Jan. 10, 2013
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RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State women’s basketball team placed four scorers in double-figures, but was unable to hold off rival No. 11 North Carolina in a 70-66 loss in an ACC contest Thursday evening at Reynolds Coliseum.
“That was a good game to watch. It’s a rivalry game with both teams playing hard and being competitive,” said head coach Kellie Harper. “Obviously we were disappointed that we weren’t able to finish that game off and get a win.”
Senior guard Marissa Kastanek led all scorers with 20 points, including a 4-of-8 performance from three-point land, and pulled down six rebounds. Junior forward Kody Burke contributed 17 points and eight boards, as junior guard Myisha Goodwin-Coleman chipped in 13 points and a team-high five assists on the evening for the Wolfpack.
“I don’t think I play according to my opponent,” Kastanek said. “I come and play the best I can to help my team. All five of the players on the floor were working hard and moving around and that’s how I was able to get some open shots.”
Junior center Markeisha Gatling fell one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds.
“We moved her [Gatling] around a little bit. I think this was a really good game for her in terms of her growth,” Harper said. “I liked her effort. I thought she pushed herself even when she was a little bit tired, and that’s what we need from her.”
After North Carolina (16-1, 4-0 ACC) held an early 13-10 advantage after the opening tip, NC State responded with a 9-0 run capped by a Kastanek three-pointer to put the Wolfpack ahead by six with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half. Following a series of intense possessions for both sides, NC State was able to take a 31-28 lead into halftime.
The Wolfpack shot 13-of-32 (.406) from the floor in the first half and 4-of-9 (.444) from beyond the arc, while holding the Tar Heels to 12-of-31 (.387) shooting from the field and just 1-of-6 (.167) from three-point range. Burke led all scorers with 12 points while Kastanek added 10 of her own at the break.
NC State (8-8, 0-4 ACC) jumpstarted its second half with a 7-0 run out of the locker rooms, increasing its lead to 10 and generating the team’s largest lead of the game. Up 40-30, the Tar Heels responded with a 7-0 run of their own and eventually tied the game at 45-all with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game.
“I think they [North Carolina] were quite active and that was primarily what was leading to those turnovers,” Harper said. “About midway through the second half, I thought we were a little bit stagnant. Some of those possessions led to turnovers. We weren’t moving as much.”
The game would remain tight for the remainder of the second half, with ties on three separate occasions – the last at 58-58 with 2:48 left in the game.
North Carolina forced several turnovers in the final two minutes, including a forced five-second violation on an attempted inbounds pass with 49 ticks on the clock. After a quick NC State foul, the Tar Heels received a pair of clutch free throws from Brittany Rountree, extending North Carolina’s lead to 66-61.
“They got some steals that led to some easy baskets,” Harper said. “They didn’t do much different in terms of execution. They made a couple of tough shots off of some penetration. A lot of those easy buckets are the ones you just can’t give up.”
After a layup by NC State redshirt sophomore Len’Nique Brown and two more clutch free-throws by Rountree, a three-pointer by Kastanek with 17.7 seconds left cut North Carolina’s lead to just two at 68-66.
Rountree would miss the front end of the ensuing one-and-one, but a miscommunication by NC State on the rebound gave the ball back to UNC. Rountree would seal the Wolfpack’s fate by connecting on two final free throws to put the Tar Heels up 70-66.
Rountree led North Carolina with 17 points and a game-high four steals, while center Waltiea Rolle posted 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and added four rebounds and three blocks on the night.
NC State finished the game 26-of-65 (.400) from the field, 9-of-19 (.474) from three-point range and 5-of-8 (.625) at the free-throw line. North Carolina closed the night 27-of-66 (.409) from the floor, but the Wolfpack held the Tar Heels to just 4-of-16 (.250) shooting from the three-point line.
Kastanek’s second three-pointer during the first half was No. 200 of her career, making her just the 21st player in ACC history to make that many from beyond the arc.
The Pack will take to the road for its next two ACC games when it travels to Virginia on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m., before continuing north to Maryland for an 8:30 p.m., tip on Thursday, Jan. 17 that will be televised on Fox Sports Carolinas.