GREENSBORO, N.C. – Miami and Duke both advanced to the ACC Tournament quarterfinals following the first session of second-round play at the Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Miami Hurricanes made easy work of 12th-seeded Pittsburgh, beating the Panthers 77-55.
Adrienne Motley’s 19 points along with Keyona Hayes’ 9-for-9 field goal performance led the Hurricanes offense, with the support of 11-point performances from Emese Hoff and Michelle Woods.
Miami’s 33-23 advantage on the boards was led by Hayes as she pulled down a team-high seven, enough to more-or-less counter Pitt’s Stasha Carey’s game-high eight rebounds.
Yacine Diop and Brenna Wise led the Panthers offense with 17 points each in the losing effort following a spirited ousting in overtime of No. 13 North Carolina the night before.
Eighth-seeded Duke held of the ninth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers for a gritty 57-53 win led by Oderah Chidom’s 20 point, nine-rebound performance.
Critical to the Blue Devils’ success was forward Azura Stevens’ play as she returned to the lineup after missing seven games due to a plantar fascia injury, and posted 14 points and 15 rebounds in 36 minutes.
Virginia’s Aliyah Huland El scored 16, Faith Randolph and Lauren Moses each posted 11 points, and J’Kyrah Brown’s back-to-back three’s pushed Duke to the limit.
An 8-of-9 performance beyond the arc from the Cavaliers was countered by a 16-of-23 pace at the free throw line by the Blue Devils in a game that was decided in the dying seconds of regulation time.
#5 Miami 77, #12 Pitt 55
Miami: Adrienne Motley 19 pts. (8-14/3-6 3 pt.); Keyona Hayes 18 pts. (9-9), Emese Hoff 11 pts. (4-5, 3-4 FT), 3 blocks; Michelle Woods 11 pts. (5-10)
Pitt: Yacine Diop 18 pts. (8-12), 3 asst.; Brenna Wise 18 pts. (5-11, 2-3 3 pts.)
Rebounding leaders: Stasha Carey (8), Keyona Hayes (7)
What they said
Miami head coach Katie Meier: “You know, as a coach, when you have a team that you know is good, part of your journey with them is getting them to peak at the right time. It’s really important. I know this team is good, and I’ve known they’re good. I think that after that Florida State game, I sort of felt like, okay, you know, the season ebbs and flows and then you start demanding certain things from your team, and when they don’t do them, you lose, and when you do do them, you win, and everybody gets the formula.
Sixty-five percent of our field goals assisted is a goal of ours, and that’s right at it, and we have 10-game goals, and that’s one of them. Our percentages tonight were amazing. I know Pitt had to be — she’s such a great coach, and we’re friends, and I really think the world of her and her team and how hard they fight. But we were so efficient tonight, and they were having to chase that basketball around, and then we finished well. That was a big part. The ball went to the right spot, but you don’t get an assist unless the bucket goes in, and I thought we finished well.”
Miami’s Motley (on what her presence on the court means for her team): “I don’t think of it as so much deferring to me. I know that whether I’m on the floor getting an assist, getting steals it’s going to help Miami, not necessarily with points. It doesn’t matter. But I appreciate the praise from Coach, both coaches, and I just do whatever I have to do to make sure Miami wins.”
Pitt head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio: “You know, this is always a tough time when you end your season with a loss, but so proud of the way our team had competed these last two days, and really enjoyed coaching this group of young ladies and so excited about our future being such a young team. But today, talking about the game, Miami, we knew coming in the challenges that we faced going against Miami having so many weapons. They have so many scorers on the floor, shooters, and you know, they play at a high pace with full court pressure, disrupting what you try to do, and we knew that we had to be efficient offensively going into this game, and they took us out of a rhythm early.”
Pitt’s Wise (on what to take away from the Tournament): “We learned a lot as we progressed, and I think we showed a lot of growth throughout the season from our first game to this last game, and that experience underneath our belt will help us in the years to come.”
Miami put together an 18-2 run in the second-quarter that had the Panthers facing a deficit that that it couldn’t recover from, trailing the Hurricanes 38-21.
Up next: #5 Miami vs. #4 Florida State – 11 a.m. Fri.
#8 Duke 57, #9 Virginia 53
Duke: Oderah Chidom 20 pts. (7-12/6-7 3 pts.); Azura Stevens 14 pts. (6-15)
Virginia: Aliyah Huland El 16 pts. (6-15/3-5 3 pts.), Faith Randolph 11 pts. (5-11), Lauren Moses 11 pts.
Rebounding leaders: Azura Stevens (15 – game high), Oderah Chidom (7)
Virginia’s three-point shooting early and Duke’s free throw shooting throughout. While the Cavaliers assumed the early lead and pulled back with its perimeter shooting, Duke’s work at the line helped to cross the finish line with the win.
What they said
Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie: “I’m really proud of this team, really proud of this group. We had some adjustments to make a little bit, and I thought everybody fought very, very hard. It was a hard-fought game. Virginia is an excellent team, and I’m just really proud of this team for doing the hard things.”
Duke’s Azura Stevens (on returning to play): “Very excited. I’ve missed playing with my team so much and just to be back in this first tournament game has been very fun.”
Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle: “Yeah, just disappointed. I thought it was a very hard-fought game. Just really proud of my team. Obviously there was a couple of stat lines that you wish would have been better, but they gave a great effort, and commend Duke on their playing effort and staying in. I thought it was a very physical game, and just disappointed in the outcome. Proud of my team, though.”
Virginia’s Aliyah Hulan El (on taking the early lead): “The strategy really was just to attack the middle for their 3-2, attack the zones, attack their lanes, and when the help comes, dump it off.”
Up next: #8 Duke vs. #1 Notre Dame – 2 p.m., Fri.