Deacs Cruise to ACC First Round Win Over Clemson
March 2, 2016
By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeWBB)
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Milan Quinn's ninth-career double-double led No. 10 Wake Forest women's basketball past 15th-seeded Clemson 73-58 on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the ACC Tournament inside the Greensboro Coliseum.
The win moves Wake Forest to 16-14 on the season while Clemson ends the year with a 4-26 record. The Demon Deacons have now won a game in eight-straight ACC Tournaments, the longest active streak of any ACC program dating back to 2009. The win moves Wake Forest into the second round of the tournament on Thursday, where it will take on seventh-seeded Georgia Tech at 6 p.m.
Quinn had a big game for the Deacs with 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. The 20 points fell two short of tying her career high of 22, set earlier this season on Dec. 18 at Coastal Carolina.
Wake Forest opened on a 15-4 run that included a 13-0 stretch in the middle of the first quarter as Clemson went scoreless for 5:55 of game action. Quinn and Elisa Penna had Wake Forest's first eight points before Ariel Stephenson got in the act with a three-pointer from the corner that forced a Clemson timeout at 11-4. In the final minute of the quarter, Stephenson connected from long range from the other corner in front of the Clemson bench to make it 19-8 after one.
At the onset of the second quarter, Clemson cut the lead to eight after a three-pointer by Victoria Cardaci, but Wake Forest again went on a big 12-0 run to take command. Quinn scored each of the last eight points of the run to put the Deacs up by 20 at 33-13. She finished the first half with a dominating 12 points and 11 rebounds.
To open the third quarter, Wake Forest quickly extended the lead to 23 with two jumpers from Stephenson and a three-pointer from the top of the circle by Penna that forced another Clemson timeout. Keyonna Allen's layup with 5:07 to go in the third quarter gave Wake Forest its largest lead of the game at 24 at 53-29, but Clemson responded to close the quarter strong to cut the Demon Deacon lead to 57-41.
The Tigers continued the run into the fourth quarter in cutting the lead to 14 at 59-45 after a jumper by Danielle Edwards, but Quinn and the Deacs responded as the junior from Charlotte, North Carolina, scored four straight points to put Wake Forest back up by 18 at 63-45 as the Deacs remained in control on the way to the victory.
Stephenson added 19 points in the win on 7-of-10 shooting. She broke a two-game slump in which she shot 2-of-25 from the floor. Amber Campbell rounded out the double-figure scorers with 15 points on 6-of-13 from the floor. Campbell also had seven rebounds in the game. Penna missed a double-double by one point and two rebounds, finishing with nine points and eight boards. Both Stephenson and Ataijah Taylor pulled down six rebounds in the contest.
Clemson was led by a 23-point performance by Nelly Perry. Cardaci finished with 11 points while Alexis Carter added 10 points.
The Demon Deacons shot 45.9 percent from the floor in the contest on 28-of-61 shooting. The 28 field goals fell one short of tying the highest total of the season, set when the Deacs hit 29 shots in a win over Davidson on Nov. 17 and a loss at Missouri on Nov. 22.
The 24-point lead midway through the third quarter marked the largest lead in a game against an ACC opponent this season. The previous largest lead at any point came when the Deacs led Pittsburgh by 18 on Feb. 4.
Wake Forest's next opponent, Georgia Tech, has not played since topping Wake Forest 66-51 on Sunday, Feb. 28, in Atlanta in the regular-season finale. In the game, the Yellow Jackets went up by 15 at 35-20, but Wake Forest cut the lead to just four in the third quarter before the Jackets pulled away for the win. All-time, Wake Forest is 2-2 in ACC Tournament action against Georgia Tech. The Deacs won the last postseason meeting between the two teams in 2013, as 10th-seeded Wake Forest topped seventh-seeded Georgia Tech 86-67 on March 7.
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