#9 Virginia Holds Off #8 Boston College in ACC Women's Basketball Tournament Action
March 2, 2006
GREENSBORO - Sharnee Zoll scored 18 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, and Virginia held Boston College to two baskets over the final 3:54 to down the Eagles 57-54 in the opening game of the ACC Women's Tournament on Thursday.
The ninth-seeded Cavaliers (18-10) won their fifth straight and will meet top-seeded North Carolina in the quarterfinals Friday. Meanwhile, the No. 8 seeded Eagles (19-9), playing in their first-ever ACC Tournament game, head into further postseason play on a skid, losing their fifth in a row.
"They have Ivory Latta and nobody else does," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said of her upcoming matchup with the No. 1 ranked Tar Heels. "But they have a lot of great players. It's not just Ivory Latta."
Zoll, a sophomore point guard, has been on a roll recently, scoring 24, 18 and now 18 in three of her last four games.
"This game was a lot about pride," said Zoll, who played 40 minutes against Boston College. "We didn't want it to be one-and-done."
Tiffany Sardin added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Virginia.
"We just kept going to her in the second half and she just kept delivering," Ryan said of her senior forward. "That's what you expect from your veteran players."
The Cavaliers went on a 13-4 run to open the second half and grabbed a 42-33 lead with 15:51 left. But Boston College's zone defense held Virginia without a point over a span of 5:22 as the Eagles climbed back into the game.
A hook shot by Kathrin Ress tied the score at 48-48, setting up the final tense moments.
Zoll's key 3-pointer with 4:13 remaining gave Virginia the lead for good, while a layup from Siedah Williams, a steal and basket by Tiffany Sardin, and two free throws by Williams helped the Cavaliers to a seven-point cushion as time ticked away on the Eagles.
Boston College, which beat Virginia by 14 points on Jan. 26, folded down the stretch on this occasion, turning it over four times in the final 1:31.
"I was very proud of our play, especially down the stretch," Ryan said. "I thought we played with poise and maturity, and the things we've been working on really came to the forefront."
The Eagles were also held to 29.4 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes and finished with 19 turnovers.
"We were very successful the last time we played of getting the ball inside and trying to get to the foul line," said Boston College coach Cathy Inglese. "In this game we just didn't get to the foul line. All season when we've been successful we've done that very, very well."
Boston College managed just six fouls shots.
"We were much better prepared for their post game than we were the first time," Ryan said. "We respected their post game the first time, but they just drilled us. This time we had some time to work on it and we came with a much better game plan."
Boston College controlled the first half until getting just one basket over the final 4:26 as Virginia stormed back from a 10-point deficit to tie it 29-29 at the break. Zoll was the key in the comeback by the Cavaliers, nailing two 3-pointers and a 12-footer in a span of 1:03.
"She has worked extremely hard on her offensive game so I was starting to run things for her in the first half," Ryan said.
"We were kind of stagnant on offense and they were sagging off of me a little bit and it was making it difficult for our offense to run," Zoll said. "So, I knew I had to take a couple of shots to get my teammates open and get them started."
Twenty of the Eagles' 29 first-half points came in the paint, but B.C. couldn't keep that pace up in the second half and now must sit and wait for a possible NCAA Tournament bid.
"I was disappointed in the last four or five minutes as far as some of the turnovers we had," Inglese. "And Virginia did a nice job of closing us down in the second half."