#7 Wolfpack Falls to Rival Tar Heels
NC State’s longest winning streak in program history ends at 21 victories
Paris Kea from Page High School with 17 points and 3 assists for the winning Tar Heels…Elissa Cunane, from Northern Guilford High School with 3 points and 6 rebounds for the N.C. State Wolfpack…
RALEIGH – The seventh-ranked NC State women’s basketball team (21-1, 8-1 ACC) endured its first loss of the season on Sunday afternoon, falling 64-51 to the visiting UNC-Chapel Hill Tar Heels (14-9, 5-4 ACC) in front of a sellout crowd of 5,500 fans on Kay Yow Court inside Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum.
In an exciting game that featured eight ties and 12 lead changes, the Wolfpack carried a 32-31 lead into the halftime break before enduring a difficult final 20 minutes. NC State shot just 4-23 (.174) from the field and 3-14 (.214) from three-point range during the final two quarters of action. UNC-CH shot 11-28 (.393) from the field in the second half to outscore the Wolfpack 33-19 in the final 20 minutes to earn the win.
Kiara Leslie led the Wolfpack with 17 points on 5-18 shooting. She also pulled down 12 rebounds to record her sixth double-double of the season. Leslie was joined in double figures by 13 points from junior guard Aislinn Konig, who also led the team with five assists. Junior Erika Cassell also grabbed 12 rebounds during the game, marking her second double-figure rebounding game of the season and the seventh of her career.
UNC-CH’s Stephanie Watts led all players with 20 points on 8-13 shooting. Paris Kea (17 points) and Janelle Bailey (16 points and 13 rebounds) also had strong performances for the Tar Heels. The visitors only recorded four assists on their 25 made field goals, but also only committed five turnovers and scored 18 points from Wolfpack miscues.
-Sunday’s loss halted NC State’s best ever start to a season and longest winning streak in program history. It ended the Wolfpack’s four-game winning streak over the Tar Heels and marked UNC-CH’s first win at NC State since Jan. 22, 2015.
-The Wolfpack and Tar Heels have now evenly split the 12 meetings (6-6) since head coach Wes Moore began at NC State.
-Sunday’s game marked the first time all season that NC State has been outscored in the paint. The Tar Heels outscored the Wolfpack 30-14 in this category.
-NC State held UNC-CH to 12 points fewer than its season average (76.7), but the Tar Heels held the Wolfpack 21 points below theirs (72.7).
NC State returns to action on Thursday evening when the team visits No. 24/21 Florida State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 pm from the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla. Live video coverage will be provided by ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN. The Wolfpack will then have its second bye date of the season on Sunday, Feb. 10.
UNC tops nation’s last unbeaten, beats No. 7 NC State 64-51
RALEIGH, N.C. — Stephanie Watts scored 20 points to help North Carolina upset No. 7 North Carolina State 64-51 on Sunday, handing the first loss to the nation’s last unbeaten team.
Janelle Bailey added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Tar Heels (14-9, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who knocked off top-ranked Notre Dame last week. This time, they went on the road against a longtime rival in front of a sellout crowd and took over in the third quarter to earn a fourth straight win.
N.C. State (21-1, 8-1) came in leading the ACC and as the only unbeaten team in Division I on the men’s or women’s side. But after leading 32-31 at halftime, the Wolfpack went cold – going more than 10 minutes without a basket as the Tar Heels gradually built a double-figure lead.
Kiara Leslie had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Wolfpack, who shot 30 percent.
UNC: The Tar Heels shocked everybody with their win against the then-No. 1 Fighting Irish last Sunday, with Watts proclaiming afterward: ”We’re a better team than what our record shows.” It’s hard to argue now, after two huge wins against highly ranked teams in a week.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack had savored a remarkable start that stood as the best start in school history and the program’s highest ranking since January 2000. That had come despite injury concerns that included the loss of top scorer Grace Hunter to a knee injury. Leslie, Aislinn Konig and the rest of the Wolfpack had kept winning before finally coming up cold against UNC’s recent surge. Now the trick is regrouping with a tough schedule ahead.
UNC: The Tar Heels host rival Duke on Thursday.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack will get plenty of travel miles in February, starting with Thursday’s game at No. 24 Florida State.