by Mike Potter
REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State has a chance to get off the schnied in ACC women’s play tonight when a fairly evenly-matched opponent visits Kay Yow Court.
State, which has lost six straight ACC contests, beat the Cavaliers 66-59 in the ACC Tournament last season.
The Wolfpack has played well at home this season, and has not lost a game in Raleigh by double-digits. So this one isn’t going to be determined on raw talent, but on who’s playing better tonight.
The answer is, really, neither. It’s the longest war of attrition either school’s history, and Ariana Moorer scores at the buzzer of the fourth overtime to give the Cavaliers a 94-92 victory.
If not for the overtimes, it would have been quite the low-scoring game. State leads 24-21 at halftime and it’s only 56-56 at the end of regulation.
The Wolfpack’s largest lead of the night is five points, at 19-14 on a Marissa Kastanek layup with 4:26 left in the first half. State shoots 33.3 percent over the period to the visitors’ 29.0
Virginia then seems to take control in the second, going up 45-35 on a pair of Paulisha Kellum free throws at 12:47.
But the Wolfpack doesn’t give up, as Holston scores the team’s last six points of regulation including the tying jumper at 1:10.
Nobody leads by more than two in the first OT, with Whitny Edwards’ layup at :08 tying it at 66-66 for Virginia. The Wolfpack’s leading scorer Bonae Holston fouls out at 4:43.
State leads by as many as five in the second OT, but China Crosby’s layup at :05 makes it 77-77. The Wolfpack’s Amber White fouls out at 3:04, and Virginia’s Ataira Franklin at 2:46.
Nobody leads by more than two in the third, with Kellum’s jumper tying it at 85-85 at the buzzer. Virginia’s Simone Egwu fouls out at 3:36, that determination made after an 11-minute delay over an alleged scorebook discrepancy.
State’s Brittany Strachan fouls out at 3:01 of the fourth OT. The Wolfpack’s Marissa Kastanek turns it over with five seconds left, and Moorer hits her short jumper in traffic at the buzzer.
Crosby, who didn’t score in the first half, finishes with 19 points for the Wahoos while Franklin adds 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kellum adds 16 points and Edwards 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Egwu adds 10 points
Kastanek leads the Wolfpack with 23 points followed by Burke — who didn’t score in the first half — finishes with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks. Holston adds 17 points, Myisha Goodwin-Coleman 10 and White 10.
Kastanek plays 55 minutes, the national high for a game this season, while Goodwin-Coleman’s 52 minutes are second on that list.
State shoots 45.5 percent to Virginia’s 37.6. Each team has 53 rebounds, while State commits 26 turnovers to Virginia’s 21.
They said it …
NCSU coach Kellie Harper: “Words can’t describe what we just went through. As a coach I’ve been in one of these four-overtimes before (Western Carolina at Elon) and was on the positive end, and I remember walking out of the gym thinking I could not imagine being the losing team. And that’s what obviously we’re dealing with. You could come up with 100 different scenarios that is anything changes, you win the basketball game. We could pick it apart and come up with a way to win. These kids have been through so much, from losing heartbreakers to losing teammates (to injury and ineligibility), but any time there’s any adversity they pick themselves up and do it all over again. And I don’t know if there’s another team in the country that could handle what they’ve had thrown at them as well as they do. They come back and practice hard every single day, and at times I don’t know how they do it. But they’re tough, they’re resilient and they believe.”
UVa coach Debbie Ryan: “I think it was 1991 when we played in a triple-overtime game here. I didn’t even want to tell my team that. Tonight we were up, we were down, we were in, we were out, we just played with a lot of heart and so did N.C. State. I just can’t say enough about the players and the way they were resilient and sustained an effort tonight. It was good to finally win a close game. The play was drawn up for her (Moorer) to get to the rack, and she got there.”
Moorer: “Last play. When we were in the timeout and drew up the last play and said ‘Ari, we want you to take the last shot,’ in my head I said ‘I’m due.’ I’ve had so many chances to win games for us - Maryland a couple of weeks ago and Florida State last year. It had to go in at some point.”
Kastanek: “I don’t think I’ve ever played four overtimes and I’m pretty sure I’ve never played 55 minutes. But I think I can attribute me not getting tired to playing summer basketball. With the Cornhusker Shooting Stars we played five games in one day. Coach Kellie keeps us running all the time. I guess it’s kind of in me.”
What does it all mean?
That Virginia is two games over .500 after getting a must win, while the Wolfpack is hurting pretty badly.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Moorer’s layup at the buzzer.
Virginia leads 36-31.
NCSU: Lost 2.
UVa: Won 1.
Virginia at Maryland, Sunday, 2 p.m.
N.C. State at Georgia Tech, Sunday, 5 p.m.