Pack Advances to Third-Straight NCAA Sweet 16 with 79-67 Win Over South Florida
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
**********Elissa Cunane(Northern Guilford High School) with 12 points/11 rebounds to help Propel the Pack**********
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The NC State women’s basketball team (22-2) is headed to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the third time in a row and the 14th time in program history. The Wolfpack defeated eighth-seeded South Florida (19-4) by a 79-67 score on Tuesday afternoon inside the Alamodome to punch its ticket to the next round.
NC State’s advancement to the next round marks just the third time in program history that the team has reached the Sweet 16 in three NCAA Tournaments in a row (1989, 1990, 1991).
The Pack secured the victory with another well-balanced scoring attack, with all five starters hitting double figures. Jakia Brown-Turner led the way with 19 points, shooting 2-of-4 from long range. Jada Boyd (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Elissa Cunane (12 points, 11 rebounds) followed behind with a pair of double-doubles. Kai Crutchfield did it all with 11 points, a perfect 3-of-3 mark from distance and six assists, and Raina Perez added 12 points and four assists.
The Wolfpack trailed by one point (36-35) at halftime but outscored South Florida 24-11 in the third quarter to take control of the game. NC State closed out the period with a 12-0 run and limited the Bulls to just 17.6 percent shooting (3-of-17) in that quarter to build up a double-figure lead. South Florida got back within eight points on one occasion in the fourth quarter but did not come any closer down the stretch.
As a team, the Pack shot 47.2 percent (25-of-53) and knocked down six three pointers, with Perez joining Crutchfield and Brown-Turner with a make from long range. Twenty-one of NC State’s points came on the fast break, and the Wolfpack also outscored the Bulls 30-18 in the paint.
The Wolfpack moves on to face the winner of Wednesday’s game between fourth-seeded Indiana and 12th-seeded Belmont. The finalized opponent, date and tip-off time for NC State’s Sweet 16 matchup will be announced when it is available.