CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The ninth-ranked NC State women’s basketball team (14-1, 3-1 ACC) endured its first loss of the 2019-20 season on Thursday evening as it fell 66-60 to rival North Carolina in Carmichael Arena.
The Wolfpack led for 26:36 in what was a game of runs but struggled from the field in the final 20 minutes as UNC earned the victory. NC State scored the final seven points of the first half to take a 38-28 lead into the halftime break. The Wolfpack went on to shoot just 7-of-30 (.233) in the second half, which included a nearly 11-minute span without a made field goal between the third and fourth quarters. The Tar Heels scored 12 unanswered points at the end of the third quarter to tie the game at 46, and UNC regained a lead it would not relinquish with a pair of free throws at the 8:14 mark of the fourth quarter.
NC State’s Aislinn Konig led all players on the floor with 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting. The senior guard tied her career high with six three pointers on the night in what was her third 20+ point scoring performance of the season.
Konig was joined in double figures by freshman Jakia Brown-Turner, who scored 10+ points for the third time in her first four ACC games. Brown-Turner led the team with five assists on the night, and Kayla Jones added 10 points. Sophomore center Elissa Cunane(Northern Guilford High School) also grabbed a game-leading 13 rebounds.
UNC saw three players score in double figures as Shayla Bennett (20 points), Taylor Koenen (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Madinah Muhammad (13 points) all put together strong performances.
• Thursday’s loss was NC State’s first of the 2019-20 season after putting together the second-best start to a campaign (14-0) in program history.
• The Wolfpack owned a narrow 10-8 edge in points off of turnovers, but UNC turned the ball over just once in the final 20 minutes of the game.
• NC State assisted on 14 of its 22 field goals.
NC State continues its road stint on Sunday afternoon when it visits Notre Dame. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. from the Purcell Pavilion, and the game will be broadcast live on the ACC Network.