Georgia Tech celebrates an 83-65 win over No. 20 Clemson in Wednesday at Atlanta. Associated Press/Curtis Compton, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pool

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech returned from a 17-day layoff with one of its most impressive showings of the season, routing No. 20 Clemson 83-65 as three players scored more than 20 points Wednesday night.

Michael Devoe led the way with 22 points, and Moses Wright and Jordan Usher chipped in with 21 apiece.

The Yellow Jackets (7-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) built a nine-point halftime lead and pulled away after the break to hand the Tigers their second straight blowout loss.

Coach Josh Pastner was worried that his team might be rusty after having four straight games postponed because of COVID-19 protocols.

Not to worry. The Yellow Jackets picked up where they left off to stretch their winning streak to five in a row, further bolstering their hopes of finally reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.

Clemson, on the other hand, has looked like a different team since going 11 days without a game because of the pandemic.

The Tigers (9-3, 3-3) returned from their unscheduled break last Saturday and were embarrassed at home by Virginia, 85-50.

Now, a second straight game that got out of hand.

Clemson went more than four minutes without scoring to start the second half, allowing Georgia Tech to stretch its lead to 53-35. The Yellow Jackets led by as many as 22.

Aamir Simms scored 19 points to lead the Tigers, who shot 52% from the field and were hurt badly by 20 turnovers.

(10) WISCONSIN 68, NORTHWESTERN 52: Tyler Wahl paced a balanced attack with 14 points and host Wisconsin (12-3, 6-2 Big Ten) pulled away in the second half to top Northwestern (6-7, 3-6).

The Badgers gained control with a 12-0 run midway through the second half. Micah Potter’s 3-pointer put Wisconsin up 56-39.

Northwestern went scoreless for almost six minutes until Chase Audige’s 3-pointer made it 56-42 with 10:26 left.

PROVIDENCE 74, (11) CREIGHTON 70: Nate Watson scored a career-high 29 points and visiting Providence (8-6, 4-4 Big East) turned back Creighton (10-4, 6-3) each time it pulled close.

Providence won for the first time in four games and avenged a crushing loss to the Bluejays three weeks ago. Creighton lost its second straight after one of its worst offensive games of the season.

The Friars built an early 17-point lead behind the strong inside play of the 6-foot-10, 260-pound Watson. Creighton battled back to 39-34 at halftime, fell behind by double digits in the second half and then made late runs that fell short.

The Bluejays were within two points four times in the final six minutes, the last two occasions in the last 57 seconds.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

(9) BAYLOR 77, OKLAHOMA STATE 58: Moon Ursin scored 20 points and Baylor (9-2, 4-1 Big 12) bounced back from a rare loss to beat host Oklahoma State  (9-5, 5-3).

Ursin, a senior guard who entered the game averaging 9.4 points, made 7 of 14 shots and had eight rebounds.

Nalyssa Smith had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Didi Richards added 11 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Baylor. The Lady Bears avoided their first back-to-back losses since the 2014-15 season.

Baylor had won 61 straight at home before falling to Iowa State on Saturday.

UCONN-ARKANSAS:  Conn’s 3rd-rankedl team agreed to play at No. 15 Arkansas on Jan. 28.

Arkansas had been scheduled to host Vanderbilt, but the Commodores cut short their season because of complications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When Vanderbilt opted out of the season Monday, we were lucky enough that UConn had a common open date as ours,” Arkansas Coach Mike Neighbors said on the program’s website. “A few texts and a couple of calls later, we got it all set.”

The Huskies (8-0, 7-0 Big East) have had four nonconference games canceled due to COVID-19 protocols and are scheduled to play just their second nonconference game of the season Thursday night at No. 25 Tennessee.

Arkansas (11-5, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) is scheduled to visit Georgia on Monday night.

FOOTBALL

ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State has elevated Antonio Pierce to a sole defensive coordinator role after sharing the job with Marvin Lewis last season.

The school also said Lewis will move back to an advisory role on Coach Herm Edwards’ staff.

Pierce will retain the titles of associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

A former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker, Pierce joined the Sun Devils as linebackers coach in 2017. His recruiting efforts have helped Edwards make huge inroads in bringing talent to the desert.

Pierce played nine NFL seasons with Washington and the New York Giants before spending four seasons as head coach at Long Beach Poly High School.

NOTES

PAC-12: Commissioner Larry Scott is stepping down at the end of June, ending an 11-year tenure in which the conference landed a transformational billion dollar television deal but struggled to keep up with some of its Power Five peers when it came to revenue and exposure.

Sports Business Journal first reported the news and a person with knowledge of what was being called a mutual decision between the 56-year-old Scott and university presidents who make up the league’s executive committee confirmed it to AP.

Scott’s current contract was set to expire June 2022, but he will not seek a new deal and instead finish out this academic year to assist with the transition to his successor.

Under Scott, the Pac-10 became the Pac-12 by adding Colorado and Utah to the conference in 2011 and created a football championship game. The additions helped the conference secure a 12-year $3 billion media rights deal with Fox and ESPN that set the standard in the college sports market at the time.

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