BREAKING UPDATE: NC State’s Lady Wolfpack defeated Boston College 63-57 to advance to the conference tournament finals against Duke.
Trailing 29-23 at half, the Wolfpack put together a 15-0 second half run to rally back into the game, and then relied on hard-nosed defense and the deadeye shooting of Nikitta Gartrell in order to close out the Eagles. Gartrell made several key shots down the stretch, and is easily State’s player of the game.
Tip-off against tourney top-seed Duke is at 1pm on Sunday.
Wolfpack women under first-year coach Kellie Harper. That success continued tonight when the Pack upset No. 3 seed Virginia 66-59.
Here’s a look at tonight’s game from Tim Peeler.
NC State’s defense rattled Virginia ACC Player of the Year candidate Monica Wright during the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half, then survived Wright’s scoring onslaught over the final 10 minutes of the game to upset the third-seeded Cavaliers, 66-59, Friday night at the ACC Women’s Championship.
But Wright, who averages 23 points a game and is the all-time leading scorer in the history of Virginia women’s basketball, tried her best to get her team back into t he game. After missing six straight shots to open the second half, she scored 15 consecutive points for her team.
Meanwhile, the Wolfpack went cold from field and Wright’s scoring closed a double-figure deficit to just three points.
State’s defense finally slowed Wright down enough to get the offense going again, and senior Nikitta Gartrell drained a 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining to push the Pack’s lead back to 59-53. From there, freshman Marissa Kastanek and junior Brittany Strachan made free throws that sealed the Wolfpack’s sixth win in its last seven games.
The Pack (19-12) advances to play Boston College Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in the second ACC semifinal contest. State beat the Eagles on Feb. 19, 73-62, in Reynolds Coliseum, but lost in Boston 83-66 on Jan. 10.