ACC Women: Cards, Irish, Canes, Devils reach semis

acc-louisville2Lexie Brown scored 22 points to help No. 13 Duke beat 21st-ranked Syracuse 68-46 on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at the HTC Center in Conway.

The Blue Devils (26-4) also played stellar defense on ACC player of the year Alexis Peterson. They held her to just nine points, nearly 15 below her average. She missed eight of her first nine shots and finished the game 4-for-21.

Duke led 42-39 with about 1:30 left in the third quarter before scoring the final nine points of the period which gave the Blue Devils a 51-39 lead. Brown had a 3-point play and two free throws during the spurt.

Kendall Cooper had an emphatic block in the corner on Isabella Slim’s 3-pointer from the corner right before the buzzer.

Syracuse (21-10) could only get within 10 in the fourth quarter. Gabby Cooper scored 18 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and Brittney Sykes added 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Orange.

The Blue Devils will play Miami in the semifinals on Saturday.

* #5 Louisville 59, #4 NC State 58: Louisville’s Myisha Hines-Allen hit the game-winning points on a pair of free throws by  with 19.2 seconds to play for a victory over NC State.

NC State’s Dominique Wilson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key that gave the Wolfpack a 58-57 lead with 1:35 to play before Hines-Allen countered with what proved to be the winning free throws. The Wolfpack had two field goal attempts in the closing seconds that came up short.

NC State’s Miah Spencer scored 18 points to lead NC State. Chelsea Nelson scored 16 points, including four clutch free throws in the late going, and Wilson finished with 12.

Hines-Allen scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half. The Cardinals’ Asia Durr led all scorers with 28 points. Durr scored 21 of Louisville’s 32 first-half points, going 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Spencer had 16 first-half points for NC State.

Louisville, which trailed by 14 points early in the second quarter, reaches the semifinals for the third consecutive year.

* #3 Notre Dame 76, #8 Virginia 59: Arike Ogunbowale scored 19 points and Brianna Turner added 16 to help the Irish beat the Cavaliers on Friday in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.

Lindsay Allen had 12 points and 10 assists, breaking the conference’s all-time assist record, for the top-seeded Irish (28-3). Notre Dame will face No. 14 Louisville on Saturday in the semifinals.

With the game tied at 30 late in the second quarter, the Irish scored 16 of the next 20 points spanning the half to take a 12-point lead. Ogunbowale scored the final five points of the burst with her 3-pointer making it 46-34 with 6:40 left in the third quarter. The eighth-seeded Cavaliers (19-12) couldn’t get closer than six the rest of the game.

* #7 Miami 56, #2 Florida State 54: Keyona Hayes and Adrienne Motley each scored 12 points to help No. 16 Miami hold off eighth-ranked Florida State  on Friday night in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.

The Hurricanes (23-7) will face Duke or Syracuse in the semifinals on Saturday.

Seventh-seeded Miami led 54-45 midway through the fourth quarter before Florida State rallied to 56-54 on Leticia Romero’s 3-pointer with 1:53 left. After both teams came up empty on offensive possessions, Laura Cornelius’ runner for Miami rimmed out with 55.5 seconds left.

Florida State (25-6) got four chances in the final 30 seconds to tie the game, but shot after shot wouldn’t drop. The final opportunity came when Ivey Slaughter was fouled with 4.9 seconds left, but she missed both free throws — the second on purpose. Miami corralled the rebound and ran out the clock.

Photo by Sara D. Davis/ACC

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