March 4, 2011
GREENSBORO, NC – The sixth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament with a 78-65 victory over the third-seeded Florida State Seminoles Friday night in the Greensboro Coliseum.
After trailing by 15 at halftime, the Seminoles used a 12-1 run to pull to within one with nine minutes remaining. But they could do no more. Florida State did not make a field goal in the game’s final 10 minutes and 52 seconds as the Tar Heels advanced to the tournament semifinals for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
Laura Broomfield posted her seventh double-double of the year with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jessica Breland and Cetera DeGraffenreid added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Tar Heels.
The teams combined for a tournament-record 56 free throws, led by Bravard’s 12-for-15 performance.
Game 8 Notes:
North Carolina leads the series against Florida State 29-9, including victories in 12 of the last 15 meetings. North Carolina won the teams’ lone meeting of the regular season, 84-75 in Tallahassee, Fla. Friday’s game was just the second tournament meeting between the teams. UNC won the first one, in 1992, Florida State’s first year in the league.
Florida State has played in 20 ACC Tournaments. The Seminoles’ record in the tournament is 6-20. Under coach Sue Semrau, the Seminoles are 5-14. Florida State has lost three consecutive games in the tournament dating to the 2009 semifinals. Both previous losses came as the No. 2 seed.
Junior post player Cierra Bravard led Florida State with 20 points and 12 rebounds. It was her eighth double-double of the year. Bravard’s points were four off her season high and five off her career high, set in November 2008, her freshman season.
The teams combined for a tournament record of 56 free throws made. The previous record was 53 established three times, most recently in 1997.
Florida State Quotes:
COACH Sue Semrau: We’re pretty disappointed in our performance. Credit Carolina, we didn’t shoot the ball well. I thought we were really hesitant the first half getting the ball inside, and that’s what we do best. I’ve got, I think, the best offensive player in the league in Cierra, and we didn’t do a good job of that in the first half.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
This is for Cierra. When there are nights like this where it just seemed like there was a lid on the basket, how tough is that to keep going and playing as hard as you did when the shots just weren’t falling?
Cierra Bravard: I mean, it’s frustrating, but it’s not tough because it’s what I’m here to do. It’s not about my shots falling or their shots falling. We’ve got to stay together and just keep playing hard. I don’t think we really attacked the basket or got the ball inside as much as we should have. And we just — we got outplayed tonight.
Cierra, Natasha was in foul trouble a lot tonight, and it was kind of you against the four of their big people. Could you talk about the challenge that was for you having to deal with that, all the fouls they had.
Cierra Bravard: It’s hard. I mean, Tasha’s taken on a big role since she’s been here. Without her, it’s tough to switch things around and play with different people.
But the credit to us, for the least part, we played pretty good with their bigs inside. We played early and met them early, but I think we kind of lost focus down the stretch and started getting tired since we had a lot of people in foul trouble.
Coach, just wanted to ask you about the drought that closed the game. You got some points at the free-throw line, but from the field it was really a struggle. Were you getting the kind of shots you wanted? What did you see from that?
COACH Sue Semrau: I thought we got really good shots. We knocked a bunch down to close the gap. I think our legs were tired. You know, it did hurt us with Tasha in foul trouble. But that’s part of the game.