Today is a double dip for the Tar Heels. First the Women play their regular season finale against the Dookies in Cameron Indoor at 4:00. Then the UNC men play the Maryland Terrapins in College Park at 5:30. I have to somehow find a way to cover them both. Meanwhile, the Extrapolater is covering Wisconsin-Ohio State at Digital Headbutt. In the first matchup, Alison Bales and Elrana Larkins canceled each other out, and the game was decided in the backcourt. Harding and Waner had great games for Duke, while Ivory Latta may have had the worst game of her career, shooting 3-20, including 0-11 from three. She and Larkins will need to be effective if the Heels want to win this game. It’s a big day in college basketball, so enjoy.
4:04 pm: 3-0, Dook. Harding draws first blood with a three from the top of the key. UNC needs to box out better, that opportunity happened because of Dook’s lowpost presence.
4:05 pm: 5-0, Dook. Alison Bales shows her range with a nice midrange jumper.
4:06 pm: 5-2, Dook. UNC finally gets on the board as Larkins hits a basket off an offensive rebound. We need her to dominate the offensive glass for us to win.
4:07 pm: 5-4, Dook. Latta hits a nice jumpshot to reduce the lead to two.
This Cameron Indoor crowd is almost as intimidating as during a men’s game. I have to give them a lot of credit for that.
4:08 pm: 7-4, Dook. Dook scores easily again to bring the lead back up to three. What’s worse is that Larkins makes a nice move and misses an easy layup on the following possession. We simply cannot afford to miss those kinds of opportunities against such a defensively sound opponent.
4:13 pm: 9-7, Dook. Harding steals the ball and drives for an easy layup, but Camille Little hits a three to reduce the deficit to two. She’s usually in the post, so she was left wide open.
4:14 pm: 12-7, Dook. Alison Bales hits a three. Her versatility is unbelievable. I can;t believe i’m complementing a Dookie.
Big trouble for the Tar Heels: Larkins seems to have injured her ankle. UNC cannot afford to have her out long.
4:16 pm: 14-7, Dook. UNC commits their fourth turnover already, and it leads to a nice floater by Harding. How is allowed to be that open?
4:17 pm: 14-9, Dook. The good news: UNC hits another ourside shot. The bad news: She forced a turnover on the next possession, drove into the lane, and missed her layup.
4:19 pm: 16-9, Dook. Wow. Alison Bales can block our shots without even jumping.
Jessica Breland steals the ball and gets an easy basket inside to make it 16-11, Dook.
4:20 pm: Interesting story: my siser and I were at Carmichael Auditorium to pay our last respects to Latta and Camille Little at their home finale against Wake. We blew them out, but what was fun for me was that we ended up sitting next to Jessica Breland’s entire family. Wake is at the bottom of the ACC barrel, so Breland, a bench player, got significant playing time and ended up scoring a season high 14 points. They were completely ecstatic. I had a lot of fun watching their reaction. Every time she had the ball her mom said “Shoot it!”, and eventually I got into it and started rooting for Jessica specifically.
4:24 pm: 16-15, Dook. UNC definitely has the momentum now. Larkins is back in the game after the TV timeout, UNC score two straight baskets (the latest by Larkins), and the Heels are really starting to force turnovers defensively.
4:26 pm: 18-16, UNC. WHOOOOOO!!! Latta hits a three to give the Heels their first lead of the game. But she got hit hard by a Bales screen and may miss time.
4:27 pm: 20-18, Dook. The Devils take the lead thanks to UNC not bothering to box out. If Duke gets three straight chances, they’re going to score.
4:28 pm: 20-20. Good news: Latta didn’t miss any minutes. Better news: Larkins just tied the game.
4:34 pm: 22-21, UNC. UNc gains the lead, but can;t extend it despite 4 opportunities in the paint. Dook makes them pay and takes the lead.
4:35 pm: 23-22, Dook. What?!? A travel? THAT WAS A FOUL!
4:36 pm: 26-22, Dook. I have to say, UNC is playing a lot better in this game than the first matchup at Carmichael. But it looks like the same things are starting to happen. Latta is starting to take ridiculous shots, and Abby Waner is starting to make it rain like Pacman Jones.
4:38 pm: 26-24, Dook. UNC reduces the deficit to two, as Rashad…er, Rashanda McCants finally gets on the board.
4:40 pm: 28-24, Dook. The reason Dook is winning is because they have 13 second chance points to 4 for UNC. If not for them, the Heels have a 5 point lead.
4:41 pm: 28-28, Dook. Wait a minute…since when does Rashanda play out of her mind? Surely this must be Rashad changing places with her in drag. Which is understandable, because the Timberwolves only play him 3 minutes a game anyway.
4:47 pm: 35-28, Dook. What the hell just happened? Dook seemed to have just opened the floodgates. UNC is simply not getting their rebounds.
4:48 pm: 35-30, Dook. UNC stops the the momentum with a great assist from Latta to Larkins.
4:49 pm: the half ends, Dook leading 35-30. The scoreboard is eerily similar to the last matchup, and Latta’s performance is similar (7 points, 2-9 shooting). But this game seems to be going at a much faster pace. UNC needs to hit the shots that the Dookies are allowing them. Right now that’s the 10-15 foot jumpers. If they can hit those and outrebound the Devils in the second half, they have a very good chance of winning.
5:06 pm: 35-32, Dook. Larkins scores the first points of the second half for the Tar Heels.
It’s nice to see at least a decent UNC constituency in the stands.
5:07 pm: 35-34, Dook. Larkins gets another shot (she now has 12), but butmore importantly the second half has begun very sloppy. In fact, this game ahs been pretty sloppy since midway in the first half.
5:09 pm: 37-34, Dook. Bales is left all alone in the middle and gets an easy layup.
5:10 pm: 40-36, Dook. Wainisha Smith hits a three to extend the lead to 4. She led the Dookies with 17 in the last matchup.
5:11 pm: 42-38, Dook. Smith hits another outside shot, and Latte gets her first points in the half from the one place her shots are uncontested: the free throw line. The Devils’ defense has been more tenacious than a trial lawyer.
5:15 pm: 42-42. One of the UNC forwards (I think it’s Pringle) makes a great left-handed layup, and then Larkins drives right past Bales to tie the game.
5:17 pm: 45-42, Dook. Just when the Tar Heels get the momentum, Lindsey Harding gets three the hard way to swing the pendulum right back.
5:19 pm: 46-44, Dook. Jessica Breland’s mom: “Oh my God! Yeah! Whoooo! That’s my baby! That’s my baby!”
5:21 pm: 51-46, Dook. There is no excuse for Abby Waner to be that open on the perimeter.
5:22 pm: 51-49, Dook. UNC steals the ball, and Latta gets an easy layup.
The UNC men play the Terps in ten minutes. I still don’t know how I’m going to pull this off.
5:26 pm: 51-51. Latta drives the lane and ties the game with a tough layup over the trees. She’s really heating up in the second half. More importantly, she’s making better decisions.
5:29 pm: 52-51, Dook. Wow. Lindsey Harding is missing her free throws. She must be getting really tired.
5:30 pm: 53-52, UNC. Yes! Larkins makes a nice shot in the paint, and takes the lead for the first time in a while.
5:32 pm: 53-53. This game has been really intense. Both teams must be spent at this point. Their effort certainly has not wavered.
5:33 pm: 55-53, Dook. The other Waner sister robs Ivory blind, and gets an easy layup on the under end. NOOOOOOOO!!!
5:37 pm: 56-55, UNC. Camille Little hits a huge three to give the lead back to the Tar Heels. She was able to make that shot because of great perimeter passing.
5:38 pm: 56-55, UNC. How does Larkins miss those shots? They were point-blank! She’s been on fire today! Why did they not go in?!?
5:43 pm: 57-56, Dook. The Devils get the lead back. Don’t ask me how, I was watching the start of the men’s game. My suggestion is, watch the women’s game until it’s over. I’ll still try to double dip. Boy, that sounds weird, doesn’t it?
5:45 pm: 59-56, Dook. Abby Waner hits a nice shot to extend the lead to 3. More importantly, UNC can’t buy a decent shot attempt right now.
5:50 pm: 61-56, Dook, 2:50 left. Dook has done an unbelievable job on defense today. UNC hasn’t gotten any chances in the last five minutes. They must solve this problem quickly, as time is now a factor and the Dook band, in all their arrogance, is now playing salsa.
5:54 pm: If the Dookies were able to make their free throws, this game would be over. It’s not looking good for UNC. They have not hit a shot since there were eight minutes left in the game.
5:56 pm: 62-56, Dook, 1:03 left. It looks like the Heels have simply run out of gas.
5:59 pm: 64-58, Dook, :53 left. Latta hits two free throws, but this is their first points in 6:52. You simply cannot go clod like that late in the second half in a close game and expect to win.
6:03 pm: 66-60, Dook, :14 left. UNC gets its first basket in over seven minutes, but Dook is salting it away at the free throw line.
6:06 pm: The game goes final: The Dookies win, 68-62. Duke is the first team in ACC history to go undefeated in women’s basketball. Combine howw good this team is with the very real pssobility of playing all of their regional games in Raleigh and Grrensboro, they can pretty much punch their ticket to the final four at this point, barring something really bad happening. Congratulations, I hope Goestenkorsopolis is very, very cold tonight.