Friday, February 24, 2012

Virginia rallies past Wake Forest on Senior Night

Virginia 61, Wake Forest 55: Lots on the line for the Cavaliers (20-9, 8-7 ACC) in this one, and after a shaky first half, they responded in style to send seniors Chelsea Shine and Ariana Moorer away winners in their final game at John Paul Jones Arena. The first half featured the rare sight of this Virginia team appearing to be outworked by the Demon Deacons, who took a 33-25 lead into the break. But after a few "words of encouragement" from Cavaliers coach Joanne Boyle - "We challenged them at halftime" - the team conjured up the effort and intensity required to put Wake Forest away. Ataira Franklin led Virginia with 17 points while Moorer and Lexie Gerson each added 15. Meanwhile, Shine became the 28th Cavalier to crack the 1,000-point barrier.

In addition to cementing a 20-win season, Virginia's victory clinched the No. 6 seed in the ACC Tournament. It's a position the Cavs have come by honestly - they are 8-0 against the six teams below them in the standings; 0-7 against the five teams above them. "This win will hopefully propel us into some great postseason action," Shine said. "That is really what each game is all about from here on out."

In other ACC action Friday, No. 7 Duke clinched the tournament's No. 1 seed by holding off No. 5 Miami 74-64. It was the Blue Devils' 30th straight win at home against ACC foes.

No. 6 Maryland routed reeling North Carolina 84-64 in the final home game for Terrapins seniors Lynetta Kizer, Anjale Barrett and Kim Rodgers. It was the fourth loss in six games for the Tar Heels (19-9, 9-6). Three of those losses have been by at least 20 points. For the season, UNC has lost six games by 19 points or more.

ACC standings
Duke                     23-4   14-1
Miami                    24-4   13-2
Maryland               24-4   11-4
Georgia Tech         21-7   11-4
North Carolina      19-9     9-6
Virginia                  20-6    8-7
Wake Forest         16-12  6-9
Florida State          14-15  6-9
N.C State              15-14  5-10
Virginia Tech          7-21   3-12
Boston College       7-21   2-13
Clemson                 6-20   2-13

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