2019 ACC WBB: Wolfpack prowls on, drops FSU 69-62

N.C. State moves on to 2nd straight semifinal encounter with Cardinals

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Peter Koutroumpis

editor@trianglesportsnet.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The N.C. State Wolfpack continued on at the 2019 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Friday.

Playing for the first time since earning a double-bye into quarterfinal play, the No. 3 seeded Wolfpack took some time, but eventually held off No. 6 seed Florida State and posted a 69-62 win in front of 5,646 in attendance at Greensboro Coliseum.

All-ACC Freshman selection Elissa Cunane led N.C. State with 22 points and nine rebounds, while DD Rogers added a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) to go with double-digit finishes from Aislinn Konig (12 points) and Kiara Leslie (10 points).

Coming off a low-scoring win over Duke on Thursday, Florida State led 24-20 after the opening quarter.

The Wolfpack then scored 30 of the game’s next 45 points and held a 50-39 advantage by the start of the fourth quarter.

Nicki Ekhomu scored a game-high 23 points for the Seminoles while Kiah Gillespie added eight points and 11 rebounds.

The two helped Florida State put together a 12-6 run early in the final period and pulled the Seminoles within five, trailing 56-51 with 5:19 left to play.

The Wolfpack didn’t make it easy on themselves, but eventually finished off the win at the free throw line.

Ekhomu hit two 3-pointers in the final minute that cut the margin to 65-62 with 38.2 seconds remaining.

Rogers then hit two free throws which were soon followed by two more from Kai Crutchfield that pushed N.C. State to 26-7 overall on the season and 48-37 all-time in ACC Tournament play.

The Wolfpack has now reached the ACC Tournament semifinals in back-to-back years, and for the 24th time in school history.

N.C State will face No. 2 seed Louisville on Saturday with tipoff at 2:30 p.m.

What they said

N.C. State coach Wes Moore

“Proud of the way we hung in there. Obviously very frustrated with the first quarter. We gave up 24 points. And then very proud the second and the third period, did just a great job defensively. And in the fourth period again we gave up a few too many points.

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“Really proud of this group. It’s always tough when you’ve sat around for a couple of days, the other team’s played a game. I think they have an advantage, especially in the first period. And I thought our kids bounced back, kept their confidence, and just did a great job. So, they’ve done it all year long. And it was good for us to get off to a good start tonight and get to play another day.”

“From my standpoint, it’s one game at a time.”

“So, our main goal was to win this game tonight. And then obviously tomorrow our goal will be to try to win that game and we’re not really worried about Sunday yet. We’ve got to take them one at a time.”

Team Leaders

N.C. State

Points: Cunane 22

Rebounds: Rogers 10

Assists: Konig 5

Florida State

Points: Ekhomu 23

Rebounds: Gillespie 11

Assists: Ekhomu 4

Box score notes

Halftime: NC State, 35-31

Ties: 4

Lead Changes: 2

Largest Leads: NC State 11 (3rd – 0:09); Florida State 7 (1st – 1:20)

NC State led for: 33:12

Florida State led for: 4:08

Game was tied for: 2:40

Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport