RALEIGH, N.C. – Chelsea Nelson and Miah Spencer finished what Dominique Wilson started as the N.C. State Wolfpack women’s basketball team topped the Indiana Hoosiers 84-70 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge play in front of 2,203 in attendance at Reynolds Coliseum on Thursday.
Wilson’s 23 points led the Wolfpack while Nelson’s 19 and Spencer’s 17 were critical as the Hoosiers’ Tyra Buss was a one-person scoring machine, posting 38 points, two points shy of the Indiana single-game record.
It was the first time in 13 years the two teams had tipped off against one another, and ended with the Wolfpack (6-2) extending its perfect record against the Hoosiers (4-3) to 4-0.
However, the win didn’t come easy for N.C. State as the final score showed.
The Wolfpack squandered sizeable double-digit leads and allowed Buss to pull Indiana to within three with 5:35 to play.
Turnovers in the first half and a seven-minute scoring drought in the second by the Wolfpack made it a much closer contest that it appeared throughout.
Buss was the Hoosiers’ offensive catalyst but timely scoring at the free throw line – 15 single points – late in the game put the contest back firmly in State’s control for good.
NCSU: Dominiqe Wilson – 23 points, 5 rebounds; Chelsea Nelson – 19 points, 12 rebounds; Miah Spencer – 17 points, 5 assists
N.C. State shot 41 percent (26-63) from the field, 30 percent (6-20) beyond the arc, and 74 percent (26-35) from the free throw line.
IND: Tyra Buss – 38 points, 5 rebounds; Alexis Gasson – 11 points, 4 assists
Indiana shot 41 percent (22-54) from the field, 37 percent (7-9) beyond the arc, and 90 percent (19-21) from the free throw line.
N.C State led 46-28 as Wilson posted 19 points to go with three rebounds and two assists while Buss carried Indiana with 16 points and three rebounds.
Turnovers in the first half and a seven-minute scoring drought by the Wolfpack made this a closer contest that it appeared throughout.
Strong post play from Nelson and free-throw shooting success led by Spencer kept this game from entirely flipping over into Indiana’s favor.
N.C. State led 19-14 powered by Wilson’s 12 points, shooting 5-of-9 from the field with two free throws.
Gasson’s seven points along with five from Buss kept the Hoosiers close.
The Wolfpack took advantage of six Indiana turnovers, scoring six points off of those, distributing the ball well and racking up seven assists in the opening 10 minutes.
The Wolfpack extended its advantage to 27-11 and could have blown the game open, but instead helped the Hoosiers stay in it.
N.C. State committed three turnovers in less than a minute.
Buss scored four straight points to pull the Hoosiers within seven, trailing 27-20 with 5:57 to play in the half.
The Wolfpack led by as many as 17 points, even while Buss continued to drain shots.
The Wolfpack maintained a double-digit margin leading 56-41 with 4:40 to go in the period.
However, missed shots and turnovers allowed the Hoosiers to cut it down to single figures. Indiana put together a 10-0 run and trailed 60-51 heading into the final quarter.
The Wolfpack’s shooting drought extended into the period, a duration of just past seven minutes before Nelson’s free throw finally ended it.
Indiana cut the State lead down to three, trailing 61-58 with 5:35 to play.
Following a timeout, Ashley Williams and Nelson drained a layup and a jumper, respectively, that kept the Wolfpack ahead 65-60.
Nelson proved to be the tonic the Wolfpack needed as she dropped four more points to rebuild the lead to nine, 72-63, with 2:54 remaining.
After that, it was academic as the Hoosiers fouled, but couldn’t slow N.C. State from scoring free baskets and securing the win.