N.C. State Women’s Basketball falls to North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday, 76-69:Elissa Cunane(Northern Guilford HS) with 14 points for the Pack
#4 Wolfpack Comes Up Short to Tar Heels
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The fourth-ranked NC State women’s basketball team (12-2, 7-2 ACC) fell short to rival North Carolina (9-8, 4-8 ACC) on Sunday afternoon as the Tar Heels came away with the 76-69 victory in the teams’ first matchup of the 2020-21 regular season.
All seven members of the Pack who saw time on the floor made at least two buckets. Junior center Elissa Cunane(Northern Guilford High School) tallied 14 points in just 22 minutes of action, with Kayla Jones (13 points) and Jada Boyd (12 points) joining her in double figures. Jones added a team-high 12 rebounds to secure her fourth double-double of the season.
Raina Perez continued to put on a play-making show. The graduate guard tied her career high with 13 assists on the afternoon, with that number tying as a single-game program record (Krissy Kuziemski also dished out 13 assists against Wake Forest on Jan. 15, 1992). Also impressive, Perez, the conference’s leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, turned the ball over just twice.
The Wolfpack trailed by as many as 12 points on two occasions in the third quarter, with its latest deficit of that number (44-32) occurring at the 5:25 mark. After the third quarter media timeout, NC State scored 13 unanswered points and held UNC 0-of-7 from the field to regain the lead (45-44) with 2:01 remaining in the period.
In total NC State outscored UNC 20-5 in the final four and half minutes of the third quarter to take a narrow 52-49 lead into the final frame, but the Tar Heels got hot from long range. Their first two buckets of the fourth quarter were three pointers, the first of five total that they hit in the period to take back a lead that they held on to for the final 8:58 of the outing.
• Led by Perez’s record-tying effort, NC State assisted on 18 of its 28 made baskets.
• The Wolfpack absolutely dominated the paint with a 44-16 scoring advantage in that category. It’s +28 margin was its largest in ACC play this season and its second-largest of the year.
• In total, there were 11 lead changes and seven ties in the 112th edition of the rivalry matchup.
• NC State’s halftime deficit (37-30) was just its second time trailing at the break this season.
• UNC’s 11-of-26 (.423) shooting mark from distance was the best three-point percentage posted against the Wolfpack this season.
NC State will return home for the first time since Jan. 24 as it welcomes Clemson to Raleigh on Thursday, Feb. 11. Tip-off from Kay Yow Court inside Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum is scheduled for 4 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks.