by Mike Potter
GREENSBORO COLISEUM It’s Day Two of the longest ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament ever, and today teams with winning records are in the house.
So are the kids.
It’s the first of two days in which there are 11 a.m. “Education Day” contests, with youngsters bused in from Guilford county and surrounding school districts.
The noisy one will have a lot of Orange, as Syracuse (21-8) makes its ACC Tournament debut against Clemson (13-18). The Tigers ended Virginia Tech’s WNIT hopes with a 69-56 victory on Wednesday’s opener. There are three Triangle-area players on the rosters, as Hillside alum Chelsea Lindsay handles and ball for Clemson while freshman twins Briana and Bria Day play the post for Syracuse.
Then it’s the latest battle for Sunshine State bragging rights, as No. 8 seed Florida State (19-10) will face No. 9 seed Miami (16-13) which has to win to have any hopes for the NCAA Tournament.
The first game of the night doubleheader will have Georgia Tech (19-10) taking on Virginia (14-16), which dropped Boston College 74-59 on Wednesday and has long-shot WNIT aspirations.
And the show will close with a Big Four battle between No. 13-ranked UNC (22-8) and Wake Forest (15-15), which dispatched Pittsburgh 72-58 on Wednesday and needs to win to get a WNIT opportunity.
Syracuse 63, Clemson 53
Brittney Sykes leads a balanced scoring effort with 10 points as the Orange advances with a methodical victory.
Briana Day comes off the bench for six points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes.
Nikki Dixon and Nyilah Jamison-Myers score 15 points apiece for the Tigers. Lindsay has six points and four assists in Clemson’s season finale.
Point guard Yashira Delgado adds 20 points for FSU.
Miami gets five players in double figures, led by Necole Sterling who comes off the bench for 14.
Krystal Saunders adds 12 points, Adrienne Motley 11 and Keyona Hayes and Suriya McGuire 10 apiece.
Georgia Tech 77, Virginia 76
Kaela Davis finishes with 28 points and Tyaunna Marshall adds 26 with 10 rebounds as the Yellow Jackets held off the scrappy Wahoos.
Sarah Imovbioh leads Virginia with 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Kelsey Wolfe adds 16 and Ataira Franklin 15.
Tech leads by as much as 57-43 before a furious Virginia rally.
Imovbioh ties it with a pair of free throws with 42 seconds left before Whiteside finishes the scoring for Tech on a three-point play with 13 ticks remaining.
Franklin hits a pair of free throws with :03 remaining following a technical foul against Tech’s Nariah Taylor, but misses a contested shot at the buzzer.
UNC 69, Wake Forest 65
Diamond DeShields leads the way with 17 points as the Tar Heels squeak past the scrappy Deacons.
UNC is down by as much as 14 points in the first half before making the comeback.
Dearica Hamby leads Wake Forest with 29 points, while Chelsea Douglas adds 20 in her final collegiate game.
They said it …
Wake coach Jen Hoover: “I’m just really proud of my team and the growth we made this year. We’re such a gutsy team and showed such character and passion, I can’t say enough about them. (But) it’s a hard day for us. I wasn’t ready for the (end of season) speech.”
Florida State coach Sue Semrau: “That’s always a great rivalry. It’s always a great game when we play Miami. I thought (Miami) did a great job of controlling a lot of things early. … I thing a difference in the basketball game was (Howard and Delgado) being the Warriors that they were, two seniors who didn’t want to have their career in the ACC end early.”
Stars of the day
N.C. State vs. Syracuse, Friday, noon.
Notre Dame vs. Florida State, Friday, 2 p.m.
Duke vs. Georgia Tech, Friday, 6 p.m.
Maryland vs. UNC, Friday, 8 p.m.