Today the UNC Women play NC State in the Women’s ACC Championship. NC State has won 10 of its last 11 games since the return of Kay Yow from cancer treatment, including victories at home against UNC and yesterday against Duke, something the Heels couldn’t do. Ivory Latta is 9 points away from becoming UNC’s all-time leading scorer. For our sake, she better get that record, because we’d be in big trouble if she scored in single digits in this game, especially considering that that she shoots 15-20 times every game anyway. Both of these are evenly matched (with the exception of Latta), as both play a 7-player rotation.
1:08 pm: 3-0, UNC. The Tar Heels win the tip, and Latta immediately drains a three.
1:09 pm: 3-2, UNC. Whittington scores the first basket for the Pack, a midrange jumper.
That’s something I forgot to mention: Whittington, one of NC State’s best players, did not start against the Heels when we lost at Reynolds Coliseum. Having her is a big advantage for the Pack.
2:27 pm: 40-35, UNC. NC State has certainly lost the momentum, but this game is far from over. Khadija Washington hit only her second shot of the game. What’s worse is that those shots were 28 1/2 minutes from each other.
2:29 pm: 40-37, UNC. The heels need to show me the killer instinct right now. They’re having real trouble putting the Pack away.
1:10 pm: 4-3, NCSU. After the initial three, NC State is playing very good defense, and that’s leading to opportunities on the other end.
1:12 pm: 6-5, NCSU. Larkins gets her first basket, but the Pack are able to respond immediately with another midrange jumpshot.
1:17 pm: 9-5, NCSU. Ashley Key hits her second FG of the game, this time a three.
The Wolfpack women are well represented in the stands today.
1:19 pm: 11-7, NCSU. Jessica Breland is in the game; the Heels will need a good game out of her. But the Pack immediately hit another shot before Larkins ends the UNC scoring drought.
1:20 pm: 13-7, NCSU. The Tar Heels have five turnovers in seven minutes, and really seem to be mentally out of the game so far.
1:22 pm: Ivory Latta has been shockingly quiet so far in this game. She just committed an offensive foul, her second. I think that was a bad call. She took a misstep and tripped, and Ashley Key came in front of her so Latta could not avoid contact. She’s on the bench now.
1:25 pm: 15-7, NCSU. Goring, NC State’s center, makes a shot that was way too easy for UNC to give up.
1:28 pm: 20-9, NCSU. Camille Little finally scores for the Heels, but NC State continues to get easy shots while UNC can’t buy good shots.
I watch the Heels playing right know and the phrase “Persistent Vegetative State” comes to mind.
1:23 pm: 20-14, NCSU. Latta is forced back into the game and makes an immediate impact, hitting another three and getiing an easy layup. She’s 1 point away from the record.
1:31 pm: 20-16, NCSU. She did it! Ivory Latta is UNC’s all-time leading scorer, with 2,202 career points! She has scored the 7 unanswered points by herself since getting coming off the bench.
1:35 pm: 22-18, NCSU. What the Hell?…Chick-Fil-A has an inflated “Blimp” with a “cow” floating around the “arena”. Now that’s “strange”.
1:39 pm: 24-18, NCSU. Uh-oh. Latta just picked up her third foul. The Heels simply cannot afford to have her out for extended periods of time.
1:41 pm: 25-20, NCSU. Yes! I can finally figured out how to tell Rashanda McCants apart from her brother. She, unlike Rashad, actually plays defense. Rashad, on the other hand, actually plays offense. Keep that in mind the next time you’re confused.
1:45 pm: Am I the only person who saw Erlana Larkins behind the 3-point line at the top of the key and thought, “Shoot it!” because 1) she was wide open and 2) Even if she missed it would be the funniest shot ever?
1:47 pm: 25-22, NCSU. McCants scores again! Wow. Now I’m confused again.
1:48 pm: 25-24, NCSU. UNC has played absolutely shutdown defense, and Larkins gets an easy layup in transition. She’s a lot faster than she looks. UNC has outscored the Pack 15-5 since the three point play.
1:50 pm: NC State ends their scoring drought at the buzzer to take a 27-24 halftime lead. The first half has been dictated by long spurts of great defense by both teams, but NC State has the lead because they are winning the rebounding battle against the Tar Heels, and they have put Latta in foul trouble. For the Heels to win, Latta need to stay out of trouble in the second half, and the frontcourt of Larkins, Little, Pringle, and Breland must be more physical and dominate the post.
2:08 pm: 27-25, NCSU. Here’s a scary stat: that was just UNC first two free throws of the entire game. The frontcourt has to play more physical in the low post.
2:09 pm: 28-27, UNC. YESSS!!! Latta hits another three, and the Heels take the lead.
2:11 pm: Larkins still isn’t playing like the dominating offensive rebounder I know her to be. I have yet to see her get an offensive rebound.
2:13 pm: 30-27, UNC. Wow…Larkins is really fast for a big girl, isn’t she? She moves like a guard.
The Pack have yet to score in 4 minutes in the second half.
2:17 pm:34-29, UNC. Larkins scores on two straight possessions, but Ashley Key finally puts NC State on the board in the second half. Erlana has 13 now.
2:19 pm: 36-30, UNC. The Big Deuce (that’s my new nickname for Larkins) has taken over this game. She cannot be stopped.
2:20 pm: 38-30, UNC. It’s a little belated, but I have to ask: Can anyone recall the last time a McCants sibling wasn’t in foul trouble?
We are on a 29-10 run since being down 20-9 in the first half.
2:24 pm: 40-33, UNC. Ashley Key has NC State only two field goals in the first 9 minutes of the second half.
2:27 pm: 40-37, UNC. UNC needs to show me the killer instinct. They’re having serious trouble putting the Pack away.
2:32 pm: 44-41, UNC. NC State finally ties the game, but Latta hits a three on the very next possession. So far UNC has done what I’ve said they should do. Latta has stayed out of trouble, the Heels have continued to play good defense, and Larkins has taken over the offensive paint.
2:35 pm: As much as I want to hate the Wolfpack (as they commit their 17th turnover), I have to show my respect for Khadija Whittington. She’s a true warrior out on the court.
2:38 pm: 48-43, UNC. Oh crap. I leave the room for a minute, and i miss three baskets.
2:39 pm: 51-43, UNC. Rashanda McCants drains a three to extend the lead to 8. Now I’m really, really confused. WHO ARE YOU, RASHANDA?!?! MAKE UP YOUR MIND! OR TAKE OFF THAT WIG, RASHAD! OR SOMETHING! ANYTHING! BEFORE I PERFORM SURGERY ON MY OWN BRAIN!
2:44 pm: 53-47, UNC, 4:13 left. NC State hits a three, but Latoya Pringe is trying to make her own mark in the paint. Which reminds me, I haven’t heard much from Larkins in the last 8 minutes or so.
2:49 pm: 55-49, UNC, 2:45 left. The Heels commit a costly turnover. They cannot afford to do that in this stage of the game.
2:51 pm: 55-49, UNC, 1:52 left. It’s probably not Kosher to make fun of Coach Yow, but I would pay to see Sidney Lowe in that turetleneck. It looks really funny.
2:51 pm: 55-52, UNC, 1:32 left. God immediately smites me for that joke as the Pack hit a three and Larkins misses the 1+1 free throw. NC State now has a chance to tie.
2:54 pm: 57-52, UNC, :36 left. What a play by Latta! She lets the shot clock run down, she drive down the lane, busts a move, and gets open for the shot inside. She then gets the defensive rebound and is fouled to pretty much seal it.
2:56 pm: 59-52, UNC. To the fan in the stands: I appreciate your enthusiasm and wearing Carolina Blue, but it doesn’t make much sense to go to a women’s game in a Tyler Hansbrough jersey.
2:58 pm: 59-54, UNC. Mr. Wuf exists in a computer-generated dream world, blissfully oblivious to the truth: NC State is about to lose and there is nothing that smile on his face can do about it.
3:00 pm: It’s official: THE NORTH CAROLINA LADY TAR HEELS HAVE WON THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP! The final score: 59-54. Congratulations to the Tar Heels for winning, and many thanks from Tar Heel Mania for a great season. On to the UNC-Duke game.