Wednesday, March 4, 2020
ACC WBB report -- WEDNESDAY NIGHT ACTION
THREE LOWEST SEEDS PULL UPSETS IN FIRST DAY
So, how many times can you recall the ACC women's basketball tournament or any basketball tournament) starting out this crazy? #13 seed Wake Forest defeats #12 seed UNC. #15 seed Pitt gets their second win the ACC this season with the exciting two point win over #10 seed Notre Dame. In the nightcap, Clemson, seeded #14 upsets #11 seed Miami (with Bea Mompremier).
It makes you wonder about Thursday.
WAKE FOREST 83 - NORTH CAROLINA 73
The day started with Wake Forest and UNC engaged in a tight one. Ivana Raca had 12 first quarter points to give the Demon Deacons a 20-17 lead. WFU would build that to six, but the TarHeels Shayla Bennett spurred a run that cut it to two at the half, WFU still leading.
UNC took the lead halfway throgh the third quarter at 44-43, but a 6-0 Wake run ended the third 61-56 and UNC would not get any closer than that in the final quarter. 83-73 to advance Wake Forest to play Virginia Tech tomorrow at 11 a.m. Raca ended with 27 points for Jen Hoover's team. Joining her in double figures were Christina Morra (19), Gina Conti (10) and Alex Sharp (19). Bennett had 26 for UNC.
The key? Rebounding. Wake had a 47-22 advantage. Center Janelle Bailey played just 22 minutes for North Carolina.
PITTSBURGH 67 - NOTRE DAME 65
The second game started out a Notre Dame blowout. They roared out to a 11-3 led, but the Panthers fought their way back into it and trailed just 16-12 after one. Pitt kept coming. They grabbed a four-point second quarter edge at 29-25 bu the Irish fought back with a 6-0 run. Gabbie Green sunk a jumper at the buzzer and Pitt went into the locker room ahead 34-33.
The craziness was just getting started. In the third, Pitt would push out to a eight-point edge, led by Day Harris, but here came the Irish, behind Katlyn Gilbert, and the third ended 51-47 Panthers. Notre Dame went 5-18 in the third quarter (27%) but hadn't surrendered by any means. Muffet's squad saw their final lead at 55-53 and tied it at 65-65 on a Gilbert layup with 21 seconds to go.
Harris -- calm, cool and collected -- buried a jumper with 2.7 second left and then stole the Notre Dame in-bounds pass after an Irish timeout to cinch it. Pitt advances to play Georgia Tech at 6 p.m. Thursday. Harris had 20 points for the Panthers, Ismini Prama sank four threes for Pitt to finish with 12 before she fouled out. Gilbert was the ND leader with 20 points.
( I talked with Cardinal COUPLE readers Arthur and Bea before the Clemson game. He was nervous about facing Miami, but correctly indicated he thought Kobi Thornton was due for a potential big night. Bea was just nervous -- playing a team that had beaten them twice. I guess the bourbon is flowing at the Hampton Inn, and who can blame them? I'm ready for one or two myself).
CLEMSON 71 - MIAMI 56
The Tigers came out roaring and jumped to a 18-9 led over a Miami squad that looked slow and disorganized. It was 25-15 after one, Thornton had 11 points already and the Clemson fans, what few of them that were there, were ecstatic. Miami regrouped in the second quarter, steadily chipped away at the lead and eventually cut it to two. At 37-33 Clemson for the halftime break, but "uncle MO" was on Miami's side.
No one told Clemson, though.
Miami grabbed their only lead at 41-39, but, Clemson got Thornton re-engaged, came back and went on a quarter-closing 16-3 run to hold a 55-44 advantage after three. They would increase upon that and Chyna Cotton drilled a three in the fourth to make it 71-56
Mompremier had 23 for the Canes in a losing effort, she's gone for the WNBA next year and was playing dinged up but with all she had. Thornton ended with 27 for the Tigers, who will go against Boston College Thursday at 8 p.m. Amari Robinson added 16 for Amanda Butler's squad, who shot 50.9% for the game. Miami's shots would go, they finished at 31.7% from the floor.
So, how does your bracket look?