UNC does enough to get past Boston College
GREENSBORO — It wasn’t like the twin 28-point beatdowns that North Carolina delivered against Boston College during the regular season. Then again, it wasn’t like a quarterfinal elimination like the Tar Heels suffered a year ago against Georgia Tech.
Instead, UNC advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament with a 62-57 victory over the Eagles in Friday’s final game at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Tar Heels (27-5) will face Maryland, which survived a 92-81 scare by Wake Forest in overtime, in today’s second semifinal game (3:30 p.m., Fox Sports South).
“It would have been better if they had to play 10 or 15 minutes longer,” UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said of the Terps. “I don’t think our effort was there that we’ve normally had. We’ve got to play much better (against Maryland), rebounding wise, and just overall we’ve got to play a lot better that we did today.”
UNC senior Tierra Ruffin-Pratt shouldered the offensive load down the stretch, finishing with 19 points while making 11 of 12 free throw attempts.
“Every team is going to give their best shot because nobody wants to go home,” Ruffin-Pratt said. “Rankings and numbers don’t matter. You’ve got to come out and play as hard as you can on every possession.”
Waltiea Rolle followed with 10 points for the Tar Heels, though she only had two points after halftime.
Boston College (12-19) actually made more 3-point field goals (10) than shots inside the arc (eight) but shot just 30.5 percent overall (18-of-59).
“We could have done a lot better on the perimeter, definitely,” UNC guard Krista Gross said. “But they hit some tough shots. ... That’s where most of their points come from.”
Still, Coach Erik Johnson was pleased by his team’s improvement over the previous two meetings against UNC.
“It wasn’t the prettiest basketball game that you’ve ever watched, to say the least,” Johnson said. “I’ll be honest with you, that was by design where we challenged our team.
“The two games that we played North Carolina this year, they beat us up physically. I don’t mean that in a negative way — they play hard, they play physical, they play strong.”
The Tar Heels repeatedly looked inside early in the first half, as Rolle scored their first four points and had six by the 16:15 mark as UNC opened a 9-3 lead.
Boston College, on the other hand, relied on outside shooting with five of its seven field goals in the first half. Shields connected on 4 of 8 from outside the arc in the first half for a game-high 12 points.
The Eagles only shot 20.6 percent in the first half, connecting on 7 of 34 shots overall. UNC, meanwhile, had its struggles while making 9 of 29 for 31 percent.
The biggest difference statistically was that Boston College was able to cash in on its 10-6 advantage in offensive rebounds for an 8-0 margin on second-chance points.
The Eagles opened the second half by making their first three 3-point attempts and kept firing away most of the period.
“They’re so good at making those (3-pointers),” Hatchell said. “They were getting a lot of penetration. We had to stay out on those shooters because they’re so good at that.”
UNC 62, BC 57
Percentages: FG .305, FT .579. 3-Point Goals: 10-25, .400 (Boudreau 5-6, Shields 4-12, Doherty 1-5, Zenevitch 0-2). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 2 (Coulombe, Zenevitch). Turnovers: 17 (Doherty 3, Zenevitch 3, Holt 3, Ruffin 2, Boudreau 2, Shields 2, Coulombe, Brown). Steals: 8 (Holt 4, Coulombe, Boudreau, Doherty, Zenevitch). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .415, FT .619. 3-Point Goals: 5-10, .500 (Gross 2-3, Rountree 2-3, Coleman 1-1, Johnson 0-1, Buckland 0-1, Ruffin-Pratt 0-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 8 (Rolle 3, Gross 2, Rountree, McDaniel, Ruffin-Pratt). Turnovers: 21 (McDaniel 5, Rolle 4, Ruffin-Pratt 3, Butts 3, Buckland 2, Johnson 2, Bryant, Coleman). Steals: 10 (Gross 2, Ruffin-Pratt 2, Butts 2, McDaniel 2, Buckland, Rolle). Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Lawson Newton, Wesley Dean, Joanne Aldrich.