by Mike Potter
REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State continues its early-season run of home games against Division I opponents from outside the “power conferences” as first-year mentor Wes Moore starts his tenure at the helm.
Tonight’s foe is Morgan State of the MEAC, which lost its opener at home to Lincoln (Pa.) of the CIAA.
The Wolfpack is 3-0, with easy wins over St. Bonaventure, Towson and Presbyterian under its belt.
This one is as easy as expected, as the Wolfpack rolls 94-52.
N.C. State takes control from the outset, leading 4-0 and then 12-3 on Len’Nique Brown’s layup from Krystal Barrett at 16:05. The Wolfpack’s inside players dominate the scoring early, as the first points other than a transition layup from someone under six feet tall come when Miah Spencer’s 3-pointer makes it 31-17 at 7:41.
The Wolfpack leads 45-22 at halftime behind 15 points from Kody Burke — nearly double her previous season average — and 10 from Markeisha Gatling.
The Wolfpack outshoots the Bears 52.9 to 29.2 in the first half and leads the rebound battle 25-12.
Burke finishes with 23 points and nine rebounds to lead four Wolfpack players in double figures. Gatling finishes with 14 points and nine rebounds while seniors Breezy Williams and Lakeesa Daniel come off the bench for 13 apiece.
Danielle Forest leads Morgan with 17 points followed by Tracey Carrington with 15.
The Wolfpack shoots 54.5 percent from the floor to MSU’s 38.5 and wins the rebound battle 52-20.
They said it …
N.C. State coach Wes Moore: “We were kind of anxious just to get this game over with. We knew it was a game we should have in hand and take care of business. We did some good things, did a good job on the boards. It was nice for Kody Burke to have a good offensive night.”
Burke: “We practice a lot on finding areas where we’ll be open. I took that to heart and was able to find good places to score. I just need to get more shots up period. I need to get shots no matter what time of the game it is.”
Breezy Williams: “I knew I had to play harder and rebound. Big guards have to rebound, period. He wants me to focus more on the defense, I know that.”
What does it all mean?
That the Wolfpack got through an easy start to the schedule without a scratch.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Burke’s three-point play with 6:07 left in the first half.
NCSU: Won 4
Morgan: Lost 2.
NCSU leads 1-0.
Morgan vs. Wesley, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.
NCSU vs. Tulane, Sunday, 2 p.m.