Jan. 24, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. – Junior guard Myisha Goodwin-Coleman led all scorers with 12 points and senior guard Marissa Kastanek chipped in 10 points and six rebounds to lift NC State to its first ACC win of the season, a 58-39 victory over Virginia Tech Thursday night at Reynolds Coliseum.
“If there was a must-win game, this was probably it,” said head coach Kellie Harper. “We needed it for so many reasons. I think from our players’ standpoint, I feel like the weight is off their shoulders. They’re very jubilant, they’re excited [and] they’re happy. Like I told our players, you never take a win for granted. I’m just really happy we’re walking out of here with a win.”
Having played arguably the toughest ACC schedule to start the season, the Pack did not let that serve as an excuse. While the team didn’t light up the scoreboard with a plethora of baskets, NC State (9-11, 1-7 ACC) held the Hokies to 14-of-53 (.264) shooting from the floor – the lowest shooting percentage by an opponent this season.
“This win is very important for our team in the sense of confidence and reward for what we have been doing,” Kastanek said. “Our practices have been so tough and challenging and we’ve been competing in practices. This was our pay-off game. There’s no reason we can’t go on a streak now.”
The Wolfpack rushed out on a 16-0 run in the first seven minutes of the game, and while the Hokies fought back for the remainder of the first half, NC State took a 30-18 lead into the locker rooms. Goodwin-Coleman led all scorers with nine points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from the floor, while redshirt sophomore guard Len’Nique Brown filled the stat sheet with four points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists in the period.
The Pack shot 11-of-28 (.393) from the field and 3-of-6 (.500) from beyond the arc, while holding Virginia Tech to 7-of-30 (.233) shooting from the floor and just 1-of-7 (.143) from the three-point line in the first half.
“This proves how we have to play,” Kastanek said. “I think it’s important that everyone gets involved.”
NC State (9-11, 1-7 ACC) would continue to battle throughout the second half, especially on the defensive end of the floor, holding Virginia Tech (7-11, 1-6 ACC) to just 21 points in the period. Harper was most impressed with the team’s defensive effort, outscoring the Hokies 19-5 off turnovers on the night.
“I thought our ball-pressure was pretty good. The number I looked at were our 15 turnovers. For us to get out of here with just 15 turnovers is good for us, said Harper.”
The Pack finished the night shooting 20-of-55 (.364) overall and a season-best .583 (7-of-12) from three-point range. NC State iced the victory with an 11-of-16 (.688) performance from the free throw stripe. In addition to Virginia Tech’s 14-of-53 (.264) shooting effort, the Wolfpack held the Hokies to just 1-of-10 (.100) shooting from beyond the arc – the lowest three-point shooting percentage the team has allowed this season since defeating Wofford back on Nov. 9.
The 39 points allowed is also the fewest in an ACC contest since 2008 when the Pack gave up only 36 at Wake Forest.
Monet Tellier led Virginia Tech with 13 points off the bench, and also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
NC State will return to action Sunday, Jan. 27, when it travels to Atlanta for a contest against Georgia Tech. Opening tip is scheduled for 2 p.m., and will be aired on ESPN3