A Couple of Surprises in Sunday ACC WBB
With Louisville (and Notre Dame) off, sidelined by COVID protocols, and Pitt with the "bye" day (and probably thankful for it) there were six ACC WBB games on Sunday. Let's have a look at the going-ons and results
NOT QUITE WHAT WE EXPECTED
Wake Forest traveled to Florida State, with a previous win over the Noles in Winston-Salem this season in the "Battle of the Spear" Round II. We're referring to, on the Demon Deacon's side, Jewel Spear and on FSU's side, the weapon Chief Osceola's carries. Would the Noles close late to make a game of it, like they did in Winston-Salem?
No need for that late-game heroics nonsense. FSU threw down the gauntlet early and never let up on Jen Hoover's Deacs, winning 87-46. a 44-28 halftime Noles lead exploded with FSU winning the third quarter 24-6 and probably scalping the Demon Deacon's hat in the process. Jewel Spear had 10 points on 4-15 shooting and she looked the best of all the Deacons. FSU played 12, they all scored and Chief Osceola and Renegade probably would have gotten on the board if they had gotten in. Jen Hoover has to be leaving Tallahassee wondering what hit her.
Virginia Tech went to Chapel Hill as one of three still undefeated ACC schools. North Carolina was trying to get it back together after suffering their first loss of the year the game -- to NC State. Should be a good one, right? Someone forgot to tell the Hokies to make a game of it . North Carolina shut down the rest of the Hokies beside Elizabeth Kitley and roared to a 35-17 halftime lead over the hapless Hokies. It was the Deja Kelly show for UNC with 15 points and Eva Hodgson came off the TarHeels bench to add 19.
Surprising that UNC had so little trouble with a VT squad that got very little out their other star Aisha Sheppard (two points). Sheppard did have to be assisted off the floor late in the contest and we hope she's OK. Kenny Brooks might be wondering what in the heck is up with achools travelling to Florida on Sunday. How would it turnout for NC State, who traveled to Miami?
THE OPPONENT TO BE NAMED LATER GAME
Miami was without a Sunday foe after Louisville went on COVID protocol. North Carolina was without an opponent after Notre Dame went on COVID protocol. You had to wonder how long it would take the ACC WBB moguls to put 1 and 1 together and get 2....but they succeeded in matching up the Wolfpack and the Hurricanes and even moved the game to 2 p.m. to give Ms. Wuf a little extra travelling time. NC State did not run away with this one, it was 35-32 at halftime and "Big Smile" Elissa Cunane wasn't doing much grinning for Wes Moore's bunch of canines.
Still a game after three quarters, with NC State up just 56-51, but tired legs and lack of games lately caught up with Katie Meyer and her Ibuses and NC State got the 76-64 win. Cunane ended with 19, but what about Rutgers transfer Diamond Johnson for NC State with 16 and 4 steals? Kelsey Marshall is "all that" for Miami and ended with 17.
ABOUT WHAT WE EXPECTED
Georgia Tech hosted winless-in-conference Virginia, and to make matters worse foe the Cavaliers, they were without three starters. I figured blowout and that's what happened, a 67-31 win for Nell Fortner's Bees. At least UVA made a game of it for a half...trailing just 14-13 after the first quarter and still kinda close at 26-19 at halftime.
UVA could muster only 12 second half points, though and Cubaj and Hermosa were a powerful 1-2 punch for GT. Tech only had seven players available, like they did against Louisville last Sunday, but they had a much better run of success and sent the Cavs home still winless in ACC play.
Duke headed to Syracuse to see if they could hang a loss on the Orange and did so 74-65. One had to figure Syracuse would try and defend the home venue as best they could and they did win the first quarter 18-17. A rough outing for former Card Elizabeth Balogun, with four fouls and just one point in 19 minutes.
Syracuse did win the boards battle, if that counts for anything, 47-35. They also shot a chilly 31.9% from the floor, while Duke fared much better at 45/3%. The Orange played just seven players (and one of them just one minute) so the COVID protocols continue to plague the squad. It's a Syracuse program on the rebuild obviously after just about everyone but Otto the Orange transferred out during the Q debacle.
CLOSER THAN WE EXPECTED
Boston College is probably very glad Cameron Swartz is on the Eagles roster. And, she probably wouldn't mind playing the rest of the season in Clemson's Littlejohn Arena. Swartz went for 39 points against the Tigers in a 80-74 BC win. The Colorado transfer probably is glad she headed east also
BC needed them all. I didn't see this one actually going to be this close, but, it appears the Tigers are still fighting for Amanda Butler. A 40-31 lead for the Eagles at the half in this one, Clemson did get a huge game from Amari Robinson with 25.
0-4 now in the ACC for Clemson and three other schools are winless also in conference -- Miami, Virginia and Pitt
We do not know when Louisville will return to action, but, as of now, they are one of undefeated-in-conference play, along with NC State.