Offense beats defense
Duke outmuscles N.C. State to win ACC tourney
Updated: Sunday March 11, 2001 5:45 PM
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Now that Duke has the ACC title wrapped up, the fifth-ranked Blue Devils can set their sights on a bigger prize: the NCAA tournament and a No. 1 seed.
Duke won its second consecutive ACC tournament title with a 57-45 victory against No. 18 North Carolina State on Monday night.
Afterward, head coach Gail Goestenkors said she thought the win was enough to ensure the Blue Devils (28-3) a top seed in the NCAA tournament.
"I have to believe we are a one [seed]," said Goestenkors, who did a chin-up on the rim after she cut down the net.
"With the ACC being as tough as it is, with our run through this tournament, plus we stepped up and won the big out-of-conference games ... I have to believe we've earned it."
Alana Beard, a freshman, led the Blue Devils with 18 points. Michele Matyasovsky, another freshman, tied her career high with 14 points and sophomore Sheana Mosch scored 10.
It was important for the trio to have big games, Goestenkors said, because they had under-performed in the first two of the tournament.
"It was nice to see our young players step up because they were very nervous in the first two games," she said. "That left it up to the seniors to carry us through, but I think they finally hit their comfort zone and played a nice game for us."
The game was a matchup of the ACC's top offense in Duke and the top defense in N.C. State.
Despite the final score, the Wolfpack (20-10) actually played up to its normal level of defense and made Duke the 18th team this season to fail to score at least 60 points against them.
"I thought if we could hold Duke to 60 points, a team that averages 75, we'd have an awesome chance," N.C. State head coach Kay Yow said.
The Wolfpack particularly did a good job on Duke senior guard Georgia Schweitzer, the Blue Devils' offensive spark.
Schweitzer, who scored a combined 52 points in the first two games of the tournament, was held to nine against the Wolfpack. Her shots were limited -- she attempted only 10 -- and the Wolfpack never let her find any sort of rhythm. She was still named the tournament MVP.
Schweitzer, who said she simply had an off-shooting night, might have sensed the Wolfpack would make it difficult for her. Before the game, she said she approached Beard and Mosch and told them they'd have to score.
"I pulled them aside and told them they would have to step up," Schweitzer said. "They're both really good shooters and I knew they could do it."
Despite their defensive effort, N.C. State couldn't find an offense to match. The Wolfpack shot a season-low 25 percent and were held to their lowest point total of the season.
N.C. State also scored only two field goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half -- when Duke built a 19-point lead.
"I don't know if it's our poorest shooting night of the year, but it's one of them," Yow said. "I feel badly that we didn't give the crowd a better championship game -- that's my first thought -- because we could have done better."
The Wolfpack, who played in the championship game for the first time since 1991, couldn't overcome a disappointing game from center Carisse Moody.
Moody, who averages 15 points and seven rebounds, was held to just nine points while shooting 4-for-15. She had eight rebounds, but Duke won in that category 43-40.
Talisha Scates led N.C. State with 11 points.