Feb. 26, 2012
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The NC State women's basketball team finished off the regular season with a gutty performance in a 65-50 setback to No. 6 Maryland on Sunday afternoon from Reynolds Coliseum.
The Wolfpack (16-14, 5-11) will be the ninth seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., and will take on eight seed Florida State at 3 p.m., on Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Marissa Kastanek and Kody Burke shared team high honors with nine points, while Erica Donovan and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman added eight and seven points, respectively.
Alyssa Thomas scored 22 of her 24 points in the second half and added a career-high 17 rebounds for Maryland. Thomas finished two points shy of her scoring high to help the Terrapins (25-4, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) win their fourth straight. They clinched the No. 3 seed in the league tournament.
Laurin Mincy added 12 points for Maryland. The Terps never trailed, despite 18 turnovers and used a late 17-5 run to pull away from a scrappy Wolfpack team that made it a three-point game three times in the second half, the last when Kastanek's drive across the lane pulled the Wolfpack within 46-43 with just under 10 minutes left.
"Going into this game I knew we had the huge challenge of trying to slow down Maryland's offense and I knew it was going to be important that our players be tough and physical," said NC State head coach Kellie Harper. "We also knew that we were going to have to score with them. I'm really proud of our kids effort and their willingness to battle and work together to be competitive."
The Terrapins, the league's best rebounding team, built a 55-36 advantage on the boards -- much of that coming after weathering some early foul trouble among their post players.
Thomas -- who averages 16.7 points -- was the only Maryland player to score during a 10½-minute stretch of the second half, reeling off 16 consecutive points for her team.
This one opened up with some wild swings, with the Terrapins racing out to a 15-1 lead against a senior-day starting lineup that included three Wolfpack players who don't usually start.
Once most of the regulars checked in, NC State tightened things back up with a 17-3 run capped by Kastanek's 3-pointer that pulled the Wolfpack within 21-20 with 6:50 before the break.
N.C. State didn't hit another basket until Donovan's baseline drive with 42 seconds left ended the Wolfpack's second 5-minute field goal drought of the half.
State honored its five seniors before the start of the game, and those five made up the starting lineup. Kim Durham and Paige Woodard, a past and present walk on, made the first start of their college careers, while Tia Bell made her first since her sophomore season back in 2008-09. Emili Tasler and Bonae Holston rounded out the starters for the Wolfpack. Holston's six points moved her into 10th on the all-time NC State scoring list with 1,557 points.
Because of the unique lineup that put three normal starters on the bench, the Pack reserves held a commanding 41-12 advantage over the Maryland bench.
FSU held off State 67-64 back on Jan. 27 at Reynolds Coliseum. Goodwin-Coleman led the Pack with 17 points, while Holston and Kastanek added 14 and 10 points, each.