by Mike Potter
REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State plays just one exhibition game this season, and it’s against a familiar opponent.
Kellie Harper’s club will debut several new players in 6-5 junior Markeisha Gatling out of Gulf Coast C.C and Athens Drive High, sophomore transfer guard Len’Nique Brown out of Southern California, freshman guard Ashley Eli and walk-on freshman guard Kaley Moser.
And everybody looks good as State wins 111-39.
State leads 55-20 at the half after going up 11-0. Nine Wolfpack players score the combined first-half total of the NGU starters, which is zero.
Kiana Evans puts the Wolfpack up 101-37 on an inside move with 3:05 to go.
The Wolfpack finishes with eight players in double figures. Kody Burke leads the way with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Gatling double-doubles with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Myisha Goodwin-Coleman adds 15 points,
Krystal Barrett chips in 13, Kiana Evans 12, Breezy Williams 11 and Marissa Kastanek and Eli 10 apiece.
Jaquazho Barrino leads the Crusaders with 13 points and Tyler Powers 11, with the five NGU starters combining for nine points.
State shoots 61.8 to NGU’s 25.4, outrebounds the Crusaders 54-20 and commits 16 turnovers to 21 for the visitors.
They said it …
Harper: “I’m very pleased with our performance and with our focus. We wanted to go out today and play well and do the things we need to do to win any game. The kids did a real nice job with their poise and their confidence. They were unselfish and they’re feeling good about where they’re at. When we take good shots and we play unselfish we’ve got a lot of kids that can put points on the board. We’ve tweaked our defensive system a little bit since last year and I was really proud of the way we were defending them.”
Gatling: “I had all my family here and it was great. The pace was kind of like we did like we did down in Florida.”
Burke: “Keisha is a very unselfish player. On one play I gave her the ball when she could have had an easy two points and she looked for me. Just the fact that she’s going to draw defense opens me up a bit. And I get a lot of my points off our point guards Myisha and Len’Nique.”
What does it all mean?
That the Wolfpack looks very good at taking care of business when it’s a heavy favorite.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Kastanek’s three-point play to give the Wolfpack a 9-0 lead.
State vs. Wofford in Sheraton Raleigh Invitational, Friday, noon.
North Greenville vs. Augusta State, Saturday, 7 p.m.