by Mike Potter
GREENSBORO COLISEUM It's a battle between former Big East rivals Boston College and Virginia Tech in what turns out to be the "maroon" bracket of the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament, since the winner will advance to a Friday night quarterfinal against Florida State.
BC is looking for revenge, since the Hokies won their only regular-season meeting 69-64 on Feb. 21 in Blacksburg.
The Eagles are seeded No. 7 and the Hokies No. 10, but they're evenly matched at 15-14 each. BC, which on its best day of the season upset Duke, is looking to redeem itself for a shaky regular season with a good post-season run.
The Hokies are just looking for respect.
The Eagles are coached by Sylvia Crawley (pictured), who was the All-America center for UNC's 1994 NCAA championship team. Her top assistant is Stephanie Lawrence Yelton, who had the assist on Charlotte Smith's winning 3-pointer in that NCAA title game.
The Hokies' local connection is Northern Durham alumna Utahya Drye, who will finish her college career this month.
Tonight the Eagles get revenge with a 62-49 win.
BC takes a 13-2 lead on Mickel Picco's 3-pointer with 14:23 left in the first half before the Hokies make any offensive noise, and never leads by fewer than seven points the rest of the way.
Stefanie Murphy leads the Eagles with 18 points, followed by Brittany Johnson with 10.
Nikki Davis paces Tech with 10 points while Drye chips in eight.
BC shoots 40.4 percent from the floor to the Hokies' 30.8 and wins the rebound battle 37-32. Turnovers are 16 apiece.
They said it:
BC coach Sylvia Crawley: ""We got a chance to watch film on Virginia Tech and got to correct things that didn't work for us. One of our keys to victory was one-on-one defense, containing them. We tried to focus on that and transition defense and block-out rebounding. Stefanie (Murphy) has been playing well for the last eight games. A lot of times she gets overlooked, but she does a lot of good things for our team and has been consistent as of late."
Va. Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger: ""Obviously it was a rough offensive day for the Hokies. I thought Boston College jumped on us early in the paint and we were never able to get back out of the hole. In the second half we were a little more aggressive, but we weren't able to make up the deficit."
Murphy: ""Our seniors are trying to lead us right now. I know I don't want this to end, and I will try to do whatever I can whether it's on offense or defense to help win the game."
What does it all mean?
That the Eagles continue their quest for an NCAA Tournament berth, and that the Hokies are on their way to the WNIT or WBI should they choose to accept the bid.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Picco's 3-pointer that makes it 30-19 with 18:58 to play.
Virginia Tech leads 9-6.
BC: Won 2.
Va. Tech: Lost 2.
Boston College vs. Florida State, Friday, 6 p.m.