#5 Virginia Drops Heart-breaker to #1 North Carolina in ACC Tourney Semifinal, 78-72
March 6, 2005
GREENSBORO, N.C.- – The No. 5 seed Virginia women’s basketball team gave No. 1 seed and No. 4 nationally ranked North Carolina its best effort, leading the entire game before falling in the last minute of play, 78-72 in the semifinal round at the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday.
Virginia stands 20-10 on the season. The Tar Heels, which improved to 26-3 overall, advance to Monday’s championship game.
“I was really proud of my team today,” UVa head coach Debbie Ryan. “I thought that we had a good game plan coming in, and I think the players executed perfectly. It was difficult holding Carolina for the entire game, but I thought we did a tremendous job.”
In the first half, UNC jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Virginia tied it up on two free throws by senior Jocelyn Logan-Friend (Cheverly, Md.) and a jumper by senior Brandi Teamer (Joliet, Ill.). UVa closed out the half with a 16-2 run to hold a 39-28 edge at the half. The Cavaliers held UNC to one bucket during the final 10 minutes of the stanza.
In the second half, UVa increased its lead to by as many as 17 points, 45-28 with 18:05 to go. The Tar Heels battled to back to come within five, 56-51 with 11:24 to go, but UVa once again went ahead by 12 points, 67-55 with 5:54 on the clock. UNC finished the game with a 17-2 run to reclaim the lead and win the game.
In her second straight start, junior Tiffany Sardin (Chicago, Ill.) scored a career-high 21 points, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Teamer finished with 18 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the line. Logan-Friend rounded out the double-digit scoring with 16 points. UVa went 22-24 from the free throw line and shot 51 percent (23-45) from the field.
“Tiffany played a tremendous game today,” Ryan added. “She gave us another 36 minutes and just played with her heart and her soul. She exemplifies the words sacrifice and commitment.”
“This game showed a lot of heart, dedication, and passion for the game,” Sardin said. “This was what we wanted to be in. We got to get ready for the next level (NCAA Tournament).
Sophomore Ivory Latta, who scored four points in the final 34 seconds of play, paced UNC with 32 points, including five three-point buckets. Nikita Bell added 18 points, while freshman Erlana Larkins had 13 points. Sophomore Camille Little had 10 points.
Overall, Virginia out-rebounded North Carolina, 37-31.
Virginia now awaits an at-large berth to the 2005 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The bracket will be announced live on ESPN on Sunday, March 13 at 5 p.m.
ACC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURAMENT
1 2 - Final#5 seed Virginia (20-10) 39 33 - 72#1 seed North Carolina (26-3) 28 50 - 78