by Mike Potter
REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State comes into its home game with long-time rival Wake Forest in pretty dire need of a victory.
Wake (9-7) is on a little winning streak as it heads into its ACC opener. The teams play twice each season and last time split a pair of home-court victories, but the long history is on the Wolfpack’s side in a big way as it leads the all-time series 59-9.
The Deacons will bring a couple of local products back to town in Southeast Raleigh alum Lakevia Boykin and Durham Hillside grad Asia Williams.
But Wolfpack fans get a happy surprise, as State pretty much coasts to an 80-59 victory.
Things don’t start well for the Wolfpack, as Marissa Kastanek gets two fouls in the first two minutes and sits the bench for the rest of the half.
State takes the advantage at 8-6 on Holston’s little jumper with 15:52 left in the half, and is pretty much in control the rest of the way.
State leads 36-25 at the break, outshooting the Deacons 50 percent to 29.6. Kody Burke leads the Wolfpack with nine points at halftime, while Boykin has 12 for the Deacons.
Wake never gets the lead below 11 points early in the second half.
The Wolfpack’s biggest lead is 23 on two occasions, the first at 68-45 on a 3-pointer from Myisha Goodman-Coleman with 5:28 to go and the last at 80-57 on a Kastanek layup at 1:38.
Amber White, who hit the last-second shot to beat the Deacons here last season, leads the Wolfpack with a brilliant 22-point performance, going 11-for-16 from the floor. Freshman Kody Burke chips in 15 points while Bonae Holston adds 14.
Boykin is the only Deacon in double figures with 18.
State shoots 49.2 percent from the floor to Wake’s 37.3, wins the rebound battle 41-30 and commits 14 turnovers to the Deacons’ 19.
They said it …
N.C. State coach Kellie Harper: “I’m proud of our kids. I thought we were poised on the offensive end and I thought that was one of our better defensive performances as of late. I thought we showed some toughness, and that’s an area that we have been working on in practice. For whatever reason I feel like Wake Forest is a tough matchup for us, so I’m really proud of our kids coming out and playing well today. We were able to process that (Clemson) loss, work on some things and then focus on Wake Forest.”
Wake coach Mike Petersen: “I’m not surprised at all at the outcome based on the way the game was played. The team that won was the team that deserved to win. I was very surprised at our focus, or attention to detail or effort or whatever you want to call it. Frankly, we had really good practices and thought we really got after it and had fresh legs and had tapered back into this game. But clearly the team that had the greatest intensity tonight was them, and they took it out on us. ”
White: “I didn’t like my performance last game against Clemson. I didn’t shoot particularly well, and just really getting my confidence back was key. I was getting my consistent shot and everything else kind of fell together. ”
Burke: “I took the loss to Clemson pretty hard. I felt personally that I didn’t play well. Like Kellie said I just tried to come in and practice and just have a good spirit. It definitely paid off. We had a very tough team, and we won.”
What does it all mean?
That the Wolfpack has some momentum heading into a three-game stretch including contests at UNC and Boston College and at home against Duke. And that the Deacons are facing a must-win game of their own on Thursday against visiting Virginia Tech.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Kastanek’s off-balance layup to make it 47-32 with 13:52 to go.
NCSU leads 60-9.
NCSU: Won 1.
WFU: Lost 1.
Wake Forest vs. Virginia Tech, Thursday, 7 p.m.
N.C. State at UNC, Friday, 7 p.m.