ACC WBB: Duke tops Miami 57-52, earns spot in championship final

Randall Hill, ACC, TheACC.com

CONWAY, S.C. — The 13th–ranked and No. 3 seeded Duke Blue Devils advanced to the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) title game fueled by a 20-point finish from guard Lexie Brown at the HTC Center on Saturday.

After beating 21st-ranked and No. 6 seed Syracuse 68-46 in quarter-final play on Friday, Brown scored critical points as regulation time counted down and allowed the Blue Devils (27-4) to hold off 16th-ranked and No. 7 seed Miami for a 57-52 win that earned them a spot in the ACC Championship final.

Along with Brown, freshman Leaonna Odom helped lead the Blue Devils’ efforts and posted 13 points off the bench, including seven in the fourth quarter.

“Those 13 points were very significant and it was great to see her break out,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said of Odom.

“I think she’s one of the best freshmen in the country. I think she’s under the radar, but kind of used to that, I guess.”

Keyona Hayes scored 17 points to lead the Hurricanes (23-8).

While guard Rebecca Greenwell was held scoreless in the first half for only the second time this season, she made two critical three-pointers in the fourth quarter.

”I loved the time and score,” McCallie said.

“I actually loved the defensive stops we got. We kept talking about that. At this time of year you can’t get worried about anything else but the moment, and I felt we were very, very good in the moment down the stretch, and that’s a takeaway that we’ll have to take for the rest of the season.”