Tobacco Road teams advance to semifinals
Markeisha Gatling scored a career-high 28 points before leaving with an injury, helping No. 14 North Carolina State beat Syracuse 79-63 in Friday's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Kody Burke added 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (25-6), who trailed 48-39 before going on a 25-1 run fueled by Gatling's 14 points.
The 6-foot-5 senior left with 8:19 left after injuring her left knee and was helped to the locker room. It's unclear if she'll play in Saturday's semifinal against No. 2 Notre Dame.
Brittney Sykes scored 14 points for the fifth-seeded Orange (22-9), who missed 16 straight shots at one point during N.C. State's decisive run.
Syracuse, in its first ACC tournament, shot 10-for-38 (26 percent) after halftime.
The game was delayed three times in the second half due to lights and shot-clock outages amid a winter storm that caused numerous area power outages.
No. 13 UNC tops No. 8 Maryland 73-70
Diamond DeShields scored 22 points while fellow freshman Allisha Gray added 17 to help No. 13 North Carolina beat No. 8 Maryland 73-70 in Friday's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Xylina McDaniel added 10 points for the sixth-seeded Tar Heels (24-8), who led all but 5 seconds but still had to fight to put away the Big Ten-bound Terrapins in what turned out to be their final ACC game.
Three-time ACC player of the year Alyssa Thomas scored 24 points and set the career scoring record for third-seeded Maryland (24-6), who erased nearly all of a nine-point deficit in the final 5½ minutes.
But Thomas couldn't quite lead the Terps all the way back, committing a turnover while going for the go-ahead shot in the final minute then missing a 3-pointer for the tie with about 10 seconds left.
UNC advanced to Saturday's semifinals to play No. 10 Duke.
No. 10 Duke beats Ga Tech 82-52
After stumbling a bit down the stretch, No. 10 Duke came to the right city — and faced the right opponent — to get rolling again.
The Blue Devils claimed their 37th straight victory over Georgia Tech on Friday night, an 82-52 win in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.
Duke has made Greensboro its home-away-from-Cameron over the past few years, reaching the ACC championship game five times in coach Joanne P. McCallie's previous six tries and winning it three times — including last year.
The Blue Devils came here this year on a slide, having lost two of three while adjusting to season-ending injuries to their two starting guards and effectively playing without a true point guard.
"We've done just a great job as a whole, everybody just embracing the challenge of what we've gone through this year," said Haley Peters, who scored 19 points.
No. 2 Notre Dame women roll over FSU
For two games, Natasha Howard did everything she could to keep her Florida State team alive in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Howard, a 6-foot-3 senior, scored 29 points on 14-for-22 shooting in Friday's 83-57 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals. That performance came a day after she went for 30 points and 16 rebounds in an overtime win against Miami.
"I'm just fighting for my teammates every single game, no matter if we come up with a win at the end or we come up with the loss," Howard said. "I'm just battling for my teammates."
Howard has led the way for Florida State all season with some dominating performances, most notably a 28-point, 22-rebound effort in an overtime loss to Duke. She came in averaging 20.9 points and 9.4 rebounds, including a career-high 40 points against Syracuse on Feb. 13.