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Carolina bounces Virginia from ACCs

GREENSBORO, N.C.-The Virginia women's basketball team has played a number of excruciatingly close games against North Carolina and suffered their share of demoralizing defeats, but this one may have been the most heartbreaking of all.

As luck would have it, the top-seeded Cavaliers (23-8, 13-4) were matched in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament with fifth-seeded Carolina, a team that bested the Cavs last month in overtime and has had Virginia's number through the years.

Yesterday, with a spot in the ACC final up for grabs, the Heels (18-11, 9-8 ACC) worked their giant-killing magic once again, beating the No. 16 Cavaliers 67-63 at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Virginia senior guard Renee Robinson sank a game-tying three-pointer with 1:13 remaining that renewed hope for the Cavs after they had fallen behind by seven just two minutes earlier. But a five-foot runner seconds later by Heel junior LaQuanda Barksdale gave Carolina the lead for good as Robinson failed to convert a driving layup on the next possession.

"I did think we were going to win the game," Robinson said. "I just took a bad shot at the end of the game."

Related Links
  • href="">Official

    Virginia women's basketball webpage

  • href="">Official ACC

    women's basketball website

  • ESPN article on the women's ACC tournament
  • Barksdale and guard Nikki Teasley, Carolina's top stars, spurred the Heels to victory with 17 points apiece. Teasley continued her scorching play against the Cavs. Against Virginia Feb. 7 in Chapel Hill, the junior scored 20 of her 24 points in the second half, powering a 66-63 UNC win in overtime.

    This time, Teasley did her damage in the first half. Though Virginia tried a number of different strategies to defend her - including using combinations of Robinson, Chalois Lias and Svetlana Volnaya in man-to-man matchups and switching to a zone later in the half - Teasley scorched the nets with 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

    "We were fortunate to have leaders on our team like LaQuanda Barksdale and myself who were able to step up when they needed to step up," Teasley said. "I was very, very aggressive."

    In the second half, however, Teasley cooled off, attempting only three shots and scoring just three points. Her teammates picked up the slack though, and Barksdale, the ACC leader in points and rebounds, asserted her presence off the dribble and in the lane. The junior forward scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds against the Virginia zone after the break.

    With Teasley and Barksdale victimizing the Cav defense, the Virginia stars offset the onslaught with their own shining performances.

    Freshman Schuye LaRue registered 20 points and nine rebounds, even though she missed several easy shots down low. Volnaya, recently named to the All-ACC first team, contributed 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting and Robinson added 17.


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