Opening Round Recap

By Jeff Lippman - March 01, 2007


Game 1: No. 5 Florida State 70; No. 12 Wake Forest 53

Although I missed the opening game of the tournament due to travel plans, I have heard the game was a laugher. Wake never really challenged Florida State and as such, the Seminoles have a date with No. 4 N.C. State tomorrow.

Quote of the Game: Wake Forest coach Mike Petersen on how his team played: "I thought that game was very similar to a lot of games that we played. A lot of our effort was good. Our execution was all right. We only turned it over 10 times. We just don't make enough shots at the end of the day. It's a pretty important thing to do in this sport, is to make shots."

Well said, coach, well said.

Game 2: No. 8 Virginia 89; No. 9 Clemson 82

The final score was closer than it should have been. Virginia was far and away the better team on this night, and in general.

Virginia got huge games from freshman Monica Wright (24 points) and sophomore Lyndra Littles (32 points, 10 boards). Littles played 33 minutes but didn't start because she failed to attend a scheduled meeting, she said after the game.

The Cavs need to win the ACC Tournament if they hope to make the NCAAs, and a team with nothing to lose is a very dangerous team. However, by winning their opening round game, Virginia earned a date with the Devils. No. 1 Duke that is. We'll see how Littles does against someone nearly twice her size.

Quote of the Game: Lyndra Littles on how she plans on dealing with Duke's Alison Bales: "I'm going to get an ice bath. I'm going to get some rest and stay off my feet and probably go back and write a paper. And then we are going to wake up and prepare just like we did today. It's just another game. I'm not going to go after Alison Bales any differently than I did today. I'm going to be patient, I'm going to run our offense, work hard on defense and let the chips fall as they may."

I'm assuming those chips will be falling very much like a Wilson basketball falls after it has been rejected in your face.

Quote of the Game X 2: Virginia coach Debbie Ryan on her plan for Duke: "Just because Duke is No. 1 and undefeated at this point, that's no reason for us to pack the bags in. We are going to go and we are going to play. We are going to play with the intention of winning, and that's how we are going to prepare."

Good luck, coach.

Game 3: No. 7 Virginia Tech 60; No. 10 Boston College 54 (OT):

Far and away the closest and best matchup of the opening round. This one was interesting in that Boston College pretty much owned the Hokies for most of the first and second half and each time Tech battled back.

Apparently using a bend-but-don't-break strategy, BC broke.

Tech hit a long three pointer with under a minute to go in regulation just to tie the score. Then, with seconds to go, Boston College put the ball into the hands of a freshman. Mickel Picco, that frosh from Texas, took the ball at the top of the key, made a nifty move to get by her defender and then missed a wide-open lay up as regulation expired.

The Eagles let that golden opportunity slip away and in overtime were outscored 8-2 as the Hokies advanced. Next up for Virginia Tech will be the No. 2 seed North Carolina.

Quote of the Game: Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger on what was going through her mind as Picco's shot was dancing on the rim: "Miss, miss, miss."

Way to will out a win, coach!

Quote of the Game X 2: BC coach Cathy Inglese on Picco's shot: "I thought it was worth at least one point because it hung in there pretty long. I was hoping they would give us a half a point. She is a lefty, so I give her credit."

Wishful thinking, coach, but I like your ideas, sort of thinking outside the box.

Game 4: No. 6 Georgia Tech 66; No. 11 Miami 52

By the end of this lopsided matchup, the only fans belonged to Maryland, as the Terp faithful wanted to scout out the Jackets before having to play them tomorrow.

Leading the way for the Yellow Jackets, who earned their 20th win on the night, was Janie Mitchell who finished with 22 points and 10 boards. Miami's leading scorer was Renee Taylor who had 14, followed by Charmaine Clark and Maurita Reid who scored 12 apiece.

No. 4 Maryland stands in the way of the Yellow Jackets advancing to the semifinals. And guess what? Earlier this month the Jackets topped the Terps in Atlanta and they believe they can do it again.

Quote of the Game: Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph on what she will take from their Feb. 1 win over Maryland: "Anytime you play a team like Maryland you have to be the more aggressive team from start to finish. I think that is what we will take from that game. Going into that game we knew that the aggressive team was going to win and when you are playing somebody like Maryland you have to bring your A game and you have to be aggressive on every possession. We've got to give an extra effort. You have to elevate your game and we were able to do that in Atlanta. Now the challenge is, can we do it tomorrow night in the ACC Tournament."

And only tomorrow holds that answer.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 09:31 PM on March 01, 2007
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