Eight Straight: NC State Defeats No. 20 Syracuse, 67-61
Jan. 5, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - In an exciting game which featured seven ties and 14 lead changes, the NC State women's basketball team (14-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) picked up its eighth straight win Sunday afternoon, defeating visiting No. 20 Syracuse by a final score of 67-61. The win was State's second victory over a ranked opponent this season and gets the Wolfpack off to a 1-0 start in ACC play.
At 14-1 under new head coach Wes Moore, State is off to its best start to a season since the 1999-00 team began the year at 14-1.
Four NC State student-athletes scored in double figures in the win, led by senior forward Kody Burke's 19 points. Markeisha Gatling (14 points), Miah Spencer (12), and Krystal Barrett (10) all recorded double figures in the victory, marking the seventh time this season four or more Wolfpackers have scored 10+. In addition to her 14 points, Gatling pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds to record her second double-double in the last three games.
NC State shot 21-53 (39.6 percent) from the field, a mark which included an 8-21 (38.1 percent) success rate from three-point range. The Wolfpack got to the free-throw line 21 times and took great advantage of these chances, knocking down 17 of them.
State limited Syracuse (11-3, 0-1 ACC) to just 21-63 (33.3 percent) shooting from the field. The Orange went 10-27 (37 percent) from distance and connected on nine of 10 free-throw attempts.
The Wolfpack got off to a fast start in Sunday's contest, taking an early 19-12 lead just 6:27 into the opening half. Burke was a big factor from the start, scoring seven early points on 2-4 shooting from the field and a 2-2 success rate from the free-throw line.
Syracuse would respond by going on an 8-1 run over the next 3:07 to take its first advantage of the day (20-19) before Burke snapped it with her third made field goal of the afternoon.
The game would proceed to get very physical from this point, with the teams combining to commit 18 fouls in the first 20 minutes. State would end the period 9-10 from the line in the first half while Syracuse was shooting 7-8.
With the Pack holding a two-point lead (30-28) with 3:25 to play in the opening stanza, Syracuse pieced together an 8-2 run for the remainder of the half to take a 36-32 lead into halftime.
Trailing 45-38 with less than 14 minutes left in the contest, Spencer hit two big three-pointers in an 87-second span to pull the Pack within four points (47-43) with 11:50 to play. Burke then hit one just 40 seconds later to pull NC State within one point (47-46).
With 5:12 to play in the game, State took its first lead since the two-minute mark of the first half when Gatling hit a pull-up jumper to put the Pack ahead by one, 56-55.
Syracuse refused to give up, reclaiming the lead twice more (58-56 and 61-59), but the Wolfpack ended the contest on an 8-0 run over the final 2:18 to claim the victory.
NC State will next be in action at current No. 10/11 North Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 9. The Wolfpack and Tar Heels will tip off from Carmichael Arena at 6 p.m.