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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Peters, Liston lead Duke in holding off Seminoles

Posted By on Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 6:43 PM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM All the pretenders and Cinderellas are gone at the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke forward Haley PetersThe four teams that are left will definitely go to the NCAA Tournament. So now we’re down to serious business in the semifinals. The first game of the doubleheader features No. 1 seed Duke (28-2) against No. 4 seed Florida State (22-8). Duke, ranked No. 6 nationally, is 6-0 against the Seminoles, ranked No. 23, all-time in ACC Tournament play. And the Blue Devils won the only regular-season meeting 61-50 in Tallahassee on Feb. 22. Duke prevails again but...

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Ruffin-Pratt, Tar Heels survive and advance past pesky Eagles

Posted By on Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 12:46 AM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM UNC comes into the ACC Women’s Tournament with a pretty tough assignment. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC guard Tierra Ruffin-PrattThe No. 3 seed Tar Heels (26-5) have trounced No. 11 seed Boston College (12-18) — which blew past Virginia in the first round — by 28 points in each of their first two meetings. But the teams seeded No. 8 and below have all overperformed so far in the tournament, and BC is on a two-game winning streak. It almost goes to three, but Tierra Ruffin-Pratt pulls the Tar Heels together in the closing minutes of a 62-57 win....

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Liston leads Duke, which ousts scrappy Wolfpack with late run

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 6:23 PM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM The last time Duke and N.C. State met in this building, the Wolfpack pulled a monumental upset. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke guard Tricia ListonAnd it’s kind of same time, same station in the quarterfinals of this season’s ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Again Duke (27-2), which is ranked No. 6 in the country, is the tournament’s top seed. State (16-15), which escaped Clemson 56-45 in the first round on Thursday less than 20 hours before Tiger coach Itoro Coleman lost her job, is seeded No. 8. State won 75-73 in this spot last season. And on Jan. 3 at...

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Deluzio, Seminoles ease past Hurricanes into semis

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 2:47 PM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM These two teams allegedly just don’t like each other. Photo courtesy FSU athleticsFSU guard Alexa DeluzioFriday morning’s kid-fest brings the first rivalry game of this season’s ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, with No. 4 seed Florida State taking on No. 5 seed Miami. The Seminoles are 21-8, ranked No. 23 in the latest AP poll and certainly headed for the NCAA Tournament. The Hurricanes are 21-9 and may or may not be on the bubble. FSU won both regular-season meetings, 86-65 on Jan. 13 in Tallahassee and 93-78 on Feb. 10 in Coral Gables.Duke alumna Katie Meier coaches the...

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The global significance of Carolina-Duke (yes, really)

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDuke's Jon Scheyer (right) and Marcus Ginyard clash in this 2010 encounter.A couple of years ago a local radio personality asked me on a pregame show prior to a Duke-Carolina game whether our long-running local hardwood feud is the "biggest rivalry in all of sports." I hesitated a bit, and said "well there is Real Madrid-Barcelona, and Celtic-Rangers." (Loyal readers of Triangle Offense will recall from my blog postings during the 2010 World Cup that I'm as passionate about soccer as college basketball.) OK, but really, where do Carolina and Duke fit in The Big Picture?...

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Kastanek leads eight Triangle players on ACC all-academic

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 12:10 AM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM Marissa Kastanek repeated as the Kay Yow scholar athlete of the year in ACC women’s basketball, leading a group of eight Triangle-area players on the conference’s all-academic team. Duke placed five players on the squad while the Wolfpack had three. No other school had more than two. Wolfpack teammates junior Kody Burke and freshman Ashley Eli also made the team. Duke placed senior Allison Vernerey along with juniors Chelsea Gray, Tricia Liston and Haley Peters and freshman Alexis Jones. Members of the team must have at least a 3.0 GPA from the previous semester and a cumulative 3.0...

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

BC comes out strong, ousts Virginia in first round

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:56 PM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM Lower-seeded teams have been overperforming all day long in the 36th ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, and we’ll see if it continues in the nightcap. Photo courtesy BC athleticsBoston College guard Kerri ShieldsNo. 6 seed Virginia (16-13) is hoping for a miracle this week to get into the NCAA Tournament. The same goes for No. 11 seed Boston College (11-18), whose season is over if it loses this weekend. The same two teams met in the first round last season, with the Cavaliers rolling 72-41. The teams split a pair of meetings during the regular season, with Virginia winning...

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Kastanek, Wolfpack dodge a bullet; face Blue Devils next

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 6:38 PM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM N.C. State finds itself in a must-win situation as the Wolfpack starts ACC Tournament play. The No. 8 seed Wolfpack (15-15) takes on No. 9 Clemson (9-20) for the chance to meet No. 1 seed Duke in the second round. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsState guard Marissa KastanekState will almost certainly get a WNIT bid with a victory unless it wins the ACC, but if the Tigers win the college career of charismatic Wolfpack senior Marissa Kastanek — who before the game wins the Kay Yow award as the top women’s basketball student-athlete in the ACC — is over....

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Cold Miami ousts Hokies to strengthen case for NCAA bid

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM It’s the Opening Game of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, and as is always the case for the 11 a.m. starts the screaming young fans are out in force. Photo courtesy Miami athleticsMiami center Shawnice "Pepper" WilsonNo. 5 seed Miami (20-9) may or may not be on the NCAA bubble heading into the contest with No. 12 seed Virginia Tech (10-19), but the Hurricanes need to play as if their lives depended on it. It’s the first time the teams have met in an ACC Tournament game. The winner will square off in the brunch game tomorrow against...

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Duke's Gray, McCallie pick up ACC yearly honors

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Regular-season champion Duke chalked up some more ACC women’s basketball awards on Thursday. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke guard Chelsea GrayAnd once again, the Blue Ribbon Panel and the league coaches have different ideas. Blue Devil mentor Joanne P. McCallie was named coach of the year by the Blue Ribbon panel, while Maryland’s Brenda Frese got the honor from her fellow coaches. And in player of the year voting the Blue Devils’ junior guard Chelsea Gray — whose season was ended when she tore an MCL on Feb. 14 — tied with Maryland junior Alyssa Thomas in the coaches’ poll. The...

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Heels surge past Maryland, prepare for Duke rematch

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

File photo by Chris BairdHairston's quick trigger has kept defenses on alert How long can it last? North Carolina’s six-game winning streak now feels less like disaster prevention and more like a genuine run. The Tar Heels (12-5 ACC, 22-8 overall) continue to grow into their new lineup and perimeter-friendly offense, dispatching Maryland 79-68 in College Park last night. No one expected it would prove so easy. Maryland beat Duke (without Ryan Kelly) on its home court this season and entered the UNC contest as a slim favorite. But apart from a turnover binge during one ugly second half sequence,...

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To be or not to be: Leslie, N.C. State defrock Demon Deacons 81-66

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 2:22 AM

File photo by Chris BairdN.C. State's C.J. LesliePNC ARENA/RALEIGH—Although it was Senior Night for N.C. State, the evening belonged to a junior perhaps also playing his final game in front of the PNC Arena crowd along with two freshmen at the outset of their college careers. The end result was an 81-66 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Wolfpack’s final home game this season. Seniors Scott Wood and Richard Howell both entered the contest on the cusp of additional individual accolades. Wood needed just 10 three-pointers from tying Rodney Monroe’s school record, but tonight he only converted...

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wolfpack faces a must win; Duke and UNC will wait a day

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 8:14 PM

N.C. State is badly in need of a victory Thursday afternoon. If the Wolfpack wants to play in the post season, it definitely needs to complete a three-game sweep of Clemson in the first round of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsState coach Kellie HarperTop-seeded Duke (27-2) and No. 3 seed UNC (26-5) won’t play until Friday’s quarterfinals. The action starts at 11 a.m. with a game between No. 5 seed Miami (20-9) and No. 12 Virginia Tech (10-19), with that victor advancing to Friday’s 11 a.m. contest against No. 4 seed Florida State...

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Duke's Williams again ACC defensive player of year

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Duke sophomore center Elizabeth Williams has been named the ACC’s defensive player of the year for the second time. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke center Elizabeth WilliamsThe all-defensive team is chosen in a vote of the league’s head coaches. Joining Williams on the five-player unit are teammate Chelsea Gray, UNC center Waltiea Rolle, Miami’s Morgan Stroman and Georgia Tech’s Tyaunna Marshall. Williams and Gray were earlier named first-team All-ACC on both the coaches’ and Blue Ribbon Panel teams along with Stroman and Marshall....

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

McDaniel, Jones lead ACC's all-freshman teams

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 1:39 PM

UNC’s Xylina McDaniel has been named the ACC’s rookie of the year both by the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel, consisting largely of media members, as well as by a vote of the head coaches. UNC forward Xylina McDanielMcDaniel had also been named to the 12-player first all-conference team by the coaches and to the five-player second team by the Panel on Monday. Duke’s Alexis Jones joined her on both all-freshmen teams, along with Boston College’s Nicole Boudreau and Georgia Tech’s Brittany Jackson. Maryland split the fifth spots, with Chloe Pavlech selected by the Blue Ribbon Panel and Malina Howard by...

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Gray, Williams, Ruffin-Pratt lead All-ACC selections

Posted By on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 6:25 PM

The ACC released its all-conference women’s basketball teams today, and it looks like maybe the coaches and media don’t get along as well as we thought. The Blue Ribbon Panel’s All-ACC First Team, which was supposed to have 10 players has 11 because of a tie. Then there was the separate coaches’ team, which has 12 on the first unit because of more ties. In each case, there are five players on the All-ACC Second Team. Here’s how local players fared:Duke’s Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams were named to both first teams along with UNC’s Tierra Ruffin-Pratt. N.C. State’s Marissa...

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Jones' 22 lead Duke over Tar Heels in defensive struggle

Posted By on Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 8:59 PM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM It’s the regular-season finale. The Battle of the Blues. Throw out all the records because it’s for all the marbles - at least for a few days.Photo by Chris BairdDuke guard Alexis Jones drives as UNC's Krista Gross defends. The classic old building will be packed to the gills this afternoon, as No. 5 Duke (26-2, 16-1) hosts No. 15 UNC (26-4, 14-3). The Blue Devils won the first meeting 84-63 on Feb. 3 in Chapel Hill. It’s Senior Day for Blue Devil center Allison Vernerey. Duke, which has won 17 straight at home, has clinched its...

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Tar Heels sweep Seminoles to win fifth straight

Posted By on Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 4:42 PM

North Carolina has become fun. The Tar Heels manhandled Florida State this afternoon, posting a gaudily efficient 9-for-15 on threes to defeat the Seminoles 79-58 and capture the season series 2-0. James Michael McAdoo enjoyed one of his finest offensive outings, shooting 10-for-15 to finish with 21 points. Reggie Bullock added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and P.J. Hairston scored 16. Worries have intensified about UNC’s bench, which was ineffective once again, but the big three continue to carry the scoring load while starting guards Dexter Strickland and Marcus Paige have begun to contribute more meaningfully as well. The Heels...

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Duke's Ryan Kelly makes a colossal return and returns a favor to Miami: 79-76

Posted By on Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Photo by Nicole SavageRyan Kelly found his stroke against Miami.CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM—“Well, I thought we were prepared for Ryan Kelly, but obviously not for THAT Ryan Kelly.” — Miami head coach Jim Larranaga We’ve seen three versions of Ryan Kelly this year: the Ryan Kelly, who, before injuring his foot in January against Clemson, averaged 13.4 points per game and worked in tandem with Mason Plumlee’s post play and Seth Curry’s outside marksmanship; then, we had to watch Ryan Kelly hobble around on crutches for several weeks. Once he got rid of the crutches, we had to get used to...

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Is college basketball getting worse? and other thoughts on a changing game

Posted By , and on Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Here at Triangle Offense, we're catching our breath in the last lull of the college basketball season. Next week sees the buildup to the season-ending UNC-Duke tilt that will determine the course of the free world until the next time the two teams meet. Week after that is the ACC Tournament, which despite its extreme unimportance, is a tradition unlike any other—than March Madness, of course. So, with nothing much going on beside a UNC-Clemson scrap down in Littlejohn Coliseum and third-ranked Duke getting floor-rushed yet again, this time at Virginia, basketball scribes Thad Williamson and Rob Harrington agreed to...

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wolfpack drubs Virginia to give Kastanek happy Senior Night

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 10:15 PM

REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State will hold its annual Senior Night, and while there’s only one player to be honored she’s going to be a very hard one to replace. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsState guard Marissa KastanekGuard Marissa Kastanek, the academic All-American from Nebraska who was once the conference’s rookie of the year, will play her last regular-season contest in the classic old building. It’s a huge game for both teams’ post-season chances. State (13-15, 5-11) has run out of room for error if it’s hoping for at least a return to the WNIT. And Virginia (15-12, 7-9), coached by Duke...

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Purvis' career-high leads N.C. State to 82-64 victory over Boston College and 20th win this season

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 1:13 AM

File photo by Chris BairdN.C. State's Rodney PurvisPNC ARENA/RALEIGH—After starting the first five games of his college career and N.C. State’s opening 12 games in ACC play, Rodney Purvis found himself in an unusual, uncomfortable position the past two contests: coming off the bench. Indeed, after being sat down and only playing 16 minutes against Virginia Tech on Feb. 16, Purvis played a season-low 12 minutes against Florida State and only 20 minutes last Saturday in Chapel Hill. He hadn’t scored double-digits points for five straight games, since the Miami loss on Feb. 2. Asked how Purvis reacted to his...

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ruffin-Pratt, UNC hold off scrappy Wolfpack for 25th win

Posted By on Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Photo by Chris BairdUNC's Waltiea Rolle goes up for a shot as State's Kody Burke applies the block. Others in the lane are (l-r) the Wolfpack's Krystal Barrett, Lakeesa Daniel and Len'Nique Brown and UNC's Krista Gross.CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL It’s yet another edition of the UNC-N.C. State series in women’s basketball. And in the big picture, this one may mean more to the Wolfpack (13-14, 5-10 ACC). It’s UNC’s annual home Play 4Kay game, in memory of the late Wolfpack coach Kay Yow and to raise awareness of breast cancer. The No. 16 Tar Heels (24-4, 12-3 ACC) are all...

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tar Heels exact revenge on Wolfpack in rousing performance

Posted By on Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 8:52 PM

File photo by Chris BairdBullock's all-around game flummoxed NCSU N.C. State likes to say that North Carolina is Our State. Maybe, but today certainly wasn’t Hour State. The Tar Heels entered this afternoon’s contest locked in an ACC tie with their upstart rival, and they survived a poor second half stretch to throttle the Wolfpack during the closing minutes and soar to a 76-65 win. State easily established superiority inside. The Pack out-rebounded Carolina 43-34, and forward Richard Howell accumulated 17 himself. UNC’s recent improvement owes to Roy Williams’ shift toward a small lineup, and State made the Tar Heels...

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Blue Devils debut without Gray, explode in second half to top FSU

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 9:50 PM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM The rest of the season starts for Duke tonight. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke center Elizabeth WilliamsThe No. 5 Blue Devils (24-1, 14-0 ACC) will go for the first time this year without junior guard Chelsea Gray, the solid candidate for ACC player of the year who was lost for the season because of a dislocated kneecap Sunday against Wake Forest. Tonight’s opponent is No. 19 Florida State (20-5, 10-4), which is coming off an attention-grabbing 80-73 win over visiting UNC on Sunday. Juniors Richa Jackson and Tricia Liston will start on the wings for Duke tonight. The...

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