by Mike Potter
REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State is back home after a two-game losing streak against good opposition on the road, and tonight the Wolfpack gets a tough test at home.
It’s NCSU’s most frequent out-of-state non-conference opponent, Old Dominion, over which the Wolfpack holds a 19-14 lead in the series.
Kellie Harper got a big early-season win over the Monarchs last season in Norfolk, 62-52, and the Wolfpack could use another one tonight to get the ship righted.
ODU is 2-0 and already has an impressive 65-63 win over visiting Georgia Tech in its season opener.
State survives a poor-shooting first half and a last-second ODU possession to win 62-60.
The Wolfpack gets out to an 8-0 lead on Kody Burke’s drive to the hoop at the 14:28 mark of the half, but when Jasmine Parker knocks down a 3-pointer for the visitors at 14:00 ODU dominates the rest of the half.
The Monarchs lead 30-22 at the break behind nine points from Parker, shooting 37.9 percent to State’s 22.9 as the Wolfpack is 1-for-11 from behind the arc. State trails despite a 27-22 advantage on the boards.
The Wolfpack finally takes the lead for good at 49-47 on a pair of Bonae Holston free throws with 10:25 to go, the third and fourth points of an 11-0 run that gets State its largest lead of the game.
It’s 62-57 after Myisha Goodwin-Coleman hits the second of two free throws at 41.1. But ODU gets a 3-pointer from Alena Voronina with 34.9 left, and after a Wolfpack turnover gets a futile game-tying attempt from Shakeva Richards at the buzzer.
Holston finishes with a double-double of 20 points — all in the second half — and 12 rebounds while freshman Burke chips in 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting.
Parker finishes with 23 points and Voronina 10 for ODU.
The Wolfpack wins despite shooting 33.9 percent that includes a 2-for-16 night from outside the arc. ODU shoots 35.5. But State wins the board battle 52-37, helped by 10 from freshman guard Goodwin-Coleman. The Wolfpack commits 24 turnovers to 20 for ODU.
They said it …
Harper: “I’m really proud of the energy our team had. That’s what we’ve been asking them to bring the past week. We obviously did not shoot the ball from the perimeter well tonight. Our philosophy is to have a lot of different scorers and a lot of versatility on offense, and we were able to find other people that could put the ball in the hole for us. We felt like we won this game with our defense and our rebounding. We did a pretty good job rebounding and didn’t give them a lot of second-chance points. … Bo wanted the ball in the second half, and when I saw that from here we immediately changed our schemes and started pounding it inside even more.”
ODU coach Wendy Larry: “What a battle, you know? Our front line got in some major foul trouble. We got killed on the boards and they took us to the cleaners on the free-throw line, but we’re in it to tie it up at the buzzer. … I don’t think we executed so well at times. We talk about what we’re going to do and then we get into a Harlem Globetrotter mentality. When we get better execution-wise it will help us.”
Holston: “It always helps when you see one go in. I was getting great looks and I was just finishing.”
Burke: “Watching myself play on film really helped me and made me realize what I had to do, just running the floor and fighting for rebounds. It was just my mindset changing after watching myself play. (College ball) is a big transition, but the leaders on my team are helping me make that transition a little better.”
What does it all mean?
That the Wolfpack can win a game despite an off-night from the perimeter, and the Monarchs need work going against a press.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Lakeesa Daniel’s three-point play on a follow shot to cut the lead to 41-37 with 15:28 to go.
NCSU leads 20-14.
NCSU: Won 1.
ODU: Lost 1.
NCSU at Nevada, Friday, 4 p.m.
ODU vs. Louisville, Friday, 7 p.m.