PITTSBURGH, PA. – Claiming an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) win is important, particularly early in the league schedule.
Picking up a W on the road in ACC play is even more important.
The N.C. State Wolfpack did just that with a dramatic 78-76 triple overtime decision over the Pittsburgh Panthers at the Peterson Events Center on Sunday.
Miah Spencer led all scorers with 22 points, while Dominique Wilson (21 points) and Carlee Schuhmacher (16 points) supported the effort.
Schumacher’s finish was a season high, while forward Jennifer Mathurin made a major contribution in claiming a career-high 17 rebounds and adding nine points to cross the 500 career-point mark in the process.
Getting the increased depth in scoring which head coach Wes Moore pointed out was needed after beating Georgia Tech last week, the Wolfpack (12-5, 3-1) put it all together and picked up their third straight conference win.
However, the Wolfpack didn’t make it easy on themselves.
Though they held a six-point lead (54-48) with 3:56 remaining in regulation, Pitt (8-8, 0-3) answered back and put together a 7-1 run that forced overtime.
Yacine Diop (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Brenna Wise (14 points, 16 rebounds) helped pace the Panthers throughout.
N.C. State fell behind in each of the three overtime periods, but fought back to end each one tied (62-62 and 66-66) before outscoring the Panthers 12-10 in the final five-minute period.
With the Panthers leading 71-69, Dominique Wilson;s three-pointer with 1:05 to play gave the Wolfpack the lead for good.
Spencer increased NC State’s lead to five points with a jumper and two free throws before the Panthers pulled as close as they were going to get.
The Wolfpack held on for the two-point win.
“I’m proud of the team,” Moore.
“It wasn’t always perfect and it wasn’t always pretty, but they made some plays. It would have been really easy at some point after giving up those late buckets at the end of each period to hang their heads and say ‘it’s just not meant to be.’ Some of these athletes played 50-something minutes and I’m very proud of the way they hung in there. It sure makes the trip home and the next day or two a lot nicer.”