Wolfpack Beats North Carolina A&T to Move to NCAA Tournament Second Round
**********Elissa Cunane(Northern Guilford HS) connects for 12 points and grabs 5 rebounds***********
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The third-ranked and one-seeded NC State women’s basketball team (21-2) opened 2021 NCAA Tournament action with a win for the fourth trip in a row on Sunday afternoon, defeating 16th-seeded North Carolina A&T 79-58 inside Strahan Arena.
Jada Boyd led all players on the floor with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting in what was her NCAA Tournament debut. She was joined in double figures by Kai Crutchfield (14), Elissa Cunane (12) and Jakia Brown-Turner (10).
NC State shot 53.8 percent (28-of-52) from the field, with eight of its makes coming from long range. Crutchfield knocked down four of the Pack’s eight threes on the afternoon. North Carolina A&T shot 57.1 percent in the first half, but the Pack regrouped and held them to 3-of-13 (.231) and 5-of-15 (.333) in the third and fourth quarters to close out the win.
The Pack owned a 13-3 advantage in second chance points, led by a glass-crashing effort from Brown-Turner. The sophomore hauled in 10 rebounds, four of which were off the offensive glass, to notch a double-double in her first career NCAA Tournament game.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, the Aggies went on a 13-2 run at the start of the second to open up a six-point lead (35-29, 5:22). They also led by six after a basket at the four minute mark of the second quarter, but that marked their last points of the first half. The Wolfpack took control and scored the final 13 points of the second quarter, forcing five A&T turnovers in that span and taking a seven-point advantage (44-37) into the break.
Boyd scored the first six points of the third quarter to push the Pack’s lead into double figures. North Carolina A&T never got closer than 11 in the final 19 minutes of the outing. NC State led by as many as 26 points (77-51, 4:13) in the fourth quarter.
Genesis Bryant (9), Raina Perez (7), Camille Hobby (4) and Dontavia Waggoner (2) also found the scoring column in their NCAA Tournament debuts. All 13 Wolfpack players saw time on the floor in the victory.
With the win, the Wolfpack advances to take on eighth-seeded USF on Tuesday. That game is set for a 3 p.m. EST (2 p.m. local) tip-off and will be televised nationally on ESPN2.