No. 11 Wake Forest disposes of No. 14 Pitt

Orin Day - TSN via ACCWBBDigest.com

Orin Day – TSN via ACCWBBDigest.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The 11th-seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons dispatched the No. 14 seed Pittsburgh Panthers with a 72-58 win during first-round play in the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Women’s Basketball Tournament played at Greensboro Coliseum on Wednesday.

Forward Dearica Hamby, the ACC’s leading scorer, posted her 22nd double-double of the season in leading Wake Forest with her 25-point, 16-rebound performance.

Guard Chelsea Douglas supported Hamby’s efforts from the perimeter, finishing with 20 points on 50-percent shooting (7-14), including dropping four 3’s to outdistance the Demon Deacons (15-15, 5-11)  from the Panthers (11-20, 3-13) near halftime.

As the Panthers tied the score 24-24 with four minutes remaining in the first half, Douglas scored two three-pointers on successive possessions as part of a 10-point run that put Wake Forest ahead 36-30 at halftime.

During the second half, the Demon Deacons extended their lead to as much as 16 points, leading 54-38, with under 10 minutes remaining.

“I think it was important for us to be able to hold on to the lead once we were able to push it out and not have a chance for them to (catch up),” Wake Forest head coach Jen Hoover said.

“We knew they were going to keep coming back. We talked to the team about it. They’re not going to go away.”

While Pitt managed to creep back below double-digits with under eight minutes remaining, a comeback was neutralized by the Demon Deacons’ 54-percent shooting performance during the final half.

Asia Logan finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Brianna Kiesel added 12 to lead the Panthers, who closed their inaugural ACC season with an early exit in tournament play.

“They made plays and they picked us apart,” Pittsburgh head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said.

“We tried different defenses – man, zone, press, match ups. At times we got stops, but credit Wake Forest, they had a great game.”

With its win, Wake Forest moved on to face the sixth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday at 8 p.m.