Virginia Edges Florida State In Overtime, 71-67
March 5, 2005
GREENSBORO - Virginia couldn't have been feeling too good in overtime with leading scorer LaTonya Blue sidelined with an injury and dominating center Brandi Teamer fouled out.
Leave it to a freshman to calm the nerves of veterans.
Sharnee Zoll, just a 52.5 percent free throw shooter, made six straight from the foul line over the final 35.8 seconds of OT as fifth-seeded Virginia edged No. 4 seed Florida State 71-67 in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
Zoll heard the Seminoles yelling to foul her if the opportunity presented itself in the final minutes.
"That's all I kept hearing from their sideline and I was like, 'Wow, I must be shooting really, really bad from the free-throw line if they're coming after me,"' Zoll said. "I just knew I had to knock them down and my teammates had confidence in me."
Virginia (20-9) advanced to play top-seeded North Carolina, who struggled in the first game of the day against Miami before pulling out the victory.
Florida State (23-7) missed 18 of its first 20 second-half shots and trailed by 10 with 4:38 left in regulation before rallying down the stretch for force the extra five-minute period.
Virginia had the ball with 12.9 seconds left, but Zoll dribbled the ball off her foot as time ticked down and had to force up a shot that didn't draw iron.
"I was very disappointed," Zoll said. "Ii was just out there myself dribbling and the ball just hit off my leg. But after that happened and we didn't the shot we wanted I had to keep my head up. We still had five minutes to play. I could think about that afterwards, not during the game."
The Seminoles went up by three points with 2:26 remaining in OT before Zoll nailed a 12-footer and Jocelyn Logan-Friend converted on a three-point play.
After pulling within one with 37.5 seconds left, Florida State coach Sue Semrau immediately fouled the freshman Zoll, who calmly walked to the line and sank both ends of the one-and-one without touching iron.
Zoll would make four more from the free-throw line to seal it for the Cavaliers, who reached the 20-win plateau for the 19th time under Ryan.
"She had only hit 15 free throws in ACC play," Semrau said of her decision to foul Zoll. "I don't regret doing it. It was an educated risk. She stepped up big."
Blue, a senior, was in street clothes with a sprained ankle and it's uncertain if she'll be able to suit up against the Tar Heels in the first semifinal game Sunday.
Teamer, her senior teammate, had a huge game on the inside, scoring 23 points before fouling out in the early stages of OT.
"I told Brandi before the game this was a game that she was going to have to step up and give us a good, solid performance," Ryan said. "She went well beyond a solid performance.
Florida State got 26 points from Roneeka Hodges and 20 from Alicia Gladden, but got no points off its bench, and missed 31 of 39 shots after the opening half.
By DAVID DROSCHAK