No. 23 Wolfpack Grounds Eagles, 85-76
Jan. 23, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – The No. 23 NC State women’s basketball team (17-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) picked up its 11th straight home victory on Thursday night, remaining unbeaten during the 2013-14 season at Reynolds Coliseum with an 85-76 win over the visiting Boston College Eagles.
Seniors Kody Burke and Markeisha Gatling had tremendous games for the Wolfpack, scoring 24 and 27 points, respectively. Gatling’s 27 points marked a career high for the Raleigh native and Burke collected 11 rebounds in addition to her offensive output on Thursday, earning her third double-double of the season and the 15th of her career.
Len’Nique Brown also joined the two seniors in double figures, scoring 15 points while also collecting seven rebounds and dishing out four assists. Brown and Gatling went 9-10 from the free-throw line in the victory.
NC State made a season-high 29 free throws on 36 attempts (80.6) in the win and won the rebounding battle by two (35-33). The Wolfpack also dished out 19 assists while committing just 12 turnovers.
Boston College (11-9, 2-4 ACC) shot quite well from distance, hitting 13-28 (46.4 percent) of its attempts from long range while shooting 23-60 (38.3 percent) from the field. Senior Kelly Hughes scored a career-high 23 points on 7-13 shooting (6-10 from long range).
NC State got off to a very rapid start, beginning the game on a 9-0 run to force a Boston College timeout just 2:26 into the game. Burke and Gatling combined for three early buckets down low and a three-pointer by Brown brought the crowd to its feet during this early run.
State would extend its lead to 17-7 at the first media stoppage (15:06) of the first half. The Pack was on fire to begin the contest, hitting seven of its first nine field-goal attempts.
Strong three-point shooting quickly became the theme of the half, as two of the top distance shooting teams in the ACC traded shot for shot. NC State went 4-8 from distance during the first 20 minutes while Boston College shot 8-15 (41.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
Boston College never led in the first half, but pulled within two points on three separate occasions.
Burke had a huge first half for the Pack, scoring 16 points on 7-10 shooting while collecting eight rebounds. She was joined in double figures by Gatling, who scored 14 points on 5-8 shooting.
The Eagles had two student-athletes scoring in double figures during the first half as well. Katie Zenevitch scored 12 points on 4-4 shooting while Hughes scored 11 points on 3-5 shooting, with all of her shots coming from distance.
Holding a narrow 48-46 lead early in the second half, NC State went on an 8-0 run over the span of 116 seconds to take a 54-46 lead when Gatling hit a layup down low 7:07 into the second frame.
From this point on, State did a good job of keeping the Eagles at bay, not allowing them to get any closer than seven points.
NC State will next be in action on Sunday, Jan. 26 at Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack and Yellow Jackets will tip off beginning at 2 p.m.