**********N.C. State senior center Elissa Cunane, from Greensboro’s Northern Guilford High School pumped in 15 points (6-of-8 shooting) for the victorious ladies from Raleigh….Cunane used to coach us in our GreensborSports.com interviews back in the day, using words like exhilarating to explain her playing experience for Coach Kim Furlough, at Northern Guilford High School….And what does exhilarating mean, here is the skinny on that outstanding adjective….Making one feel very happy, animated, or elated; thrilling.
And Elissa Cunane is still making the Wolfpack fans in and around Raleigh feel very happy, and flat-out exhilarated….**********
DURHAM, N.C. – No. 5 NC State (23-3, 14-1 ACC) turned up the heat in the final four minutes of a battle with Duke (15-9, 6-8 ACC), outscoring the Blue Devils 17-5 down the stretch to secure the 77-62 road win inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, the Wolfpack tied the program record for most ACC wins in a single season with its 14th of the year.
NC State shot lights out in a 31-point fourth quarter, missing just one of its 12 shots and knocking down all three of its triples to surge past the Blue Devils. On the game, the Wolfpack shot 57.4 percent, its best such mark of the season.
Neither team led by more than eight points in the game until the Wolfpack hit three triples in a row to open up a 12-point advantage (69-57) with 2:38 remaining. Prior to those buckets, Duke had drawn within a possession, but NC State scored 13 unanswered to push its lead into double figures where it would stay the remainder of the game.
All of the Wolfpack starters contributed 10 or more points in the win, marking the first time this season that NC State’s first five have all hit double figures.
Jakia Brown-Turner led the way with a season-high performance of 19 points, shooting 9-of-11 while also leading the Pack in blocked shots with three.
Senior center Elissa Cunane pitched in 15 points (6-of-8 shooting), Raina Perez knocked down a pair of threes to hit 12 points, Kai Crutchfield added 11 points and Kayla Jones posted her second-straight double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Duke led at the half (33-29) after NC State shot just 3-of-14 (.214) in the second quarter, but the Wolfpack shot above 50 percent from the field in each of the game’s other three periods. NC State held Duke to just eight third-quarter points and grabbed the lead with a Cunane three pointer at the 6:09 mark of the period. The Wolfpack stayed ahead for good from there.
With the 15-point win, NC State has won 10 of its 14 ACC victories by double figures.
NC State returns to Raleigh for back-to-back home games, its final two home contests of the 2021-22 regular season. First up is a Thursday, Feb. 17 matchup with Wake Forest, with that game set to tip off at 8 p.m. on the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks.