Swords, BC crush Miami
Once Boston College started pounding the ball inside to Carolyn Swords, she started scoring. With a game plan like this, it's easy to see how she became the nation's most accurate shooter.
Swords, who entered hitting 69 percent of her shots, scored 16 of her 20 points in the second half to lead the Eagles past Miami, 76-59, last night in Greensboro, N.C., in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference women's tournament.
Corey Rusin added 12 points and Ayla Brown had 11 for the seventh-seeded Eagles (20-10), who shot 53 percent in claiming the school's second ACC tournament victory. Next up: 12th-ranked Florida State, the second seed, in today's quarterfinals.
Freshman Shenise Johnson had 13 points to lead Miami (13-17). The Hurricanes couldn't overcome a miserable stretch of shooting in the first half and went on to their sixth straight loss - and their third this season against the Eagles.
"That was a clinic in composure," Miami coach Katie Meier said.
The Hurricanes had trouble finding an answer when it counted for the 6-foot-6-inch Swords, as BC took control with a high-low game that repeatedly got the ball in her hands on the block.
"Our strategy [early] was to get the ball inside, yet we got Carolyn very few touches, Stefanie Murphy very few touches," Eagles coach Sylvia Crawley said. "In the past, they would have turned the ball over trying to get it inside.
"In the second half, they zoned in more on those [perimeter] players and we were able to get the ball inside. A lot of patience, a lot of maturity on this team."
ACC - Corinne Groves scored 18 points to give ninth-seeded Wake Forest (19-10) a 59-54 victory over eighth-seeded North Carolina State (13-17) . . . Shaniqua Pauldo scored 23 points and 12th-seeded Clemson (14-16) pulled away in the second half to upset fifth-seeded Georgia Tech (21-9), 81-69 . . . Aisha Mohammed had 16 points and 16 rebounds to help third-seeded Virginia (23-8) beat 11th seed Virginia Tech (12-18), 66-57.
SEC - Shekinna Stricklen scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half, and No. 19 Tennessee (21-9) pulled away for a 68-49 win over Alabama (13-17) in North Little Rock, Ark.
Stanford 70, Arizona 67 - Jeanette Pohlen scored a career-high 21 points, including two free throws in the final seconds, as the No. 2 host Cardinal (25-4, 16-1) defeated the Wildcats (11-17, 4-13) for the 12th time and clinched a share of the Pac-10 regular-season championship.
Texas A&M 79, Oklahoma St. 49 - Takia Starks and Tanisha Smith scored 18 points each and the No. 10 Aggies (23-5, 11-4 Big 12) cruised over the Cowgirls (15-13, 4-11) in College Station, Texas.
Arizona State 63, Cal 41 - Dymond Simon had 15 points and Danielle Orsillo added 13 to help the Sun Devils (23-6, 15-2 Pac-10) win their school-record 15th straight game with a victory over the host Bears (23-5, 14-3).
Division 3 - Nicholas Motta scored 26 points and Judah Jackson added 23 to lift host Bridgewater State (21-6) over Saint Joseph's College (21-8), 95-79.
Villanova 97, Providence 80 - Scottie Reynolds scored 23 points and helped the host No. 11 Wildcats (25-6, 13-5) finish a perfect season at the Pavilion and earn a double-bye in the Big East tournament with a victory over the Friars (18-12, 10-8).
Xavier 76, Dayton 59 - Dante Jackson scored Xavier's first 11 points for a lead that held, and the 17th-ranked Musketeers (24-5, 12-3) beat the Flyers (24-6, 10-5) in Cincinnati for their third straight Atlantic 10 regular-season championship.
UCLA 79, Oregon St. 54 - Josh Shipp scored 22 of his career-high 27 points in the first half, when the No. 20 host Bruins (23-7, 12-5 Pac-10) built a 24-point lead on the way to routing the Beavers (13-15, 7-10).
Penn State 64, Illinois 63 - Talor Battle hit a driving shot with 0.3 seconds left to cap a rally from a 10-point deficit and give the Nittany Lions (21-9, 10-7 Big Ten) the win over the No. 23
Stanford 74, Arizona St. 64 - Landry Fields scored 20 points and the Cardinal (17-11, 6-11 Pac-10) defeated the No. 21 Sun Devils (21-8, 10-7) in Tempe, Ariz.