Wake Forest Knocks Off Second-Seeded Miami in ACC Women's Basketball Tournament

March 2, 2012


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GREENSBORO, N.C. - The drama and upsets continued into the evening session of the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals as the seventh-seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons knocked off the second-seeded Miami Hurricanes, 81-74 Friday night in the Greensboro Coliseum. Senior Secily Ray scored 17 of her season-high 21 points in the second half to lead Wake Forest to the tournament semifinals for the first time since 1988. This is the first time in history that both of the top two seeds have failed to advance to semifinal play.

Miami came from down 15 at halftime to take the lead with just under five minutes remaining. But sparked by a technical foul on Miami junior Shawnice Wilson and Sandra Garcia's resulting converted free throws, the Demon Deacons closed out the game on a 16-8 run. Wake Forest, which was 20-of-24 from the line in the game, made 10 of 11 free throws in the final five minutes. The Deacs also got huge blocked shots from Ray and Mykala Walker in the final two minutes to help secure the victory over the nation's seventh-ranked team.

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"We beat a great team today," Wake Forest coach Mike Petersen said. "I think credit has got to go to Miami. That is a great basketball team. They have great players. They played hard. They are well coached. They never shook. We didn't shake. That was a pretty high-level basketball game I thought. Our energy level was good. Our sense of urgency was so good. When plays needed to be made, they got them made. I can't sit here and tell you that we just had this wonderful game plan, we just tricked them. We took a really good basketball team out there, and they played super hard. We beat a really good basketball team."

"I have a saying that the most excited team wins and Wake Forest was way more excited than us and they won," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "All the hustle stats were in their favor. The bench stats were ridiculously uneven...They played very, very well. But that first half, I didn't know my team and I didn't like them. The score was very indicative of our effort. In another era, I might have patted our team on the back for that second half, but not now. No way. So we're very disappointed. We're feeling discouraged and we deserve what happened to us tonight."

It took a team-effort by the Demon Deacons to pull off the upset. Led by Garcia, who notched her third double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Chelsea Douglas (18 points), the Wake bench outscored Miami 34-2. Junior Lakevia Boykin poured in 16 points and three steals and Ray grabbed eight rebounds to go along with her team-high 21 points.

Senior Riquna Williams scored a game-high 22 points for the Hurricanes, who lost for just the second time in the last 16 games. Senior Shenise Johnson and junior Stefanie Yderstrom scored 18 apiece for Miami.

Wake Forest improved to 19-12 and will face the winner of Friday's nightcap between third-seeded Maryland and sixth-seeded Virginia Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Earlier Friday, fourth-seeded Georgia Tech and ninth-seeded NC State won to advance to Saturday's first semifinal contest.

TOURNAMENT NOTES, QUARTERFINAL 3

  • Wake Forest earns its first trip to the semifinals since 1988 and its third in all. The Demon Deacons also advanced in 1986.
  • In the ACC Tournament's first 34 years, only two teams seeded seventh or lower advanced to the semifinals: No. 7 Boston College in 2010 and No. 7 Georgia Tech in 1992. Today, No. 9 NC State and No. 7 Wake Forest won quarterfinal games.
  • Before Friday, teams seeking major upsets as defined by the NCAA (a difference of five or more places in seeding) stood 4-73 in ACC Tournament play. They were 2-0 on Friday.
  • The Demon Deacons had more field goals in Friday's first half (17) than they collected in their regular-season meeting with Miami (15). The Hurricanes won that game 64-39 on Jan. 26.
  • Both teams were 1-for-1 from the foul line in the first half.
  • The win over the seventh-rated Hurricanes is the second in Wake history over an opponent ranked in the AP poll's Top 10. The first was a 67-65 home decision over No. 7 Maryland on Feb. 2, 1993.
  • The Deacons (20-of-24) tied a school record for free throws made in an ACC Tournament game originally established in a 20-for-30 performance against Florida State in the first round in 1997.
  • Wake's 83.3-percent accuracy from the line is its highest in an ACC Tournament game with 20 or more attempts.
  • Secily Ray of Wake Forest is 12-of-23 from the floor and 14-of-18 from the foul line in this year's tournament.
  • Miami eradicated a 15-point halftime deficit to take a lead on the Demon Deacons. If they had won, the Hurricanes would have achieved the second-largest comeback as measured by halftime lead in ACC Tournament's history. The standard is held by Duke, which overcame a 40-20 halftime deficit to defeat Virginia 83-82 in overtime in the 1995 semifinals.
  • After shooting 9-for-32 from the floor in the first half, Miami made 16 of its first 25 shots after the break.