March 2, 2006
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The No. 9 seed Virginia Cavaliers upset No. 8 seed and No. 25 nationally ranked Boston College, 57-54, on Thursday afternoon in the first round of the 2006 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Virginia improved 18-10 overall, while the Eagles fell to 19-11 overall. Riding a five-game win streak, Virginia now advances to quarterfinal action against No. 1 seed and No. 1 nationally ranked North Carolina on Friday, March 3 at 11 a.m. The Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports Net South, Comcast Sports, Fox Sports Florida, New England Sports Network) will televise the game live.
"I was very proud of our play, especially down the stretch," head coach Debbie Ryan said. "I thought we played with poise and maturity, and things we've worked on really came to the forefront."
In the first half, Boston College jumped out to a 9-2 lead and then went ahead by 10 points, 17-7 with 11:43 to go in the half. The Cavaliers battled back, led by sophomore point guard Sharnee Zoll (Marlboro, N.J.), who hit two three-pointers and jumper to give UVa its first lead, 29-27 with 2:37 to go. The teams were tied at 29-29 at halftime.
"We were kind of stagnant on offense," Zoll said of the first half. "I had to take a couple of shots to get my teammates open."
"Sharnee just sort of took the game into her own hands and decided we're not going to play behind anymore," Ryan said.
In the second half, Virginia built its lead up to nine points, 42-33 with 15:53 on the clock, on a lay-up by senior Tiffany Sardin (Chicago, Ill.). While BC tied the game twice, the `Hoos never relinquished the lead, holding on for the three-point win.
"I told my teammates to play this game like it was their last," said lone senior Sardin. "We didn't want to be one-and-done."
"Tiffany in the second half came in, and we just kept going to her, and she just kept delivering," Ryan added.
Zoll paced all players with 18 points, including a career-best three treys. She was named the Aeropostale Player of the Game. Sardin followed with 17 points and 10 rebounds for her sixth career double-double. Freshman Lyndra Littles (Washington, D.C.) added eight points and 10 boards.
"Lyndra rebounded like a wild woman," Ryan added.
Brooke Queenan led BC with 11 points. Aja Parham came off the bench for 10 points, while reserve Lisa Macchia grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
"It was a hard-fought game," said BC coach Cathy Inglese. "I was disappointed probably the last four or five minutes in some of the turnovers that we created, the out-of-bounds play. Virginia did a nice job in the second half of closing us down, holding us to about 30 percent from the field."
Overall, Boston College out-rebounded Virginia, 45-35.
"North Carolina is No. 1 in the country," Ryan said in previewing Friday's match-up. "They're athletic; they have size. They have Ivory Latta, and nobody else does. We expect a fast-paced game. It's a great opportunity for us."
1 2 - Final #9 seed Virginia (18-10) 29 28 - 57 #8 seed/#25 Boston College (19-11) 29 25 - 54
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