CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM The seniors on the Duke women’s basketball team get one more shot at this tonight — at least during a regular season.
The game they may have been dreaming about is here, since they’re undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the nation heading into their battle with No. 1 and defending NCAA champion Connecticut in the Jimmy V Classic.
Connecticut has won six straight in the series and leads it 9-3. Duke’s best showing against UConn under seventh-year coach Joanne P. McCallie was a 61-45 loss here two seasons ago.
It’s the first time a No. 1 has visited a No. 2 since Connecticut’s 88-58 romp over UNC in 2009.
And once again it isn’t really close, as the Huskies are never challenged in the second half in rolling to an 83-61 win.
N.C. State has been able to coast through its first four women’s basketball games of the season, beating outgunned opposition by an average of 32 points.
The Wolfpack won’t likely win like that today.
This time first-year coach Wes Moore plays for the first time against a major opponent when Tulane (4-0) visits.
Wake Forest alum Lisa Stockton’s team, like the Wolfpack, was in the WNIT last season. But Tulane won 25 games.
This is the schools’ first meeting in women’s basketball. If State wins today, it could be considered one of the school’s best athletic victories since the baseball sub-regional last spring.
This time State establishes control in the first few minutes and holds a working margin throughout, cruising to a 59-46 victory.
REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State continues its early-season run of home games against Division I opponents from outside the “power conferences” as first-year mentor Wes Moore starts his tenure at the helm.
Tonight’s foe is Morgan State of the MEAC, which lost its opener at home to Lincoln (Pa.) of the CIAA.
The Wolfpack is 3-0, with easy wins over St. Bonaventure, Towson and Presbyterian under its belt.
This one is as easy as expected, as the Wolfpack rolls 94-52.
When the contract for Tennessee to play last season and this one UNC was originally signed, the matchup was supposed to be between Hall of Fame coaches Pat Summitt and Sylvia Hatchell, who many long years ago was one of Summitt’s assistants with the Lady Vols.
But a year and a half ago Summitt became the Vols’ head coach emeritus, as she resigned because of her Alzheimer’s disease. And then last month, Hatchell was diagnosed with leukemia.
So acting coach and long-time Hatchell assistant directs the No. 12 Tar Heels (1-0), while second-year mentor Holly Warlick heads up the No. 4 Lady Vols (1-0) in front of the national audience on ESPN2. UNC’s No. 1 recruiting class in the country will get its first big collegiate test tonight.
On this night the more experienced Lady Vols are just a little better, holding off the Tar Heels down the stretch to win 81-65.
So even with the addition of a Final Four team to the mix, the Blue Devils still command plenty of respect in the conference.
ACC media day was on Wednesday and Duke was picked to finish first by both the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel and the coaches, followed by Notre Dame, Maryland and UNC in the top four. N.C. State, under new head coach Wes Moore, was picked 10th.
The Blue Devils, who had the No. 2 recruiting class in the country led by forward Oderah Chidom, placed seniors Chelsea Gray and Tricia Liston along with junior Elizabeth Williams on the preseason all-conference team. Blue Devil freshman Kendall McCravey-Cooper was named to the panel’s newcomer watch list.
UNC, deemed to have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, will begin the season with Hall of Fame head coach Sylvia Hatchell sidelined as she battles her recently diagnosed leukemia. Her career-long top assistant Andrew Calder will coach the Tar Heels in her absence.
Tar Heel sophomore Xylina McDaniel made the all-conference team, while Diamond DeShields is on both newcomer watch lists.
Home games against Tennessee, archrivals Duke and N.C. State, and Maryland’s final visit to Carmichael Arena as an ACC member highlight the 2013-14 UNC women’s basketball schedule released today.
The schedule opens at home Nov. 8 against Air Force. The Tar Heels will host Nebraska in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, while new members Pittsburgh and Syracuse as well as Clemson, Miami and Virginia Tech will visit for conference games.
The other non-conference home games are against Coastal Carolina, Coppin State, Charleston Southern and High Point.
CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke has been a model of consistency in the top tier of women’s basketball for the last two decades, and in her six-year tenure as head coach Joanne P. McCallie has definitely kept that going.
On Thursday she hosted a handful of area media for a luncheon to discuss the program’s most recent activities and
This season the goal is once again to win the ACC title and advance to the Final Four, she said.
The Blue Devils will try that with a five-member senior class that was ranked the top recruiting class in the country, junior center Elizabeth Williams who was ACC rookie of the year two seasons earlier, sophomore guard Alexis Jones who was MVP of the ACC Tournament in March, and a four-member freshman class that is generally considered the No. 2 class in the country.
In what has the potential to be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle, the Blue Devils will host the Huskies on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. in a game to be shown on ESPN.
The Purdue game is on Dec. 5. The Blue Devils will host several other big-name opponents in Alabama, Vanderbilt and Old Dominion.
“We are really, really excited for our 2013 non-conference schedule,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie, whose team went 33-3 and made the NCAA Elite Eight for the fourth straight season in 2013, said in a release from the school. “Without a doubt this is the most difficult schedule that we’ve faced in the six years I’ve been at Duke — relative to the start, middle and finish. …
“It’s a great time to be a part of women’s basketball at Duke. It’s a special time with the expansion of the conference. We are looking forward to trying to take full advantage of those great competitors in every game we play.”
BACKYARD BISTRO/RALEIGH Wes Moore doesn’t want to waste any time as he gets his N.C. State women’s basketball team ready for his first season at the helm.
The Wolfpack’s still-new slogan is “This Is Our State,” and to make that point in women’s basketball they still have a high hill to climb.
Duke is probably going to be ranked No. 2 nationally to start the season, while UNC has a Hall of Fame coach and boasts the nation’s top-rated incoming recruiting class.
The Wolfpack went 17-17 and was knocked out in the second round of the WNIT in Kellie Harper’s final season at the helm, and has made one trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last six seasons.
Athletic director Debbie Yow hired Moore — at 558-169 the eighth winningest active coach in women’s college basketball — to fix that.
Notre Dame will be visiting the Triangle twice and Maryland thrice according to the ACC’s 2013-24 women’s basketball scheduling parameters announced today.
The 2013 Big East champion Irish, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will join the conference for play in the fall.
The ACC boasts four of the nation’s top five freshman recruiting classes, with Duke ranked No. 1, UNC No. 2, Maryland No. 4 and Notre Dame No. 5.
This season will mark Wes Moore's debut as head coach at N.C. State.