Triangle Sports Roundup: Latest in holiday ACC women’s hoops

Orin Day, Triangle Sports Network
Let 'em know

RALEIGH, N.C. – Triangle-area Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) women’s basketball squads were in action away from home over the weekend.

The N.C. State Wolfpack and North Carolina Tar Heels came up with wins in Gainsville, Fla. and Myrtle Beach, S.C., while the 13th ranked Duke Blue Devils fell to No. 8 Kentucky in Lexington.

As they round out play on the road this week, all three will return home to host games after the Christmas holiday.

North Carolina hosts New Hampshire on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. at Carmichael Arena, while later that day, the Blue Devils tip off against Western Carolina at 7 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Wolfpack will travel to Miami to begin ACC play before returning to host Wake Forest at Broughton High School on Jan. 2.

No. 13 Blue Devils fall to No. 8 Wildcats

LEXINGTON, KY. – The 13th-ranked Duke Blue Devils dropped a 71-61 decision to No. 8 Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Sunday.

Forward Azurá Stevens led the Blue Devils with a team-high 17 points, while freshman Crystal Primm added a career-high 15 points.

The loss put Duke at 9-3 overall and was its first shorfall to Kentucky following a two-game win streak against the Wildcats.

After recently scoring a career-high 26 points at home, it wasn’t the result guard Rebecca Greenwell, a Kentucky native, nor the Blue Devils, wanted to end with.

Greenwell was held without a field goal for the first time in her career, and ended the game 0-for-6 from field with a point, three rebounds, and two assists posted in the scorebook during 38 minutes of play.

Tar Heels continue winning ways over Southern Miss

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Jamie Cherry and Stephanie Watts led the North Carolina Tar Heels to a 69-62 victory over the Southern Mississippi Lady Eagles at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Sunday.

Cherry and Watts each posted 17 points, while Destinee Walker added 14 points and nine rebounds.

With the win, the Tar Heels moved to 8-5 overall, boosted by wins in three of their last four games.

Watts was impressive beyond the arc, dropping five 3-pointers, while Cherry finished 10-of-11 from the free throw line.

Forward Xylina McDaniel grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

North Carolina led 32-30 at halftime, but Southern Miss (6-4), led by Jerontay Clemons, who posted a game-high 18 points for the Lady Eagles, eventually tied the game at 60-60 with just over a minute to play.

Fortunately for the Tar Heels, Cherry’s perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the line during the final 22 seconds helped UNC close the game out on a 9-2 run to post the win.

Wolfpack tops Eastern Kentucky 73-62

GAINESVILLE, FLA. – The N.C. State Wolfpack improved to 9-3 on the season with a 73-62 win over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in the first round of the 2015 Gator Holiday Classic on Sunday.

Trailing by three, 19-16, the Wolfpack closed the opening quarter on an 11-3 run and never looked back for the rest of the game.

Jennifer Mathurin led N.C. State with 20 points on 5-of-6 shooting and a perfect 4-for-4 beyond the arc, while Dominique Wilson (14 points, 8 rebounds), Ashley Williams (10 points, 8 rebounds), and Miah Spencer (10 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds) rounded out the solid offensive showing for the Pack.

“I thought Jennifer Mathurin had a great game, not only scoring but also rebounding,” N.C. State head coach Wes Moore said.

“I thought she saved us so many times on the glass, so that was the big thing. We didn’t shoot very well in the second half and they were able to make it interesting.”