Balanced effort gives Wolfpack easy win over Clemson, evens record | Sports

Balanced effort gives Wolfpack easy win over Clemson, evens record



REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State has gotten on a positive roll of late, and if the Wolfpack is thinking about post-season play that needs to continue today.

NCSU forward Lakeesa Daniel
The opponent is Clemson (6-16, 2-9), which is sitting in last place in the ACC. Kellie Harper’s Wolfpack (11-12, 3-8) has won three of its last four games, and its only home loss to an unranked team was to Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge back on Nov. 29.

The Wolfpack is looking to get back to .500 for the first time in three weeks.

This one is an annihilation, as the Wolfpack rolls to a 79-45 romp that is its most convincing ACC win in 12 years.

State scores the first six points of the game and never trails, leading 34-21 at halftime courtesy of a very balanced effort.

The Wolfpack shoots 35.1 percent before the break to the Tigers’ 31.0 and leads the rebound battle 29-15.

And in the second half the rout is on. State scores the first seven points after the break and never even thinks about looking back.

State’s biggest lead is 77-38 on Breezy Williams’ three-point play with 2:35 to go.

The Wolfpack finishes with five players in double figures and neither of its top two scorers, Kody Burke and Marissa Kastanek, is among them.

Williams and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman come off the bench for 12 points apiece, while Len’Nique Brown and Krystal Barrett score 11 each and Lakeesa Daniel chips in 10 with season highs of 10 points and eight rebounds. Markeisha Gatling has 12 rebounds to go with her seven points.

Nikki Dixon leads Clemson with 15 points while Quinyotta Pettaway adds 10.

State shoots 40.3 percent to Clemson’s 26.4, wins the rebound battle 51-36 and commits 13 turnovers to the Tigers’ 21.

The Wolfpack goes 10-for-23 from 3-point range.

They said it …

Harper: “I’m excited about our team’s win today and how we played. We made some adjustments early in the first half and I thought our players handed it really well. We did what we needed to do to get a win. I felt like we shared the ball well. This was a very good team win. When you have a lot of people play well and do positive things, it’s only going to make you a better team moving forward.”

Brown: “Coach had us pushing the ball up to try to get us in a groove and get the offense running. When we move the ball more and penetrate it makes our offense look much better. We’re playing together more and looking for each other more.”

Daniel: “I’ve been coming into practice really focused. I think we can keep this up if we keep practicing hard.”

What does it all mean?
That the Wolfpack is in position to make a solid run for post-season play. And that the Tigers need to get cracking to avoid the bottom seed in the ACC Tournament.

Stars of the game
1. Brown.
2. Daniel.
3. Williams.

Play of the game
Williams’ layup from Kastanek to make it 16-7 with 13:54 left in the first half.


State: Won 2.
Clemson: Lost 3.

State leads 50-30.

Up next
NCSU at Florida State, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Clemson at Maryland, Thursday, 7 p.m.

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