One Blowout After Another

By Jeff Lippman - March 02, 2007

Blowout 1: No. 4 N.C. State 76; No. 5 Florida State 49

In the most closely seeded game of the tournament thus far, this one sure didn't end up too close.

Down by only two at halftime, FSU actually looked like the better team at times. Whatever coach Kay Yow told her team at halftime, it worked. The Wolfpack responded by almost doubling their output from the first half, outscoring the 'Noles 49-24 in the second frame to make it a lopsided final.

Florida State, at 22-9 (10-4 ACC), may have played their way right out of the Big Dance with this clunker. They actually have a very similar record to the Pack (22-8, 10-4 ACC) but it was obvious that they couldn't hold a candle to Yow's bunch. They'll most likely still make the field of 64, but they'll need a marked improvement if they hope to advance.

FSU was led by center Britany Miller who scored 10 points in just 17 minutes of action. When your leading scorer finishes with 10 points and plays less than a half of basketball, that's when you know you're in trouble.

N.C. State got a great game from Gillian Goring, who they hope will be their answer to Duke's Alison Bales tomorrow. Goring finished with 22 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks.

Next up for the Pack is a date with No. 1 Duke in the first semifinal of the day.

Quote of the Game: Gillian Goring on her emotional season thus far: "Well, after coming back from the surgery, everybody pushing me to do better and be a dominant post player. And getting the news about coach Yow has changed my whole life, and so I committed my whole life to come out and play and be the most dominate player for coach Yow and try to give her my all. I'm not going to be a baby no more, I'm just going to grow up and play hard for coach Yow and keep my promise."

Blowout 2: No. 1 Duke 79; No. 8 Virginia 58

This one wasn't as close as the 21-point thrashing would indicate.

With the prediction that Lyndra Littles wouldn't be able to match her 32 point, 10 rebound opening-round performance coming to fruition, Virginia was no match for Duke's defense. Alison Bales held Littles to just seven points and seven rebounds while forcing her to commit five turnovers.

Duke's offense actually wasn't at its best tonight--although Abby Waner's was. Waner led the Blue Devils with 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting and was unconscious in the opening half, hitting 5-for-5 from deep. Duke got double figures from Carrem Gay (10), Bales (13) and Joy Cheek (10) but Player of the Year candidate Lindsey Harding finished with just six points, four assists and five turnovers.

The good news for Duke is, they won't have to meet Maryland or North Carolina until the final, as tomorrow they have a date with the Wolfpack.

Quote of the Game: Duke's Abby Waner on her shot selection: "I don't know if coach G wants to hear this, but most of the time I don't really think about where I am."

Yeah, that's a good sign.

Blowout 3: No. 2 North Carolina 90; No. 7 Virginia Tech 60

Boy was this one a laugher. After wiping the court with Virginia Tech three times over in the first half, doubling their output, 50-25, UNC let up in the second frame and only managed to win by 30.

Easily the best offensive game of the tournament so far, Carolina was paced by Camille Little who finished with 20 points and seven steals. Ivory Latta had 17 with five threes, Jessica Breland had 12 points and Rashanda McCants had 11.

Tech was led by Nare Diawara's 17 points, nine rebounds.

Next up for the high-flying Tar Heel act will be the other high-scoring ACC team, Maryland in tomorrow's second semifinal.

Quote of the Game: Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger on Carolina's performance: "I thought that was one of the best performances by a team I've seen all year. They shot the ball extremely well, they moved it around, they scored from every position from everywhere on the court."

Now we'll see how they do against a team that actually scores back.

Blowout 4: No. 3 Maryland 75; No. 6 Georgia Tech 59

For a team that beat Maryland just one month and one day ago, Georgia Tech sure didn't look like it.

The Terps got off to a slow start and Tech forced them into 23 turnovers, but Maryland regrouped and got their act together and, in the end, their offense was just too much for GT to handle combined with Tech's inability to score points.

It was by far the most heated game of the tournament. Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph was branded a technical foul for foul language--according to the word on the street.

Maryland played one of their best offensive games of the season against an excellent defensive team and look to be moving in the right direction, although they were sloppy with the ball at times. Crystal Langhorne led the Terps in scoring with 18 points, followed by Marissa Coleman's 16 and 11 rebounds. Laura Harper blocked five Tech shots. Maryland shot almost 60 percent for the game.

For as solid as the Terps played tonight, they'll need an even better game tomorrow if they have any hopes of beating North Carolina and making it to the championship game.

Quote of the Game: Maryland coach Brenda Frese on the pace of tomorrow's game: "Really, really fast."

I agree.

Quote of the Game X 2: Oakland Raiders running back and Maryland alum LaMont Jordan on Maryland's game tonight: "They played great. They played like the team that won the national championship. They were hungry, they were intense, they played fast. More importantly, their defense was tenacious today. They really stepped their game up defensively."

And finally, to answer's Jess Garrison's question: I don't know where LaMont got his Shay Doron jersey, but you can be damn sure I'm going to ask him.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 10:33 PM on March 02, 2007

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