GREENSBORO, N.C. – Dearica Hamby saw no reason to depart from the norm on Wednesday night, and that suited 11th-seeded Wake Forest just fine.
The Atlantic Coast Conference's leading scorer and rebounder delivered her 22nd double-double of the season with 25 points and 16 rebounds, leading the Demon Deacons to a 72-58 win over 14th-seeded Pitt in the opening round of the 2014 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament.
Chelsea Douglas added 20 points for Wake Forest (15-15), which moves on to face sixth-seeded North Carolina (22-8) in Thursday's 8 p.m. second-round game at the Greensboro Coliseum.
For good measure, Hamby also handed out a career-high eight assists and made her presence felt early on a night in which she added to a host of numbers that were already single-season school records. By the time Pitt called its first timeout just 2:41 into the game, the Marietta, Ga., native had already scored the game's first five points and found Douglas for a 3-pointer to give Wake Forest a quick 8-0 lead.
But that didn't put the Panthers away. Keyed by Aisa Logan (eight first-half points), a pair of 3-pointers from Frederique Potvin and some strong inside play from Cora McManus, Pitt battled back to tie the score at 24-all at the four-minute mark of the opening half.
But Douglas closed with a flurry, firing in 3-pointers on successive possessions and driving the ball for a score in transition off a steal by Millesa Calicott. The quick eight points keyed a 10-point run, and the Demon Deacons went on to lead 36-30 at the half.
Wake Forest regained solid control of the game by scoring on four straight possessions early in the second half – with Hamby scoring two buckets and assisting on another – to go in front 50-34. Pitt managed to creep back below double-digits with 7 ½ minutes remaining, but that proved the extent of the comeback bid.
Logan finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Brianna Kiesel added 12 to lead the Panthers, who closed their inaugural ACC season with an 11-20 record.
Hamby finished 10-of-19 from the floor and went 5-of-6 from the foul line. Douglas connected on four 3-pointers and finished 7-of-14 from the floor as Wake Forest shot 47.4 percent for the game and outrebounded Pitt 45-31.
The 37th Annual ACC Women's Basketball Tournament will continue throughout the week at the Greensboro Coliseum, and will conclude with the 7 p.m. championship contest on Sunday, March 9. The title game will be televised on ESPN, and Saturday's 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. semifinal games will be shown nationally via ESPNU. All eight games on Thursday and Friday will be broadcast on the league's regional sports network (RSN). The entire tournament can also be seen on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.