by Mike Potter
GREENSBORO COLISEUM It’s Day Three of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, and only NCAA Tournament-bound teams are left.
Good news around the Triangle is that all three local teams are still around, although two of them got the double-byes to this point.
The first-session crowd materializes — although it’s much smaller than it would have been — despite the ice storm that seems to have paralyzed the Triad.
The first game will see No. 4 seed and No. 14 ranked N.C. State (24-6) take on No. 5 seed Syracuse (22-8) and the freshman Day twins — Briana and Bria — from Millbrook High.
In the second game, tournament favorite and No. 2ranked Notre Dame (29-0) will face No. 9 seed Florida State (20-10).
Defending champion, No. 2 seed and No. 10 ranked Duke (25-5) will take on No. 7 seed Georgia Tech (20-10) in the evening opener, with No. 3 seed and No. 7 ranked Maryland (24-5) facing No. 6 seed and No. 13 UNC (23-8) squaring off in the nightcap.
And it turns out to be a mega-happy day for Triangle fans as well as probably the conference coffers as N.C. State, Duke and UNC win along with Notre Dame.
N.C. State 79, Syracuse 63
N.C. State goes on an 18-0 run early in the second half and holds on for the comfortable win.
Markeisha Gatling leads the Wolfpack with a career-high 28 points before leaving the game with 8:19 left with an undetermined leg injury. Fellow senior Kody Burke adds 21 points for the Wolfpack while Miah Spencer chips in 10.
Brittney Sykes leads Syracuse with 14 points.
Notre Dame 83, Florida State 57
Jewell Loyd hits 17 to lead four players in double figures as the Irish stay unbeaten.
Kayla McBride adds 13 points, Michaela Mabrey 12 off the bench and Natalie Achonwa 11 for Notre Dame.
Natasha Howard’s 29 lead the Seminoles.
Duke 82, Georgia Tech 52
Haley Peters hits 19 points with 10 rebounds to lead four Blue Devils in double figures in the rout.
It is Duke’s 37th straight win in the series.
Tricia Liston and Elizabeth Williams add 15 points each for Duke while Richa Jackson chips in 14.
Tyaunna Marshall has 17 points and Kaela Davis 16 for the Yellow Jackets.
UNC 73, Maryland 70
Diamond DeShields hits 22 points as North Carolina holds off Maryland in the Terps’ final appearance in the tournament before departing for the Big Ten next season.
Allisha Gray adds 17 points and 10 rebounds for UNC, while Xylina McDaniel chips in 10 points.
Alyssa Thomas leads Maryland with 24 points and 11 rebounds while Lexie Brown adds 10 points.
They said it …
N.C. State coach Wes Moore: “I couldn’t be prouder of this group of kids. They’ve done this all year long. It’s not good for the head coach’s heart, but it sure is nice when you have a happy ending. They’ve battled so many times when they could have hung their heads and said ‘This just isn’t our day.’ But they keep battling, keep fighting, hit a couple of shots and get a couple of stops and turn the game around.”
Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie: “It was a very good basketball game for us and a terrific and intense 40 minutes, which is really what you have to do at this time of year. Georgia Tech is a fantastic team. We were really concerned about different things they could do, and I really loved our poise against their pressure.”
UNC associate head coach Andrew Calder: “It was an outstanding job by Carolina on the defensive end. You see Diamond DeShields taking advantage of her skills in the post. And going 16-for-20 at the free-throw line was big. We had great intensity and effort.”
Stars of the day
N.C. State vs. Notre Dame, Saturday, 5 p.m.
Duke vs. UNC, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.