by Mike Potter
With the infamous “double bye” for the 15-team field No. 10-ranked Duke and No. 14-ranked N.C. State won’t even play until Friday, while No. 13-ranked UNC will take to the court on Thursday at 8.
Today’s program features all the teams seeded No. 10 and below in the conference standings.
No. 12 seed Virginia Tech and No. 13 seed Clemson square off in the opener, with No. 10 seed Virginia taking on No. 15 seed Boston College in the middle game and No. 11 seed Wake Forest facing No. 14 seed Pittsburgh in the nightcap.
Everybody is wearing some kind of pink today, saluting the Kay Yow Foundation and the fight against breast cancer.
Clemson 69, Virginia Tech 56
The Tigers (13-18) dominate the whole way in winning their first tournament game since 2008.
Nikki Dixon leads Clemson with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Nyilah Jamison-Myers adds a career-high 19 points.
Hillside alum and sophomore point guard Chelsea Lindsay adds three points, four rebounds and four assists for the Tigers.
Clemson, which lost a road game with the Hokies 74-48 three days earlier, has only eight players on its active roster.
Uju Ugoka leads Tech (14-16) with 20 points and 10 rebounds in her final college game while Kelsey Conyers comes off the bench for 10 points.
Virginia 74, Boston College 59
Ataira Franklin scores 23 as the Cavaliers (14-16) avenge a four-point regular-season road loss with a comfortable victory.
Sarah Imovbioh adds 14 points and Lexie Gerson 10 for the Cavaliers, who lead 35-28 at the half and keep control the rest of the way.
Katie Zenevitch hits 14 in her final college game for BC (12-19), pacing four Eagles in double figures. Lauren Engeln and Kelly Hughes chip in 12 apiece while Kat Cooper scores 10.
Wake Forest 72, Pittsburgh 58
Dearica Hamby leads the way with 25 points, 16 rebounds and a career-high eight assists as the Deacons pick up the comfortable victory.
Senior Chelsea Douglas extends her career for at least one more game as the Deacons (15-15), scoring 20 points including four 3-pointers.
Asia Logan leads Pitt (11-20), which never leads, with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Brianna Kiesel chips in 12 points.
They said it …
Clemson coach Audra Smith: “Accolades to my team and how they came out in the first half. They played with a huge sense of urgency; a dire sense of the fact they were not ready to go home and they were going to give all they had and they did. I felt like our defense is what catapulted us into playing such a well-balanced game. We had to get it done on the defensive end, and we also had to make sure we rebounded very well.”
Virginia coach Joanne Boyle: “We’re just excited to get our first win down here. It’s all about advancing. I thought the team for the most part played a pretty well-rounded game on both ends of the floor, and I was excited about that. We played team basketball, which is what we’ve been working towards. For us to put a pretty complete game together, obviously it’s going to build our confidence.”
Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover: “We came here with one thing on our mind. We’ve been preparing for this since July, and (Douglas and Hamby) have been preparing for it for a lot longer than that. A lot of credit for Pitt. They’re scrappy. They play with a lot of heart. They’re undersized, but they never really considered themselves out of the game. Really proud of our team. We came in with a couple of main goals, one was taking care of the ball and the other was rebounding. I felt like we did a great job with both of those.”
Stars of the day
1. Dearica Hamby, Wake Forest
2. Nikki Dixon, Clemson
3. Ataira Franklin, Virginia
Syracuse vs. Clemson, Thursday, 11 a.m.
Miami vs. Florida State, Thursday, 2 p.m.
Georgia Tech vs. Virginia, Thursday, 6 p.m.
UNC vs. Wake Forest, Thursday, 8 p.m.