-56.
Duke 80, Appalachian State 50--Danny Ferry had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists as the 20th-ranked Blue Devils won thier 19th straight home game at Durham, N.C.
The Blue Devils (7-1) out-rebounded the Mountaineers, 52-24, and forced 28 Appalachian State turnovers--19 in the first half.
Ohio State 79, Kansas 78--Keith Wesson tipped in a missed field goal at the buzzer in overtime and the Buckeyes surprised the 12th-ranked Jayhawks in a consolation game of the Rainbow Tournament at Honolulu.
The Buckeyes (8-3) will meet Florida, which routed Hawaii, 115-83, for the losers' bracket title today. Kansas fell to 7-4.
Kevin Pritchard's basket with 11 seconds left in overtime had given Kansas a 78-77 lead. Pritchard scored 21 points for Kansas.
Santa Clara 60, Wake Forest 55--Dan Weiss scored 13 points to lead the Broncos past the previously unbeaten Deacons in a first-round game at the Cable Car tournament at Santa Clara, Calif.
It was the first time in nine tries that Santa Clara had beaten a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Tyrone Bogues led Wake Forest (5-1) with 15 points and 6 assists, and Sam Ivy added 14 points.
Maryland 70, Fairleigh Dickinson 59--Sophomore guard John Johnson scored a career-high 25 points, including 18 in the second half, as the Terrapins won their second straight game under new Coach Bob Wade at College Park, Md.
Maryland center Derrick Lewis, who sat out nearly eight minutes in the second half with foul trouble, finished with 16 points.
Michael Bozeman led Fairleigh Dickinson (5-3) with 17 points, Damari Riddick had 11 and Charlie Roberts added 10.
Notre Dame 55, Central Michigan 54--David Rivers hit a short jumper 1:33 left to lift the Irish to a victory over the Chippewas at South Bend, Ind.
The Irish (5-2), had to stave off a second-half comeback by the Chippewas after leading, 33-25, at the half.
Middle Tennessee St. 85, Michigan 83--Tyrus Baynham scored 18 points and Duane Washington made two free throws with 45 seconds left as Middle Tennessee State surprised the Wolverines in the UAB Tournament at Birmingham, Ala.
Middle Tennessee State (7-1) will play Alabama Birmingham in tonight's final. the Blazers beat Alaska Anchorage, 94-72, as Eddie Collins scored 23 points.
Michigan (7-3) received 26 points from Glenn Rice, and Gary Grant scored 25.
Seton Hall 76, Army 69--John Morton scored 23 points and James Major added 18 to lift Seton Hall to a win over the Cadets in a non-conference basketball at South Orange, N.J.
Kevin Houston led Army (2-6) with 42 points. The victory was the fourth in a row for Seton Hall (8-1).
Temple 80, Georgia Southern 61--Howard Evans scored 20 points as the 14th-ranked Owls beat Georgia Southern in the Blade tournament at Toledo, Ohio.
Mike Vreeswyk added 15 points for Temple (10-1), Nate Blackwell had 14, Tim Perry 13, and Ramon Rivas 12 to go with 9 rebounds.
Anthony Forrest had 16 points and Brian Newton 10 Georgia Southern (6-3).
Arizona 53, Texas Tech 40--Sophomore forward Sean Elliott scored 23 points as the Wildcats defeated the Red Raiders in the championship game of the Fiesta Bowl Tournament at Tuscon.
Elliott scored 17 points in the second half to help Arizona open its lead. He hit a short jumper and a three-pointer to put Arizona ahead 31-21 with 18:24 left in the game.