Wake Forest Knocks Off Virginia, 74-68, in First Round of #ACCWBB Tournament

March 3, 2011

GREENSBORO, NC – The ninth-seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons used a 12-2 run to break open a close game as they defeated the eighth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers 74-68 in the first round of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon in the Greensboro Coliseum.

The game was knotted at 51-51 with 7:54 remaining when freshman Chelsea Douglas knocked down the first of her two three-pointers to spark the decisive run. She added another trey with 4:51 on the clock to extend the Demon Deacon lead to 61-53 and Wake Forest never looked back. Virginia was able to get no closer than six points the rest of the way.

The Cavaliers led by as many as 10 points in the first period and held a 32-27 halftime advantage, but Wake Forest shot 60 percent (18-of-30) after intermission to defeat Virginia for just the fourth time in 65 meetings. Virginia defeated Wake Forest 73-46 on Feb. 3 in Charlottesville.

“In this league, there’s a fine line between winning and getting drubbed sometimes,” said Wake Forest coach Mike Petersen. “We got on the right side of that line in the second half. When we get on the right side of the line, we’re pretty good. There’s a reason we shot 60 percent in the second half. We were on the right side of the energy line. It’s easier to play defense when the shots are going in.”

“I thought it was a tale of two halves today,” Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. “We started the game off strong and built ourselves a 10 point lead. We just did not get a lot of consistency from a group of players today. We allowed them to shoot 60 percent in the second half, which is not going to win any games for anybody. Credit Wake Forest. They came out with a lot more energy out of the locker room the second half than we did, and we backed down instead of standing up.”

Wake Forest senior Brittany Waters recorded her sixth double-double of the year, leading all players with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Sandra Garcia added 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Lakevia Boykin (13 points) and Mykala Walker (season-high 12 points) both scored in double figures as the Demon Deacons advanced to the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals for the third consecutive year. Wake Forest (15-16) will face top-seeded Duke (26-3) on Friday at 3:00 p.m.

Ataira Franklin scored a team-high 19 points to lead the Cavaliers. Whitny Edwards scored 16 points and Telia McCall added 11 points and eight rebounds as Virginia fell to 16-15 on the year.

Game 2 Notes:

Wake Forest improved to 11-33 in the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. The game was not decided until the final minute, but the victory was Wake Forest’s most lopsided in the tournament since a 17-point win over Maryland in 1999. Of Wake Forest’s 10 previous wins, three were by one point and one was by two points.

Wake Forest, in Friday’s 3 p.m. quarterfinal against top-seeded Duke, will be trying to win a second game in a single tournament for the first time in school history. Duke has won 34 consecutive meetings with Wake Forest, including the tournament and regular season.

For the first time in program history, the Demon Deacons have won their opening game in the ACC Tournament three consecutive years.

Wake Forest avenged a 27-point defeat at Virginia in the regular season. On Feb. 3 in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers defeated the Demon Deacons 73-46. With 11:58 left in Thursday’s game, Wake Forest led 45-40.

Wake Forest was coming off a 100-94 overtime victory on Sunday against N.C. State, the school record for points in an ACC game. The Demon Deacons scored 22 points alone in the five-minute overtime, one point off the NCAA record.

Wake Forest’s Sandra Garcia finished 8 for 11 from the floor with 16 points. Including the OT win over N.C. State, Garcia has made 17 of her last 20 shots and scored 39 points.

Virginia has a record of 33-31 in the ACC Tournament, including 4-2 in the first round. Coach Debbie Ryan’s team has won three tournament titles, in 1990, 1992 and 1993. The Cavaliers are bidding for their first trip to the tournament final since 1994.

Virginia leads the all-time series with Wake Forest 61-4, and the margin over the Demon Deacons is 6-1 in the ACC Tournament. The teams’ game Thursday was their first tournament meeting since 2000.

Virginia coach Debbie Ryan is No. 8 all-time in victories among active Division I women’s coaches. Ryan, who has 23 20-win seasons, all at Virginia, has 736 victories in 34 seasons, one ahead of Ohio State’s Jim Foster.